1/350 USS Essex CV-9 : Finished Model (Trum­peter #05602)

Finished model (1-350 USS Essex trumpeter)

Trumpeter’s USS Essex CV-9 with Tom’s PE Sets

The Build

In late 2011 I decided to take part in a campaign build organized by a local modelling site. The subject was the Korean war and everything that participated in it.

I decided to build my first warship, the USS Essex CV-9 Aircraft Carrier. I like photo etched stuff, so I decided to buy Tom’s Modelworks PE sets to detail my kit:

  • #3530 Essex Carrier details
  • #3518 Carrier perforated catwalks with rails
  • #3531 the Carrier Flotation baskets
  • #3545 Naval Doors

I was very motivated in the beginning but lost it after a few months. In the meantime I built other models like the Type 90 and the M270 MLRS and put the USS Essex CV-9 Aircraft Carrier back in the box.

The kit itself is great and the photo etched parts add amazing detail. One big disadvantage of the PE is that Tom’ s Modelwork didn’t put much effort in the manual, so you have to figure a lot out by yourself. Figuring out where all the PE should go on the USS Essex CV-9 carrier, takes a lot of time and requires a lot of reference material such as books and the internet. I am using the following books for locating all the detail work:

  • Anatomy of the ship || The Aircraft carrier Intrepid
  • Squadron/Signal – Warships number 10 || Essex Class Carriers
  • Osprey Publishing – New Vanguard || US Navy Aircraft Carriers 1942 – 1942

Those books helped me a lot with all the detailing.

When you read those books and check the pictures you will find details that are not provided by Tom’s Modelworks PE sets, so I decided to scratchbuild them. An example is the masts on the main island and  all the other styrene that you can see (white plastic card).

On the hull of the USS Essex CV-9 Carrier were a lot of  seams between the main hull and the blocks that had to be glued on top, this had to be fixed with putty to make sure the hull looks smooth and nice.

Anchor chains are not provided by both Trumpeter and Tom’ s Modelworks, I had to buy my own.

The PE set was applied pretty easy although a PE bender is very handy and a requirement if you ask me. Specially when trying to bend the long catwalks or railing.

As mentioned before, the only bad thing about the PE set is the lack of instruction, so get ready to do a lot of research.

The PE for the airplanes is a great addition and makes the planes look from “simple” to detailed planes, especially when keeping in mind how small they are!

Painting, Decals and Weathering

Painting the whole ship was a big challenge because of the multi colored hull and the different colors on the vertical and horizontal surfaces. After some brainwork on what the best way would be to mask it for airbrushing and what colors to be applied first, I started with the vertical surfaces. The horizontal surfaces on everything but the flight deck were painted by hand because it would be way easier then masking and airbrushing. The flight deck was airbrushed because of the large surface and easy masking.

The hull with the red bottom and black horizontal stripe was not easy to paint for me. Main reason was the failure with masking fo the black stripe, the paint went all under the masking tape and I had to start over with the red color…. After a second try and more careful masking I succeeded.

The little airplanes were the most boring if you ask me because I had to two tone all those little planes the same over and over again, I was very happy when I did the last but then arrived to a more time consuming and boring matter….

The decals on the little planes went on fine with a softener but it was way to boring to place about 8 separate decals on each plane! On the USS Essex there are not many decals to be applied, just the flight deck need some decals. You really need some patience and a very strong decal softener to apply the decals without silvering.

When all the painting and decals were done it was time to put another gloss coat on the USS Essex! Weathering was the next step and started doing this by using the streaking technique where you place dots of oil on the vertical surfaces, let it dry a little and then with a flat brush dipped in thinner drag them down. This resulted in some very realistic looks on my Essex. just be sure not to overdo this and place the oil dots on places where it would happen in real life, like on edges and other extending parts around the hull. Adding rust was done with the same technique, just use rust colored oil and use a a more dryer brush to make the effect more visible.

The chipping on the hull was done with a sponge dipped in black.make sure not to put to much paint on the sponge, first dip in on some paper a few times if you do, then carefully place the chips where they would appear in real life as well. Some reference pics might be useful here!

I hope I have described my build process clear enough, if you guys have any more questions or suggestions for a next build, please let me know!

Used paints: - Humbrol 100 (matt) for the red color on the hull
- White Ensign Models Colorcoats US28 (Neutral haze gray) for the rest of the vertical surfaces
- White Ensign Models Colorcoats US10 (Deck Blue) for the Flight Deck
- White Ensign Models Colorcoats US36 (Neutral Deck Gray) for the horizontal surfaces other than the flight deck (steel decks)
Used Accessories: Tom's Modelworks PE Sets:
#3530 Essex Carrier details
#3518 Carrier perforated catwalks with rails
#3531 the Carrier Flotation baskets
#3545 Naval Doors
Weathering techniques: Chipping with sponge, oil washes, streaking effect, drybrush

TRUMPETER_logo

Kitname: USS Essex CV-9
Kit #: 05602
Brand: Academy
Scale: 1/35

15 Comments

  1. Wow Boris …. lots of hours of patience and precision. You can be proud of your work!

    Reply
  2. Yeah, i like this ship. I probably don’t even want to know how many hours of work you’ve put into this one!

    Reply
  3. Looks awesome. What colors did you use to paint the hull and flight deck?

    Reply
    • Avatar of Boris Kamp

      Thanks!
      I used 4 colors to paint the ship:
      - Humbrol 100 (matt) for the red color on the hull
      - White Ensign Models Colorcoats US28 (Neutral haze gray) for the rest of the vertical surfaces
      - White Ensign Models Colorcoats US10 (Deck Blue) for the Flight Deck
      - White Ensign Models Colorcoats US36 (Neutral Deck Gray) for the horizontal surfaces other than the flight deck (steel decks)

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  4. Yes it did. Thank you. I’m trying to build the exact one as you have for my father in law. He served on the USS ESSEX when he was in the Navy.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Boris Kamp

      Ok thats nice! are you using all the exact same stuff as I did? because I would advise another PE set.

      Reply
  5. One question. How did you attach the catwalks on the front of the ship?

    Reply
    • Avatar of Boris Kamp

      I glued them to the bottom of the flight deck and hung them on the beam structure underneath the front of the flight deck. You should see more of this on the seventh picture in this build log

      If you have any questions i’d be glad to help.

      Reply
  6. Yes. Im using the same PE parts. I already ordered them. What are the other ones?

    Reply
    • Avatar of Boris Kamp

      Sorry for my late reply! I believe White Ensign model makes PE sets for the Essex class as well. Maybe Pontos model does some too, Pontos model is very nice

      Reply
  7. Very nice build. I usually do 1/700 carriers, mostly USS ESSEX as that is the ship I served on, but am moving to 1/350 and have this kit. Also extra trumpy aircraft and Gold Medal PE. Using White Ensign paints. I have a vintage Revell kit of Essex in her angled deck 1958/59 configuration in 1/540 scale. That one I want to do right as that is the years I went aboard.
    Thanks for the pics and the build record. It will help me out mitily.

    EJ

    Reply
    • Avatar of Boris Kamp

      Nice to hear! 1/350 is THE scale for ships if you ask me. Takes a little more time, but the detail is amazing.
      Youre welcome! glad to help you with the pictures

      Reply
  8. Do you have anymore shots of the LSO’s?

    Reply
    • Avatar of Boris Kamp

      No I dont, but I used the reference picture I emailed to you

      Reply

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