USS Kalinin Bay CVE-68 by Bill Waldorf
Brand: Scratchbuilt
Scale: 1/96
Modeler: Bill Waldorf

John Haynes Products Wildcats


This model is awarded with the Aircraft Carrier Builders - Excellence Award. Please feel free to discuss about this Excellence Award winner model in the Forum!
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Hello fellow modelers! Well, I am here with a scratchbuild. An Escort Carrier, only in 1/96 scale this time. I was commissioned by the survivors assn. of the ship to do the model and I agreed. I was honored, by the way, that they asked me. I was given a one year time limit on the model so things have been pretty busy here. I hope construction to be completely finished by May of this year, if all goes as well as it has. I have been invited to attend the ships Survivor Reunion in Las Vegas, Nev. in May. I plan to take slide photos of the model and make a presentation to the members, rather than bring the model due to logistical concerns. Vegas is a long way from Michigan!! Steve Nuttal and I will be working on another artwork of this ship and if all goes well I will present an 11 x 14 poster to each of the members. That's about 80 copies!! I am awaiting cost estimates. The final resting place for the model is at the Naval Air Museum in Pensacole, Fla.  I am excited about this to say the least, as you can imagine! Lets take a look at things so far. I will not detail all aspects of the construction of the model here, as I have already done with her sister ship, the USS Gambier Bay in 1/72 scale.



Starboard side view of the ship. Note the dazzle camo pattern. Measure 32/15a or 33/10a. Both are nearly identical. I mixed my own colors here. Paints are Floquil RR colors. I started with the bottom, then added the boot topping, then the various colors of the pattern were masked off and painted one color at a time, one side at a time as both are different. Paint job took about 20 hours. The model is a little over five feet in length, so I am standing a bit away from it to take this shot. The paint work is typical of the six Escort Carriers involved in the Battle of Samar, one of which was the Kalinin Bay
Port side view of the stern. Note that no deck fittings have been added as of yet, or the propellers.
A shot of the bow area. In this photo the gallery deck is finished and I have begun to make all the gun tubs and related platforms, etc. on the stb. side. You can see the first two 40 mm platforms roughed in. Anchors from HR Products, cast metal fittings. The bracing under the flightdeck has not yet been constructed.
Stb. side view from fwd. Here you can see I have added the gun tubs and related platforms, etc. Note the elevator openings. Fwd. one will be down about half-way, while aft will be full up position.
Stb. side again from aft. Again note the gun tubs and platforms. All fabricated from styrene for the most part.
Stb. side view of the bridge location. Large beams under solid deck of Island platform have not yet been added. Note the fwd. funnel or "uptake" as they were called. Inclined ladders and railings are from Plastruct Co. Goldfish looking areas are perforated brass to represent catwalk areas.
Stb. side bow view. Again note no bracing beneath as yet. I will complete all gun tubs and platforms, etc. on both sides of the ship then tackle the bracing structures.
Stb. side fwd. looking aft. Note I have added the sponsons to the sides of the hull. Fabricated from balsa blocks. Bilge keels have also been added. Anything you see white is styrene plastic fabricated.
Here is a shot of the 20 mm gun tubs located on stb. side between the funnels. Reinforcements made from styrene rod and telephone wire. Funnels are formed balsa also, and dressed up with styrene rod and telephone wire too.
Another stb. side view of the bow area looking slightly underneath again.
Here is a prototype of one of the FM-2 (F4F-2) Wildcat fighter a/c. These are small resin kits from John Haynes Products of England. There are 11 pieces to each kit and they come with instructions and decals, both of which are not really needed. They are $40.00 a pop! I thought they were a nice little kit but was disappointed they did not come with clear canopies. An expensive little item but the only ones available in 1/96. Therefore you bite the bullet so to speak.

Another stb. side view of the bow. Notice here I have started the under deck bracing. Compare this photo with # 10. All bracing assys. fabricated with strip styrene. Again note perforated brass catwalks. This material is in 7 x 10 inch sheets available at Special They have many other cool brass items that are great for shipbuilding.
Couple more pics of the bow area. Here you can see again the under deck bracing in progress.

