USS Hornet CV-8 
by Martin Quinn 

1/350 USS Hornet CV-8 (Trumpeter)

This is the much maligned Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet.  I started the build many years ago.  However, unhappy with how the island was coming out, I put it aside, leaving it to sit on the shelf of doom for a long, long time. It wasn't until the advent of 3D printed parts that my interest in her was rekindled.

The model depicts a stylized version of Hornet on the morning of June 4, 1942. The fighters and dive bombers of her strike group have been launched, and they are about to bring the rest of Torpedo 8 up from the hangar deck (where you can't see them - but they are there. If I had thought this out properly, I would have opened the aft elevator and spotted a TBD on it). In reality, all those figures on the deck would have been in their planes, waiting to launch, but then I wouldn't have been able use them, would I?

The hull is mostly out of the box, but I did add some platforms and inclined ladders, to mimic things that Trumpeter left out.  I used a Model Monkey 3D printed island, the version without the platforms and catwalks, all of which were added with plastic card or photo-etch.  I also used Model Monkey's Mk 37 directors.  The  36", 24" and 12" searchlights, as well as the miscellaneous bridge equipment is from Black Cat. Along with the photo-etch, I added extra details to the island, in the form of sirens and horns, as well as the bracket holding the two large speakers on the port side of the island.  There is also a "BI radar" added to the lower level of the spotting top.  Spare speakers from the Merit Enterprise were added, per archival photos.

The photo-etch is mostly a combination of Gold Medal Model and Eduard, the latter being mostly used on the island and on the kit supplied 5 inch guns. The SC radar on the top of the spotting top is from Infini.   The aforementioned figures are from two different sets, both from Tori Factory from Korea.  Rigging is a combination of Infini and Uschi.  Case is by Grandpa's Cabinets.  While I generally like Gold Medal Models products, I found the catwalks to be somewhat problematic, as they were direct one-for-one replacements of the plastic parts, and somewhat difficult to attach.

Paints are Colorcoats USN colors - 5N, 5O, 5H, as well as Norfolk 250N deck stain.  The hull was masked using the old Gator's Mask set as starting point.  For the pattern on the island, I scaled archival photos to 1/350 scale, laid them on a light box, then drew out patterns for the masks.  I feel the pattern is as accurate as I could get it, and much more accurate than most interpretations.  The model was weathered with oil paint, using the dot filter method on the hull.  In retrospect, I went a little to heavy with the burnt umber wash on the flight deck and hull.  There are a few spots where it pooled along the edges of the flight deck, and I didn't notice it until it was too late to remove it.   Also, somewhere along the way, after airbrushing the model with flat coat, the flight deck picked a nice coat of dust, which I've never been able to remove, without damaging the arresting gear and crash barriers.

The model placed 2nd in it's category at MosquitoCon 2022, and 1st in it's category at the 2022 Hudson Valley Miniatures Guild show, where it also won the "People's Choice Award".   I find this latter award very rewarding, as I felt the moment in time I was trying to depict - the launching of Torpedo 8 - resonated with people.

Martin Quinn

Gallery updated 11/29/2022