the "time period" is as important as the "what"
to model. The "time period" in the ships life
decide to model determines many factors.
Over the years, Navies frequently change or update their ships.
Picking a time period in the ships life will determine what
weapons, sensors and other items you will need to add to
your model. For example, lets say that you were to
model the USS MISSOURI
(BB-63). This ship has had a long and
service life. You can model it in a WWII
configuration or a 1980's configuration. Although
this is a drastic difference, some modelers often fall
into a trap of not paying attention to the details.
Using several pictures of a ship in several different
points in it it's service life can cause you problems.
Pay attention to the details. Don't mismatch. For
the USS Antietam, I will model it as she appeared in the
1990's before the end of the Cold War.
It is important to note that as the building of the CG-52
Baseline and later
of ships progressed, additional equipment was added, and the detailed placement
of some equipment changed from ship to ship. I would therefore recommend that
further research will be necessary in the form of photographs to aide you in the
detailing of the ship you wish to model.
reviewing pictures and plans, you may find yourself
dreaming of all the items you will want to add to your model.
Some of these items you may want to "work" on your
model. Making items animate, move, work or
whatever you call it, can be fun. It also is a
double edged sword. It cuts both ways.
Making items move is good, but it can also be bad.
making something move on your model be a bad thing?
Often it's not what moves that's a bad thing, but how
the modeler makes it move. An example is the
AN/SPS-49 Air Search
Radar on the Ticonderoga Class cruisers. I've seen
modelers who have made this radar move with the use of a
wire. This wire is fed up
through the deck to the radar platform on the rear of
the main mast. This wire is left visible and
doesn't look like it's part of the main mast. This
takes away from the scale fidelity of the model.
Are you willing to sacrifice the scale accuracy of your
model to animate something? I'm not.
Making the AN/SPS-49
Air Search Radar rotate is a good idea, but do it with a
hidden radar drive system. This can be done by
using a tiny drive motor mounted to the AN/SPS-49 Air
the MK 45 5"/54 Caliber
Lightweight Gun Mounts rotate would be a good option.
Even making the gun barrels elevate would also be a good
option. Some modelers take this option one step
too far. They make the gun barrel shot water.
I see this as a cheap gimmick
that losses interest quickly but does have a good purpose
of only entertaining the kids. I recommend that you
scale fidelity of the
Rockets... for some reason modelers want to launch
model rockets or fireworks from model ships. The
model I am building here gives me a great opportunity to
add working, launching missiles from the VLS. Even
with the years of experience that I have in model rockets,
will not combine model ships and model rockets.
It's too dangerous. Unless you have a working
knowledge of rocket design (center of gravity, center of
pressure, weights and thrust), I would highly recommend
that you forget the idea. Do you want to be
held responsible for any damage that you may do with your
rockets that have been launched from your model ship?
What are you going to do if one of your rockets hurts
someone? Not worth it!
1/100 scale model kits offer parts that can be used on
this model. Take a look at Warship Models Underway!
Look at the gallery for some ideas of what other
modelers have done with their models.