USS Yorktown CV-5
By: Stephen Allen
This build represents the Yorktown in her appearance during October/November 1940. This was after the fitment of CXAM radar, and represents the ship's penultimate appearance in peacetime paint. Installation of the CXAM took place at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard and involved removing the four 0.50 cal guns carried in the foretop - these were refitted (in tubs at the ends of the flightdeck catwalks) at the end of November, just before Yorktown joined the Atlantic Fleet.
The colour scheme is the pre-war carrier scheme of standard navy gray on all vertical surfaces, mahogany-stained flight deck with yellow markings, and deck gray on most of the steel decks. Exceptions to the latter include overall standard navy gray for the flight deck catwalks and black rubber matting around the 5/38cal and 0.50 cal guns. The ship carries a prominent black 'Y' as an identification marking down each side of the funnel casing. Both the standard navy and deck gray are WEM colourcoat paints, while the 'mahogany' flight deck, yellow markings and black areas are various tints of Humbrol. The bottom paint is Floquil marine antifouling red.
I built the Yorktown using Loren Perry's excellent Gold Medal Models etch sheet designed specifically for this kit. The sheet is designed to be used with the standard kit and if you make changes to improve accuracy you will also need to modify some of the etched parts. In this case the railing around the stern needed to be cut to fit the new flight deck supports, the boat crane beside the island was cut down to tuck under the bridge platform, and I removed a few mm from the base of each of the hangar deck cranes so they would fit under the flight deck catwalks.
scratchbuilt the island, funnel casing and tripod foremast, incorporating the
appropriate GMM etched parts - the kit supplied island is woefully inaccurate
for ANY of the CV-5 class kits. I didn't fit the small cabin on the sky control
shown in some 1940 photos of Yorktown, as I'm not convinced it was there for
very long - I hedged my bets by building one but leaving it unattached. I also
cut off the section of the port side of the hull between the hangar and flight
deck and built up a sandwich of smooth and grooved plastic card to better depict
the closed roller shutters. The characteristic flight deck support bents fore
and aft were also built up from scratch, as the kit only provides single and
inaccurately located supports
in these locations. Other 'homemade' additions include additional motor launches
and open topped Mk 33 Directors moulded from resin, new 5/38 mounts built up
on the GMM supplied bases, and lots of additional detail around the hangar deck
galleries and the forecastle and stern areas, including some representative
supporting structure to the underside of the flightdeck catwalks and overhang
fore and aft. I even went mad and put some girder detail inside the opened hangar
bays fore and aft. Flags are courtesy of Dunagain Decals, and are flying from
the telescopic navigation masts fitted to this class of ship.
My representative 1940 airgroup includes Northrop BT-1s, converted from the kit-supplied SBDs, homemade Grumman F3F fighters, and Douglas TBDs, in resin from White Ensign. The three-bladed props and wheels are from the Gold Medal Models etched sheet for Yorktown, while all the other small details are from White Ensign sheets. Thanks are due to all the SMMLies who responded to my post earlier this year about techniques for painting aircraft canopies on small aircraft.
Copyright © SMML 2002