by Martin Quinn
1/350 USS Alaska CB-1 (HobbyBoss)
Built to represent Alaska at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in December 1944, on her way to the Pacific Theater, while she was still camouflaged (she was repainted into Ms22 once she arrived at Hunter's Point in San Francisco). My original intention was to build this mostly out of the box, but that changed as the build went along.
First, I cut away and removed the incorrect smooth hangar roller doors, then scratch-built an interior for the port side hangar (not that you can see much). Replacement parts include:
- Main and secondary battery gun barrels by Master Models.
- 20mm guns from MicroMaster
- 40mm guns from Black Cat
- The Mk8 FC radars were cobbled together from an old GMM set, while the SG radars are from Infini
- The kits chocks were over-scale and replaced with PE versions from GMM.
At Keith Bender's prodding, I added navigation lights to the front and top of the forward mast.
Almost everything else is kit supplied. The fit of the plastic parts is poor, the fit of the PE parts is worse. If I had to build this kit again (I won't), I'd chuck the kit supplied photo-etch and buy one of the aftermarket sets.
The kit supplied SC-1 Seahawks are abysmal. I replaced those with resin versions from L'Arsenal, but those are starting to show their age, and aren't much better, so I left the seaplanes off. Maybe I'll eventually pick up 3D printed versions.
The rigging Infini 20 denier line. Paints are Sovereign Colourcoats. The model was given a wash of burnt umber (for the decks) and payne's grey (for everything else). Base and cover are from Grandpa's Cabinets.
I used Classic Warships Alaska Class book as my primary reference, and spent over 3 1/2 years (on and off) building this model. Part of the delay was rotator cuff surgery that prevented me from working at the bench for awhile. The other delay was waiting for a second set of the kit supplied main deck railings through a distributor, as I didn't like how they came out after the first attempt. Those took 8 months to arrive from China, which added to the long build time. In the end, the only thing positive I can say about this kit is that I finished it.