USS Alaska CB-1 
by Keith Bender 

1/192 USS Alaska CB-1 (Scratchbuilt)

The model is 100% scratchbuilt with the exception of anchor chain, rigging line and flag. Built to the scale of 1:192, 1/16" = one foot. The model is 50'5" long x 5.687" wide. In reality it took me about one year to build but the job lasted 12 years. To give a better idea, my daughter was starting 4th grade when I laid the keel. She was three month away from graduating college when i finished. The hull was complete for around ten years as it sat in mothballs under cover. Pretty much like Alaska's sister Hawaii. I have been tied up building many other projects and all that time it sat on a shelf looking at me wondering if she will ever be complete. That day happened in January 2014. Many times life just gets in the way.

Before I started the hull work I decided to make the many masters to cast resin parts from. A short list of a few items are the SC-1 seahawk planes. All parts for the 12", 5", 40mm and 20mm guns. The 20 and 40mm have ten cast parts each. All hatches, doors, MK8, 37, 51 and 56 directors, anchors etc. Most round parts or anything that has something round in it was turned on the lathe. Many parts were milled.

The ships propeller shafts are 20" dia. There isn't any brass rod to the scale size at .104" so i turn the shafts down from 1/8" rod.

Much of the superstructure is .060 and .0100 thick plastic laid over base wood. The stb. side hanger is open and fully detailed including the air crews racks, work bench, spare propellers, floats, lights and overhead rail crane. I was lucky enough to meet up with a former air crewman who gave the information on the hangers and a set of general arrangement plans. His biggest complain about living in the hanger was the constant smell of av gas.

This model is finished in the camo pattern of 32/1D. It is a pattern designed for destroyers but the navy used it on Alaska and i find it more interesting then the boring MS 22. Colourcoats Norfolk Antifouling Red was used on the lower hull. Polyscale late war light gray 5-L and Model Masters flat black on the hull. The decks are Polyscale 20-B and ocean gray 5-O. The boot top is Model Masters semi gloss black. I used Woodland Scenic dry transfers for the #1 hull numbers and the name on the transom which is raised lettering. How i did this was by placing the same letters over the top of each other about five times till they had enough three dimension to them. Very hard to see but they are there.

The cranes were probably the most difficult parts to make. I dug through 16 rolls of micro film at the archives and did find the cranes. There is enough info on them to build a full size one so that's what i did but in 1:192. The main post are plastic as is the platforms. All other parts are brass rod soldered. As is the catapults I made a jig to hold the crane booms and catapult frames while i soldered them.

While i was making the Seahawks and idea popped in my head about the time i seen an air craft in the hanger deck on an Intrepid model build by the late Wally Bigalow. He had made a 1:350 with the cowling remover and made an engine as if it was being serviced. So i used the idea on one of my own birds, thank you Wally Take note of the basketball hoop on the large vent behind the seahawk on the welldeck. Both port and stb sides.

There are many details I could cover here but i will let you look her over and figure it out. I can be reached on the ModelWarships site if there are questions. I'd be happy to help.

Keith Bender

Gallery updated 6/6/2017