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The USS Enterprise CV6

Well, I had to post this at some point.

It has been a real pleasure building this (first ship build but definitely not my last) and I had a lot of fun with the iMoldeler fraternity along the way. All 540 plus posts (hey, some of them are not even mine) of the Work in Progress are in the link below; what a journey.

It’s always something of an anxiety-inducing experience when you share your work with a lot of people that you respect and especially so when you care care about their opinions. My own modeling has undergone something of a shift recently where I enjoy trying new things and working on ‘projects’ rather than stand alone kits. And part of that shift seems to be taking/dragging my friends along with me for the ride when I’m building. This build has been a very steep learning curve and I had a lot of help keeping that curve on an acceptable trajectory.

So, there’s a couple of things to know about this build. First is that you’ll notice there are some translucent ‘crew’ on deck who are not painted as the others. I fashioned these in a crystalline finish to represent the crew of the Enterprise who never made it home. There’s an explanation in the WiP if you are feeling bored, suffer from insomnia, or stuck in a long term facility somewhere. As the model sits on my shelf, it’ll always make me smile but also remind me of the dark price to be paid for freedom.

The 3 photos below are from the WiP and show some of the detail inside the hangar deck. They also highlight two other details; the crew members posing for a photo while their comrade takes a snap, and the hangar deck lighting (which just doesn’t show in the final photos but looks great in the dark).

I haven’t quite finished this project, I will keep adding more Air Group and fiddling with different aspects of the build. One of the joys about making a project like this is that one can modify and amend almost ad infinitum. But please don’t worry, as far as iModeler is concerned, the Grey Lady is done. Mmm…now where can I buy a 1/350 Godzilla…

One thing I hope to work on more this year is the photography. Nothing fancy, I just want to take better snaps. As you can see in these efforts the standard is basic. I really admire modelers who can take images with basic tools and get brilliant results but I’m certainly not one of them. The sea (especially for those who know her well) may seem a little rough. I was trying to get a very (s)pacific look, capturing the old rough-toned colorised WWII newsreel feel to the model. Having worked in and on the sea for years (I was a professional diver before returning to psychology) it was important as I set out to capture something of her energy.

Thank you to all my friends and ‘brothers’ out there. I’ll leave you with a few more photos and the last snap is something of a ‘toast to works finished and a tease for works to come’. One last indulgence if I may; more than three hundred men died serving the Big E between Pearl Harbour and the end of the war. I have recorded their names here; I may well have missed some and if so I’ll keep adding to the list.

“All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by”

To those who did not return…

Pearl harbour;
Kozelek, Leonard J KIA 12/07/41- Hebel, Francis F. KIA 12/07/41- Allen, Eric Jr. KIA 12/07/41 – Menges, Herbert H. KIA 12/07/41 -Cohn, Mitchell KIA 12/07/41 – Ducolon, Fred J. KIA 12/07/41 – Miller, William C. KIA 12/07/41 – Vogt, John H. L. Jr. KIA 12/07/41- Willis, Walter M. KIA 12/07/41 – Pierce, Sidney KIA 12/07/41 – Gonzalez, Manuel. KIA 12/07/41

Marshall islands raid;
Smith, George H. KIA 02/01/42 – Doherty, John J. KIA 02/01/42 – Hunt, William E. KIA. 02/01/42 – Criswell, David W. KIA 02/01/42 – Dennis, Otis L. KIA 02/01/42 – Grogg, David F. KIA 02/01/42 – Thomas, Harold R. KIA 02/01/42 – Donnell, Earl R. Jr. KIA 02/01/42

Hopping, Halstead L. KIA 02/01/42 – Travis, Alton J. KIA 02/01/42 – Fogg, Carleton T. KIA 02/01/42 – Seid, Daniel. KIA 02/01/42
Wake island raid;
Forman, Percy W. KIA 02/24/42 – Jinks, Edgar P. KIA 02/24/44 – Winchester, John E. KIA 02/24/42 – Fruend, James T. KLD 05/15/42
Battle of midway;
Berg, David D. KIA 06/04/42 – Dawn, Grant V. KIA 06/04/42 – Butler, John C. KIA 06/04/42
Wiseman, Osborne B. KIA 06/04/42 – Greene, Eugene A. KIA 06/04/42 – Keaney, Lee E. Jr. KIA 06/04/42 – Vandivier, Norman F. KIA 06/04/42 – Halsey, Delbert W. KIA 06/04/42

Muntean, Samuel A. KIA 06/04/42 – Varian, Bertram S. Jr. KIA 06/04/42 – Hilbert, Ernest L. KIA 06/04/42 – Nelson, Harry W. Jr. KIA 06/04/42 – Weber, Frederick T. KIA 06/04/42 – Jenkins, Jay W. KIA 06/04/42 – Van Buren, John J. KIA 06/04/42- Young, Charles R. KIA 06/04/42 – Adams, Samuel. KIA 06/04/42 – Karrol, Joseph J. KIA 06/04/42 – Clark, Milton W. KIA 06/04/42 – Lough, John C. KIA 06/04/42 – Stambaugh, William H. KIA 06/04/42 – Craig, David B. KIA 06/04/42 – O’Flaherty, Frank W. POW – Executed 06/15/42 – Swindell, Thurman R. KIA 06/04/42 – Gaido, Bruno P. KIA 06/04/42 – Peiffer, Carl D. KIA 06/04/42 – Vammen, Clarence E. KIA 06/04/42 – Hansen, Louis D. KIA 06/04/42 – Roberts, John Q. KIA 06/04/42

