by Stephen Allen
1/350 USS Canberra CA-70 (Yankee Modelworks)
This is the Yankee Model Works 1/350 kit of the USS Baltimore, converted to depict the USS Canberra in October 1944.
I used L’Arsenal Quad bofors, a hybrid Oerlikon gun made up from L’Arsenal bases and etch combined with Master Model Barrels and scratch built Mk 14 gunsights, more L’Arsenal details for the bridge equipment and Mk 37 directors, L’Arsenal boats, Northstar anchors and a combination of bits from White Ensign, Gold Medal Models and the kit etch for the SK radar. L’Arsenal also provide the catapults and the Kingfisher floatplanes. The hull was ‘plated’ using a combination of masked paint and scribed plate joints, the armor belts are superglue soaked paper, and the paint is all from White Ensign. Rigging is a combination of Synton and ModelKasten lycra.
Started back in 2012 it was a long build with many interruptions for other projects, and it took me a while to work out how to best depict the main deck railing stanchions so that they would land on the rounded edge of the hull outboard of the deck proper – this is a key characteristic of this era of streamlined US Naval architecture and something I really wanted to get right. The kit supplied railings are meant to mount to the top of the prominent deck edge spurnwater so are too short. In the end I used some of RB Productions 2BA stainless steel RAF rigging wire cut to the correct longer length and glued over the top of the existing railing stanchions to extend the rails. This was tedious work, but a simple cutting jig and use of Gator’s Glue made it straightforward, and the doubled over stanchions, with an inset at the bottom, actually made mounting the railings accurately to the ship quite easy as it provided a positive guide to alignment.
Canberra is depicted in the Measure 32 18d scheme worn at the time the cruiser was hit and badly damaged by a Japanese aerial torpedo off Formosa (Taiwan) on 13 October 1944.