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Ships by Class/Type: Cruisers
Topics covering cruisers both past and present.
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Hobby Boss 1/350 USS Alaska
sdk10159
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Oregon, United States
Joined: December 08, 2005
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Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2018 - 01:05 PM UTC
Good evening all,
I have been fascinated with cruisers and destroyers for a long time and my particular favorites have been the USNís heavy cruisers and especially the Baltimore class. I knew about the aborted Lexington class of battlecruisers but always thought the class died with them. Then in 2002, from a book about WWII cruisers, I found out about the Alaska class of ďLargeĒ cruisers developed to counter the IJNís battlecruisers. I never heard of them before. I have been fascinated with them ever since. Imagine my surprise when I found out that HobbyBoss marketed a kit of them! I had to get one.


Iím primarily an armor modeler, but have always loved ship models and cut my modeling teeth on them in the 60ís. I watch this site often, marveling at the detail in so small a scale. You guys do wonderful work.

So, here I am, back to my roots with the USS Alaska in 1/350. Iíll also be using the Master Models USS Alaska/Guam armament set.





And here is the start. The hull is one piece and required minimal clean up on the mold seams. The main deck is two pieces.



I havenít done the shafts, screws or rudder as yet, as Iíll probably break them off while handling the hull. Iíll save them for just before I paint the hull.
d6mst0
#453
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Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2018 - 04:30 PM UTC
Steve,

I been preparing to start my own build of the Alaska so I will be following your posts to see how you are progressing.

I just laugh every time I hear her called a heavy cruiser. At 30K tons that is one heavy cruiser, twice the weight of the HMS Dreadnought which had the same main armament. At full load she is bigger than the German's pocket battleships, which is why she was built in the first place. Perfect example of the arrogance of the admirals of the US Navy at the time and their opinions of the British Navy. They were not going to have any battle cruisers in their fleet no matter how big we build our cruisers.

I just purchased 3D printed 20mm single barrel mounts from Blue Ridge. They look dare nice and a whole lot nicer than the 20mm that come with the kit.

Looks like you are off to a good start. Have fun.

Mark
Quincannon
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Colorado, United States
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Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2018 - 04:56 PM UTC
Back about 1956 or so I made my first visit to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. When you came through the Broad Street entrance to the yard,the reserve basin is on your right. The basin met a low stone wall along Broad Street and in those days the wall was lined with cruisers of the Cleveland Class bow on, while the first ship you passed was moored with its stern facing the wall. Hawaii, the incomplete sister of Alaska and Guam, was the ship moored stern first, and I will tell you that with only a tiny bit of hyperbole that Hawaii made the Cleveland's look like PT boats by comparison,
sdk10159
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Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2018 - 06:13 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Back about 1956 or so I made my first visit to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. When you came through the Broad Street entrance to the yard,the reserve basin is on your right. The basin met a low stone wall along Broad Street and in those days the wall was lined with cruisers of the Cleveland Class bow on, while the first ship you passed was moored with its stern facing the wall. Hawaii, the incomplete sister of Alaska and Guam, was the ship moored stern first, and I will tell you that with only a tiny bit of hyperbole that Hawaii made the Cleveland's look like PT boats by comparison,



I hear ya!

I"ve seen an aerial shot of Alaska and Guam tied up in Bayonne. THere were some light cruisers also tied up near by and they look puny!

This is one big ship!
sdk10159
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Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2018 - 06:14 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Steve,

I been preparing to start my own build of the Alaska so I will be following your posts to see how you are progressing.

I just laugh every time I hear her called a heavy cruiser. At 30K tons that is one heavy cruiser, twice the weight of the HMS Dreadnought which had the same main armament. At full load she is bigger than the German's pocket battleships, which is why she was built in the first place. Perfect example of the arrogance of the admirals of the US Navy at the time and their opinions of the British Navy. They were not going to have any battle cruisers in their fleet no matter how big we build our cruisers.