Ware, Charles R. KIA 06/04/42 – Jeck, Frederick C. KIA 06/04/42 – Shelton, James A. KIA 06/04/42 – Bates, John H. KIA 06/04/42 – Glenn, Wilburn F. KIA 06/04/42 – Lindsey, Eugene E. KIA 06/04/42 – Blundell, John M. KIA 06/04/42 – Grenat, Charles T. KIA.06/04/42

Littlefield, Harold G. KIA 06/04/42 – Brock, John W. KIA 06/04/42 – Hodges, Flournoy G. KIA 06/04/42 – Mushinski, Edwin J. KIA 06/04/42 – Durawa, Gregory J. KIA 06/04/42 – Holder, Randolph M. KIA 06/04/42 – Riley, Paul J. KIA 06/04/42 – Ely, Arthur V. KIA 06/04/42 – Lane, John U. KIA 06/04/42 – Rombach, Severin L. KIA 06/04/42 – Eversole, John T. KIA 06/04/42

Lindgren, Arthur R. KIA 06/04/42 – Thomas, Lloyd. KIA 06/04/42
Guadalcanal landings;
Cook, E. W. KIA 08/07/42 – Nagle, Patrick L. KIA 08/07/42 – Stephenson, William J. Jr. KIA 08/07/42
Battle of the eastern solomons;
Adamson, Harold A. KIA 08/24/42 – Graves, Estle J. KIA 08/24/42 – Owens, James R. KIA 08/24/42 – Adkison, Roy L. Jr. KIA 08/24/42 – Harris, Wendell L. KIA 08/24/42 – Patrick, Joe L. KIA 08/24/42 – Allison, Sidney E. KIA 08/24/42 – Howe, John L. KIA 08/24/42 – Powell, Kenneth W. KIA 08/24/42 – Armstrong, Arthur J. KIA 08/24/42 – Inks, Glenn W. KIA 08/25/42 – Price, William L. KIA 08/24/42 – Beaudoin, Russell L. KIA 08/24/42 – Jaynes, Chadd W. 08/24/42 – Read, Robert F. KIA 08/24/42 – Bryan, Lee W. KIA 08/24/42

Johnson, Harry C. KIA 08/24/42 – Rothluebber, Lawrence J. KIA 08/25/42 – Butler, Frank E. KIA 08/24/42 – Jones, Wendell V. KIA 08/24/42 – Schaiell, Thomas W. KIA 08/25/42 – Campbell, Kenneth L. KIA 08/24/42 – Keen, John E. KIA 08/24/42 – Stierwalt, Morris A. KIA 08/24/42 – Carter, Charles W. KIA 08/24/42 – Koch, Benjamin M. KIA 08/24/42 – Suttles, – Robert. KIA 08/24/42 – Casado, Angelus G. KIA 08/24/42 – Kuhn, Kenneth J. KIA 08/24/42

Tagaloni, Charles. KIA 08/24/42 – Cason, Daniel W. KIA 08/24/42 – Lamson, Joyce W. KIA 08/24/42 – Tarter, Robert W. KIA 08/24/42 – Childers, Keith L. KIA 08/24/42 – Lee, Max T. KIA 08/24/42 – Taylor, George E. KIA 08/24/42 – Cogdell, Kenneth H. KIA 08/24/42

Lowery, B. D. KIA 08/24/42 – Thompson, Myron M. KIA 08/24/42 – Crawford, William E. KIA 08/24/42 – Marshall, James L. KIA 08/24/42 – Thorpe, William R. KIA 08/24/42 – Dallas, Robert H. KIA 08/24/42 – McAfee, Henry. KIA 08/24/42 – Vicknair, Andrew W. KIA 08/24/42

Dalton, Thomas R. KIA 08/24/42 – McCollum, Alphaus Z. KIA 08/24/42

Walker, William M. KIA 08/24/42 – Davis, Arthur J. KIA 08/24/42 – McVay, Hugh E. KIA 08/24/42 – Webber, Norman. KIA 08/24/42 – Degutis, Albert W. KIA 08/24/42 – Miller, George H. KIA 08/24/42 – West, James C. KIA 08/24/4 – Dille, Homer E. KIA 08/24/42

Miller, Paul F. KIA 08/24/42 – Williams, Alvin J. KIA 08/24/42 – Eversole, James H. KIA 08/24/42 – Morris, Herman M. KIA 08/24/42 – Williams, Leonard C. KIA 08/24/42

