Building the USS Duxbury Bay AVP-38 Seaplane Tender Small by Carl
Previous page 2 of 3 Next
MASTS - The USS Duxbury Bay had two masts, besides the Main Mast on the crane; the Foremast and the Stack Mast.  The foremast has a platform for an SL or SF radar dome and for the SA radar array antenna (L’Arsenal).  The stack mast supported a YG signal beacon antenna (ISW).  The foremast was scratch built starting with a tapered brass mast from BMK, styrene flat stock for the platforms, brass rod for the yardarm, the SL radar dome from the ISW mast, and pieces from spare parts sprues and PE frets.  The stack mast is straight brass rod with a circular PE spare part and the YG antenna from the ISW PE fret. DUXBAY-051

BOAT CRANE - The crane pedestal is a Back-Aft Models modification of the ISW crane part, less the king post but, with added access doors around the perimeter of the pedestal.   The king post is made of styrene rod with its mast post of brass rod.  The crane boom was made from two pieces of the ISW photo-etched part.  One piece being trimmed to become the bottom of the boom, enclosing it in along the bottom.  The pulleys, hook and cables are from Alliance Modelworks USN Cruiser photo-etched brass set.  The crane on my model is positioned port of centerline, therefore the crane yardarm remains perpendicular to the centerline while the crane rotates below it.
BOMB BOOMS - All USS Barnegat class AVPs had bomb and shell handling booms mounted outboard and below the bridge in order to handle these munitions for on-loading and off-loading through the large deck hatch on the forward O1 Level deck.  Using brass rods glued into holes located and drilled at the appropriate positions into the bulkhead and windscreen, the brass rods are clipped to create mounting points for the booms and their operating cables. DUXBAY-052
FANTAIL DETAILS – Besides the boat cradle on the fantail, mentioned previously, other fantail details include an empty bowser tank stowage rack made from styrene stock, Back-Aft Models smoke screen generator tank racks, towing line hawse reel, and Mk 6 depth charge racks from the ISW PE fret and various lines for tying up boats, the barge, and for rigging the starboard boat boom.  I filled the depth charge racks with charges made from styrene rod and then used thin wrapping tissue paper to create canvas tarps for them.  The warping winch is from a DRAGON destroyer sprue and the inclined ladder is from the ISW PE fret. DUXBAY-057
RIGGING – For me, the rigging begins with the addition of mast and stack stays (guys) and shrouds using straight, cut-to-length pieces of steel guitar string with small drops of white glue to depict the turnbuckles and then painting all of the stays black.  I start with the lower, inboard stays working from way up and outboard to the upper, outer stays and shrouds.  On my USS Duxbury Bay, stays are required on the foremast, stack mast, and the stack itself.

After the stays and shrouds, the signal flag halyards and wire antennas are next.  For this, I use white caenis thread, attaching the lower ends with CA glue and accelerator and pulling the lines up and around the yardarm and the tiniest drop of CA glue followed by accelerator.  I use fingernail clippers to cut the excess thread tight to the yardarm.  The halyards and antennas are then painted white and/or light gray using thinned acrylic paint.  The “at anchor” signal ball is made from a small, hollow glass bead threaded with the caenis thread and its holes filled with CA glue and then painted dark gray.  The Alpha flag is hoisted to warn others of a diver in the water or just to proceed slowly and make no wake.

RAILINGS – The safety net railings used along the main deck are from L’Arsenal.  The stanchion-railing sections along the port and starboard sides are from the ISW PE fret and a most valuable piece saving a lot of time, effort, and frustration in lieu of creating and spacing separate stanchions and pieces of railing along this prominent area of the ship.

Several areas of canvas-covered railings had to be created.  The railings atop the pilot house, forward of the stack, and around the gun director tower all had weather screen canvas applied to them.  I use Kristal Klear white glue to fill the areas between the stanchions and rails on these sections of railing, painting the railings with the superstructure color first, and after the glue has dried I paint the canvas the appropriate colors but, just on the outboard sides.  With the finish color just on the outboard sides, it allows the railings’ colors to be visible on the inboard sides.  I find that using three-bar rail sections in these areas makes filling the gaps with the glue much easier than trying to fill larger gaps in two-bar railing sections.  I like to use PE railing sections by Tom’s Modelworks for these smaller areas.  The dimensions between the stanchions on the Tom’ Modelworks PE railing fret seem to work out just right without having to bend the sections between the stanchions and thus having to add individual stanchions in the areas of those bends.

