View Full Version : 1/350 CVL-22 USS Independence

Zad Fnark
09 Feb 14,, 21:45
My current project.

This is the Dragon kit -- another work of art. I was going to do her in her shakedown cruise, wearing Measure 11 (Sea Blue), with the 1942-style aircraft markings. However, the kit decals included the mid '43 insignia with the red surrounds to the national insignia, and it was too tempting to resist. Back to Measure 21 for this one.

However, I found a pic where it looks like the old Sea Blue is poking out through the scheme. I'll see what I can do to make this happen


Most of the main structure is about finished. I'm just going through with the detailing part. Painting is my favorite part, so I'm trying not to rush things to get there.






Zad Fnark
09 Feb 14,, 21:47
One more pic, for now. The flight deck. I was looking for a woody-colored spray paint to start it off with. The deck will be blue, but I wanted something poking through in the high-traffic areas, so most of this will be hidden.



Gun Grape
12 Feb 14,, 02:09
Is that Dragon PE?

Looking good.

Zad Fnark
12 Feb 14,, 12:18
The kit came with some, which I'll use in spots. The rest is Eduard. The Gold Medal set was over $60, which was a bit stiff for me. This set was about half the price.

I feel like I'm going to go blind.


Zad Fnark
13 Feb 14,, 12:35
Apart from this, I'm about to pull the trigger on a 1/350 USS Franklin CV-13, plus a bunch of aftermarket goodies, replacing all the 20mm, 40mm mounts, and 5" barrels. Another order will go to Gator Masks to get adhesive masks for the splinter scheme she wore when she got hit. I need more Gator Glue for the photo etch anyway.

It should add some color to the display cabinet.


27 Mar 14,, 21:27
Hello Ed

A Trupeter Essex class carrier is a real challange, not even near the quality of a Dragon ship. I have two in my stash and progress is very slow due to a lot of frustration about the sloppy execution of the kit. A word on the paint. I use WEM enamels and I have made a lot of comparrisons with all other brands. MS21 calls for 5N Navy Blue and Deck Blue 20B. I have compared those with color pictures from WWII and have for meself come up with the following: I personally love the look of Kodachrome slides in day light and to emulate thsi in 1/350 I have found that 5S sea blue looks like scale lightened 5N and that Norfolk 250N Flight Deck stain looks very close to Kodachrome deck blue in sun light. So this it what i have used on my Dragon "Frank Knox" and it looks fantastic.


Builder 2010
23 Apr 14,, 00:22
Do you have the problem with breakage of the Eduard PE like I did? I found their pre-bend etching to be helpful at times, but an awful detriment at others. It made bending some of the more complex railings and the catapults a freaking nightmare. I think if I would have annealed the frets before working with them I would have been much better off. I want to see more pictures and description.

I too have Trumpeter Essex and Yorktown kits in waiting and would like someone else to build one and write about it first before I attempt it. I'm still getting over building the Missouri.

Zad Fnark
28 Apr 14,, 12:26
My only issue seems to be with catapults, like on the 1/350 Arizona. Otherwise, no issues so far.

Fortunately the railings on CVL-22 are mostly straight/right angle affairs. I was dabbling with a 1/700 Arizona (very nice wood deck used) and the butterfly shaped upper levels on the masts were driving me nuts.

Anj4de, with my color blindness, Deck blue and Navy Blue are almost indistinguishable. I pretty much rely on sources to tell me what to do, colorwise. With Franklin, I've got the set of Gator mask for her '44 scheme. I know she wore Ms 21 when she got hit, but the thought of another all blue ship in the cabinet put me off right now.

I have a number of partially done projects right now. I seem to have ADHD when it comes to ships.


Gun Grape
16 Aug 14,, 05:12
Any updates?

Zad Fnark
22 Aug 14,, 12:30
Sorry I'm late. I was on a short anniversary vacation with the wife.

None yet. I seem to have ADHD when it comes to models. I started an IJN Chikuma, since I needed something "different" right now. Tamiya did a nice job with this kit. I bought a bunch of aftermarket guns for it, and I may wind up using few of them. Japanese shades of gray depended on what shipyard they were last worked on. I'm settling for Kure gray right now. Oh yeah... no boot topping for the Japanese Navy.