Finnegan, Arnold T. KIA 08/25/42 – Myers, Harold. KIA 08/24/42 – Williams, Robert H. KIA 08/24/42 – Gorman, John P. Jr. KIA 08/24/42 – Nerat, William J. KIA 08/24/42 – Williamson, William C. Jr. KIA 08/24/42 – Manning, Gerald A. KIA 08/24/42 – Ward, William B. Jr. KIA 08/24/42 – Barnes, Doyle C. KIA 08/24/42 – Reid, Beverly W. KIA 08/24/42 – Cariker, George K. KIA 08/24/42 – Price, Randle. KIA 08/24/42 – Townsend, Thomas R. KIA 08/24/42

Chancey, James D. KIA 08/24/42 – Stansberry, John T. Jr. KIA.08/24/42 – Fewell, Wesley R. KIA 08/24/42 – Stinson, Jim B. KIA 08/24/42

Battle of the santa cruz islands;
Aaron, Norman J. KIA 10/26/42 – Hansen, Clarence W. KIA 10/26/42 – Moore, Willie Jr. KIA 10/26/42 – Acree, John W. KIA 10/26/42 – Jacobs, Carl W. KIA 10/26/42 – Morris, Lyle H. KIA 10/26/42 – Barton, Robert A. KIA 10/26/42 – Johnson, Lemoine K. KIA 10/26/42 – Morris, Raymond C. KIA 10/26/42 – Boss, Charlie E. KIA 10/26/42 – Jones, Irvin E. KIA 10/26/42

Presley, Sam D. KIA 10/26/42 – Cabading, Pedro. KIA 10/26/42 – Jones, James W. KIA 10/26/42 – Quitano, Guillermo L. KIA 10/26/42 – Camp, William H. Jr. KIA 10/26/42

Jones, Wiley. KIA 10/26/42 – Rogers, George A. KIA 10/26/42 – Chesley, Robert K. KIA 10/26/42 – Kercheff, Stephan J. KIA 10/26/42 – Rosario, Tomas R. KIA 10/26/42 – Cleveland, William L. KIA 10/26/42 – Knous, Herschel S. KIA 10/26/42 – Stuart, Marvin E. KIA 10/26/42

Elliott, Francis E. KIA 10/26/42 – Kucher, Michael J. Jr. KIA 10/26/42 – Swearer, Walter J. KIA 10/26/42 – England, Rufus J. KIA 10/26/42 – Leonard, James KIA 10/26/42 – Tubbs, Arthur W. KIA 10/26/42 – Ethridge, George E. KIA 10/26/42 – Lindsay, Robert C. KIA 10/26/42 – Waterhouse, Carl V. KIA 10/26/42 -Evans, Floyd H. KIA 10/26/42 – Luter, James L. Jr. KIA 10/26/42 – Webb, Arthur H. KIA 10/26/42 – Faber, Thomas G. KIA 10/26/42 – McAnn, Donald R. KIA 10/26/42 – Wyffels, Lawrence E. KIA 10/26/42 – Flack, Lewis G. KIA 10/26/42

McFall, Johnny W. Jr. KIA 10/26/42 – Gustafson, Swen. KIA 10/26/42 – McGree, Thomas 0. KIA 10/26/42 – Barnes, Gordon F. KIA 10/26/42 – Fulton, Lyman J. KIA 10/26/42 – Miller, – Frank D. KIA 10/26/42 – Caldwell, James E. Jr. KIA 10/26/42 – Leppla, John A. KIA 10/26/42

Rhodes, Raleigh E. KIA 10/26/42 – Davis, Gerald V. KIA 10/26/42 – Mead, Albert E. KIA 10/26/42 – Browning, Arthur M. KIA 10/25/42 – Harrison, Morse G. KIA 10/26/42
Powers, Billy A. KIA 10/26/42 – Collett, John A. KIA 10/26/42 – Nadison, Stephen Jr. KIA 10/26/42 – Reed, John M. KIA 10/26/42 – Glasser, Michael M. KIA 10/27/42 – Nelson, Thomas C. KIA 10/27/42
Naval battle of guadalcanal;
Ansley, Harry C. KIA 11/14/42 – Hynson, Robert C. KIA 11/15/42 – Gallagher, E. KIA 11/14/42 – Welch, V. W. KIA 11/14/42 – Stanley, Forrest G. KIA 11/14/42 – Halloran, Paul M. KIA 11/14/42 – Wakeham, J. Donald. KIA 11/14/42 – Hughes, Hugh P. Jr. KIA 11/14/42 –

Johnson, William E. KIA 11/14/42

Rennell island;
Edwards, Thomas E. KIA 01/30/43 – Criswell, John E. KIA 03/15/43 – Kelly, Thomas J. KLD 03/15/43 – Coyle, James S. KLD 03/12/43 – Franklin, Robert F. KLD 04/04/43 – Kelly, Arthur N. KLD 04/01/43 – Frederick, W. B. KLD 07/01/43 – O’Hare, Edward H. KIA 11/26/43

