Posted by Matty on November 28, 2010, 15:17:17
Message modified by board administrator November 20, 2011, 11:31:04
--Originally Posted 11/28/10-- |
Regardless what kind of WWII ship-enthusiast you are, you gotta love Ranger CV-4:
Here seen on August 18, 1942, in the new livery of her first wartime refit - including blue tiger-stripe MS-21mod paint job almost identical to that famously worn by Hornet - Ranger would, throughout her entire service retain all the features that really distinguished her as Ranger: the six outboard funnels, unique "bird-beak" clipper bow, and above all the "island-with-an-overbite". The style of all these - particularly the forward-canted island, conical funnels and their squiggly, "S"-curved uptakes - can only be described as "art-deco" in appearance, as indeed was the fashion generally in 1920's, when she was designed.
Ranger was the USN's first dedicated, from-the-keel-up aircraft carrier, following conversion of the two Lexington-class CBs and the very first, Langley, converted from a collier (Jupiter). After Ranger came the Yorktown-class, of which an anonymous pilot, upon seeing one for the first time, reputedly described it as "a cross between Ranger and Lexington". That latter was a nod to Yorktown's massive, slab-sided funnel - however the far deeper design similarity was the open hangar-deck superstructure - inherited from Ranger - and harkening back in turn, not to the Lexingtons, but clear back to Langley (as also the hinged funnels, aft). This lightweight hangar arrangement would prove so successful - primarily in its allowance for a large number of stowed aircraft - that it would be adopted as standard on all subsequent USN carriers until the Midway class, in 1944.
Here are the drawings of Ranger I have found (so far):
Click on Image to EnlargeAt left is an official profile (top) and below it, yet another pic - both again showing her refitted appearance in August, 1942. At right, the overhead view at bottom and portside profile (middle) also show this fit, while at the top, the starboard side profile depicts some later (1944?) fit, including more- and larger (undoubtedly 40mm) gun tubs, and apparently now missing the pair of Mk33 gun directors previously on the island. (These, it seems, would have had to have been replaced by Mk37s, though none are shown.)
Unlike her contemporaries, Ranger's wartime record was relatively undistinguished - her main claim to fame being participation in the (pretty much) cake-walk of Operation Torch, off North Africa. By way of explanation, Ranger has been much historically maligned as having been too small, and too slow for optimal use. However, at 14,576 tons (standard) Ranger's size compared well - and that of her aircraft complement, far superior - to IJN Soryu-class carriers, which were so successful in the Pacific as to be adopted (belatedly) as the basis for a standard (Unryu-class) fleet carrier design. And Ranger's top speed of 29.25 knots was only about 5 slower than the Essexes - the standard USN fleet carriers of WWII. I think Ranger was kept in the Atlantic (until very late in the war) simply to preserve her, as all but two of her contemporaries were lost, one after the other, in the first year of the war. Ranger, the next-oldest and most beloved after the (oft-torpedoed and perpetually drydocked) survivor, Saratoga - as well as the first, dedicated-construction USN carrier, with all its ground-breaking innovations - was simply not going to be risked. So, they put her in the "easy" sea war - against the Germans and Italians - and didn't risk her very much there, either. That's fine - I only wish they would have preserved her, after the war - for all the above-mentioned reasons - instead of ingloriously scrapping her, in 1947.
Historical exploits notwithstanding, to the pure carrier enthusiast Ranger was an undisputedly graceful ship - long and lean as any cruiser:
Click on Image to EnlargeThis is one of those notoriously lousy drawings continually offered on eBay - don't trust any of its specific details - but it is the only one I've found (so far) showing a very plausible below-waterline hull, making the similarity in appearance to the Yorktown class look even more pronounced. Indeed, Ranger's length of 730' at the waterline was only 31' less than Yorktown's - thus, without any adjustment in (waterline) length, the Revell 1:490 Yorktown hull could be converted into a Ranger of 1:470 scale. Likewise, her beam of 80' - just 3.25' less than Yorktown's - would scale out essentially identically (to 1:471) using the Revell hull, with virtually no adjustment whatever. If you required a true 490-scale Ranger, to accompany your Revell Yorktown, then 0.76" of the hull would have to be removed (no doubt optimally taken from amidships) and only 0.08" - less than 1/10th of an inch - from the beam (which, again could simply be disregarded, at this scale, IMHO).
Likewise - except even better - in (about) 1:600 scale, the Aurora Enterprise CV-6 hull - which actually scales out (by WL length) to 1:623.3 for a Yorktown-class - would, unmodified, make for a Ranger conversion of 1:598 scale! That's essentially a true, 1:600 scale - identical with, for example, your Airfix flush-decker DD (hear that, Mikey?). While the beam on the Aurora mold is (as best I could measure) slightly overscale, the error will still be less than 2% - again, truly negligible (especially) at this scale.
I am so far away from having the time - not to mention first catching up on my other builds - to start on this conversion idea. However, to paraphrase Khan, from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan - in turn quoting Mody Dick's Captain Ahab, before him - this Ranger Mania "tasks me"...He Tasks me...