by David Flynn
1/600 USS New Jersey BB-62 (Aurora +)
A few months ago I saw online a 3D print of the bridge of the New Jersey and it inspired me to convert an old Aurora model that I built a long time ago. The New Jersey was the only ship in the Iowa class that had a rounded bridge.
My goals were to make the model more accurate, but to keep that Aurora look. I grew up in the era when Aurora models were always in stores; plus I like 1/600 scale. Out of the box, the model has three major shortcomings: the shape of the underwater portions of the bow and stern, the aft stack is too short, and the solid main deck railings. I improved the bow, stack, and railings, but decided to leave the stern.
I also decided to replace the 5-inch mounts with ones from built Aurora St. Paul kits that I bought yeas ago as these are more accurate. Unfortunately, they were damaged by too much glue, and were missing 15 of 20 barrels. I also drilled out the tops of the stacks and found out that the aft stack is too long. I replaced the main battery directors with spares from Revell's 1/570 North Carolina as these have the range finder arms and more detail. Last, from my parts boxes I added yard arms to the masts. The forward 5-inch director is a 3D print.
Although the model is not as accurate or detailed as modern kits, I am pleased with the result. I was amazed that the 45 year old decals worked just fine. The deck is not glued on yet so that when the weather warms up I can add ballast and photograph it in the water.
For comparison a couple of photos are included showing the New Jersey next to an Aurora Iowa that I built over 25 years ago.