Sodergreen, J. P. KLD 07/01/43 – Rybinski, Joseph V. KLD 04/12/43 – Thompson, Edward L. KLD 04/01/43 – Coalson, Edward B. KLD 04/18/43 – Vaughan, Russell J. KLD 04/12/43
Gilbert islands;
O’Hare, Edward H. KIA 11/26/43 – Townsend, William E. KLD 01/08/44
Marshall islands;
Jones, Fletcher H. KIA 01/29/44 – Steward, Billy D. KIA 01/29/44 – Tolin, Edward W. KIA 01/29/44
Truk atol raids;
Dean, Donald. KIA 02/16/44 – McGorry, James J. KIA 01/16/44 – Cox, Linton L. Jr. KIA 01/16/44 – Dockter, Wilbert W. KIA 01/17/44 – Nicholas, Lloyd. KIA 01/17/44 – Thornton, Len C. KIA 01/17/44 – Jones, Fletcher H. KIA 01/29/44 – Steward, Billy D. KLD 01/29/44 – Tolin, Edward W. KLD 01/29/44 – Cox, Linton L. Jr. KIA – 02/16/44 – Rider, Melford W. KLD – 02/13/44

Palau raid;
Pearson, Charles M. KIA 03/30/44 – Watterson, Thomas W. KIA 03/30/44 – Taylor, Harold W. KLD 04/02/44
Marianas/philippine sea;
Shandley, John W. KIA 06/15/44 – Leonard, James G. KIA 06/12/44 – Wynn, Robert P. KIA 06/12/44 – Clem, Henry C. KIA 06/19/44 – Kirchwey, Karl W. Jr. KIA 06/15/44 – Powell, Murphy D. Jr. KIA 06/13/44 – Hargrove, Wesley R. KIA 06/13/44 – Williams, Jerry T. KIA 06/13/44 – Beck, George W. KLD 06/15/44 – McConville, James J. KLD 08/04/44 – Bain, James A. Jr. KLD. 09/01/44

Yap raid;
Osborne, James V. Jr. KIA 09/06/44 – Brown, Harry D. KIA 09/06/44 – Cox, Joseph E. KIA 09/06/44 – Holding, Howard A. KIA 09/06/44
Burbeck, Bernard. 09/10/44 – Gibson, George Davis. KIA 09/10/44 – Waymack, Wayne L. KIA 09/10/44 – Baxter, Donald E. KIA 09/13/44 – Manown, Jay R. Jr. KIA 09/10/44 – Mitts, Wilbur A. KIA 09/10/44 – Dipetta, Anthony. KIA 09/10/44 – Miller, Arthur C. KIA 09/13/44 – Stuart, Wesley R. KIA 09/13/44

Formosa raid;
Aldro, Harry H. PoW 10/13/44, Executed 06/19/45 – McVay, Charles E. PoW 10/13/44, Executed 06/19/45 – Costello, Ernest R. KIA 10/12/44 – Murphy, Henry L. KIA 10/12/44
Skeffington, Francis X. KIA 10/12/44
Leyte island landings;
Hornbeak, Leslie S. KIA 10/18/44 – Swinney, Fred S. KIA 10/18/44 – Laxton, John P. KIA 10/18/44 – Snow, Norman W. KIA 10/15/44 – Wood, Walter A. KIA 10/18/44 – Bretland, Charles W. KIA 10/18/44 – Reid, Roy 0. KIA 10/17/44 – Wilson, George. KIA 10/17/44 – Conaway, Donald M. KIA 10/18/44 – Riggs, Clay H. KIA 10/18/44 – Kelimoff, Victor P. KIA 10/18/44 – Riley, Coy N. KIA 10/18/44 – Boyle, Gerald F. KLD 10/31/44

Leyte and luzon;
Sobiszewski, Joseph A. Jr. KLD 11/13/44 – Erickson, Robert W. KIA 11/13/44 – Petersen, John D. KIA 11/13/44 – Woodruff, Thomas J. KIA 11/14/44 – Nelson, Robert K. KIA 11/19/44 – Tubb, Arthur M. Jr. KIA 11/14/44 – Grathwohl, Clarence L. KIA 11/13/44 – Hough, Charles R. KIA 11/13/44 – McAlpine, R. E. Jr. KIA 11/13/44 – Beck, George W. KLD 12/27/44

Luzon invasion;
Gibson, Charles W. KIA 01/07/45 – Sowell, John G. KIA 01/07/44
Nash, Erwin G. KIA 01/16/45 – Wright, Robert F. KIA 01/16/45 – Brought, Robert L. KIA 01/17/45 – Cooney, Manford L. KIA 01/15/45 – Porter, Marvin L. KIA 01/15/45
Beevers, Guy Jr. KIA 01/22/45 – Hall, Richard J. KIA 01/22/45 – Lieberenz, Dale R. KIA 01/22/45 – Findley, John H. KIA 01/22/45 – Kippen, Russell F. KIA 01/22/45 – Munro, Uri A. KIA 01/22/45 – Floyd, Paul A. KIA 01/22/45 – Koop, Chester G. Jr. KIA 01/22/45 – Wood, John P. KIA 01/22/45