I'll probably wrap up CVL-22 after this. I was trudging through all the photo-etch on the deck at the time. Sometimes I need to step back and realize that I don't need to use every piece of etch to replace something. Honestly, the air group may take more time than the ship itself.

I was in a hobby shop in Duluth and picked up a USS Indianapolis. I'll try not to let that one butt in. This is the Academy one. Trumpeter sorta borked theirs without the sharp cutoff at the rear. I think most of the weapons are good here. I'll probably indulge in the big Pontos detail set which has all the barrels, milled brass, photo-etch, resin and wood decks.

My stash has been growing and I'm letting it distract me.

Funny how I like ships. Back in AFROTC, I always gave briefings on famous naval battles. I think my heart was in the wrong place. Can't complain. I've had no better friends before or since.


Zad Fnark
14 Jan 15,, 01:38
After a bit of a burnout hiatus, I've restarted things.

I kinda lost track of where I was, so I just continued on with the flight deck. Lots of railings and stuff to get on.

At this point, I have to agree with Builder about the fragility of some of Eduard's parts. The inclined ladders along the gun galleries are a case in point. The top part with the little platform and railing will unfailingly break with each fold. Most of them are getting skipped, and I figure nobody but the most fanatic rivet counter will really notice. I'll distract everyone with the air group on board when I'm finished anyway.

I've got the decked primed with white from a rattle can. I'll see what's left with the deck and the hull for now. Hopefully, I can start with the painting and simply add any subassemblies.

I'm eager to get this wrapped up, due the new toys I've been getting. Merit's 1/350 Yorktown just arrived today and I'm getting antsy about starting it.


Builder 2010
14 Jan 15,, 02:21
Keep going! I think there may be a work around for the Eduard breaking. I didn't do it because I primed everything before cutting from the fret. The stuff is too hard! If you heat the fret with a torch till it changes colors, preferably red hot, it will anneal and not fracture at the etched bend lines. I had some railings on the upper air defense tower that broke into 5 pieces. It almost drove me nuts. Almost all the photo etched stuff is half hard brass. Annealing will soften it and keep it from breaking. The downside will be no longer holding shape as well. Everything is a tradeoff.

Zad Fnark
14 Jan 15,, 02:54
These particular parts are my only real problems. The joint seems to consist of two one-dimensional lines, which can't hold up. All the other pieces have gone well.

I'm slowly putting one of the TBFs together. I'm leaving more of the attachment point on when cutting from the spruce, as it's molded in clear and more brittle. The tri-color may be a bit too fine to free hand with the airbrush, so I'll probably mask, but try to get the "fuzzy" edge. Nice little planes, and the kit decals are perfectly done. I've never liked Trumpeter's decals, as they always get the insignia mis-proportioned.


Zad Fnark
15 Jan 15,, 00:48
Got to the painting on this part. I'm thinking of layering on a thinned wash to make things pop out a bit.

My airbrush has a pretty fine pattern. It's extra work, but the effect is like little guys with spray guns painting the ship. I know I felt like the only guy having to do it. :rolleyes:

Can anyone else see the difference between Navy Blue and Deck Blue? I cant...

Digital pictures are exposing the fuzzies I've accumulated. I'll have to gently rub them off.




15 Jan 15,, 19:10
Digital pictures are exposing the fuzzies I've accumulated. I'll have to gently rub them off.




I HATE the fuzzies!

That's my number one problem with building models, especially glossed ones; even after ONE day of sitting on my bench, they inevitably collect dust and the occasional animal hair (we have three dogs, one cat, and a guinea pig; there is a LOT of extra hair in our house!). I pretty much have to blow all of my models off with compressed air before I can start working on them every day. Someday, when I'm rich, I'll have a "clean room" I can work on my models in, and that won't be a problem. Until then . . .

P.S. Zad: Your bench looks JUST like mine: paint & tools & brushes & instructions all over the place! I notice your using MM paints; are those enamels or acrylics? They look like enamels.

Zad Fnark
15 Jan 15,, 22:44
Enamel, mostly. They seem easier to use with the airbrush than arcrylics.

Not, that my experiences with them are bad... Enamels just seem easier to clean up when I'm done, despite the smell.

The MM USN colors are supposed to be spot on, accuracy wise. Not that I can tell with my eyes.


16 Jan 15,, 16:25
Enamel, mostly. They seem easier to use with the airbrush than acrylics.

Not, that my experiences with them are bad... Enamels just seem easier to clean up when I'm done, despite the smell.

