CONVERSION PROJECTS

A conversion project is the modifying of a ship model to the configuration of another ship in the same class. This can be one of the most enjoyable parts of collecting 1:1200 models and enables you to add more ships to your collection. Following are suggested projects and the instructions for completing them. It helps also to have photos of the ships with which you are working. Painting references and modeling techniques can be found in The Painters Guide to World War II Naval Camouflage as well as other books carried by Alnavco. Remember, if you break a part such as a turret, crane, etc., Alnavco will replace it free upon request. If you damage a hull, simply return it and Alnavco will replace it free of charge. So convert without fear! Oh and one other thing: If you decide to do a conversion project, send us a list of parts that you will need to complete the project when you order the kit that you will convert. We'll include them free!

Conversions by Wayne Smith, Consultant to Alnavco

KONGO TO HARUNA 1944

Using an X-acto knife, remove the barrels from the two forward most 6" guns on each side of the ship. Remove the outer stack of boats on each side of the forward funnel. Remove the bevel around the top of the forward funnel so that the funnel is flush all the way down. Using your file, lower the top of the funnel so that it is level with the after funnel. Mount a second pair of 5"/40 mounts in place of the boats on the main deck. Using epoxy putty, fill in the area between the after most control station and the after funnel. Use drawings and pictures from reference materials to shape this area properly.

MASSACHUSETTS TO SOUTH DAKOTA

This is a more extensive conversion requiring much work and building many of your own parts. Smooth out the center 5"/38 base on each side of the ship abreast the funnel. Remove the quad 40mm mounts on the after deck. Remove the quad 40mm mounts abreast the second funnel on the main deck. Remove the single 20mm mounts on the forepeak. Place three single 20mm guns on what used to be the center 5"/38 mounts. One level above this on the 20mm gallery level, a quad 40mm gun is mounted abreast the funnel. Place a quad 40mm mount above and between the 40mm mounts on the after superstructure. Place a quad 40mm mount at the forepeak. Numerous 20mm mounts are arranged in an open "U" on the stern deck.

YAMATO TO YAMATO 1941

This is another extensive conversion returning the Yamato to her original configuration. You must remove the entire 01 level upon which the three lower 5"/40 guns are mounted. Almost all the 25mm guns must also be removed. Using washers for barbettes, mount one on either side of the funnel below and between the two forward most 5"/40 mounts. Use the round 5/40 guns in the tubs instead of the open Mk 89s.

DUNKERQUE TO STRASBURG

STRASBURG was an improved DUNKERQUE with better armor and a two level bridge. Remove the searchlight platform and the small platform below it at the top rear of the superstructure tower. Using a putty epoxy, construct a second level directly on top of the existing bridge. Use pictures and drawings to shape the two level bridge.

RICHELIEU TO CLEMENCEAU

Remove all 40mm mounts carefully for future conversions. Carefully remove the twin 4" mounts on either side of the ship. Using appropriate sized washers, glue one in their place upon which 3x6" mounts will be placed. Remove the 6" barbettes on the either side of the after end of the hull. Replace them with one 6" barbette and turret. Replace the 4" twin mounts appropriately in front of the forward superstructure and along the main deck aft.

Conversions by Douglas Knowlton

Albuquerque, New Mexico

ABUKUMA 44

Like most of the NAGARA class light cruisers ABUKUMA had 5”/40 DP twin mounts replacing #7 5.5” gun mount, removal of the catapult and #5 mount as well as augmentation of lighter AA during the war. ABUKUMA had a slightly different appearance from her sisters and so is covered here separately.

Materials needed:

1-5”/40 “open” twin mount (Available from Superior’s YAMATO parts kit)

4- Triple 25mm mounts (retrieved from other conversions.)

3-Twin 25mm mounts

Conversion:

1. ABUKUMA had a “yacht” type bow, similar to YUBARI and the “A” class (8” gunned) cruisers. Do this by carefully filing and shaping the bow but maintaining the top and waterline areas of the bow, filing the convex area in between into a slight concave bulging slightly out again above the waterline. Then slim the sides of the bow back to a sharp prow.

