A Tale of Two Faces: Vietnam-era Intrepid, Ticonderoga & Bon Homme Richard
Posted by Matty on November 19, 2006, 13:32:02, in reply to "A Tale of Two Faces: Vietnam-era Intrepid, Ticonderoga & Bon Homme Richard"
Message modified by board administrator December 24, 2007, 10:27:37
--Originally posted 11/18/06-- |
OK Captain Bruce (and everyone) - here are the three prime subjects:
Click on Image to EnlargeIntrepid (left), Ticonderoga and Bon Homme Richard (right), during the late '60s/early '70s; their bows shown from the most similar angles I could find.
Note Intrepid's and Tico's bows were identical; the forward flare of the typical long-hulled Essex ("clipper") bow was carried forward to the length of the flight deck, and then plated vertically - straight up - to connect with the forward edge. The (half-moon shaped) transition is not at all softened, leaving the angular "knuckle" mentioned before.
This, as I understand it, was to allow for easy installation of the more powerful (C-11) steam catapults. However the very first hurricane bow C-11s installations had been done earlier - for Lexington-II, Shangri-La and Bon Homme Richard (right) - involving a different bow shape. Note it has no hard knuckle but a smooth, gradual curve starting (at least) twice as far down - creating a large, rounded triangular bulge for the upper nose.
There is also another difference (partially) visible in these pics; take a close look at the hull sides just under the flight deck forward; where they rise to meet the flight deck. On Tico and Increpid, they begin from a very soft ridge running horizontally at anchor deck level (same as hangar deck level), and fom there flare at a slightly steeper angle to meet the flight deck sides.
However on Bonnie Dick, note the flare of the plating is completely smooth and unbroken - until it reaches the width of the forward flight deck, whereupon it knuckles vertically up to join the flight deck; just like on the noses of the other two. Because the hull widens (while the flight deck actually narrows a little) further from the bow, this hard line plunges to form a (roughly) triangular vertical "cheek" (half obscured under a catwalk here).
OK now to your kits, Bruce - and since Bonnie Dick was converted first, let's start with the Renwal:
Click on Image to EnlargeHere is my Renwal Shangri-La kit; one of the two accurate boxings (along with their Lexington-II) for this mold. Note the box art (top) depicts the correct "round-nose, triangle-cheek" hurricane bow, and - far more importantly - so does the mold (bottom).
Note for a full-hull mold she looks a bit squat - almost as if already waterlined - but this is a flaw of the kit; its hull bottom is far too shallow. That's why we say it's easiest to build this kit waterlined. But if you want to "go the distance" and correct the hull (as I plan one day to do), we can certainly find out how much height it needs and where/how best to put it in.
So, that's Option #1; build Bon Homme Richard from your Renwal kit. For Option #2 - an accurate Tico and/or Increpid - you could start with this:
Click on Image to EnlargeThe Revell SCB-125 Essex-class kit (here boxed as Wasp-II; top). The boxing of this kit as Shangri-La (among many, many others) is, as you've seen above, incorrect - as may well be also the case for Wasp here (I really didn't check).
In any event, the mold does not exactly match the box art anyway, as you can see at bottom left. The box art depicts a smooth arch for the bow which is not reflected in the mold; it goes vertical too far down on the bow, creating an exaggerated (if smooth) bulge which is not accurate for any Essex refit, AFAIK. For its part, the box art is far more accurate for many early SCB-125s - e.g., Bennington - which never did receive the C-11 steam catapult - including on the cheek the horizontal and fairly hard knuckle line. Note this, too is not faithfully depicted by the mold, which actually has a very soft bulge line along the anchor deck level.
But recall that this type of soft cheek bulge is precisely what you want for your Ticonderoga or Intrepid. And up front, in fact the very flat vertical face will lend itself to your desired "knuckle-nose" conversion very nicely. All you would need to do is trace the knuckle line onto this face and remove and replace the bulge below it with a bow flaring smoothly back down to (about) the waterline.
I don't have an example of exactly this conversion to show you, but I can show you some techniques which can work for this; from a different conversion I did already begin, using this same kit:
Click on Image to EnlargeBefore I was able to snag my Renwal kit above, I had started this conversion of the Revell kit into a (more) accurate depiction of Shangri-La. Note I have begun corrections (white plastic) for the nose, cheeks, forward flight deck and even underwater bow bulb (which I forgot to mention earlier). I also forgot to mention this hull is slightly too narrow, so I also corrected it (center-right). This last is a minor correction, though, and you might well could get away with skipping it, IMHO.
My bow shapes are not yet quite right for Shangri-La - so don't focus too much on that, anyway, as the the things worth noting here are the two techniques in play: filling with solid block and actual "plating" with thin plastic card stock. Note the nose has been replaced entirely with a single plastic block; pre-glued-up from eighteen (1/8") thick plastic slabs. This is a relatively time-consuming, "brute-force" approach (which could be no factor for your recovering troops, Captain); not it permits the advantage of carving/sculpting into virtually any desired shape. Plus, it creates a truly solid support for anything needing subsequently to attach to it (like the forward end of the flight deck, in this case).
For less complex shapes - and when you already have good attachment for most sides - you can use a much more efficient (and elegant) method of gluing on plastic card plating - which you can roll, bend and stress much like the real thing. This method - using 0.035" plasticard - was the one used to construct my side-cheeks (right) here. Likewise, expansion of both the forward flight deck (left) and keel (center-right) was done simply using this plasticard for shims, as needed.
Once obtaining the basic forms, remaining edges/holes/mismatches can be hit with putty, easy-peasy!
Even though I now have a Renwal Shangri-La kit, the above conversion was so much fun - and results to date so promising - that for sure I intend (one day) to complete it. Your conversion to Tico or Intrepid would be far, far quicker and easier (especially with us helping you, buddy).
I hope you (all) found something(s) of interest in the above. And if/when you do build any of these kind of conversions, that you will send me your pics/thoughts - which we will tell the world!