What can you say about the Enterprise? To me and countless others, she represents the spirit, the bravery and courage, the hope, and the good that humanity is capable of. I think it’s impossible to overstate the influence this ship had on the war in the Pacific, both in literal terms of how many times she stepped up to the plate and slugged it out of the park, and in the way that she captured something of the need of the free world to stand against evil in the darkest of days.
Anyway, as The Great Man would say, “the game is afoot”, and the Big E is on my bench. For probably the first time I feel a little intimidated by a build, mainly because I want to do her justice – but more so because (and I know this would sound schmaltzy to a non-modeler) I can ‘feel’ the weight of history in this project. Her iconic lines, the incredible men who captained and worked her, and the countless young men who died serving her, all make me feel humble. I want to do her justice. I make no apologies for the emotional undertone here; this is certainly not sentiment, this is gratitude. I think for many modelers a similar theme is evoked by different subjects, whether it be a Spitfire, the Arizona, an M4, or a UH-60.
So, where to start? Not intimidating at all…
Well, this is the Merit 1/350 version of the ‘Gray Ghost’ and although the shape is good, the well documented armour plates on the hull are an eyesore; not to mention ridiculous in terms of scale. So before anything else gets done, there’s a whole lot of sanding going on for a few days!
For some idea of scale, this is a 1/48 Hellcat set against the one piece hull.
As yet I’m not sure if I want to go with the ‘Midway’ Enterprise, or post-Midway refit that saw her off to Guadalcanal. In all seriousness if I had the time I’d make at least three versions of this beauty.
“I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by”
(Sea Fever, by John Masefield)