2. The ABUKUMA had her 4 twin torpedo tubes replaced by quadruple 24” mounts. The quad mounts were placed aft of the funnels at the same location as the previous twins, so no modeling changes there. The well deck for the forward twin mounts abreast the second funnel was plated over. Fill in, shape and smooth over welldeck areas with filler

3. Remove no. #5 and #7 5.5” gun mounts and catapult. Care must be taken as #6 gun barrel is attached to the catapult. Install the 5”/40 twin where #7 gun had been.

4. Make a small platform about 3/32” high from the catapult base and install just between where the catapult base and #5 mount previously were and attach a triple 25mm on top. Attach one triple 25mm on the quarter-deck just aft of #7 mount position. and one on each beam just above the rear of the aft torpedo launch openings in the side plating.

5. Install twin 25mm guns on each beam abreast the first funnel on the filled in well deck just forward of the motor boats and one on the centerline tower just aft of the funnels.

6. Make a rectangular radar screen about 1/8” wide, remove director from atop upper control top on foremast, and place there. This is your type 21 radar.

In addition, single 25mms were sighted as follows: 3 in triangular formation on the stern, 2 on each beam just forward of the twin 25mms over the filled in well decks, 1 on each beam between #2 gun mount and the bridge and two on the platform on the front of the bridge structure. (total of 11.)

History: ABUKUMA was flagship DesRon 1 for Nagumos carriers during the Pearl Harbour, Darwin and Indian Ocean raids. She then served in the Aleutian campaign until 1944. ABUKUMA was sunk after Shima’s aborted attempt to enter Surgio Strait during the Leyte Gulf battles by Army bombers on 26 October, 1944.

NAGARA 44

All except YURA of the NAGARA class light cruisers had 5”/40 DP twin mounts replacing #7 5.5” gun mount, removal of the catapult and #5 mount as well as augmentation of lighter AA during the war. ABUKUMA had a slightly different appearance and is covered separately. ISUZU was later converted to an anti-aircraft cruiser as modeled by Superior.

Materials needed:

1-5”/40 “open” twin mount (Available from Superior’s YAMATO parts kit)

2- Triple 25mm mounts (retrieved from other conversions.)

6-Twin 25mm mounts

Conversion:

1. Remove no. #5 and #7 5.5” gun mounts and catapult. Care must be taken as #6 gun barrel is attached to the catapult.

2. The NAGARA had her 4 twin torpedo tubes replaced by quadruple 24” mounts. The quad mounts were placed aft of the funnels at the same location as the previous twins, so no modeling changes there. The well deck for the forward twin mounts abreast the second funnel was plated over. Fill in, shape and smooth over welldeck areas with filler (plastic steel, bondo etc.)

3. Install the 5”/40 twin where #7 gun had been.

4. Make a small platform about 3/32” high from the catapult base and install just between where the catapult base and #5 mount previously were and attach a triple 25mm on top. Attach another triple 25mm on the quarter-deck just aft of #7 mount position.

5. Install two twin 25mm guns on each beam just above the aft torpedo tube launching opening in the side plating. Install twin 25mm guns on each beam abreast the first funnel on the area of the filled in well deck and forward of the motor boats.

6. Make a rectangular radar screen about 1/8” wide, remove range finder from atop the bridge and place there. This is your type 21 radar.

In addition, single 25mms were sighted as follows: 2 just aft of #7 mount on quarter-deck, two abreast the mainmast on aftershelter deck extension, 1 on the starboard beam of the triple 25mm tower, 2 on each beam just forward of the twin 25mm on the filled in well decks, and one each abeam but slightly abaft of #1, #2 gun mounts and the front of the bridge. (total of 13.)

History: NAGARA was assigned to Sentai 16 with NATORI and KINU, participating separately in the invasion of the Philippines and then the Dutch Indies. In April 1942 She was assigned as flagship of DesRon 10 for Nagumos carriers during the Midway operation and also fought in the sea battles of Guadacanal. She was then assigned as flagship to Desrons 4, 2 and finally DesRon 11. She survived the attacks on Truk but was finally sunk by submarine torpedoes on 7 August 1944 after leaving Okinawa.