BOAT BOOM – Using detailed reference drawings from the NARA Micro Film Reel image set of the boat booms as rigged for these AVPs, I rigged out the starboard boat boom to accommodate the 26’ whale boat and a 24’ personnel boat using caenis thread and PE vertical ladders. DUXBAY-070

20mm GUNS – The USS Duxbury Bay was armed with six Twin 20mm Guns; four located in sponsons around the bridge area on the O2 and O3 Levels and two on the O1 Level outboard of the crane.  I used 20mm guns by L’Arsenal and covered some of them with wrapping tissue paper canvas.

5 INCH GUN TURRET – I prefer the scale and detail of Corsair Armada Productions’ 5”/38 turrets and foundation rings but, I’ve replaced the CAP barrel with a brass one from Alliance Modelworks along with the gun director’s resin cupola.
Diorama Details
PONTOON BARGE -  The inspiration photos of the USS Duxbury Bay at Kerama Retto, Okinawa depict her servicing the PBM Mariner “E-1” from VPB-27 as the flying boat rests on a pontoon barge which is tied up to the ship’s port side. DUXBAY-076
I first created a pontoon barge from styrene stock; the pontoons, bow ramp, and connecting strips.  An outboard diesel engine and pivoting bow ramps were fashioned from styrene stock, as well.  All parts were then cast in a rubber mold and resin replicas made of them all. 

The barge was painted with Polly S “Oily Black” and weathered with pastel chalks and graphite pencil and then was moored to the port side of the ship.

PBM MARINER “E-1” – The ISW USS Mackinac AVP-13 resin kits come with a resin PBM Mariner.  I assembled the hull, wings and stabilizers filling the seams with putty and filling the portholes with putty and sanding off the molded-in doors.  The forward and aft doors were drilled and chiseled out to replicate their positions in the inspiration photos. 
The bow turret was cut and hollowed out, as well.  Panel lines were scribed into the wings and hull.  Brass rod was used for the gun barrels in the top and stern turrets and beaching gear was scratch built and added to the hull.  The engine cowlings were removed and new ones fashion from styrene stock. 
 The propellers are from the PE fret included with the plane.  Black decal sheet was used to punch out round portholes of appropriate sizes and oval portholes were depicted with decals from the spare parts drawer. 
PBM MARINER “E-12” –  This PBM was modified in a similar way to “E-1” but, the hull had to be sanded to the waterline. DUXBAY-087
After Market Accessories
  • AVP 35-41 Hull and Superstructure Conversion Set – Back-Aft Models
  • 5”/38 cal Gun Turret – Corsair Armada and Alliance Modelworks
  • Quad 40mm Bofors – L’Arsenal
  • Twin 40mm Bofors - L’Arsenal
  • Twin 20mm Guns - L’Arsenal
  • Small Boats – Corsair Armada Productions 
  • SA Radar - L’Arsenal
  • Safety Net Railings - L’Arsenal
  • 1/350 Figures - L’Arsenal
  • Gas Cylinder Bottles - L’Arsenal
  • Sky Lookouts – L’Arsenal
  • Fire Hoses and Life Rings – Gold Medal Models
  • Watertight Doors and Hatches – Gold Medal Models and L’Arsenal and Alliance Modelworks
  • Mk51 Gun Directors – Yankee Modelworks
  • Search Lights – Yankee Modelworks
  • Signal Lights – Veteran Models
  • Pelorous and Binnacle – Paper Lab
  • Life Rafts – L’Arsenal
  • Ship’s Bell – BMK
  • Foremast - BMK
  • Floater Nets and Baskets - L’Arsenal and White Ensign Models
  • Cable Reels - L’Arsenal and White Ensign Models
  • Inclined Ladders –  Iron Shipwrights
  • Vertical Ladders – L’Arsenal
  • Accommodation Ladder -  Gold Medal Models
  • Aviation Decals – Gold Medal Models 
Previous page 2 of 3 Next

More of Carl Musselman's work.
Updated 2013