With the adorable Meng Lexington out of the way, it's back to work on the 1/700 scale Yorktown (CV-5) (far left). What that ship needs now is the same thing my last two 1/700 carriers Lexington (May 1942) (lower right) and Essex (May 1943) (upper right) need, and that is aircraft, and lots of them.
Coincidentally, all three need the same thing – aircraft in the blue gray over light gray camouflage scheme, as shown by the 1/72 F4Fs and SBD. Lexington's aircraft still had red roundels and red and white tail stripes at the time of her loss in May 1942 (see 1/72 SBD), but by the time the Yorktown was lost a month later her aircraft had deleted the red roundels and tail stripes (see 1/72 F4F).
Interestingly, the Essex came into service and into Pearl Harbor in May 1943 with aircraft in the same colors, although the left upper and lower wings had the roundel deleted. As my model shows her in her as-built appearance, I wanted to show her with the blue-gray air group and basically no flight deck markings (the prominent "9" hull numbers are absent) looking a lot more like a 1942 carrier than the other 1943-45 Essex class ships. So I need SBDs, TBDs and F4Fs for the first two, and SBDs, TBFs and F6Fs for the latter. For more information on the color schemes used during the period, see this article.
Lexington already has several TBDs and a couple of SBDs, so I will be continuing to assemble and detail the planes I painted for her last year. Yorktown and Essex both need their air groups painted, so I started that process tonight for both tonight, masking the canopies so they can show as clear later, and
painting the underside of the fuselage zinc chromate green so the interior color will show through the clear cockpits (hopefully – this is a new thing I am trying). I also painted all the aircraft undersides light gray tonight. The blue gray topsides will follow later this week after I put one more layer of mask on the cockpits.
You might notice Yorktown appears to already have a full air group – I had painted and decaled up a lot of extra aircraft 26 years ago for a Midway Enterprise, including several Devastators, some with folding wings, so I decided to put those on the flight deck just for morale. (Mine. Installing the landing gear on these aircraft is a bear). The color is two shades wrong – it's what I used back then, but later replaced with a lighter and bluer shade, and last year with the correct dark blue-gray – as shown on the Lexington's aircraft and the 1/72 SBD.