|USS Yorktown CV-10 by Keith Hufnagel|
The Yorktown (CV-10), launched in January of 1943, went into action in August of that year and spent the next 12 months in the combat zone honing her skills from the early Marcus Island - Wake Island raids to the Great Marianas “Turkey Shoot” and Saipan campaign. She was out of combat from August through October of 1944 for refit. Yorktown returned to action in November of 1944 and participated in the conquest of the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Japan. Yorktown, also known as “The Fighting Lady”, was a very lucky ship. During all her years of service in World War 2 she was hit only once. On March 18, 1945 Yorktown was hit by a Japanese bomb that struck a glancing blow her on her starboard side amidships. The blast caused the deaths of 5 men and wounded 16. However due to quick damage control Yorktown remained in action and continued flight operations. She was far luckier than many of her Essex Class sisters. Although no Essex Class carrier was sunk during the war many suffered terrible damage and loss of life. Yorktown earned 11 Battle Stars and a Presidential Unit citation for her actions in World War 2 as well as 4 Battle Stars for service in Vietnam. Yorktown currently can be visited at Patriots Point naval museum Charleston, South Carolina.
Yorktown was commissioned painted in Ms.21 overall navy blue, but due to Japanese submarine successes against US carriers early in the war she was repainted in May of 1944 into a Ms.33 10a camouflage pattern. Patterns such as these were designed to provide course deception and ship type confusion from surface observation. They were especially effective against submarines. Unfortunately they were highly observable from the air. However Yorktown retained this camouflage pattern during her 3 month refit period in the fall of 1944 and fought most of the remainder of the war wearing it. As the Kamikazes became the main threat and the invasion of Japan loomed, Yorktown finally reverted to Ms. 21 in June of 1945. She finished the war in this measure.
The model depicts Yorktown in October of 1944 after returning home to Bremerton Washington for a much needed overhaul, weapons upgrade, and electronics refit. I have shown Yorktown sporting her fresh coat of “dazzle” while on a brief shakedown cruise in preparation to return to the Pacific. When Yorktown left the West Coast of the United States to return to the warzone she was said to be ‘the Prettiest Lady in the Fleet’.
This model was created using the Trumpeter Yorktown 1944
Kit #05603 as the base construction component. The following
modifications were made:
2.) All kit flight deck catwalks were removed and replaced with perforated catwalks from Gold Medal Models including floater baskets, hatches, and ladders. Catwalk vertical surface details including landing lights, pipe fittings, etc. were scratchbuilt.
3.) Many additional details were added to the hull sides such as outboard fuel lines, portholes, chain railing, boat booms, chocks, accommodation ladders and their fixtures.
4.) All Mk.51 gun directors were rebuilt and their tubs relocated to the appropriate locations.
5.) All (60) 20mm guns were rebuilt from 1 part to 12 parts including photo etched shields, trunion wheels, and shoulder rests from Gold Medal Models
6.) All (17) 40mm mounts had ready service ammunition racks added to the inside of the gun tubs as well as photo etched shields and rails from Gold Medal Models.
7.) All (4) 5” 38 cal. guns were rebuilt adding bored out barrels, fusing gear, reworked breaches, and mount bases. Photo etched mount railings from Gold Medal Models were modified and added.
8.) All (4) 5” 38 twin gun turrets were rebuilt adding bored out barrels, blast hoods, sights, photo etched decking, rails, and hatches.
9.) The Island was rebuilt to reflect Yorktown as she appeared in October 1944 including modified signal and navigation bridges, proper wind deflectors, speaker locations, catwalks, search lights, incinerator vent, stack piping, director tubs, and accurate 20mm batteries. All upper works from the main battery directors to the radar suite has been painstakingly reproduced in plastic and photo etched materials reflecting an accurate depiction of Yorktown’s electronics during this period in her career; including reworked Mk 37 12/22 directors, scratchbuilt SM radar base, ship’s horn, ship’s bell, SK-1, SC-2, (2) SG-A sets, YE, as well as the assorted BL-5, BO, BN, YJ, and CPN-6 antenna . Kit foremast and main mast were rebuilt using plastic rod, stretched sprue halyards, and photo etched ladders and rails.
