Rather than finish the many models I have under construction, I am slowly sliding down into starting a new one – a 1/700 scratchbuilt Midway-class ship. What did it was the above photo of the Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) commissioning, where for the first time I realized that the ship was in 2-color camouflage, not overall 5-N Navy Blue. The newly-painted section of the lower hull at left is definitely darker (and bluer) than the rest of the ship. And since the destroyer in the center is also in two-tone but the upperworks are much lighter that tells us that it’s in Measure 22 – Navy Blue and Haze Gray, so FDR must be in Measure 12 – Navy Blue and Ocean Gray. The difference in contrast is what distinguishes the two.
Yes, that’s an Essex finishing out at far right, and the lack of blue-ish tint might mean it’s in the new Navy Gray – the equivalent of Navy Blue but without the blue tint when the Navy started running short on tinting material. That it’s darker also makes sense, because the blue pigment lightened quickly – perhaps the black tinting material didn’t.
But this photo in early 1946 – likely in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during FDR’s shakedown – is what sealed it because it shows clearly the demarcation for Measure 12 at the bow – a beautiful detail with the graceful clipper bow. As well as the early island differences that distinguish it from the Revell 1/547 kit that I had (and still have).
Unfortunately, there isn’t a booklet of general plans for a 1945 Midway, just the single sheet above, and four-part series from Popular Mechanics in the 1950s that shows how to carve the ship – but is unscaled.
I printed the above sheet, calculated the scale at 1/1615 and reprinted at 1/700 (which I measured at 1/695, which is close enough). The new master plan shows the larger scale of the ship compared to a 1945 Essex-class ship, also in Measure 12.
Well, I couldn’t stop myself, and last night started tracing the lines for the hull, beginning with waterline, main deck, and forecastle. Tonight I might cut the waterline plate (assuming I have enough scribed plastic lying around) and start drawing the hull sections.