Here we have the forecastle deck. Note I have begun to add fittings here. Anchor winch from Sirmar Products from England. Paravanes are John Haynes products. Other items are from HR Products in the US. Note the bulwark bracing and anchor chains. A few more items to add yet.
The aft 5/38 gun mount. The gun itself is another John Haynes product and consists of 12 individual parts made from resin and cast metal. Again, a nice little kit but as all things from overseas, pricey, about $30.00. Gun tub is scratchbuild and does not come with the kit.
In this photo the flightdeck is flipped up-side down so you can see the start of the bracing. There are many individual pieces here and continues this way along the entire length of the flightdeck. I estimate 60 hrs. to complete all this and over 1100 individual pieces. The sad thing is, when the model is on actual display, none of this is really that visible unless you crouch down and look beneath! Why do it??? Cause it has to be there.
A little further along here. These are a couple of the 20 mm gun tubs viewed from beneath. Perforated catwalks are clearly visible here. Note the small" boxes" that hang beneath the gun tubs and catwalks. These are the ladder wells that lead into compartments of the Gallery decks. Escort Carrier modelers take note: This is the correct configuration I have this from 1st hand memory of a man who was on the real ship. His name is Henry Sawicki and was a sailor aboard the Kalinin Bay. He has an almost photographic memory of the layout of the ship. He went on after the war to become an engineer/draftsman and has sent me numerous drawings of certain areas of the ship of which there are no photos. He has been of great assistance to me. Nice to have someone like him to assist. A walking encyclopedia if you will. He is now in his late 70's.
Yet another shot of stb side bow area with the bracing in progress. Note how this adds interest to the model.
Port side fwd. looking aft. Here you can see all gun tubs, catwalks and platforms have been fabricated and installed on the ship on both sides. Bridge assy is roughed in and is visible.

Here is one of the TBM Avenger a/c. These are made by John Haynes of England and are a resin and cast metal kit. They are somewhat tricky to put together as there are some alignment problems with the landing gear and the horiz. stab. Some adjustments must be made so the planes "sit " correctly on the flightdeck. I put the kit together first, making the necessary adjustments before paint and decal work. I was a little disappointed that the kit does not come with a separate clear canopy. All bracing here is hand painted. Very time consuming. With a little tlc, these come out pretty good. A little on the expensive side, too. $37.00 ea. There will be six of these on deck when the ship is completed.
Here are a couple shots of the stern deck. Note all the fittings have been added except for the draped fire hoses and plugs. Railings are p/e brass and are from Scalelink of England. Other fittings are either cast metal or resin. Note I have added the propellers. I used rigging thread on the cable reels. 5" gun is another Haynes product. Again, cast metal and resin parts.

Here we have the "tower" assy. This is a rather complicated structure to build as there are many levels. All the radar's are scratchbuilt except for the middle "SG" antenna. Large square one is the SK search radar while the very top one is the YE antenna. Note wind indicator on the outside of the yardarm. I have not added the 24" searchlights yet as I just got them. A couple other small things to add, but otherwise this is completed. Rigging will come last.
Another view of the tower assy. looking overhead. Note lookout chairs just fwd. of the 24" searchlight platform. These lookouts replaced an optical range finder that was originally installed on the ship. you can see the pelorus' have been added also. The large SK radar is made from galvanized steel mesh, bridal veil, p/e brass mesh and styrene rod. It is not motorized.
Starboard side view of the bridge. Note the a/c and cargo booms have been added along with all the various winches, etc. All the sponson details have been added, too.
Starboard side view aft looking fwd. Now that the bridge / tower assy. is nearing completion it really adds to the overall look of the model.
A couple of views of the fwd. elevator area. I have added the walls of the shaft along with some other small details. It is about halfway down to the hanger deck. I'll finish off the opening after I plank the flightdeck. There will be an aircraft added here too with the wings folded.

Forward view of the aircraft handling boom. Boom is made from wood dowel with cast metal details added. The boom will be displayed as you see it here in the stowed position. It rests on a cradle mounted on the front of the 20 mm gun tub. Again note winch assys.
Another stb. side view. Rigging will be one of the last things I do to the model.
The propulsion end of the ship. Props are from Rivabo and are solid brass and are scale. Rudder is carved balsa as are the prop shaft housings.
An underneath view of the stb aft 40 mm gun tubs. Note all the bracing here. This is done with strip styrene and is typical of the bracing that runs the entire length of the ship. All platforms are done in this matter. Note the catwalk, perforated brass and the safety netting which is bridal veil. Stairways are ABS plastic from Plastruct Co.
Here is a close up of the wells that go into the sides of the Gallery deck. You can see the catwalk and safety netting a little better here. 25 man life rafts will be added soon and they hang from the edges of the safety net. This configuration is typical along the entire length of the flightdeck.
The stb. side aft 40 mm gun director location. There are four of these on the ship, two fwd. and two aft.
Aft view looking fwd. Awaiting AA guns!! Flightdeck planking to begin soon as well as all the guns and other stuff!
Two more views of the ship from stb. side. Note things are coming together. It won't be long, now!!!


Click on the images to enlarge!

Well, that's it!. Hope you all enjoyed the photos.  There are many parts to an Aircraft Carrier as you can well imagine. Many thanks to Loyalhanna Dockyard for assistance in obtaining hard to get fittings from the US and Europe. This model would not be possible without their kind assistance and great service. Stay Tuned.

Bill Waldorf

This model is awarded with the Aircraft Carrier Builders - Excellence Award. Please feel free to discuss about this Excellence Award winner model in the Forum!
Click here read and add comments!

Photos and text 2006 by Bill Waldorf

January 22, 2006