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René Hieronymus
23 articles

USS Sangamon CVE-26 Scale 1:72, All Scratch

August 26, 2017 · in Uncategorized · · 34 · 8.6K

Hi there,

well this model here has become something very special to me as you can imagine. I had the dream to build such a model for over 25 years until I finally felt confidet enough to built it. It took me 5 1/2 years or a bit over 4300 hrs to achieve this result. The model is made from all kind of materials, like wood, aluminium, plastic sheet and so on. There are 28 aircraft model on the ship and 423 figures, plus a dog , ("Sangy", the ships mascot) and a couple of dolphins riding the bow wave as escort plus another few "little secrets", like the Captains steward a sailor showing his tatooed arm and so on. The model is roughly 8 ft long. The Hellcat came from Italeri and the Avengers from Academy. The folding wings as well as the cockpits and other details were scratch build too. This was when I learned to make my own PE parts among other techniques which I used for the first time.

I built the model here at my home near Salzburg in Austria. Since 2014 the model is displayed over 5.000 miles away from my home at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola Florida! The story how the model came there is something I will hopefully tell my grandchildren. In 2016 I was In Pensacola again for another meeting with some former crewmember of the Sangamon, to have a look at my model. To say ths meeting created some emotional moments would be one hell of an understatement.

Have fun with these pictures, most of which were taken by my good friend Albert Moser.



Reader reactions:
46  Awesome

57 additional images. Click to enlarge.

34 responses

  1. First time I saw this build was at the Vienna IPMS convention, back in maybe 2013? Still makes me wonder how you were able to pull this off without going nuts 😀
    By the way, back then you introduced me to the joys of creating seascapes with nothing more than toilet tissue paper, white glue and water. So here's a (very belated) thank you!

  2. Always been a fan of this build René, one of a kind exercise in persistence indeed! I'm still on my planning for the USS Gilbert Islands CVE 107 also in 1/72. First thing I did was building a larger workshop 🙂 Getting there! Cheers, Michel.

  3. Absolutely superb. I will come back and look at this masterpiece time after time. The detail is stunning. So many little stories in one fantastic model.

  4. Incredible! How come those old guys look so cool wearing baseball caps and I just look ridiculous?

  5. Mind numbing in its scope. I cannot even conceive of pulling off something this amazing. Very well done indeed!

  6. Building a 1/72 aircraft carrier from scratch is a dream of mine also. Rene your model is superb and very inspiring to start my own. One day i will get down to Pensacola to see it in person. Just absolutely outstanding!

  7. Mere words simply cannot express my amazement at your craftsmanship displayed in this masterpiece. The "wow factor" is jaw-dropping, sir. I shall leave it at that, my friend...fantastic workmanship - what a spectacular model!

  8. Inspiring work. Thanks for sharing Rene'.

  9. Such dedication is to be admired, particularly when this is the result. The subtle nuances in the figures lend to the overall presentation and give it a Human dimension.

  10. Awesome build !

  11. Profile Photo
    said on August 26, 2017

    A masterpiece. Thanks for posting this.

  12. Great model, Rene! It's one of the highlights of every trip to the museum for me for the last 4 years. Thank you!

  13. All I can say is WOW!


  14. René, to use a modern turn of phrase - you have won modelling. The competition is over! Congratulations.

    Seeing this, I want to build more and resign from the hobby at the same time! Unbelievably beautiful!

  15. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Rene ... this is truly a very inspirational work. It sits still in display and yet one can see the activity and hear all the beautiful noise as the daily chores go on, and one can hear the dolphins splash around.
    Very nice work.

    • Hi there,

      thanks a lot for your very kind words. Let me ask one question, your username DE4ever , is this just coincidence or i it what I think, does DE stad for Destroyer Escort?, if yes, you should stayed tuned to this Website and I promise you'll be enlightend about one of the next models I will post here. I really hope I got your attention?



  16. Rene, this is absolutely marvelous! Stunning!

    Well done!

  17. What can anyone adequately say in response to this? It's a masterpiece, truly.

    Thank you for showing it to us here.

  18. I'm glad it's in a museum, the only place for something like that.

  19. Wow - no words do it justice!

  20. That's impressive! Well done mate

  21. Amaizing !
    I thought " museum quality" instantly

  22. Rene I am really speechless, an impressive job and also in a naval museum.
    5 years of work with a great reward and a precious story to tell your grandchildren.
    If you ever have time, I think it would be a great story for everyone.


    • Hi Carmelo,
      Thanks lot for your kind words, if I can find the time during the net few days I will gladly try to tell the entire story of this very model and how it found it's way from a little village north of Salzburg in Austria to the great museum in Pensacola.


  23. Awesome work!, congrats René.

  24. The ammount of hard work and talent shown here is awesome. Congratulations!

  25. Hello René,
    My compliments on such enormous achievement.
    It is at the right place. Also good, was to see some veterans that served on this ship. Highest Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands,.

  26. Dear Rene, this is one of the most impressive builds I have ever seen so far! You must be from outer-space - awesome craftmansship and a lot of patience during the mentioned 4.300 hrs must have been necessary!
    BTW, I am as well from Salzburg (live in Henndorf a.W. today), so great to have some modellers lke you in the "neighbourhood" 😉
    Cheers, Christian

  27. Amazing job. My father served aboard this ship and told me many stories. He was an aviation radioman 2nd class. Served 7/27/42 - 1/10/46. He mentioned "Sangy" and also the medical officer had a dog, don't know the name. I'm amazed you know of this ship. This model makes me very proud. I'm also a modeler and made a 1/8 scale radio controlled Hellcat. Thank you for preserving the history.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • Hi Chris, this is amazing but most of all thanks for the kind words. The dogs name was "Sangy" it was a German Sheperd and if you look closely you may see her on the model as well, near the stern, playing with some shipmates. I have been in contact with several former crewmembers of the Sangamon, you should get in contact with the ECSAA Escort Carrier Sailor and Airmen assoc. try to google them. Its a great bunch of people which try to keep the memory for these shis and their crews. My model of the Sangamon is on display at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida, should you ever get there have a look for it and btw this is a great museum,!

      Cheers from Austria

  28. Truly a MAGNIFICENT model! Beautiful work; it would be very interesting to see "build" pictures of your model.

    I built a sister, but the scale I have been with since I started in 1959 is the one Jane's had been using for a few years: !"=128' or 1:1536. Therefore my little CVE is probably @ the length of one of your airplanes...maybe!

    My "Fleet" currently has 625 models not counting the maybe 30 or so that were found wanting over the years thereby were scrapped. However, your carrier is truly a work of art. 🙂 DFO

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

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