Tokyo raids;
Luscombe, Francis R. KLD 02/16/45 – Chaney, Victor G. KIA 02/17/45 – Eldred, James C. KIA 02/17/45 – Stuckey, John W. KIA 02/17/45
Iwo jima;
Collins, C B. KIA 02/22/45
Gowdy, Robert S. 02/22/45 – Ivory, Ferris. KIA 02/22/45 – Atkinson, George H. KLD 03/15/45
Kyushu and shikoku;
Barreras, Louis E. KIA 03/18/45 – Franklin, Durward H. KIA 03/18/45 – Rowland, Wallace R. KIA 03/20/45 – Comiske, Kenneth J. KLD 03/20/45
Kellon, Carl. KIA 03/19/45 – Smith, Frank H. KIA 03/20/45 – Daley, William T. KIA 03/20/45
Mast, Carl A. KIA 03/18/45 – Smith, Frank L. KIA 03/20/45 – Dove, Joseph R. KIA 03/20/45
Neary, Charles E. KIA 03/20/45 – Sohorec, John C. KIA 03/20/45
Hunziker, Fred A. KIA 04/13/45
Kyushu and shikoku;
Adolf, Ervin G. KIA 05/14/45 – Dobbs, Aaron W. KIA 05/14/45 – Meko, Michael P. KIA 05/14/45 – Barker, George L. KIA 05/14/45

Grice, Charles W. Sr. KIA 05/14/45 – Noyes, Geoffrey. KIA 05/14/45 – Bergquist, Robert G. KIA 05/14/45 – Harbin, James P. KIA 05/14/45 – Sims, Jack Jr. KIA 05/14/45 – Bowers, Lawrence E. KIA 05/14/45 – King, Isaiah T. KIA 05/15/45 – Smith, Ivan D. KIA 05/14/45

Demma, August M. KIA 05/14/45 – Lemire, Wilfred H. KLD 05/12/45 – Young, Donald J. KIA 05/14/45

66 responses to The USS Enterprise CV6

  1. Very impressive David. Really well done it turned out great. The sea looks very good. A lot of effort and it shows.

  2. There it is David! Congrats with this build, been following throughout, great work and also one of the most interesting WiP threads here viewing the very broad content 🙂 Kudos mate!

    • Michel, I appreciate your words. It’s all about the journey my friend, not the outcome. And what a journey this has been. As someone said recently, “modeling is time made real” – and every time I look at at the Enterprise there’ll be a lot of great memories.

  3. Very well presented, David. The water effects are particularly convincing. 👍

  4. Thanks, Rob. Seems people like the water – which I’m really pleased about as I put some thought into this aspect. Hey, talking about water, I think you’d like the plans I have for the hammerhead – I’m definitely taking a leaf from your book in focusing on ‘projects’.

    Hope you are well, Rob.

  5. Everything I was gonna say was said, my friend….congratulations of this!

  6. Excellent project! since I’m not a ship builder I hadn’t followed the WIP, so was pleasantly surprised with the unveiling of this. The translucent crew is a wonderful touch – did you come up with that or had you seen it before? I never had, but an excellent way to embody a tribute. Love the water – really captured the energy in a not-so-smooth day on the sea.

  7. I was originally going to paint all the crew but my wife said the translucent men looked like the ghosts in a TV ad here in the U.K. for cancer funds. The ad has washed out, grey people watching the family they have left behind. The idea just stuck with me. I’m glad you like it, Greg.

  8. Beautifully done, David! Like the others, I think your “sea” is particularly well done. The “Memorial” translucent men is an outstanding way to honour those who did not return.

    VERY well done, David. ESPECIALLY for a first effort!!

  9. Hola Tocayo,

    Friend, what I struggle with when I see something like this is the gap between the effort and intent, the hours of angst, the care taken on the fine details to please not only ourselves but the imaginary critic who would (rightly) take issue, a thousand little things that you wrestle with one after the other interminably as you move towards a presentation that is, at once, an homage to brave men, a work of art, an expression of friendship for other modelers, and a modest appeal for that kind of approval that every model builder lives with constantly whether they want to admit it or not.

    Your hours and hours of effort are met here with a few photos, and the willing praise of your comrades. But it isn’t enough for all you’ve shown us. This is a significant labor, especially in that you were operating in a new field of modeling, presented a full portrait rather than merely a vignette, and that you punctuated it with particular meaning–the names and ghostly images of those who never made it home.

    Bravo, my friend, bravo–on a museum-quality piece.

  10. Hola, hermano.

    The intent in this build was fully realised in the WiP, David. Knowing that you have friends along when you are spending those hours working at the bench is worth it all. It works the other way, too, enjoying watching the process of creativity, humor, and skill that your friends are sharing when they post their joys and struggles.

