|USS Constellation CV-64: 1:144 Part 1: The beginning by Denis Rochat|
Each collection takes up space! I discovered small airplane models in scale 1/144, I was impressed: small is beautiful! And the collection was getting bigger. It was mainly about NAVY aircraft such as F-14, F/A-18, A-6 Intruder, E-2C Hawkeye, etc.
The models accumulate on the shelf and they make me less enthusiast, and suddenly I had the (crazy) idea to put the whole thing in scene!
An aircraft carrier in Scale 1:144! Speaking of saving space, it was not necessarily the best idea...
Why choose this good old Conny / The USS Constellation?
Just by chance I actually had a couple of F-14 squadron VF-211 with the name of the USS Constellation. So why not? I decided to build the model of the Constellation after its modernization in the 90s.
I must say that the discovery of the website "carrierbuilders" and the beautifully designed aircraft carrier type scratchbuilt encouraged me frankly to embark on this adventure.
To begin, we must know on what basis to work. I need to have a record of plans. There were two solutions: buy plans or do it yourself. I chose the second solution. Based on information found on many web site especially ACB (carrierbuilders) and with the help of a scale model 1/720 of Italeri, I drew the necessary plans.
I would like to highlight that this part should not be read by designers who care about the details! The solution described for making the hull is of a pure amateur. I used the model to 1/720 that I filled with foam insulation. After curing, I cut slices to obtain profiles. These are redrawn to scale. The result is more or less acceptable, in my opinion, but definitely not exact!
Based on the profiles, the real work on the model finally began.
Cutting and overlap for the hull.
This is where I realized that my project is imposing, especially in length. I find it difficult to maneuver around the house with a large object that could be used as a kayak for my youngest daughter!
The construction of the island is a real pleasure: cutting, assembly, painting, dismantling, correction, adaptation and reassembling. I feel to reproduce the same steps of the USS Constellation during the various stages of upgrades and modernization! But on a much shorter duration.
The work is far from finished. The mast, radars and the laying of railing is laid down in horizon 2047... Although with age, the hands become shaky!
Let's face it; all the planes are not scale kit to build. Many models are pre-painted and pre-assembled (Doyusha / F-Toys / Cafereo). However, I have undertaken numerous modifications, paint patina and create decals to match the squadrons of the USS Constellation. There is a mix of everything on squadrons. Purists do not keep me in rigor, I hope so. The model of the aircraft carrier is not intended for a museum, but I just want to have fun.
Crash and rescue crane "Tilly" is a scratch built realization. A real pleasure. I think the hardest part was finding the right wheels. I'm not an ace in sewing and my cabling is unsatisfactory. But at a distance of 200 meters, it shows nothing!
I also undertook the construction of one of the four elevators. Looking for information on the web has been difficult. I found a few images to understand the bearing structure view from below. That work has been a bit dubious
I take up after work when I have a bit more time ...
See you again.
Photos and text © 2013 by Denis Rochat
February 12, 2013