USS Saratoga CV3 by Barrie Hole
Brand: Trumpeter
Scale: 1/700
Modeler: Barrie Hole - Museum Quality Custom Airctaft Profile Prints

The Diorama


The year is 1934 and from his viewing position forward of B turret on the cruiser USS Indianapolis President Franklin Roosevelt is reviewing the US fleet off New York. The fleet carrier Saratoga is starting to launch her planes for the flypast whilst the destroyer USS Sturtevant is coming alongside the cruiser to occupy the space vacated by the presidential yacht Sequoia. Sailors have crowded the decks either to watch the carrier or to catch a glimpse of FDR. Naturally the scene has been heavily compressed - the ships being reviewed passed a long way from the Indy but a 4 metre showcase for three models seemed a bit much!

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The Ships

The carrier is Trumpeter. This is a very nice kit to build. The only real problem was a warped hull moulding which I wasn't able to fully correct. I used the GMM Saratoga fret and replaced the guns with Nico resin castings. The deck was also covered with Artwox wood deck sheeting cut to fit (nobody seems to make a pre-cut deck for this ship). The deck markings were applied with a yellow gel pen and the name SARA on the stern is from the kit decal sheet. Arrestor wires are black nylon thread.

The other ships are:

USS Indianapolis - Tamiya kit converted back to her pre-war fit. PE is a mix of GMM's Cruiser/Destroyer fret and WEM's Indianapolis fret. The deck is a pre-cut wood deck from Hunter.

USS Sturtevant - Niko’s Reuben James resin kit with GMM details and hull numbers from Hawk Graphics. It was only when I had finished that I remembered that I should have doubled the number of torpedo tubes (ho hum).

Sequoia - Some parts from Tamiya’s Tugger set but mainly scratch built. I don’t actually know if she was present at the review but after seeing photos of her I couldn’t resist.

Painting was virtually all LifeColor acrylics either brushed or sprayed. Rigging was a mixture of nylon monofilament, stretched sprue and stainless steel wire and Eduard provided the crews and FDR’s party

The sea is a model railway product - Faller’s lake sheet. Its pricey but very effective once painted.

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The Air Group

All Trumpeter with struts and props by GMM. Markings are from Starfighter. Strictly speaking the Grumman fighters should be Boeings but the difference in this scale isn’t noticeable. Indy’s spotter planes are Seagulls made up from a variety of Trumpeter and GMM parts.

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A very satisfying build. The wood decks are particularly pleasing but do need care when applying as the adhesive is quite unforgiving if you make a mistake. Saratoga is a unusual though strangely elegant ship which which must have impressed me as I’ve just bought a kit for the Lexington!


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  Photos and text © 2013 by Barrie Hole

June 23, 2013