    You are right about the frisson between expectations, self expression, and desire for approval. The thoughts I’ve been sharing recently about model show judges with Rob cuts to the heart of this; criticism is subjective and often means little whereas a satisfying piece of work that expresses something (even if it is purely technical skill) has internal value. That said, I feel great when people I respect share encouragement and a bit of praise. I’ll whisper it, but for me there’s little better.

    Thank you, David. Godspeed, my friend.

  11. Great result David, reflecting all the effort you put in, a worthy tribute to the great ship and her crew!

  12. Thank you, sir. And I appreciate you taking the time to look and post your lovely words! Hope you are well and happy, David.

  13. She’s Fantastic, David! I enjoyed watching the build. A fine tribute to the ones lost. There are no graves for most of them but the deep of the ocean.

  14. It was great to have you aboard, Robert, and even better that it inspired you to build your own Big E. She was a remarkable ship crewed by remarkable men and your words are profoundly touching. You can’t help but feel they deserved better; as they say, all gave some, but some gave all.

    Great to hear from you, Robert.,

  15. Hello David !!!
    This is the posting that I have been waiting for……………. Looks great my friend. I like how “Lou” the Dolphin turned out. Looks like he’s leading the way through the storm.

    What a wonderful idea with leaving some of the crew members unpainted (and kind of spooky too). That’s an excellent way to pay respects to the members of the crew who’s names you have included with this article. What a fine tribute to the Crew or the “Big E”. I’m sure the crew would highly approve of your work of art. Amazing details throughout. I especially like how you have the planes on deck and the TBF Avenger taking off, just becoming airborne.

    I will miss the usual updates……………….but have the Tiger build to follow along with.

    Well done my friend, I really like this a lot………… Two thumbs up Sir !!! Now I’m curious as to what you have planned for the Hammerhead Shark …………… I don’t think he will fit in with “Joe the Camel” too well.

    • Hi Louis. Yes, I think it’s been a long time coming and I was so enjoying the updates I’m not sure I really wanted this to end. I do worry that I just go on too much; point in case the ‘quick build’ for the Kasserine GB that has now gone over 200 posts. This is a strange thing; if you speak to anyone who knows me they’d tell you I’m generally quiet and often taciturn. Get me on iModeler and I can’t shut up. I guess it’s down to finding your ‘place’ and feeling comfortable.

      The idea regarding the ‘ghost’ crew really allowed me to finish the build, feeling that it was just that bit more than just another model I’d built. Although they may seem odd to the eye, I’ve needed to imbue some personal personal significance in projects recently in order to keep the mojo and motivation (especially on the long builds). Hence the background story on the Tiger tank crew.

      So, I’m glad you like the ‘reveal’. I’d like to take better photos. As follower of the WiP, you know how much detail is in the flight deck and it’d be great to capture that in the final post.

      Thanks for the support, Louis, and especially getting me out of that ‘funk’ halfway through this build!

      • You’re quite welcome my friend. I’m glad that you got back on the proverbial horse and have continued building. Like you I have made some good friends here on Imodeler and feel very comfortable posting my thoughts here.

        We have been blessed with a great bunch of people on this website. You are an integral part of this tribe of dedicated builders.

        • Blessed is a great and perfectly fitting word, Louis. I have no idea what Martin’s expections were when he set up this community, but boy am I glad he did it.

          Thank you, tribesman!

          • Ah, Louis, I forgot about the hammerhead. I’m keeping this as a surprise ‘reveal’ (although who knows when) and if it turns out the way it looks in my head (now, there’s a dark place) I think you’ll really appreciate it.

            I’m thinking of calling him Jeff…

          • @dirtylittlefokker – David …

            Jeff the Hammerhead. David, you know me so well, without actually having met. Of course, I have no idea whether you named it after me on purpose, but it is very apropos. To be technically correct, you DID name it AFTER me; I was named in 1951 and Jeff the Hammerhead was named in 2018.

            One can’t argue the math!

            (Again – the Enterprise is awesome. I think the reason so many of us have commented on your “water work – as well as Won-hui Lee and others who have done it so successfully, is that it is so difficult and really requires an artist’s talent. This talent is something you VERY obviously have!)

  16. David, what an achievement! The concept, the final piece, the trademark gravity (ameliorated by a suitable dose of mischievous humour) and the intelligence that run through it make this pretty much perfect, and representative of you as a modeller. Wonderfully well done!

    • I don’t know what to say, Paul. Your post really touched me. If I had one modeling wish, it’d be that my building and postings could reflect some humor, gravity, and intelligence. That and a little bit of skill would be nice…

      Thank you.

  17. David Leigh-Smith, it is with honor as US Navy retired reserve officer, say this , with all the men listed in your post. Ships company USS Enterprise, CV-6 “Attention! (atten hut!)”, “Right Face”!, “Hand Salute”!, …”Two”!. That salute is for you Dave, not much more be said. Thank you for an amazing model.
    Fly Navy

    • Chuck, thank you. I suspect you know exactly what your post means to me.