The MM USN colors are supposed to be spot on, accuracy wise. Not that I can tell with my eyes.


Yeah, I'm old-school, too; I much prefer the enamels to the acrylics, though I'm sure at some point down the road we won't be able to get enamels anymore. I suspect somebody somewhere will decide that they are a "hazardous material", and try to outlaw enamel paints on that basis; until then, I'll continue to use them until they force us to go to acrylics.

Unfortunately, Testors has already started discontinuing some of their Model Master colors, including one of my favorites, Armor Sand; went to my LHS to buy whatever they had left in-stock of Armor Sand, but it was already gone. Might try Hobby Lobby this week, and see if they have any left.

Zad Fnark
09 Feb 15,, 01:16
I'm making some progress. I'm getting the base color on the ship itself.

As planned, Measure 21 with the old Measure 14 bleeding through. Not too bad.

My airbrush if fine enough where I feel like one little guy painting it all by myself. I do like the effect. I may be able to freehand the tri-color scheme on the planes with this airbrush.

I'll have to de-fuzz a bit. I can touch up with a brush if I have to.

I did lighten the 5-N on the hull a bit. I want it to stand apart from the deck blue. With my color-blindness, it's hard for me to tell them apart.



Builder 2010
09 Feb 15,, 16:19
I may have missed it... how much of that amazing interior detail is scratch-built? Nice work!

Zad Fnark
09 Feb 15,, 16:49
None of it -- all stock.

I did give it a (heavy handed) wash to pop it out a bit.

I'm tempted to put the deck on, but I think I want to park two TBFs in the hanger near one of the sliding doors, just to look busy.

Once I assemble the main stuff, it's all details. The guns will be last for the ship itself. The air group will be a busy time, too. I thought I'd need photoetch for the planes, but the parts on the sprue are pretty finely detailed.

I spent a lot of time reading the "Independence Class Fan" thread at modelwarships.

I've grown to love Dragon's kits.

Zad Fnark
09 Feb 15,, 23:32
Got the lower hull painted. I forgot to hit the sides of the flight deck with the 5-N. I hate making another airbrush trip for the same color.

I ran out of my White Ensign hull red, so I broke out the Testors Model Master version. Looking at the bottle, I wasn't sure it was even red, but once I got it mixed up, it looks fine. It has that nice "patchy" look.



Builder 2010
10 Feb 15,, 01:22
I didn't realize that we had carriers with side-mounted funnels. The Japanese used this method all the time. The Independence was an escort carrier?

I'd like to use enamels, but without an outside vented spray booth, the fumes are a no-no in the house. I sometimes spray a little bit of rattle-can Krylon primer on the brass work, but that's about it. Tamiya acrylics thin with isopropyl alcohol and don't smell to bad. I also used Life Color naval colors for the Missouri project and felt they were a good match.

Zad Fnark
10 Feb 15,, 12:10
No, she was a light carrier (CVL). They carried a bit more planes than a CVE and worked with the fleet, since they had cruiser top speeds. Ranger had side funnels, too..

I used to only use acrylics, but with an all metal airbrush, enamels seem easier to clean up. I've got a Life Color set, but haven't used them yet.

I tried to finish the boot topping on the cheap with spray paint, but it didn't come out well. Fortunately, it's fixable with a minimum of fuss.

The stacks were an annoying part of the build. The instructions had you attached the trusswork to the stacks before putting them on the hull. I had a hard time getting them aligned properly, to they're now almost perfect. In retrospect, I would have attached the funnels to the hull first and then add the supporting frames. The attachment points for these were very hard to make out.

Builder 2010
10 Feb 15,, 16:46
The regimen for cleaning my airbrush is as follows: Dunk the entire brush with the paint bottle cap and feed into a tub of water and blow air through it while submerged. I then shoot isopropyl alcohol through it. If I'm not going to use it again for a different color I then disassemble and clean the parts with acetone. The acetone totally dissolves all the dried acrylic and leaves it spotless. I also use the tiny G.U.M brushes (for tooth care) to clean the paint nozzle. I recently started using the acetone since it really works quickly.

