Finish One, FIX One: GAMBIER BAY Refit
Posted by Matty on January 4, 2014, 16:52:39
Edited by board administrator January 6, 2014, 14:01:15
--Originally Posted 1/4/14-- |
After recently completing my Casimir Pulaski, it seemed a good idea - maybe to adopt permanently, from now on - to refit one of my older builds in between the completion of each new project. For which refitting, a truly prime candidate is my by now (almost exactly) decade-old Gambier Bay CVE-73:
"Scratch-bashed" (see below) in 1:500-ish scale, she still looks (at least, from some angles) pretty good - at least, from about 4 feet away (and growing ). However, in the decade-plus since I resumed modelling as an adult, my capabilities to improve upon what you see here, have grown by (at least) an order of magnitude: both in terms of construction/finishing, as well as bird-dogging accurate references, in the first place. (The latter due in no small part to growth of the Internet over the same 10-15 years - with still with no end in sight.) Meanwhile, over the same decade these, earliest of my "adult renaissance" builds, have suffered the inevitable ravages of time - including several moves - added to the typical mishaps, in general.
Thus, by now virtually all could use some sort of upgrade, ranging from simple detail-replacement - with perhaps some correction/freshening-up of the paint job - all the way through major reconstructive surgery, followed by complete refinishing, from there. The latter is definitely closer to what is now needed by my Gambier Bay - a ship for which no affordable replacement (not in this scale, anyway), neither OOB nor by way of conversion(s) - exist(s) as an alternative, even today. (Indeed, at- and around 500-scale, the only Gambier Bay available AFAIK is the $200-plus - though, admittedly, apparently excellent, artisanal-quality - resin kit by Aki, in true 1:500.) Thus, refitting my home-grown confection remains the best option - one for which it just so happens (not at all coincidentally) that I produce nearly all the upgrade detail-parts required (see below).
However by rights she could use far more than just detail-upgrades:
Click on Image to EnlargeFirstly of course there is the outright damage: the mast, at left (bottom, foreground) and a prop, at right (top), knocked off from mishaps not at all helped by the ridiculous choice of "display stand" - pilfered, IIRC, from the Dragon 1:700 LHA - which should more accurately be thought a "Display Teeter-Totter"! But, for its part, the mast - though a good effort from my "pre-multi-media, styrene-only" days - should by rights today be re-done - so much better, mostly (if not entirely) in PE, anyway.
In any case, the above will be the least of it: note the flight deck, at left (top), had become bowed (hogged) from amidships, going aft, due to insufficient attachment/anchoring there - as revealed at right - after enduring chronic high-heat and humidity, over the years. Worse yet: the keel (middle), incompletely filled/finished, to begin with, is progressively inaccurate towards the fantail (top), where each prop-shaft should be sheathed in a heavy tube, atop a lightweight skeg - and the keel extended in a short, stubby skeg of its own. These were direct results of insufficient references - indeed, the hull at large, bashed from the Imex (freighter) Trinidad, had been pinched too narrow for the length (and flight-deck, etc.) - such that, while its average scale is a creditable 1:488, the LOA (13.5") actually scales out to 1:455.3, while the beam (maximum, WL =1.5") scales to 1:521.
Then too, of course virtually all her details - made under the double-handicap of insufficient spares and (especially) references - are by today profoundly (embarrassingly!) in need of replacement/upgrade:
Click on Image to EnlargeAt far-left, the "Avengers" (top) compete with the "Twin-40mms" (foreground) for the status of Most Offensive to the eye. The remedy for the former being Matt Stein Models' Avengers, seen at center-left chasing the originals - bashed from Revell (Hornet CV-8) B-25s and, with their high wings in fact looking more like AF Guardians - off the deck amidships (top) and forward (bottom). And, at center-right, the virtually unrecognizeable twin-AAs - bashed originally from turreted Revell RN (bottom-left) and DKM (bottom right) twin medium-AAs - will be replaced by actual Open-Mount Twin-40mms, as shown. These bashed from Matty's Models' Shielded Quad-40mms (purple, at top), whose barrels (top-right), and/or carriages (top-left) are damaged/flawed on one side, yet still good on the other, permitting a twin-40mm to be carved out. Both the above will be undersized (for 1:455 scale): the (500-scale) Avengers by -8.9%, and the (1:550) Twin-40s by -17.2% - however the above pics clearly indicate the improvements will far outweigh any size differences - if even noticeable.
No doubt the above will only further highlight the offensive thickness/crudity of the gun tubs, and other splinter-shielding - particularly the curving sections abaft the island (far-left) - which virtually scream for replacement with something(s) finer/more scale-accurate - for which again, at far-right Matty's Models has (prototype) gun tubs in both larger-(top-left) and smaller (top-right) sizes.
Plus, Matt Stein Models (again, prototype-) USN Rectangular-Type Life Rafts (bottom), are among yet further upgrades:
Click on Image to EnlargeAt far-left (top) is a glimpse of one of the original life rafts, as chopped from nested-stacks of rafts in the Revell 1:490 Yorktown (CV-5) mold - to be replaced, as well as their numbers increased - with the above Matty's Models parts. Likewise for the scratchbuilt "WildCats", looking sometimes vaguely like HellCats punched in the nose - at other times like cartoon caricatures of the aircraft intended - for which the Matt Stein Models replacement (center-right), again in 1:500 scale, can be expected (particularly combined with the above Avengers, etc.) to utterly transform the flight deck. A transformation which PE propellers (not shown) will only enhance - as likewise will PE shields (not shown) for the 20mm guns, which currently resemble pairs of StoneHenge Megaliths, clutching Lincoln-Logs.
But the single thing most (embarassingly, offensively) desperately needing replacement must surely be the fantail "Single-5inch Open-Mount" (center-left, bottom) - scarcely resembling the intended (or any actual) weapon - in fact, being scaled closer to an 8-incher! Just as for the above Twin-40s, this unit can be replaced with a Matty's Models Single-5in Open-Mount, as at far-right - again, in 550-scale to be somewhat undersized, but with the tradeoff well worth it (even more-so). Finally, the decal flight deck "73"s (center-left, at top), "scratch-bashed" from insufficient decal-spares to begin with, have yellowed strongly and are easily replaced with new, far more accurate ones, e.g., from Gold Medal Models.
Thus, a very effective refit of my Gambier Bay is emminently do-able - with all the required materials already at hand:
So we are already rolling, for takeoff…