  18. David, it is one thing to conceive a project in your head, but another thing entirely to make it come to fruition. This is really a Great model and a fitting tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Thanks for posting it!

    • You are welcome, Erich. Talking about tributes, this is one of the few Enterprise photos I haven’t posted over the last few months. I just love this image.

  19. Not really sure there is much more to add to all the comments above, but what the heck, we’re all in this together. So—bravo on the build. I feel this should be on display some place, a Navy museum perhaps. I am honored you shared this endeavor with us.

  20. Matt, the honour is all mine. As you rightly say, we are all in this together and I really have had a great time building this with my iModeler brotherhood. Your Pony ‘Rita’ remains one of my favourite builds on here (mainly for the personalisation and artistry, especially without an airbrush), so your kind praise really hits home.

    Thank you.

  21. Lovely, as a Navy lifer this is the kind of build that brings a tear to my eye. Naval history and heritage is one of the things I was charged with passing on to my sailors as a Chief Petty Officer, and I must say no finer example of this can be found than your build. If I was still active duty I would surely use this as a visual lesson. Bravo Zulu my friend well done!

  22. There were a whole lot of iModelers involved in this build who shared their own history, experiences, and advice along the way on this marathon build. Ok, and some justified criticism (Mr. Snyder I miss your input and hope all well).

    I’m thankful your words, Rob and as a Navy man they mean a hell of lot to me. But I have to say that without the community here, this Enterprise would not have been built.

  23. Really excellent work here, all the way through.Sure do wish they could have saved her, back in 1958.

  24. Appreciate that, Tom. I know there’s some mixed feelings about her being scrapped and I’ve read at least one veteran saying he couldn’t stand the idea of kids dropping ice cream over the decks where shipmates bled out. Personally, if they’d saved her, it’d be nothing short of a pilgrimage.

  25. David, upon seeing this article, I went and checked your 540-post thread and wasn’t sorry for it – and no, I was not bored 😀 Masterful build and an amazing tribute to the lost sailors and airmen! You gave me an inspiration to start building HMS Aurora as soon as possible, and I am mostly an aircraft modeller!

  26. Sebastijan, I remember your SU-57 received a lot of love from many experienced iModelers (if anyone hasn’t seen it, the link is below, and well worth a look). Thanks for the positive waves and trawling through the WiP.

    Do you have a specific reason for liking the Aurora? It’d be great to see more ships on iModeler and I’m definitely not done with my ‘carrier craving’ – Trumpeter are rumoured to have a 1/200 kit coming of the Yorktown (although at around 180 cm…I’ll either be negotiating an extension or a divorce).

    • Regarding the Aurora – well in late summer of 2016 I travelled to Finnish Lapland with my wife for a short holiday and we were fortunate enough to see Northern Lights on two nights. Just a few months after our return, we found out that in about 9 months, there’s gonna be 3 of us and when we discovered, that there’s a baby girl on her way, Aurora seemed like a suitable name. So yeah, I am slightly biased towards Auroras now 😀 Will probably build the famous Russian Navy Aurora cruiser at some point as well…

      • Sebastijan, that is a story for the ages. You know that building the Aurora is NOT an option – you absolutely need to make her, every time you look at the model you’ll think of your daughter and smile.

        She’s a beauty of a ship.

        Congratulations on your new family, Sebastijan. You are a lucky man.

  27. And oh my gosh I didn’t comment on the “Old Speckled Hen” I had many pints of this fine brew when I was in Freemantle as a sailor, good stuff!

  28. Yep, an almost perfect toast to set the old girl off on her shakedown voyage, Rob! Ha, and my wife said only last month that she thought I was the only person left in the world that says, “gosh”.

  29. Like a good skipper you brought the Big-E port to rest, and she looks wonderful. This has been a fun and enlightening adventure David, so thanks for having all of us aboard to share the experience.

  30. David, truly so much has been said that I can hardly find anything to add. I agree with all the sentiments, especially those by David A. Thomas. I believe he hit the nail on the head.

    The ghost seamen and officers on the deck are a wonderful tribute to the cost of defending freedom. Great job!

    As an old salt I can attest that the sea is a powerful mistress. She can be so calm as to make one consider what might have happened to the planet and at other times so angry you wonder if it might be your last day on the surface. You captured it well.

    I love the spirit of the build and the fellowship attained along the way. Bravo, my friend!

    • Gary, I came across this last night. As a sailor, your fondness for the sea, and being a man of a certain (ahem) vintage, I thought you may enjoy this.

      If there are any ‘Trekkers’ out there, the series has several links to the CV6 Enterprise other than the obvious, being named for her. In ‘Star Trek; the motion picture’ there is a print of the Enterprise in Kirk’s ready room, as there was in Picard’s captain quarters in ‘The Next Generation.’ More impressively (although I’ve never watched the show) in the recent Star Trek series, ‘Enterprise’, captain Archer has a print of the men of Air Group 10, of the Enterprise CV6 on the bulkhead of his ready room.

