This is my 1/350 scale USS New Orleans, converted from Trumpeter's 1944 San Francisco . She is depicted as she looked in 1945 after her last refit at Mare Island Naval Yard.. Outwardly the ships of the New Orleans class look very similar to one another but are very different in the details, this is where my research material was so important. The Trumpeter kit was a disappointment for me but with the scratch-building needed to convert it to New Orleans it's an alright starting point. After studying my references I found out just how much the two ships differed from each other so I didn't know if I could pull of this conversion as I've never done scratch-building to this degree before. Thanks to my drawings, digital calipers and my printer which I used to reduce sections of the 1/192 scale drawings to 1/350 scale, I managed to make new parts fairly easily. Here is my list of scratch-built, modified and aftermarket parts:  

Scratch-built:
Fore an Aft superstructures w/2 kit parts used in each assembly
Searchlight/Drill gun platform
All 40mm and 20mm gun tubs/splinter shields and ammo boxes
Aft Mk51 director tub
5" and 8" gun directors Fore and Mainmast
All foredeck details removed and replaced

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Modified
:
Main turrets (turret faces)
Boat davits
Catapult towers
Aircraft crane



Aftermarket
:
B&D Barrels 8"/55 brass main gun barrels
Veteran Models 5"/25 gun mounts w/L'Arsenal 5" brass barrels
L'Arsenal twin 20mm and quad 40mm mounts, Paravanes, 25man liferafts
28 and 42lpi brass chain from Cornwall Model Boats
GMM and WEM photo-etch sets
WEM USN doors and hatches photo-etch set

*Note*...the incorrect kit props were replaced with new ones cast for my by Keith Bender (Thanks Keith!)
Reference material I used was 1/192 scale "G" series plans from The Floating Drydock, Classic Warships #7 book and the New Orleans NavSource webpage

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I really enjoyed this build and am pleased with how the model came together so well despite all the new parts I had to make. This project was also made a lot easier thanks to Dick J who answered numerous e-mails from me with info on the class ships and Tony Bunch who was having Keith cast some new props for his Honolulu in which Keith said he could cast and extra set for my New Orleans...Thanks guys!!!. The model was painted by airbrush using WEM Colourcoat enamels. The New Orleans earned 17 battle stars for her service in WWII with 5 Navy Crosses, 10 Silver Stars, 1 Bronze Star, 1 Air Medal and 206 Purple Hearts being awarded to members of her crew. Link to Build log: http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=37034

Dave Hill

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