When I started the FDR last month, I was working off a set of Edward Wiswesser plans drawn up likely in the early 1950s. I traced a waterline, main deck and forecastle, and calculated the elevations using them, and started plating in the hull. They weren’t perfect, but they were close enough as a starting point, and there were no other detailed plans of Midway-class carriers as-built in 1945.
Then I lucked out and a friend who volunteers at the Midway (CV-41) museum in San Diego offered to see if they had any as-built plans for Midway. Turns out they did – yard plans from Newport News. They’re originals on what appears to be linen, and at 1/96 scale they’re approximately 12’ long. The scans are massive, but when printed at 14% they’re 1/700 scale, and can be used as templates.
So I started checking my existing model against the plans and making changes. First was the main deck. The length and width dimensions were almost exactly right, but the front and aft corners needed to be trimmed to the right shape.
Next up was the waterline. The Wiswesser elevations to the main and forecastle decks were dead on, but a .020” new waterline wouldn’t add much, and will act as a helpful guide to narrowing the hull at the stern and broadening it amidships slightly. As shown in the above photo, the Wiswesser stern is rounded, so I had to Dremel off the sides of the stern. Nothing a little putty won’t fix!
But this is where the biggest change was required – the actual forecastle is longer (about 1/3”) and wider than on the Wiswesser plans, so I removed the forecastle deck house and vertical facings and added a new .010” forecastle to act as a guide for the widening, and sawed off the bow – I’ll add a new one later.
I still have to get the main deck sponsons pried off and the hull widened, but in a few days I’ll be back where I was, and this time with a correctly proportioned main hull.