Quonset Point NAS Diorama: Childhood Memories
I was raised in RI and was always in the water with my brother sailing in his boat. Maybe 8 to 10 years old. This was in the early 70's. Quonset Point NAS was part of a large, industrial Naval Base in existence since before WW2. It was on Narragansett bay, the same bay we sailed in. I recall seeing these large, dark grey ships moored at the station. As we grew close we would be dwarfed by these huge floating behemoths which turned out to be aircraft carriers. I would in awe of these ships while at the same time a bit frightened by its mass relative to our little 26ft boat. Back then you could get right up close. These experiences were short lived as the based closed permanently by 1975, shortly after these voyages.
When Dragon released its 1/700 aircraft carrier the USS Antietam I needed to have it. This is because as I researched her history I discovered that this ship was one of the carriers that would dock at Quonset Carrier pier. The other thing I discovered was this was an early Essex class carrier designed during WW2 but then had the angle deck added to it at a latter date to accommodate fast moving jets. In fact I believe it was the 1st US Navy carrier that had the angle deck permanently added to the ship. I thought wouldn't it be cool to build this ship model and then build a diorama depicting what I saw as a child while floating in the bay. So I did. The pictures depict what I came up with. It is not historically perfect, with a few planes shown out of place from a time perspective but I wanted to really make it busy so I took a little artistic license. I had a lot of fun doing this.
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.