NAKA 43

Of the SENDAI class light cruisers, NAKA had the most extensive wartime modifications, a 5”/40 DP twin mount replacing the #5 5.5” gun mount, quadruple 24” torpedo tubes installed, as well as augmentation of lighter AA. NAKA and JINSTU both had some appearance differences from SENDAI as well.

Materials needed:

1-5”/40 “open” twin mount (Available from Superior’s YAMATO parts kit)

2- Triple 25mm mounts (retrieved from other conversions.)

2-Twin 25mm mounts

Conversion:

1. NAKA and JINSTU had a “yacht” type bow, similar to YUBARI and the “A” class (8” gunned) cruisers. I did this on the model by carefully filing and shaping the bow by maintaining top and waterline area of the bow and filing the convex area in between to a slight concave bulging slightly out again above the waterline. I then slimmed the sides of the bow back to a sharp prow.

2. Raise the first funnel height by about 1/16”. This can be done by making an cylindrical extension then gluing and shaping to the funnel.

3. The NAKA had her 4 twin torpedo tubes replaced by quadruple 24” mounts. The quad mounts were placed aft of the fourth funnel at the same location as the previous twins, so no modeling changes there. The well deck for the forward twin mounts abreast the second funnel was plated over. Fill in, shape and smooth over welldeck areas with filler (plastic steel, bondo etc.)

4. Remove no. #5 5.5” gun mount. Install the 5”/40 twin where the #5 gun had been.

5. Attach triple 25mms; one on each beam just aft of the ships launches and above the torpedo tube openings in the sides. Install twin 25mm guns on each beam abreast the second funnel on the area of the filled in well deck and forward of the large whaleboats.

6. Make a rectangular radar screen about 1/8” wide, remove director from atop upper control top on foremast, and place there. This is your type 21 radar.

7. Cut a pin about 3/4” long and extend aft at an angle from the base of the mainmast. This is the crane.

History: NAKA was the flagship of DesRon 4, participating in the invasion of the Philippines and then the Dutch Indies. She and her destroyers had just left Balikpapan to search for a Dutch submarine when four US 4 pipers made their famous attack on her convoy. NAKA also was at the Battle of Java Sea. In April 1943, NAKA was assigned with ISUZU to Sentai 14 and based at Truk performing various escort and transport duties in the area. She was sunk during Task Forces 58 raids on Truk and vicinity on 17 February 1944.

TAMA 44

Of the KUMA class light cruisers, both TAMA and KISO had 5”/40 DP twin mounts replacing #7 5.5” gun mount, removal of catapults and #5 mount as well as augmentation of lighter AA. KISO’s bridge structure and other details varied greatly from the others so the easiest conversion is TAMA.

Materials needed:

1-5”/40 “open” twin mount (Available from Superior’s YAMATO parts kit)

5- Triple 25mm mounts (retrieved from other conversions.)

4-Twin 25mm mounts

Conversion:

1. Remove no. #5 and #7 5.5” gun mounts and catapult. Care must be taken as #6 gun barrel is attached to the catapult.

2. TAMA’s after shelter deck was extended to starboard rather than port as on KUMA. You can cut out the port side of the after shelter deck to match the models starboard side, then fill in and shape starboard side with filler (plastic steel, bondo etc.)

3. Install the 5”/40 twin where #7 gun had been.

4. Make a small platform about 3/32” high from catapult base and install just between where the catapult base and #5 mount previously were and attach a triple 25mm on top. Attach triple 25mms; one on quarter-deck just aft of #7 mount position, one on top of blockhouse just forward of #7 gun, and one on each beam abreast of where # 5 gun was.

5. Install twin 25mm guns on each beam just fore and aft of the launches.

6. Make a rectangular radar screen about 1/8” wide, remove range finder from upper control top on foremast, and place there. This is your type 21 radar.