Zad Fnark
10 Feb 15,, 22:03
I re-did the boot topping. I had to use acrylics for this, as I had no enamel black. That's okay. It went as well as enamels did, so I'm losing my hang-ups over it. I rediscovered my big can of denatured alcohol, which worked for thinning and clean-up. Clean-up seemed easier than I remembered for these.

I didn't do the stern, due to the clumsiness of the masking tape at the ends. I'll just brush paint that part.

I use the TLAR method for the boot topping. (That Looks About Right)


Builder 2010
11 Feb 15,, 00:11
That does look about right! For the stern, I usually put the tape down in a few overlapping strakes then cut the curve with the Xacto knife. BTW: Save the sprues from the photo-etch. They make great brass stock for small parts, brackets, etc. You just trim the little nibs off. I pre-paint the PE after a vinegar dip to slightly etch the brass to take paint. I then spray prime with Krylon and shoot a finish coat of the final color. It means the railings etc. are painted on both sides. CA holds pretty well to a properly painted surface.

Zad Fnark
11 Feb 15,, 00:53
I've been using Gator Glue for the photo etch. A bit more friendlier than CA, and it's pretty strong once dry. It doesn't take too long to set either. I'll have to remember the vinegar part. I'm using Krylon white primer/paint as a base.

The stern is pretty flat, so I should have no problem there.

I'm not sure what to work on for the ship proper right now. I've started with two TBFs. I was fretting that I'd need photo etch to detail them, but looking closer, they're very nicely done. Everything as molded looks about scale. Even the torpedoes look great, with tiny props.

I'll put these two in the hanger near one of the open roller doors. After that, I'll put the deck on, followed by the island. It'll be about 85% done by that point. Final details are the rear radar assembly -- a real big rectangle radar antenna. Last will be the armament. I'm finding with Dragon kits, I have no real urge to replace the weapons. I will use etch for the 20mm shields, plus the railings on the 40mms.

I had the option of doing her on her shakedown cruise. She would have been all Ocean Gray (5-0), which I used a little here. I think it would have looked nice and would have contrasted nicely with the 5-N ships in the cabinet. Same Ms 21 color for Lexington, when I get to her. The shakedown version would have had the 5"/38s at the bow and stern, rather than the 40mms.

I'm going blind trying to mask the windscreens and turrets. I'm going to get some liquid mask to deal with these. I may just use a dark blue wash to deal with the frames.

I don't really care for them molded in clear. If the canopies were attached at the start, then yes, but they're separate, for the most part. Being more brittle they're more of a challenge to get trimmed. I leave plenty of extra attachment on the part and slowly whittle down.



Zad Fnark
15 Feb 15,, 23:09
Probably not the best pic, but I'm tired.

I was fretting over the detail and got upset, when I broke one of the landing gear legs. But these two will just be in the hanger deck, barely visible through a side door. The folding wings were a pain to deal with.

It took some experimenting, but I got my method down.

1) Prime with flat white.
2) Airbrush the dark sea blue
3) Hand paint the intermediate blue.

I couldn't find a "perfect" intermediate blue. The Testors Model Master looked too gray. The Tamiya blue was a little dark, but I found an online source to mix it with about 1/5 white, so I have a whole big bottle of that now.

These planes are very nice overall. I wouldn't be tempted to add photoetch to these at all. I'll rate them an A-, with the minus only due to the fact that the whole thing is molded in clear. I bit brittle to work with. Despite the microscopic sized parts, I didn't find them too impossible to work with. I'll use gator glue to stick them to the deck when it's time.


[EDIT] Added a couple of shots of them in their natural environment.



Builder 2010
16 Feb 15,, 15:23
The props and canopies look great! You won't see too much of them when the main deck's on. Kinda like my Victorian Station's interior...lots of work with very little visual access now that it's on the layout. You and I know it's there.

Zad Fnark
16 Feb 15,, 16:07
I do like the props, though I think the "stems" are a hair long.

I pretty much treated them as practice planes. I'll have to do better with the ones on the deck. The extended wing planes should be fine. Dealing with the folded wings was a bit fussy.

The yellow prop tips were done in two stages. I used Citadel's orange foundation paint. It's meant as a basecoat and will cover anything. I followed up with the yellow. I cheated. I couldn't find any regular yellow handy and substituted yellow zinc chromate, which looks fine to my eyes. A little bit of steel to the hub finished it.

I gave the canopies a dark blue wash -- Citadel again.

