Build Log: Trumpeter 1:700 USS Lexington (CV-2), Pt. 3

As I write this post, I have a confession to make: Lexington has been sitting on my shelf in her completed glory for nearly two weeks now.  I absolutely love the way this build came together, and the finished result is well worth the hours put into it. I intend for this post to be the conclusion to the Lexington saga on this blog for now, though, as I’ve moved on to other projects that I hope you’ll find as invigorating as I have.  So then, without further ado, let’s look at the final exciting rush to the build finish line!

When we were last together, the superstructure was painted and attached to the flight deck, with the funnel not far behind.  Well, that came easily enough with a coat of Tamiya acrylic Medium Blue.  A preliminary mounting to the provided sea base revealed that this build was indeed shaping up better than I had anticipated.

You'll notice that the ship has been somewhat rigged by now.  I'll admit that by this point, I wasn't stopping to photograph every step of the process, an error that I've been remedying with following builds.

You’ll notice that the ship has been somewhat rigged by now. I’ll admit that by this point, I wasn’t stopping to photograph every step of the process, an error that I’ve been remedying with following builds.

At this point, the ship herself was all but finished.  Next, it was time for the offensive weaponry of the carrier: her airwing.

I knew early on that I wanted to have some of those aircraft with folding wings to be in that state, so first I had to manually cut the wings along their fold lines.  Fortunately, Trumpeter molds their aircraft in clear plastic so they split easily and cleanly.

F4F Wildcats, SBD-3 Dauntlesses, and TBD-1 Devestators, lined up and ready for priming.

F4F Wildcats, SBD-3 Dauntlesses, and TBD-1 Devastators, lined up and ready for priming.

Once masked, painted with more Tamiya acrylics, and decalled, it was time for a close-up inspection of the job so far.

That'll do.

That’ll do.

And so began one of the more tedious parts of this build.  Looking back, the airwing took about 8 hours on its own from start to finish.  However, as the completed pile of aircraft slowly grew, it began to feel more and more worthwhile.

I'll be honest: as great as it felt to get here, I have to shudder at the thought of doing this for a full 80-plane carrier complement.  For now, at least.

I’ll be honest: as great as it felt to get here, I have to shudder at the thought of doing this for a full 80-plane carrier complement. For now, at least.

And that, as they say, was that.  My eyes and tweezer fingers were glad to have this part of the build behind me.  Fortunately, as I pretty much knew already how the aircraft would be laid out, the next and final part of the build went quickly.

Looking at the flight officer logs for Lexington on May 8, 1942 (the date of her loss), I found conflicting reports as to what planes went up in what order.  After finding four different answers to the question, I made a best-guess estimate of the likely spotting and launching order: TBDs, with their slower airspeed, should launch first, followed by an escort of faster F4Fs, followed in turn by the SBDs.  This type of launch doctrine was adopted by the US Navy later in the war, but for here it made the most sense; it didn’t hurt that the aircraft that I most wanted coming out of the hanger deck was a folded-wing TBD.

Quite a happy accident.

Quite a happy accident.

You know, on second thought, I do think I should go ahead and make the finished build a photo album page of its own, so I’ll get working on compiling those images together into their own post.  Don’t worry, it’ll be coming sooner rather than later.

Seriously, readers, I do thank you for your patronage and patience.  If I didn’t see the page view stats on this blog every day, I wonder if I would keep up with it at all.  Clearly, however, I’ve made a few posts that have filled a niche in the market, so I’m happy to keep it up, so long as you’re happy to keep reading.

So then, until we meet again, take care and happy modeling.

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