In addition, single 25mms were sighted as follows: 4 around #7 mount on quarter-deck, one just forward on aftershelter deck extension, 2 on each beam just about where the forward launches are on the model, 2 abreast on top of the deckhouse between 1st and 2nd funnel, and one on each beam just forward of the bridge.

Painting: TAMA was one of the few IJN warships adorned with camouflage pattern during her career, and several pictures exist of her with white and grey schemes while with the North Pacific fleet.

History: TAMA served in the 21st Cruiser Squadron with KISO in the North Pacific fleet. They were involved heavily in the Aleutian campaign, TAMA participating in the Battle of Komandorski Islands. They then operated out of Truk in late 1943. In August 1944 TAMA was transferred to be the flagship of DesRon 11, and was sunk while accompanying Ozawa Northern decoy fleet at Leyte Gulf.

Conversions done by other Alnavco customers

ROYAL SOVEREIGN TO ROYAL OAK

There was very little difference in the armament of the two ships. The major changes will be in the light AA and superstructure. You will need: an index card, a catapult, two pins, epoxy for plastic steel.

First, file or cutoff all 20mm tubs including those on the top of the turret. Now file off the cap on the funnel and file until the top is horizontal. On the funnel you will notice a line. File down to this. Next construct a tripod mainmast with your two pins. This should join a pole at a height equal to the center of the forward fighting top. Remove the rangefinder aft of your new tripod.

While you are waiting for the mast to dry, take the "X" turret (nearest the mainmast) and file a wedge on the raised strip at the back of the turret. Bond the catapult to the top of "X" turret. It should not overhang the rear of the turret or protrude over the front of the guns. Now comes the fun part. Take your index card and cut out a 3/8" square. Place a hole in the center of it. Slide the whole thing down over the mainmast until it rests on the top of the tripod. If you have a little piece of scrap lying around, you can file it down and place it on the platform forward of the point where the mast comes thru it. The last thing we have to do id to get the range finder halfway up the tripod mast facing aft. It should be about level with the top of the smokestack. To do this, cut out a triangle with a small projection on one of the faces. Getting this to fit inside will be trial and error but don't lose your cool. Make sure the projection is pointed aft. Let the construction dry, then add the range finder. Clean up the ship and paint.

An additional note: The Superior model of the ROYAL SOVEREIGN is similar to REVENGE. If you want an accurate REVENGE, add a searchlight to your pole mast. (Steve Conrad, Glenside, PA; Reprinted from the June 1972 Alnavco LOG)

ROYAL SOVEREIGN TO ROYAL OAK (II)

Historical Background

With fears of an oil shortage crippling the Royal Navy, the 1912 programme REVENGE (subsequent generations know them as ROYAL SOVEREIGN's), class was designed with a mixture of oil and coal-fired boilers, a retrogression from the earlier, larger and faster QUEEN ELIZABETH battleships. Armor and armament were better disposed in the R class. Still, the secondary 6" guns were too close to the waterline. First Sea Lord Admiral Jackie Fischer's return to the Admiralty resulted in the design being altered to fuel oil only with speed increased to 23 knots.

During their careers, subsequent retrofits included torpedo bulges, heavier AA, fire control at the expense of decreasing speed to 21.5 knots. Unlike her four sisters, ROYAL OAK served with the Grand Fleet's 4th Battle Squadron at Jutland. After WWI, she joined the Atlantic Fleet until 1922. After her refit, she rejoined the Atlantic Fleet before being transferred to The Mediterranean Fleet (1926-1934). Overhauled 1934-1935, she served with the Home Fleet until 14 October 1939 when Gunther Prien's U47 slipped into Scapa Flow and torpedoed her, sinking her along with 786 officers and crew.

Conversion

The parts you'll need for converting ROYAL SOVEREIGN to ROYAL OAK are: (1) A Superior ROYAL SOVEREIGN kit (2) Foremast from a Superior MALAYA (3) 2 x 32' boats (4) wire (5) catapult. If done with care, you'll not only add a unique model to your collection, but also have 20-20mm AA guns and 2-4 barrel pompom guns as spare parts for other projects.