      • I enjoyed that clip very much. Thanks for sharing.
        “All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.” Ah, the heartbeat of all mariners, (and perhaps even a few grunts.”)

        • I think that’s a wonderful quote, “the heartbeat of all mariners”. Well called, Gary.

          I think I posted ‘Sea Fever’ on a previous build, but it’s really one piece of poetry I can’t read enough…


  31. Chaz, you have been the best of company along the way on this build. I’ve enjoyed your observations, wit, and dedication to the spirit of the Entrprise. It’s been a real pleasure my friend. Keep in touch; the Big E may have docked, but there’s plenty of adventures ahead.

  32. Thank you for your thoughts, Gary. I have been staggered at the comments on this thread. I really do not feel it’s about the model (it’s been a steep learning curve and there’s a lot I’d do differently if I started this kit tomorrow). I like to think this build has tapped into something that brings iModelers together. Hey, it’s Friday night and that might be the Pinot Grigio speaking.

    Thanks for posting, I really appreciate it .

    Have you started on that Airfix Mustang yet?

    • You’re quite welcome David. No, haven’t started the Mustang yet, though she keeps luring me. I am trying to first finish any of these still on my bench – an A-7E, SH-3G, Caterpillar D-7 bulldozer and my tribute USS Arizona. I’m sure I’ll squeeze the Mustang in somewhere. 🙂 Cheers, my friend!

  33. Wow, a Chopper, a plane, a ship, and a bulldozer! That is an ecclectic and impressive bench, Gary. Look forward to seeing some of them.

  34. Although this kind of project is never really finished it’s great to see your posting here, beautifully presented and a real honour to the people who served on board.

  35. With such an evocative subject like the Enterprise, I think you can either aim for a technical model or try and capture something of why the project means something to you. It’s very hard to do both. Her legacy is inestimable and so it’s great to hear you emphasise the memorial aspect of this model rather than the plastic.

    Everything about that pacific theatre was ‘fluid’ and there’s always more to do to reflect that. For a fact, I need to amend the ‘stars and bars’ on some of the aircraft, I need to add an anchor (unconsciously omitted?), there’s more details (like tugs, fork lifts, bomb trolleys, etc) I have to add, plus a little more rigging and finishing. But all in my own time and over months and who knows, possibly years.

    Appreciate the post, George. Means a lot, my friend.

  36. Well, David – I sincerely hope you continue to include us with any updates & additions you make in the future. I love talking about Naval aviation and the things associated with it, especially WWII subjects (Pacific mainly, but all theaters are important) which is where my late Father served from Jan. 1943 through sometime in mid 1946. (He was in “the Med” for his first 6-8 months, after he joined in Jan. of 1942, aged 17.) To my knowledge, he was never flying off the Enterprise; the only ship I know for sure was the USS Independence.

    The “Big E” is for all the ages. Yours is great tribute to her!

    • Hi Jeff. The Hammerhead is a compliment, I promise. Had to call him Jeff after ‘Lou the Dolphin’ made an appearance in the final Enterprise post (look closely just in front of the Big E’s bow). If you all like things naval aviation I hope you might like my next planned diorama, starring Jeff the shark, something just a bit unusual.

      Given the dates you cited, I’m guessing the Constitution your father served on was this lady…

      Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      Regarding the water in the Enterprise project – I’m certainly not in the Won-hui Lee level of talent so was definitly going for more artful than technical!

      Thanks for the comments, Jeff, you are a great friend and if the stars align one day I hope we’ll meet.

  37. On this day…

    Photo of the Hornet taken today (15th May) in 1942, a week after the Battle of Coral Sea, and just a day before being recalled to Pearl to prepare for Midway.

    I’m thinking very seriously of taking on the 1/200 Hornet which looks amazing and includes perfect B25’s from the Doolittle raid, including original Nose Art. Maybe it’s just a little too soon at the moment after this build but the idea is itching at the back of my brain, and in my experience that feeling will only go away one way…

  38. Just found this vintage footage. If anyone is interested in the Enterprise this is fascinating…

    Really does bring home how even in the very best of conditions flying from these decks was hazardous – let alone under fire and severe weather.

  39. Such an amazing build with lovely touches of crisp details. Congrats David.

  40. Thank you, Cetin!

  41. A superb realization, a diorama perfectly mastered.
    A page of history.

  42. Thanks, Marc. I think of all the models I’ve made, the Enterprise is definitely the one I had most fun on. Welcome to iModeler (it’s a great place) and please post some of your work.

  43. Huge work! I could almost swim in these deep dark waters, and bravo for that thin line keeping the plane in the air. And a fine homage for those who did not make it and for whom there is no way to paint their absence. Congratulations

  44. Thank you very much, @caudelguille – I deeply appreciate your comments. This was a lovely build to make and I gathered a lot of new friends during the project. I think your ’Wellesley in a Sandstorm’ is a really beautiful piece of work and I’m very much looking forward to your future builds on iModeler. The people here are wonderful and you’ll fit right in.

    El meu aerolliscador esta ple d’anguiles.

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