10.) Rendering of the bow includes the addition of anchor chains, bow chain, name plates, cable reels, stowed refueling hoses, paravanes, paravane rails, and handling cranes.
11.) Rendering of the stern includes the addition of 5” 38 practice loader, cable reels, floater baskets, ladders, fire hoses, life rings, and ship’s bell.
12.) Approximately (60) Carly rafts and their mounting fixtures were added according to Yorktown’s sailing configuration as of October 1944.
13.) Both starboard kit handling cranes were replaced with photo etched components from Gold Medal Models. Scratchbuilt crane mechanisms were also added to both.
14.) (3) Starboard side 40mm batteries were lowered to the proper locations with catwalks, rails, floater baskets, and hatches added.
15.) Starboard side kit radio antennae were replaced to reflect proper radio antenna suite configuration (October 1944) using photo etched parts (modified), and stretched sprue forward, with scratchbuilt parts aft.
16.) Approximately (200) figures were added throughout including officers (with caps), ship’s company, and flight deck crew with appropriately designated colors.
17.) Forklifts, bomb/torpedo carriages, and aircraft tow motors from White Ensign Models have been added to the flight and hanger decks.
18.) Flight deck arresting gear, wires, barriers, and safety railings were added using Gold Medal Models components and finely stretched sprue.
19.) Admiral’s barge with photo etched details and white plastic cover were added starboard side aft hanger deck. Photo etched details also added to the ship’s port side launch.
20.) Photo etched details were added to the deck edge elevator including underside support structure, safety netting, and flight deck railing.
21.) Kit flight deck decals were replaced using Gold Medal Models numbers and hand cut lines and dashes. Scratch made decal bulletin board and kill markings were added to the island structure.
22.) Ms.33-10a camouflage pattern painted using Modelmaster paints home mixed to match paint chips from Floating Drydock 1943-1945 USN purple-blues. The pattern was painted after careful study of actual photographs taken on Yorktown’s shakedown cruise September 30, 1944. Flight deck color and markings were achieved using Poly-S 20-B paint, pastels, and Modelmaster dullcote finish. One must understand the model portrays the Yorktown fresh from the builders’ yard and therefore does not reflect the weathering of sea, sun, and corrosion that so quickly degrades paint color. (5-P) pale gray, (5-H) haze gray, and (5-N) navy gray were used based on a consensus of written, visual, and photographic evidence.
23.) Numerous misc. details such as starboard forward hanger extension, LSO platform, life rings, conduit boxes, hoses, flight deck supports, ladders, hatches, handrails, and splinter shielding were added throughout the ship per photographic evidence.
24.) The aircraft rendered on the deck of the model of the Yorktown are shown to depict the types of aircraft carried by Essex class carriers during the war. To be historically accurate, at the time Yorktown was on her shakedown cruise and preparing to return to action she carried no combat air group until Air Group 3 joined her at Pearl Harbor. However since she had just had a second catapult installed on the portside of the flight deck forward she would probably have had the odd scout bomber (SBD) aboard to conduct testing and crew training. The aircraft: Hellcats, Helldivers, Avengers, and the Dauntless are kit parts with numerous additional details such as wheel covers, drop tanks, antenna, and bomb racks. Paint pattern is the standard tri-color for 1943-1944.
25.) The model mount was made from styrafoam, and spackling compound, rendered using Modelmaster paints: Blue Angel Blue and white. Future floor polish was also used for wetted effect on the hull sides.
26.) The wooden model base was created by George Newman, a noted craftsman from Atlanta, Georgia.
27.) The acrylic dust cover was purchased from Misterplexi.com
This is how I mixed the paint colors for
the 1/350 model of U.S.S Yorktown in order to match the paint chips
provided by “The Floating Drydock” P.O. Box 16066 Philadelphia, Pa.
19114 1943-1945 Purple-Blues Measure 33a-10. Floating Drydock has
consistently been a reliable source for naval info. (the Best)
All paints were airbrushed whenever
possible using drafting tape (very important) as the primary masking
media. All catwalk weather decks were thinned and applied carefully with
a brush to avoid filling of the perforated surfaces. The flight deck was
airbrushed with 20-B and then rendered (weathered) with pastels.
Photos and text © 2005 by Keith Hufnagel
December 22, 2005