  1. Since ROYAL OAK succumbed early in the war, she was never refitted with 20mm AA guns. So carefully remove all AA guns from the 15" turrets and all 20mm guns from the hull and superstructure. This yields 16-20mm guns from the hull alone. Remove all "flash" from the hull and turrets.
  2. When sunk, ROYAL OAK had an after shelter deckhouse built atop her after superstructure. Cutting horizontally, saw (or file) away everything from the aft conning position towards the ship's boats.
  3. Remove the cowl from the funnel by sawing or filing.
  4. Using liquid metal, bondo or modeling putty, build up and after shelter deckhouse (approx: 1/5" tall x 7/20" long) in a trapezoid shape from the area where you cut in Step 2. Allow the filling material to set and then file flush.
  5. Drill a hole in the built up after superstructure deck for the foremast. Also drill a hole to the portside of the foremast for the crane.
  6. Install the foremast. Since ROYAL SOVEREIGN had a tripod foremast, drill two holes in the built-up superstructure deck and cur wires for the tripod legs to fit. These wires should reach from the deck up to the base of the gaff. Glue in place.
  7. Install the crane then glue one ship's boat to port and the other to starboard atop the built-up superstructure.
  8. Drill a hole to the extreme right side of "C" turret and install the catapult.
  9. Assemble and complete by priming and painting. Early war Home Fleet battleships were painted dark gray.

For excellent line drawings, see Breyer's Battleships of the World 1906-1970 and Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921 among others. (By Gary Yee, Reprinted from the August 1997 Alnavco LOG)

TENNESSEE 1944 TO CALIFORNIA 1944

The CALIFORNIA served with the Pacific Fleet throughout most of her career. At Pearl Harbor she received two torpedo and three bomb hits, sinking on an ever keel in shallow water. She was raised in March 1942, transferred to Bremerton, WA and modernized at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. She rejoined the fleet in February 1944 and supplied gunfire support for the invasions of Saipan, Guam and Tinian during July and August of that year. She was present for the invasion of Leyte and took part in the battle of Surigao Straits on 25 October 1944. In January 1945, she supported the invasion of Luzon where she was damaged by Kamikaze aircraft, After undergoing repairs, she supported the invasion of Okinawa and was placed in reserve at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in February 1947. She was stricken from the Navy list in 1959 and broken up in 1960.

The conversion of the Superior model of TENNESSEE 1944 to CALIFORNIA (1944) is very simple. All that will be needed is a kit for the TENNESSEE 1944 and four-4x40mm AA mounts. The following are the steps to follow:

  1. Using an X-Acto knife, remove the 3-20mm AA guns which are located on either side of the funnel between the two 4x30mm AA mounts.
  2. Smooth this area with either a file or razor and mount one 4-40mm AA tub in place of these 20mm guns.
  3. Using a razor blade, remove the 2-20mm AA guns mounted on either side, inboard of the last twin 5" AA turret (Do not remove the 2-20mm guns located aft of the last twin 5" AA turret.)
  4. Smooth this area with a file or knife and mount one 4-40mm AA mount on each side where these 20mm AA guns had been.
  5. Complete the ship by mounting the 5" guns, the 14" guns, the cranes, catapults, etc.

(By the late Dr. Mike Musser, Orange, TX; Reprinted from the Fall, 1975 Alnavco LOG)

MASSACHUSETTS TO INDIANA

The USS INDIANA was laid down 20 November 1941 at Newport News, VA. She was launched 21 November 1941 and was completed in April, 1942. She served throughout WWII in the Pacific, seeing duty from November 1942 until 1943 in the Coral Sea-Guadalcanal area. In August 1943, she operated in the Marcus Islands area, in November in the Gilbert Islands and in January 1944 she supported the invasion of Kwajalein. In May 1944, INDIANA supported the carrier raids on Truk followed by raids on Ponape and Saipan. In June of that year she took part in The Battle of the Philippine Sea. In late 1944 and early 1945 she supported raids against Iwo Jima, Honshu and Okinawa. Following repairs made necessary by damaged from a typhoon, she supported carrier raids on the Japanese home islands. In 1946 she was decommissioned, deleted from the Navy list, sold for scrap in 1963 and broken up in 1964.

