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Trumpeters USS Hornet in 1:350

January 25, 2015 in Ships

I finished the USS Hornet in January 2006. The kit leaves a lot to be wished for. The general shape of the hull is incorrect and the stem in particular is faulty and very clumsy. I strengthened it from the inside with pieces of scrap plastic and Milliput.
Then I filed it down with a grating iron. As of yet, that’s the only time I’ve used a grating iron on a model.
Although the kit has some serious shortcomings, I’m still thankful that Trumpeter put it out. It was the first of a long series of interesting ship kits in 1:350 that Trumpeter issued, and they sparked new life into plastic ship modelling. Trumpeter is still the most productive manufacturer of ships kits in that scale. Hats off for that.
It’s easy to complain but it’s better to build.

I painted her like she looked at the Battle of Midway, including the chipped remnants of the false bow wave, painted on for the Doolittle Raid.
The flight deck was first painted in wood colour, that I then oversprayed with thin layers of bleached Deck Blue. I let the wood colour shine through where the deck was most worn and then wore down some of the Deck Blue with fine steel wool to create the impression of a worn wooden deck.

This model illustrates what happens when you use the plastic yardarms provided by the manufacturer. I bent them all when stretching the signal halyards. Later I messed up the rigging even further by breaking the masts. I was keeping the model in a cupboard with very little room to spare above the mastheads. When taking the model out, I lifted it and crashed the masts into the shelf above. Repairs weren’t very successful, so the masts are badly out of allignement.

There are twelve Devastators and two Dauntlesses on deck. Before gluing them to the deck, I entered them all as individual models at the informal monthly contest of IPMS-Stockholm. That was a very effective way of teasing my aircraft building friends in the club.

Seeing that the kit was pretty crude, I limited the extra detailing to replacing the fine caliber guns with thin piano wire and adding PE railings, radars and gunshields from Tom’s Modelworks.

In August 2007 I took the model in its transportation box as hand luggage on a plane from Stockholm to the US. Although some customs officers and passports officers asked what was in the box, they never asked me to open the box and to show them its content. In the US, my friend and former IPMS-Stockholm member Barry Davidoff entered her into several contests in my name, including some IPMS-Regionals, where she placed second or third. In 2008 a friend of Barry took her to the US-Nationals in California, where she understandably did not place very well.
It was an intriguing experience, to sit in Stockholm before my computer and to see pictures of my model taking part in a contest on the other side of the Earth.

In 2010 I went back to the States and then brought her back to Stockholm. Now she resides in Berlin. This is a model that has travelled.

13 additional images. Click to enlarge

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18 responses to Trumpeters USS Hornet in 1:350

  1. A great story and an interesting build, although I think you’re probably bring too hard on yourself (why else transport a model internationally if you didn’t actually ‘rate’ it).

  2. SUPERB!!! A magnificent build!!!

  3. Great lookin’ build, Ulf…the detail(s) on the aircraft are stunning in that scale.

  4. Nice yet again Ulf.
    Nice story to go with it.

  5. Beautiful looking ship, Ulf. Trumpeter has really brought much live into the naval modelling world. They made it possible that modellers can to ships in 1/700 with a full hull for example.
    Well done !

  6. beautiful wave camo…ship looks ghostly

  7. I think you got all you could get out of this kit. Might not be as sexy as you Battlewagons but it still looks great.

  8. Ulf:
    This is just beautifully done. My congratulations. The camouflage is stunning. Nice air group, also.

  9. Your models are highlights, Ulf.

    My question is:
    I’ve been reading in some of your articles that you had to strengthen the hull. Why is that? From an aircraft point of view the hull of a ship seams to be a compact piece of plastic and rock solid. Is it torsion that you get, if it’s too weak? And if yes, what’s the consequence of it?

    My regards.

    • I strengthen the hull, so that it stands steadily and straight on its posts. It stands on the posts during the building process and thus has to withstand all the loads subjected to it while being built, sanding, drilling, pressing the superstructure to the deck while the glue cures etc. In this case I also strengthened the hull sides, to prevent flex when sanding the waterline joint.
      Also, since I travel a lot with my models, they have to withstand bumpy roads and other minor blows that are inevitable.
      I probably overdo it a bit, but on the other hand, I’ve never had any transportation damages.

  10. From my purely visual point of view it looks very good, Ulf, and I like the story, too. I hope you travelled business class when you transported it!

  11. That’s a well traveled model! Nice work also! The detail on the aircraft is amazing! Great camo as well.

  12. Nice looking carrier Ulf, that scale of A/C is too small for me, you have done a nice job on them. Sounds like this model has as many miles on it as the real one.

  13. Love it. I love that you put a standard air group on the deck and avoided the B-25s, like you see so often. Nothing wrong with that, but just refreshing to see this. Awesome.

  14. Very nice build. I usually scrap the kit’s plastic masts and replace with brass tube and wire for exactly the reasons you mentioned when rigging antennas. Great paint job!

  15. Ulf,
    This looks absolutely great to me. Ou are indeed a master ship builder

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