USS Essex (CVS-9) – Revell 1/530 Resurrection Build
It took three days short of a year, but I am finally calling my resurrection build of a 1980 Revell 1/530 Essex-clas angled deck carrier done.
The model started out as a Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) that I built in 1980, the last of nine models of this kit. Five were given to me already built in 1975 or so (the photo shows me with the first CV-12 in 1975) and the other four I built from 1977 to 1980 (the photo shows four of the original five, plus the first that I built). On the last day of 1981 all nine went into two boxes and spent the next fifteen years in my mother’s attic while I was at college. I retrieved them in 1994, and took them to my first house on South Washington, and ten years later to the model workshop at our current home on Harris Lake Road.
I took BHR out June 30 of last year and decided to try to accurize it using the aftermarket parts that are now available – but mostly to correct the starboard side by lining the kit hangar deck up with the hull. That would mean adding four scale feet of hull outboard, but I figured hey, how hard could that be?
A year later, the answer is – very hard. I worked on the model continuously till November, then didn’t touch it until we started sheltering at home in March, and have been working on it continuously ever since.
I was able to get 1996 plans for the lead ship of the class, USS Essex (CV-9) from The Floating Drydock, and decided to model Essex near the end of her career in October 1968 when she recovered the first Apollo mission, Apollo 7. The photoetch, decals and resin hangar are by Starfighter, the island by Model Monkey, and anchors, guns, boats, aircraft and deck equipment by various other vendors on Shapeways. Model Monkey and other vendors were very accommodating resizing their 1/350 scale products to 1/530 for use with the Revell kit. The Apollo capsule is scratchbuilt.
I usually build ship models waterline, but made an exception here since this was a build of a sentimental favorite. But near the end I saw another modeler built a seascape on one side of a full-hull build and decided to try to replicate it using a removable “wrap” for more of a diorama effect. A side benefit was that the uneven gloss finish reflected light back up on the hull, approximating real water.
27 additional images. Click to enlarge.