Why convert to INDIANA instead of SOUTH DAKOTA or ALABAMA? The main reason is that INDIANA had the fewest 4x40mm AA guns of any of the four ships in the class. As such, the extra 4-40mm guns can be removed and used to make other conversions. The parts needed are a model of the MASSACHUSETTS and some 20mm AA guns which I obtained from other conversions (Note: Alnavco can supply 20mm for conversion projects). So here's how you do it.

  1. Using a thin Dremel saw or sharp razor blade, remove the following 4-40mm AA mounts from the MASSACHUSETTS: The two located at the bow forward of the "A" turret; The two located on the main deck, one on either side of the "B" turret; The two located forward on the main deck, one on each side, forward of the "Y" turret. Care should be taken that these are not damaged so they can be used in later conversions.
  2. Using the combination of the Dremel saw blade and an X-Acto knife, remove the tray of 6-20mm guns located on the port side just aft of the funnel. Cut this tray of six into two sets of three each.
  3. Using either the Dremel or X-Acto knife, remove the two single 20mm mount and the 4x40mm mount from top of both 16" turrets.
  4. Using either the disc sanding wheels or a drum sander of the Dremel tool and using a file for the finishing work, smooth all areas from which AA guns have been removed.
  5. Mount a single 20mm AA gun which had been removed from the top of the 16" turrets, where each of the 4x40mm which had been located forward of the "A" turret were previously located.
  6. Mount three 20mm AA guns on top of the "B" and "Y" turrets.
  7. Mount three 20mm AA guns where the 4-40mm mounts on each side of the "B" turret had been.
  8. Mount three 20mm AA guns where the 4x40mm mounts on the main deck forward of the "Y" turret had been.

All that's left to do now is paint your model. This is an easy conversion and will give you another ship for your collection. It will also give you ten 4-40mm mounts to use in other conversions. (By the late Dr. Mike Musser, Orange, TX; Reprinted from the Fall, 1975 Alnavco LOG)

CUMBERLAND TO CORNWALL & BERWICK

The British heavy cruisers CUMBERLAND, SUFFOLK, CORNWALL and BERWICK were all members of the KENT class. Between 1935 and 1938, CUMBERLAND and SUFFOLK were cut down by one deck abaft the main battery turret to compensate for the additional weight imposed by the addition of an aircraft hanger. This was not done to CORNWALL and BERWICK.

Superior's model of CUMBERLAND appears to be as re-constructed. It can be converted to CORNWALL/BERWICK by building up the stern section with Plastic Steel. This was done several applications to assist in curing. When you have built up the stern section to deck level, making certain it is as wide as the rest of the hull, set the model aside for several days to assure proper drying of the Plastic Steel. Then carefully file the area to conform to the proper contour of the hull. Smooth with steel wool and/or emery paper. Note that the stern line as viewed from the side has a slight rake inward starting at the waterline and sloping in toward the deck. Paint and you have in your collection a CORNWALL or BERWICK .

(By Steve Harman; Reprinted from the March, 1969 Alnavco LOG)

REVENGE CLASS CONVERSIONS

The REVENGE class of British battleships was not treated to the same major refits and rebuilding as the QUEEN ELIZABETH class. However, variations do exist between the ships of that class, Most are rather subtle in nature and generally can not be accomplished in the small scale in which we work. But researching Parks' British Battleships, the following can be established:

  1. Two ships, RESOLUTION and ROYAL OAK, carried pole after masts at the end of WWII.
  2. RAMILLES and ROYAL OAK (at the time of the sinking of the latter) carried tripod after masts.
  3. All ships had various AA configurations.

