The Academy Award for Best Sprues with fine detail goes to... Academy sorta

Docbritofmf

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So I mentioned in another post i picked up the Academy Models USS Kitty Hawk Kit 1/800 scale the other day, and while I don't really like to write reviews I feel some context would be helpful for those not to familiar with the kit or brand and also help to set up the second part a question I have regarding the identification of parts and paint schemes

So the Academy Kit...
First, off Damn nice boxing, the company did a decent with a quality cardboard two-piece box nice for those of us who like to use the two half to separate our pieces it kinda sets the pace for quality down the line

Let's talk paperwork for a second this is my only complaint. It's mostly in Chinese (I believe) there are some English sections mostly labels of planes and translations of key parts but for the most part, as far as written word instructions there isn't much and there are 3 different pamphlets that come in this kit. The assembly instructions are exploded diagrams which I rate both good and bad because while they show some of the smaller detailed pieces they don't always show how they are fit together so it requires a bit of reading ahead and behind to see the assembly positions. It does have a rather nice Sprues layout diagram with part numbers and sprue lettering for easy identification and sorting.

Lets talk the sprues themselves... this is where I'm most impressed now I can't say much for higher-end kits because i haven't built any how ever the kits I'm used to are revell and trumpeter and as some have informed me these kits were made many years ago and the models seldom get retooled and cleaned up so when you purchase them the parts require some fixing up, prehapes in there hay day they were as clean and nice as the sprues I'm about to describe.

The sprues are very very clean, there's no runoff or miss formed plastic bits, all the attachment pegs and holes are clean and fit nicely, they parts come off the sprues easily and cleanly i don't have to break out my hobby knife and do much of any clean up removing excess sprue still attached to my pieces when they are removed.

Each sprue is individually wrapped lettered and each part clearly numbered. And the parts themselves have some of the most visually clean detail I have ever seen in a kit. Where most older kits fall short is fine detail, the molds used didn't allow for extremely fine detail hence the birth of Photo etch and after-market 3d printed parts. When i bought the kit i was hoping to find some nice PE to add on but as i started to build it i realized it wasn't really needed because a lot of the extra detail was present in the pieces themselves. There is one trade-off here some of these pieces are so tiny I'm talking the size of a lever knob on a kit for a model aircraft (pinhead size) which makes assembly a little tricky.

Over all I'm very impressed with the kit, but here's my dilemma with all the fine detail and the instructions in another language I'm having a hard time figuring out what exactly it is I'm attaching and what color it should be. details great but for it to be worth the eye catching appeal it is meant to have it needs to stand out by accenting the model in the right color. Not everything is haze gray and under way on the deck of a carrier. I have been looking at pictures of the kitty hawk to try and find images of the areas in question but finding a picture of a specific part of a ship or object on the ship that you don't know the name of has proved challenging.

So what are some of the ways you guys who are strict on authenticity do your research to ensure you are being accurate on color
 

urumomo

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So how many grays were on the Kearsarge ?
Cuz I think there was only one on the Roosevelt :D Of course it's been 30 years but I would have said the same thing back then .
It wasn't part of the Surface Warfare test , LOL .
 

Docbritofmf

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So how many grays were on the Kearsarge ?
Cuz I think there was only one on the Roosevelt :D Of course it's been 30 years but I would have said the same thing back then .
It wasn't part of the Surface Warfare test , LOL .
You had your haze gray for vertical surfaces, non skid gray for the weather decks and flight decks which sometimes varied in shade also keep in mind that the color of no skid is not an actual paint but an epoxy mixture.
Occasionally there would be a difference in grays based on the availability of mixture, the deck department guys would know this best but from my understanding these colors are mixed with a ratio of white black and blue
In historical battle ships how ever like the Arizona there was a gray blue color used which unfortunately based on the time most accounts of this color vary greatly and documentation regarding the mixture of such paint was lost, hard to come by or potentially not correct for the ship in question.
The Arizona was recently found to be a shade of blue gray believed to be called Mediterranean blue not haze gray like previously believed and the tops of the gun turrets were paint crimson red. The issue with this is that there are no Color photos of the ship to be refered to.
And lastly if we want to throw another odd ball there's the historic grate white fleet an sea camo.

