Because of their long service, many dreadnought battleships underwent repeated modifications and reconstructions in order to keep them in effective use. Pre-World War I U.S. Navy dreadnoughts had several minor modifications done during, and at the end of that war, before either going out of service, or being reconstructed. The TEXAS and NEW YORK both had cosmetic changes during the war. The Navis model (N 305) of these ships represents the ships as built. To have a model of the ships, circa 1918, one must do some modifications to the Navis model.


USS Texas During Refit
Texas1914PJ.jpg (44146 bytes) texas1919-1PJ.jpg (86525 bytes) texas1919-2PJ.jpg (82010 bytes)
texas1919-3PJ.jpg (78323 bytes) texas1919-4PJ.jpg (82508 bytes) Texas1919PJ.jpg (67331 bytes)

These modifications can easily be seen in the photos, because they show up as white plastic. One exception to that is the tub on top of each of the large boat cranes. The shield is black, having been cut from a black drinking straw! The most complicated changes involve modifications to the bridge and armored conning tower. The latter must be reduced in height but expanded, while the bridge requires enclosure and various other changes. In addition, each mast requires the addition of a large enclosed octagonal platform. Rather than slice off the mast and insert it, I instead cut a solid piece and then punched a hole in the center. The hole was such that when the solid piece was cut in half, each curved half of the hole fit the mast, and the two halves came together as one. Any small cracks or gaps were filled with putty and after sanding, the platform looked perfect. Searchlights needed to be relocated. Cutting off the searchlights atop the two large boat cranes will provide four lights, and those, combined with the ones already on the masts, will supply the need. Gun directors had to be added, and a variety of other small changes made. TEXAS had a flying off platform placed on the #2 turret, which adds more interest, so this model represents her, circa 1918-19. The airplane is an old Navis Sopwith Camel.

The model was airbrushed with PollyScale Neutral Grey, then the deck hand painted with Aged Concrete. The windows and markings at the bases of turrets 2 and 4 are black decals, applied in one long strip. The lines on the decals were painted on before the decals were put into water, which makes the task easier. After the decals were melted on with Solvaset, the model was sprayed with Testors Dullcote.


USS Texas 1919, After Refit
Texas1919-8PJ.jpg (68787 bytes) Texas1919-6PJ.jpg (59778 bytes) Texas1919-7PJ.jpg (111874 bytes)
Texas1919-5PJ.jpg (79541 bytes) Texas1919-10PJ.jpg (79609 bytes) Texas1919-9PJ.jpg (51898 bytes)

In order to do the modification, one needs good resource materials. In that regard, I found the Leeward Publications SHIP’S DATA #6, U.S.S. TEXAS particularly valuable. This book is long out of print, but can be found second hand. One must be particularly careful with regard to research here, as photos of the ship in 1921 for instance, show still further, though minor modifications from 1918-19.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________