I converted a Superior ROYAL SOVEREIGN into RAMILLES based for the most part on the photo in Parks, op. cit page 584. The steps were:

  1. Construct an aft tripod mast using straight pins (heads cut off). The vertex of the tripod should occur about in line with the bottom of the main control top.
  2. Remove the after rangefinder carefully and save for remounting.
  3. Make a small platform to carry the rangefinder removed in item #2. I used brass shim stock which can be cut with scissors. A small "ear" or extension of the platform will be needed so cut a triangle with the side legs longer than the base. Mount the platform between the legs of the tripod about half way up with the ear extending aft and mount the rangefinder on the ear from item #2. The dimensions of the platform must be found by trial and error.
  4. Add twin Bofors on the turret crowns behind the existing AA (already cast in). Where do you get the Bofors? Well, I made mine by cutting down standard U.S. 40mm in tubs. (Cut the tubs off.)
  5. It would appear, but not for certain, that RAMILLIES carried only two AA mounts at the stern. I removed the stern-most pair.
  6. A small projection behind the mainmast and the con at the clinker screen should be removed to provide a true RAMILLIES but this can not be established for certain.

In any event, fellow buffs, there is another ship for your collection if the spirit moves you and you agree with me that the conversion is sufficiently accurate. While doing the research for the RAMILLIES conversion, I happened to see a picture of the VALIANT that looked different from her sister ship QUEEN ELIZABETH and this lead to another conversion. If we take the Superior QE as the base, the only modification is the after tripod mast. Here I removed this mast and replaced it with a pole. There appears to be no other changes. According to Parks op.cit., this is the way she fought in WWII.

There is one more possible conversion of a QUEEN ELIZABETH to a VALIANT as she appeared at war's end. She never did anything but sit in Devonport and was used for stoker mechanic's training. The steps are:

  1. Remove the forward tripod mast. This is a tricky business so be careful and remove all gear from the conning tower roof.
  2. Remove the launches from around the stack. You have to be careful here also.
  3. Construct a tripod mast free standing as in KING GEORGE V and install it between the conning tower and the funnel.
  4. Now you have to fabricate parts for the conning tower roof. Using KGV as the base reference, construct the top gear in the same configuration. I used a U.S. 5" 38 turret as the director but modified it as follows:

A. Cut off the gun barrels.

B. File a bevel on front.

C. File the back flat

D. Cut two thin pieces of 1/16" bar stock and bond on the sides of the director

E. Bond onto roof of the conning tower.

The British radar "lanterns" gave me some trouble. I finally decided to use 1/8" round stock 3/32" long and bonded them to a piece of 1/8" x 1/4" rectangular bar stock about 5/16" long. I then bonded the whole thing to the roof of the conning tower. You would need KGV parts for the above.

By the way, brass bar stock, shim stock and the like is available in good model shops who cater to the model train buff who likes to build his own engines, HO and N gauge trains are not all that different in size to the stuff we work in, If the guy who runs the shop is friendly, ask him if he has any bits and pieces laying around. These could possibly be modified for ship parts. (By Phil Richard, Philadelphia, PA; Reprinted from the December 1969 Alnavco LOG)

MOGAMI TO MIKUMA

A while back I acquired five of the secondary turrets for YAMATO. I wasn't sure what I could use them for but then I came across a drawing of MIKUMA as she was originally designed showing her with 15 -6.1" guns. So I set about converting one of my MOGAMI's to do this rig.

Step #1 was of course to removed the five 8" turrets and set them aside. Step #2 requires careful removal of the catapults with a razor saw and saving them for remounting in their original position. The catapults must be removed prior to step #3 which is sawing off the cabin launches placed just inboard of the forward ends of the catapult. These launches are to be placed later along side the aftermost high-angle directors abeam the fore quadapod.

Step #4 consists of filing off all the light flak guns with the exception of those mounted on the bridge structure and the four circular mounts cast two to a side by the stack and after stack housing.

