USS New Orleans at Espiritu Santo, Nov 1942 (USS Minneapolis in background)
USS New Orleans

Classic Warships
1:350 Scale Model
Built by
Quinn Bracken

My Grandfather served in the USS New Orleans (CA-32) from the time he first joined the Navy in June 1940, up until late November 1942, when the New Orleans got its bow shot off up to the base of turret #2 by a Japanese Torpedo and subsequent Magazine explosion, at the Battle of Tassafaronga. During that time, he was involved in everything from the Pearl Harbor attack, the Battle of the Coral Sea, Midway, Guadalcanal, etc. After the New Orleans returned Stateside for a new bow, my Grandpa then served the rest of the war on the USS Essex (CV-9).
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I wanted to depict the Classic Warships 1/350 New Orleans as she appeared at the Battle of Tassafaronga.This is my first large-scale resin warship, having only done mostly resin Submarines and Destroyers, and I figured it would be a good skill-builder before I moved on to my other resin Cruisers and Battleships. The kit, although labeled a New Orleans, actually retained most of it's Quincy and/or Minneapolis details, and needed a bit of modifying to make it look like the New Orleans. I was pleasantly surprised that the hull-halves lined up almost perfectly; very nice since I know how these pieces tend to shrink after curing. First, the lower bridge needed to have its enclosed portion removed, since this area on the New Orleans was xposed, and a 20mm single mount installed in this area on both sides. Also, the 1.1 in. machine guns on the stern, aft of turret #3, had to be replaced with two Quad 40mm. mounts. New Orleans had an unusual arrangement at the time of the Battle of Tassafaronga in that she retained her original 1.1 in. mounts on the bridge, but had her stern mounts upgraded, and I would have missed this if I had not been using the New Orleans Class book that Classic Warships published. This was, of course, a great source for reference material, and with the aid of a magnifying glass, I was able to pick out the different gun types and modify the kit accordingly. I also added some detail to the somewhat featureless Battle Bridge above the aircraft hangar. Using the Snyder & Short Paint chip set, and trying to account for scale effect, I mixed the Floquil Navy Blue 5-N with about 40% of the Testors Intermediate Blue to lighten it up a bit, and added about 20% of the Testors color to the Floquil Deck Blue 20-B for the same result.

All in all, the kit was quite a challenge, but turned out better than I expected. I think my Grandpa would be proud.......

USS New Orleans at Espiritu Santo, Nov 1942 (USS Minneapolis in background)

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