I like each build from a kit to have something unusual – a scratchbuilt detail that adds something to the subject as represented by the kit manufacturer. Inspired by Callen Clarke’s Lexington build, I decided to put the aft elevator in the down position on my new Lexington build, and place several SBDs in the visible hangar. But not the down position that the kit shows – which is down only one deck, instead of all the way to the hangar 2 1/2 decks below. The first photo below shows my existing Lexington build – the second is Saratoga with the aft elevator all the way down.
I may be able to use the kit parts for the gallery deck surround which shows in both photos (which will hang from the underside of the flight deck), but needed to build a section of the hangar deck, complete with walls, below it. I started by calculating the level of the hangar deck and the location and arrangement of the hangar walls using the 1942 booklet of general plans for CV-2 in the National Archives.
Next I built a substructure to support the hangar, the hangar deck itself, and walls for the hangar.
Next came detailing the walls with .01″ x .030″ strips representing the frames of the ship and the odd pipe and walkway, using Callen’s research and some photos of the hangar. The area with the light streaming down in the background in this 1929 photo on Saratoga is the aft elevator.
Here’s the completed (for now) hangar bay section, with the flight deck showing the approximate location and size of the elevator opening.
With the flight deck dry fitted you can see some of the detail. After the gallery deck walls go in – see the top Saratoga photo – only a fraction of this will be visible, but I’m comfortable that I did enough.
This build will tell me how much I actually need to include. That will come in handy when I build my prewar Saratoga in which I’ll do both elevators down, including the far more complex forward elevator, in which the walls go all the way from flight deck to hangar deck on three sides.