Step #5 is in three parts all of which consist mainly of sawing, a bit of measuring, some epoxying, filing and drilling. The first part is to saw off the small beveled deckhouse aft of the aft superstructure and set it aside for remounting. The second part is to carefully saw off the barbette of "A" turret using the razor saw and once removed, moving it ahead approximately 1/8" from its original position. Mark its new location for remounting and epoxying to the hull. This is also the time for part 3 which is filling of the original mounting hole for the stalk of "A" 8" turret and when the epoxy has cured, filing it smooth and filing away any "squeeze- ut" around the "A" turret barbette. The reason for re-locating the "A" turret barbette is to allow clearance for the barrels of "B" 6.1" turret when it is remounted.

Step #6 consists of the last bit of cutting on the model itself. All that is required is to saw off the small "wings" on the aftermost superstructure and then filing the resultant stubs to the contours of the superstructure.

Step #7 concerns the preparation of the aftermost turrets for mounting, As cast, the YAMATO secondaries have a pyramidal-shaped aerials just forward of the rangefinders of the turret tops. It is necessary that they be sawed and filed off the turrets selected for mounting in "A", "B" and "Y" positions to allow clearance for superfiring. The aerials and rangefinders should be left on the turrets selected for "C" and "X" positions. After the removal of the aerials and rangefinders, "A", "B" and "Y" turrets should be filed flat and smoothed to a more or less square section.

Step #8 concerns assembly. Begin by replacing the catapults in their original positions and epoxying them. Next, epoxy the cabin launches outboard of the number two high angle directors and then epoxy the small beveled deck house between the bridge and the "C" turret with the beveled side facing aft. Next, make and aircraft crane for attachment to the center leg of the aft tripod. I used the boom from a DIXIE crane for this. When cut away from the housing, it measures 9/16" which is the right scale length. The crane arm should be epoxyed at a 10 to 12 degree angle, immediately above the aft superstructure. An inverted 6" turret serves as an admirable brace for the crane arm while the epoxy is curing.

Step #9: File away any "squeeze-out" of epoxy from the assembled parts, ream out the barbettes to accept the larger stalks of the YAMATO secondaries, mount the turrets, crimp the stalks and paint the model.

All things considered, I feel this conversion provides and intriguing variation of the basic MOGAMI design, all the more so as there is only one other class of light cruiser that can meet it anywhere near equal terms. That is the BROOKLYN class which as rated in SEAPOWER, is six knots slower and shorter legged by 3500 yards in the gunnery department. In point of fact, MIKUMA is almost a small "pocket battleship" in that any ship that can hurt it, can't catch it and that any ship that can catch it, can't hurt it. (By James W, Jenkins Jr.; Reprinted from the September 1971 Alnavco LOG)

CHOKAI TO CHOKAI 1938

  1. Cut of the mainmast.
  2. Cut of file all 25mm AA guns with the exception of the two on either side of the 2nd funnel. (Note: CHOKAI had three funnels). I filed the triple 25mm in front of the "A" turret to form a hatchway.
  3. Cut away the searchlight platforms on the sides of the structure between 2nd and 3rd funnels. Save for repositioning.
  4. File off rib (walk) on top of the aforementioned structure.
  5. Cut some pins to the lengths of 2 3/4" and 2 1/2".
  6. Place 1/2" pins in between the bows of the launches and the sides of the after shelter deck (on top of the forward section of the hanger). Place one 3/4" pin about 1/8" aft of the bases of the 3/4" pins (center it). Glue pins to form tripod; 3/4" pin should be at 90 degree angle. Place 1/2" pins on both sides of the 3/4" pin. A thin wire around them will hold them together and can serve as a small platform.
  7. Glue two single 25mm guns on flat platforms (deck) on each side of the No. 3 funnel. These 25mm's were part of the guns cut off in Step #2. An X-Acto knife is good for this.
  8. Use the last 3/4" pin as a crane with the base at the base of the mainmast (facing aft). Angle is optional.
  9. Glue searchlight platforms (mentioned in Step #3) approximately 1mm (center, 1/16") from the sides of the ship about halfway between the 4.7" gun mounts

Finish up and paint. A good research source is the plan on page 92 of Ian Allen's Japanese Warships of World War II. (By Douglas k. Knowlton, Manyfarms, AZ; Reprinted from the March 1992 Alnavco LOG)

End