Wednesday, February 15, 2006


By Adrian D.

I doubt few of you all who are reading this don’t know the tragic story of the USS Indianapolis. So for brevity, and a large dose of laziness I won’t repeat it here.

When Tamiya first announced the release of this kit I knew that she would one day grace my worktable. She has always been a favourite of my Fathers, and I guess he passed it on to me. The kit represents her, as she looked in July 1945. I always thought she looked dashing in her Measure 21. However for me there was a problem. You see the Curtiss Seahawk has to rank as one of my least favourite aircraft. I simply did not want to build that aircraft. So looking at my references I decided to model her after her November December 1944 refit. So I could include a couple of Curtiss Seagulls.

The model was a pretty straightforward affair. Here is a short list of some of the things I did.

· Re-scribe the forecastle deck, and replaced all the deck fittings with scratch built details.
· New 20mm anti aircraft position to the bows.
· Replace most of the bulwarks with styrene, for scale thickness, and height. There is nothing worse than having bulwarks that only come up to a figures knee. That pretty much led to the scratch building of most of the foretop.
· New Masts, these were built from styrene rod, stretched sprue, and brass rod. I was dreading the main mast, but that was surprisingly easy and more importantly, fun.
· Scratch built catapult towers, topped with a mixture of WEM and GMM catapult parts.
· Etched parts from various sources. But the main ones are TOMs, WEM and GMM.
· Painted both by airbrush, and hand painted. Using Colourcoats, Humbrol and Vallejo.
· The ship and the two aircraft are rigged with a combination of Lycra and stretched black sprue.
· The 20mm and 40mm guns are all WEM castings, as are the Paravanes.
· The Seagulls are also WEM, but I carved away the canopies and replaced them with carved and polished acrylic ones.
· The aircraft decals are GMM, and the flag is Dunagain.
· The crew is from GMM. Surely they must be the navies biggest supplier of man power by now?

Two years later, this is what I ended up with. I’m sorry if I got all the nautical terms wrong. You see this language is all new fangled to me. This is my second ship, (not the last I hasten to add). I normally build jets.

Aptly, this model now resides in a private collection in Indianapolis.

Thanks for listening.

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