I doubt few of you all who visit this website donít know the tragic story
of the USS Indianapolis. So for
brevity, and a large dose of laziness I wonít repeat it here. When
Tamiya first announced the release of this kit I knew that she would one
day grace my worktable. She has always been a favourite of my father, and I
guess he passed it on to me. The kit represents her, as she looked in July 1945.
I always thought she looked dashing in her Measure 21. However for me there was
a problem. You see the Curtiss Seahawk has to rank as one of my least favourite
aircraft. I simply did not want to build that aircraft. So looking at my
references I decided to model her after her November December 1944 refit. So I
could include a couple of Curtiss Seagulls.
The model was a pretty straightforward affair. Here is a short list of some
of the things I did.
- Re-scribe the forecastle deck, and replaced all the deck fittings with
scratch built details.
- New 20mm anti aircraft position to the bows.
- Replace most of the bulwarks with styrene, for scale thickness, and
height. There is nothing worse than having bulwarks that only come up to a
figures knee. That pretty much led to the scratch building of most of the
- New Masts, these were built from styrene rod, stretched sprue, and brass
rod. I was dreading the main mast, but that was surprisingly easy and more
- Scratch built catapult towers, topped with a mixture of White Ensign
Models and Gold Medal Models catapult parts.
- Etched parts from various sources. But the main ones are TOMs, WEM
- Painted both by airbrush, and hand painted. Using Colourcoats, Humbrol and
- The ship and the two aircraft are rigged with a combination of Lycra and
stretched black sprue.
- The 20mm and 40mm guns are all WEM castings, as are the paravanes.
- The Seagulls are also WEM, but I carved away the canopies and
replaced them with carved and polished acrylic ones.
- The aircraft decals are GMM, and the flag is Dunagain.
- The crew is from GMM. Surely they must be the navies biggest
supplier of man power by now?
Two years later, this is what I ended up with. Iím sorry if I got all the
nautical terms wrong. You see this language is all new fangled to me. This is my
second ship, (not the last I hasten to add). I normally build jets. Aptly,
this model now resides in a private collection in Indianapolis. Thanks
to you all for the inspiration.