USS Yorktown CV-10 by William ‘Bill’ Bull - Article by Dan Linton
Brand: Scrathcbuilt
Scale: 1/144
Modeler: William 'Bill' Bull



USS YORKTOWN  CV-10:  A Radio-Controlled Aircraft Carrier

Besides the excellence of the modeling skills which will be obvious in the pictures that accompany this article, one has to be impressed by the time factor – this model was built in only eight months!

William 'Bill' Bull, whose earlier models can be seen at in Gallery 31, had on hand a mould for a 1:96 scale freighter. By building it in two halves and lengthening it by 10” (25cm), he had a hull useful for building an Essex-class carrier in 1:144 scale.So he purchased plans (available in 1:192 that had to be scaled upwards), assembled research materials, ordered what fittings can be bought at 1:144 (some ‘white metal’ fittings) and began the hunt for USN WWII aircraft in 1:144 scale.

Picture # 1 shows the beginning of construction on the modified freighter hull. There is ample room for four shafts, two motors, and associated servos and radio-control equipment. Picture # 2 shows this space more clearly. Picture # 3 shows the hangar deck beginning to take shape and Picture # 4 shows the building of the bulkheads along the sides of the hull. By now you may have noticed the hull resting on some particularly ugly cushions – but where there is sanding dust, glue, and paint spills, ugly rather than elegant is called for. Picture # 5 shows not only the shaft supports but also Bill’s solution to the build  challenge posed by the armour belt ‘blisters’ on these ships. Picture # 6 shows the underside of the flight deck as the flight deck was designed to be removable – it consists of three large pieces. Picture # 7 shows the hull sanded and primed for painting. Picture # 8  shows the superstructure, with quite a bit of brass, the twin 5” 38cal. turrets, and the associated directors. Picture # 9 shows the flight deck. Over a base of 1/8” (.35cm) baltic birch plywood, 3/32”(.25cm) scored sheets from Model Shipways was superglued into position. The tie-down strips are the same thickness and all the holes were hand-drilled by Bill. Picture # 10 shows the painted ship: Bill uses oil-based paints exclusively. Pictures # 11 and # 12 provide views of the interesting test basin that Bill has built for himself.

Click on the images to enlarge!

The rest of the pictures show the completed model. Pictures # 13 and # 14 show the hangar deck opened up, displaying the motors and the radio-control equipment. The hangar deck has minimum detailing but Bill can always return to this now that the model has had its first cruise. Picture # 15 shows the clever placement of the on-off toggles for the radio-controls but Picture # 16 shows how very clever Bill is – the elevator is removable giving direct access to the toggles. Pictures # 17 and # 18 show the forward flight deck: notice that the forward elevator is semi-recessed and how clean and neat the open 5” and 40mm quad mounts are. As you view these and later pictures, note the 20mm singles: you may see some barrels with a pronounced droop. Really thin barrels of ‘white metal’ do seem to need a shot of Viagra – Bill will likely be replacing these in the near future. Picture # 19 highlights the aircraft. Bill has 22 aircraft on his deck, pinned in place. However, CV-10 had 91 aircraft in its air wing in early 1944 and an incredible 107 (!) later in that year so Bill has room for his air wing to grow. Picture # 20 shows the 5” twins as completed. Pictures # 21 and # 22 are the port and starboard sides of the superstructure. Bill has suggested that he might do more detailed work here. Picture # 23 is a good shot displaying the hull, amour belt, bilge keel, and the underside of the mid-ship deck-edge elevator. Picture # 24 shows the bow and # 25 shows the stern details.


Click on the images to enlarge!

The last three pictures, # 26, # 27, and # 28 display the Yorktown underway. These are the truly satisfying moments – after all, hundreds if not thousands of hours, and hundreds if not a thousand shekels are involved in one of these builds. And for the future, alas, Bill may by returning to his first love, freighters: nonetheless, with the Yorktown he has provided a gem that CarrierBuilders is proud to display.

Click on the images to enlarge!

William ‘Bill’ Bull of
Burnaby, British Columbia,  Canada

Photos and text © 2006 by William 'Bill' Bull / Dan Linton

October 15, 2006