I just purchased 3D printed 20mm single barrel mounts from Blue Ridge. They look dare nice and a whole lot nicer than the 20mm that come with the kit.

Looks like you are off to a good start. Have fun.

Mark



Thanks for the advice on the 20mm - I'll check them out.
Quincannon
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Posted: Sunday, July 08, 2018 - 12:47 AM UTC
So will I. My USS Gregory early Korea requires them and I can't understand why Trumpeter did not include them in their DD537. Of course you can do that kit two ways, but the one way does require 20mm twins.
TimReynaga
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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Posted: Sunday, July 08, 2018 - 03:14 AM UTC



Steve,

That's one beautiful hull - I can't wait to watch your progress with this one!
d6mst0
#453
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Posted: Sunday, July 08, 2018 - 05:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text

So will I. My USS Gregory early Korea requires them and I can't understand why Trumpeter did not include them in their DD537. Of course you can do that kit two ways, but the one way does require 20mm twins.



Blue Ridge also makes 3D printed 20mm Twin Barrel mounts also.

Mark
Quincannon
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Posted: Sunday, July 08, 2018 - 06:48 AM UTC
Yes I know Blue Ridge makes both and my train of though when posting was why the heck did Trumpeter do this to me, when as far back as the old Aurora Bennion it was commonly known that the late war Fletcher refit swapped out single 20mm's for twins. Of course Bennion never received that refit, but I did not know that at the time.
Quincannon
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Posted: Sunday, July 08, 2018 - 03:36 PM UTC
Alaska is going to be a very interesting build to follow. It wasn't all that many years ago that any of us expected to see a model like this produced in plastic.
RedDuster
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Posted: Monday, July 09, 2018 - 08:05 AM UTC
Hi Steve,

Got this one in the stash, couldn't resit her beautiful lines when I saw the kit.

Will be following along for tips.

Cheers

Si
zedhol
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Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018 - 05:35 AM UTC
A question to those people that have this kit. I too have this, actually I have the Guam, but you get the point. After a first check of the kit and instructions it looks amazing.
When I get one of these ship kits, my first reaction is to look for aftermarket and I see the Very Fire and Infini super sets are available. They are roughly 150-200% of the cost of the kit so they must be comprehensive, but looking at the kit, I am not sure they are necessary. The fidelity of the detail on them is amazing but the PE that comes with the kit looks complete as well, all the railings and even the main funnel mast parts. Shields for the quad 40mm would help, and as said before, single 20mm guns would be better as well, but I have these already. I have Master Models replacement 12" and 5" barrels, and 40mm barrels, I think I am ready.

Anyone else have the same observations, or do these super kits really add anything else?
d6mst0
#453
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Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018 - 11:00 AM UTC
I was surprised by the prices for those upgrade kits. As you know the Alaska kit comes with a basic PE set along with railings. Upgrade the weapons as needed, I paint my decks so I don't need the wood decking. There is plenty of PE doors, portholes, ladders, hatches, etc. at the bench that will work.

I think I can get by without one of those upgrade kits.

Mark
sdk10159
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Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018 - 12:37 PM UTC

Quoted Text


I think I can get by without one of those upgrade kits.

Mark



That was my thinking as well. Especially after seeing the price of the Very Fire set.

I'm not a big fan of PE and I think the detail in the Alaska kit is great, but that's me. I may go out and get the Blue Ridge 20mm set, though.

Steve
Quincannon
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Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018 - 01:46 PM UTC
My Blue Ridge twin 20mm's will arrive Monday, USPS willing and the creek don't rise. As you see we take nothing for granted here in the high desert. Anyway, when they do arrive, I will report what I think of them, and presumably the single 20mm's will be of the same quality.
sdk10159
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Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018 - 06:59 PM UTC

Quoted Text

My Blue Ridge twin 20mm's will arrive Monday, USPS willing and the creek don't rise. As you see we take nothing for granted here in the high desert. Anyway, when they do arrive, I will report what I think of them, and presumably the single 20mm's will be of the same quality.