I don't think the turret and windscreen look as good. They were molded on with the fuselage and therefore are solidly thick, opaquing them a bit. Maybe some future would help.

I had the urge to paint the engine cylinders. You can actually make out some detail in there. I just gave the inside of the cowling some neutral gray and left it at that. The prop tends to hide things anyway.

Zad Fnark
09 Mar 15,, 12:28
I've got the lid on.

I was a little overzealous with the deck wash and had to clean that up a bit. The deck stripe decals were a serious pain to get applied right. From here on out, I think I'll mask and paint them instead. Planes on the deck can cover up anything too obvious.

I receive my 1/350 Gambier Bay this week. Artwox makes a wood deck for it, but also includes masks for the camouflage and all the deck markings. I'll be able to paint the lines and the deck number with them. That option would have worked nicely here. The CVE is definitely shorter than this ship.

I've learned enough with this carrier not to repeat the same mistakes on my others, so that's progress, I guess.


Builder 2010
09 Mar 15,, 16:35
Zad, that's a fine looking model! My grandson's building the Hornet. Unfortunately, he's being 13 and is gluing everything up (nicely, I must add), but has neglected planning about painting. He's gluing all the deck guns in place before painting anything. I'm going to try and prevent him from gluing down the flight deck so he doesn't block himself off from painting the under-deck details.

Again, great work and I'm looking forward to the Gambier Bay.

Zad Fnark
09 Mar 15,, 18:14
Thanks, Builder. An atta-boy from you makes me feel better about this. :biggrin:

With the deck decals, I won't have to deal with the big "22" on the deck. They weren't present in 1943.

I'm sort of torn between which will be next. I've stocked up pretty much all the carrier classes, barring the different CVEs. I have Trumpeter's Lexington, and Franklin, Merit's Yorktown and Hasegawa's Gambier Bay. Neither GB nor Lex has a real hanger deck, and either one, I think will be a bit simpler build than this one. I do have Dragon's USS Chevalier, if I need a break from flat tops.

I haven't bought any detail sets for GB yet. I'll definitely get the wood deck/mask set. Pontos has a detail set, costing more than the kit itself, but I'm thinking it's a bit overkill for my skills. Hasegawa's etch sets are overpriced, too. White ensign makes a set which may be more manageable. I doubt I'll need to replace the armament on this one.

I do have the CAs Indianapolis and Chikuma yet, which will be a bit more involved, especially with regard to painting the Japanese ship. I'm not sure how to deal with the raised cross strips on the linoleum. I also have Zvezda's Dreadnought on endless hold.

Either way, I'm content making all my mistakes on this kit, so I won't later on.

Is it bad when I buy more kits than I can build in three years?

Builder 2010
10 Mar 15,, 00:11
I think you should attempt to scratch-build the hanger decks. It's time to step out of your comfort zone. What amazes me is how much a plastic model ends up costing when you add all the after-market add-ons. I spent over 400 on the Missouri. I've been thinking about updating the Essex with the late-War AA sponsons that were added on the port bow area. I've made drawings of the sponson's shape. Right now I'm not building any plastic. I'm just too involved building the layout and its structures. It will be a couple more years before I'm back in plastic. it's killing me when I go to the hobby shop. The plastic kits keep getting better and better. Competition is great! I'm really interested in Gallery Model's new Wasp and Iwo Jima helicopter/Amphibious support ships. They come with the PE included which helps. I down-loaded some fantastic computer generated images that will provide endless amounts of detail work.



This is just a sampling. If you want the whole set, let me know and I can send it via email. Each image is less than 200 kb.

Zad Fnark
10 Mar 15,, 12:25
Do have the long hull or short hull kit?

Franklin's a short hull ship. I was reluctant to get a long hull kit after reading Tracy White's review. There seemed to be fit issues on the hull, and it looked like Trumpeter took some short cuts with the deck, chopping the catapults while shortening it.

Reading about all the AA refittings, I'm wondering if any two Essexes are the same. I may see what I can tinker with along that front.

If I built a deck for the CVE, I have a feeling I would be the only one to know about it. There aren't any doors along the hull on the hanger deck to open up. Ditto with the Lex.

Zad Fnark
15 Jul 15,, 19:24
My thread works again... yay!

15 Jul 15,, 19:38
My thread works again... yay!

We likely lost attachments but a small price to pay I'd say :-)