Custom carriers from OOB's and painted pieces
USS Enterprise (CV-6) in her very own camouflage, Measure 33, Design 4Ab, circa 1944, painted by FOlewnik on Ebard’s late war Yorktown class print from Shapeways. Ebard has an early war and a late war Yorktown class print set of 2 and there were 3 of the class made so FOlewnik got one set of each. Compare this print with the above Yorktown (CV-5) and Hornet (CV-8) early war prints and you’ll see more AA gun mounts on the late war print. Pattern sheet taken from wikiwand.com and photos of Enterprise circa 1944 taken from navsource.org and cropped and sized for comparison.
The latest group of US carriers parked at the Norfolk Naval Yard:
USS Wasp (CV-7), post re-fit, from an out of box (OOB) sculpt, modded and painted by FOlewnik. The OOB sculpt is supposed to be the USS Wasp (CV-7) as launched, which I neglected to take a picture of for comparison so grabbed the picture from HBG’s site. You’ll see it’s missing lots of AA guns forward of the island, along the starboard side. The sculpt is also solid plastic, which seems to sink in the center when the plastic cools after it’s made and not only leave a small gully, but it pulls the island to a port side list. We’d been playing A&A since 1985 and with the Wasp sculpt since it came out in 1999 and never noticed the leaning island. The deck had to be filled with putty and sanded before magnets could be added, a crane was added, and 46 anti-aircraft gun mounts, both 20mm and 40mm, were added. The hull was cut away fore and aft and supports added.
USS Indiana (BB-58) wearing Measure 32, Design 11D from the South Dakota Class Battleship sculpt by HBG, painted by FOlewnik. The float plane launch catapults are molded into the sculpt, so FOlewnik added the recovery crane made from wire and the GHQ scout planes. The actual ship had two different paint schemes in her first year of duty before she settled on Measure 32, Design 11D. http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/58a.htm has some really large photos of it getting its first coat of paint on 8 September 1942 at Hampton Roads, Virginia that are fantastic for their detail, but that unique camouflage didn’t look like it belonged with the previously chosen measures done on the pieces completed earlier.
All those carriers above and the recent aircraft additions need a plane guard destroyer so here is one of GHQ’s Sumner class destroyers done as the USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697):
USS Pensacola (CA 24), first of her class, from an out of the box sculpt. This is FOlewnik’s last modified cruiser for the US so he took a few shots with his cell phone while he was doing it that I asked him to send to me so I could edit and post them along with the shots of the finished USS Pensacola. The actual ship herself changed a bit during the course of her life as shown in the difference between these two profiles, taken from shipcamouflage.com on the top and navsource.org on the bottom:
And this photograph of the other side, lined with sailors in their dress whites:
Here is the progression from plain green game sculpt to finished ship:
A pair of Douglas SBD Dauntless aircraft in two different sets of insignia, both from the Summer of 1942, Enterprise Air Group. “GC” on the earlier of the two aircraft is “Group Commander”, in this case either Commander Howard L. Young, Lieutenant Commander C. Wade McClusky, or Lieutenant Commander Maxwell F. Leslie. The first one, “GC”, is from the time they spent on the Enterprise (CV-6) during the Coral Sea campaign, and the second, “B10”, represents the rest of the air group as they appeared during the Battle of Midway. I relied heavily on photos in the book “The Big E - The Story of the USS Enterprise, Illustrated Edition” by Edward P. Stafford for decal placement and types.
I used the home made decals printed on white background for the first decal layer on the bottom, but the tops of each aircraft are different in that the GC aircraft is mostly decal and B10 is mostly hand inked. You can tell when you see the pictures enlarged as the hand inked aircraft has cleaner lines. The home made decals were printed on my 300 DPI printer, so they could look better if they were printed on a 600 DPI or better printer but they’ll do real well for an A&A game piece.
The control surfaces on GC are all decal, but B10 is only decal on the dive flaps on top, the rest of the top control surfaces are hand inked. The cockpits are hand inked as well. The nose guns and upper engine cowl were hand drawn with waterproof ink on clear decal paper because I didn’t want to wait for a decal from the non water-proof print to dry, clear-coat it and wait for that to dry before I could use it. Here you can see the large hand drawn decal on the nose of the aircraft before lots of Micro Sol id applied. Only that section is decal- the rest of the cowl lines & exhaust is hand inked. You cal also see the dive flap and other control surface decals on the first coat of paint. The “step” area on the wing is painted:
The difficult part of using home made decal is the application. You’ve essentially spray painted the top of a decal and cut it from its sheet, immersed it in water to separate it, and applied it to the plastic as soon as it would slide from the paper. The problem is that only then does the decal itself start to absorb the water, making it expand, while the painted top does not. So your home made decal will “peel” up around the edges. I learned the hard way that it’s best to apply liberal amounts of Micro Sol at this phase to help get rid of the curl and help the decal to stick to the aircraft. It didn’t matter if it was applied to clean plastic or a primed piece- lots of Micro Sol was needed. The Micro Sol also helps get rid of “silvering” on the clear parts of the decal. Of course, using the white background, I didn’t have to worry about that, but the decals on top are clear, so I had to use extra care to make sure they didn’t silver. It didn’t matter- some did anyway. As you can see from the picture, I cut sections of the bottom decal from the sheet rather than the entire thing at once. This made it much easier to apply.
On the picture above, you can see some silvering beneath the clear decal on the dive flaps of each aircraft. If you don’t print with waterproof ink, you can’t poke a pin hole in the decal and add Micro Sol to get rid of the silvering or you run the ink beneath the protective spray, ruining your decal after its been applied. Another thing I learned the hard way. Fortunately, they make 20/0 brushes so those mishaps can be easily cleaned up. I have to say it was easier to match upper and lower control surface lines when inking by hand, since all I had to do was line up my point on top with the decal on the bottom and match them at the edge. Getting the decal to do that was much more difficult, so the rest are getting hand done with only dive flap and engine cowl gun decals on top with the full white decal on the bottom and no stripes on the tail or red dots in the middle of the stars. They may look good, but they are a pain in the rear end!
J.o.C. last edited by
folewnik last edited by
Wow! And here I thought I put a lot of detail in my ships. Can’t wait to see these on the Enterprize. Great job Doug.
Mr. Kell last edited by
Good stuff. The perfect tools for sinking those pretty flat tops.
I’m beginning to understand how this up close photography accents mistakes never seen on the board.
As to the silvering, I noticed on the pic of the nose decal that the paint surface looks dull, one thing I’ve learned about decals is they prefer to lay down on a shiny smooth surface. The irregular surface is trapping air pockets under the film.
I’m personally using Pledge gloss floor finish. Dries fairly quick, levels well without killing surface detail.
@Mr-Kell - Thank you! I’ve heard of using Pledge on larger scale models but never thought it might work on something smaller. Thanks for the tip- I’m doing that on the next one. And a hearty “Indeed!” on the close up photography. I started photographing FOlewnik’s ships with a better camera and it gave me a little more confidence to push my comfort level. Makes me look forward to doing more Stukas, too.
And thank you to everyone else as well. I have to pass those along to a lot of guys that came before me and gave me the inspiration to try new things to see if they work.