Hi Chuck,

I'm waiting anxiously to hear about them.
I saw a few pics of the both on some website, but I couldn't tell if they were any good.

Steve
d6mst0
#453
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Posted: Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 01:37 AM UTC

Quoted Text


That was my thinking as well. Especially after seeing the price of the Very Fire set.

I'm not a big fan of PE and I think the detail in the Alaska kit is great, but that's me. I may go out and get the Blue Ridge 20mm set, though.

Steve



I purchased both the Blue Ridge 20mm single and double mounts. They look pretty nice to me I just hope they are not hard to get off the block.

Mark
Quincannon
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Posted: Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 02:58 AM UTC
I believe 3D printing will radically change our hobby for the better. I tried a 1/1800 Ranger and a 1/1250 Pensacola from Shapeways, and was generally pleased, although the small scale presented some clean up issues.

I do hope 1/700 scale will be a bit easier to finish. I have a FRAM II Sumner also arriving this week. Given my own choice, all I would do are ships from the Korea and 1950's - mid 1960's. Shapeways in 1/700 is a treasure trove of era.

When I spoke to someone at Freetime, they told me no preparation is required on the 20mm's and all you need is a sprue cutter to get them off of the block.
RussellE
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Posted: Monday, July 23, 2018 - 10:03 AM UTC
following with interest Steve
Quincannon
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Posted: Monday, July 23, 2018 - 02:00 PM UTC
My Blue Ridge twin 20mm's arrived Saturday, two days before I expected them.

I would highly recommend them. They may not be the thing for the advanced modeler, who loves to spend hours and hours of their time with PE, but as for myself, the average modeler, they meet my expectations, and perhaps a little beyond. All you need to do is clip them off of the sprue and mount them.

While I am at it the Blue Ridge USN decal sheets in both 1/350 and 1/700 are first rate as well, and very reasonably priced.
sdk10159
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Posted: Monday, July 23, 2018 - 03:19 PM UTC
Thanks Chuck. I will probably go that route, then.
I also read somewhere that the Alaska's had dual 20mm, but I can't find that anywhere now.

Steve
Quincannon
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Posted: Monday, July 23, 2018 - 04:54 PM UTC
I would not think they did. Had Hawaii been completed I am sure she would have carried them, as long as she was completed in 1946-47. After that the 20mm's both singles and twins were removed over a period of five or six years throughout the Navy.

Alaska and Guam were commissioned in 44 and the twins did not really become available in the fleet until early 45. Even then the first few of the Gearings did not get them initially. The anti-Kamikazi refit for the Fletcher's were the first use of the twins I am aware of. So what I deduce from that is if Alaska and Guam were refitted in 45 twins may have been added or substituted for singles, but I don't believe either of these two had in refits during their service period, which was very short.

I can tell you though that I do not think you would be disappointed with the product, and they sure beat fitting all those gun shields, an exercise which drives me crazy.
d6mst0
#453
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Posted: Monday, July 23, 2018 - 11:23 PM UTC
Everything I read about the Alaska is that she only had the single 20mm mounts. A lot of British ship used the twin mounts.
sdk10159
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Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 12:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text

.. and they sure beat fitting all those gun shields, an exercise which drives me crazy.



Got that right. THat's why when I saw your post about the 3D printed ones, I got real excited.

Steve
sdk10159
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Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 01:09 AM UTC
A small update. I spent the last two weeks, when I found time, to do some of the deck work. I have most of the small deck fittings added, cleats, bollards, etc added. Plus, some of the smaller deck housings.

Bow


Midships


Stern


And, before I start the rest of the deck work superstructures, I figured I needed to added the shafts and rudder. THat way, I won't run the risk of snapping things off.

So, I flipped the old girl over and added the shafts and supports.


I'll add the props later on.

Now, it's time to work on the superstructures.

Steve