I know my discussion of these paint colors isnt the best how ever there is another forum out there where a ex navy officer explains ship paint colors there uses and locations, I'll try and find the post and link it for those interested.

Next we will discuss aircraft color which is a can of worms in it's self
 

Docbritofmf

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Jun 10, 2021
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So I'm finishing up this model an while most of this model went smoothly I had a couple of snags, first a few of the fine detailed extra small parts have become quite a issue to attached, I switched to using super glue for these small parts for fear that plastic cement would melt these small detailed pieces and ruin there appearance because it would be to hard to get such a small amount of glue on them. How ever the crazy glue has been sticking to everything but my models surface ..

Due to this issue I lost a prop shaft and mounts and at the state the models in it's really hard to effectively handle it and attempt to reattach I'll either leave it off and deal with it or come up with a solution to mounting it I haven't decided yet..

Next up the water slide decals, for the most part this model doesn't require many decals how ever the decals it does include are the markings for the flight deck which are huge and thin and easily tangled up in the process and even harder to get perfect on flight deck because something as big as a 8inch straight line would look horrible if crooked.

During this process I lost one or two of the decals to tangles and another two to issues with adherence to the model when I was masking my own lines on the flight deck.

Also for the quality of the kit they did mess up slightly on some of the decals size a few were ment to outline the elevators on the deck and they were to small to properly outline so I had to cut them in half and make an out line sorta but it wasn't that great so I'm thinking I'm gonna remove some and leave others and go with painted lines instead.

Lastly I have one major complaint, so the model is 1/800 scale and I think they did a decent job with making sure the pieces were all sized properly except for one part set in preticular... The damn spotlights ... The spotlights on this ship are almost 3 times the size of the life boats and other objects which should be bigger or if not close in size.. I have never served on the kitty hawk but I've also never seen a spotlight 3 times my height in the Navy if this was scaled to real life. Seriously idk if this was a mistake or they really thought they were this big but compared to other parts that I have a real life size comparison these spotlights are huge.

Anyways that's my update an rant Ill post better pictures soon but I attached a few to give you all something to look at in the mean time PXL_20210617_212905193.jpg PXL_20210617_212910378.jpg PXL_20210617_212915148.jpg PXL_20210617_212921468.jpg PXL_20210617_212933248.jpg
Look at the spot lights on the super structure and the rear side of the hull.
 

Docbritofmf

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Jun 10, 2021
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The above is a work in progress still got alot of touch ups, redo those crap lines I tried to paint and finally ad the aircraft which I'm still trying to figure paint schemes on
 

urumomo

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That's not a searchlight , it's the fire control radar for those missiles .
All the photos from her decommissioning back to the 60's have 2 sets of either searchlights or optics ( both ? radar ? ) in that area - one above the other on sponsons on each side back there .
From 1961 :

CV-63-USS-Kitty-Hawk-241.jpg



From : https://www.seaforces.org/usnships/cv/CV-63-USS-Kitty-Hawk-4.htm

 
Last edited:

Docbritofmf

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Jun 10, 2021
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That's not a searchlight , it's the fire control radar for those missiles .
All the photos from her decommissioning back to the 60's have 2 sets of either searchlights or optics ( both ? ) in that area - one above the other on sponsons on each side back there .
From 1961 :

CV-63-USS-Kitty-Hawk-241.jpg



From : https://www.seaforces.org/usnships/cv/CV-63-USS-Kitty-Hawk-4.htm

That's a really good photo reference thank you that makes more sense, however I compared them to the Arizona search lights they are the exact same size and shape maybe a common part with similar appearance they decided not to change up?
 

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