Many thanks for Jim Baumann for translating the text in such an excellent way. The Brooklyn was launched 1895 in Philadelphia at William Cramp & Sons and commissioned on 1 December 1896. Her first assignment took her to Britain, where attended the festivities for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria  She returned to the US east coast in July 1897 and became the flagship of the flying squadron under Commodore W. S. Schley 28 March 1898. This unit arrived at Cuba in may 1898 and established a blockade of the port of Cienfuegos. Brooklyn was a key player in the Battle of Santiago 03 July 1898 during which the Spanish fleet was destroyed. Brooklyn received 20 hits and suffered the light casualty of one man wounded and one man killed. She thereafter cruised the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean seas, attending the Spanish American War victory and Dewey celebrations in NYC during 1898-99. On 16 October 1899 she sailed for Philippines, where she was the flagship of Asiatic Squadron. In this role, she also in 1900 was present as part of the international Intervention during the Boxer Rebellion in China. In 1902 she returned to Cuba for the celebrations of Cuban independence . Then for the next 4 years she cruised with the Atlantic fleet and the European squadron.. 1906 to 1914 she was in reserve. In 1915 she was pressed into service again and served in the "Neutrality Patrol"; later moving back to Asian waters serving as Flagship for the Commander-in-Chief. The end of her long and successful career came in March 1921; being finally decommissioned and on 20 December was sold for demolition. 

The small but fine range YS Masterpieces by Yannis Sagidarios, just too tempting, but so costly... Scale Model World 2004 in Telford... it was time. I bought all three kits; Averoff, Oregon and Brooklyn. All ships pre Word War One, all have tremendous character, all three kits of very high quality. After this heroic act of conscience and wallet damage I hid them from myself.... Fully fed and done with Christmas celebrations I retired to my study. There I had the joys of modeling solitude. Examining this kit is simply a pleasure. The hull was cast in one piece, with extremely fine detailing on the top and completely bubble free. Only the hull bottom, in the area of the sprue showed some bubbles. Two large sheets with super fine etched and a comprehensive booklet with a detailed Instructions are included. I could not decide whether the model should be a waterline model or a full hull model on pedestals. During the time of my deliberations Jim Baumann had built a fine version in a waterline presentation. My decision was made- Full hull it was to be despite inner trepidation I opted to open up gun embrasures and hatches. This gives the model a feeling of delicacy and the thin edges imply to the viewer that the ship really is hollow. What is really important is that the assembly sequence in the instructions is is followed many areas become inaccessible later in the build. A particular delicacy were the number of I-beams for the boat storage skids. They each consist of 3 etched upper flange, web and bottom chord, the whole has a cross section of 0.8 x 0.8 mm. A truly lovely fumbly fiddle ( !!) Of course, the result is very authentic view; but among the many boats you hardly notice it. The designers of Brooklyn were incredibly resourceful in shape, size and design of the below decks ventilating system. Photos of the ship are not always helpful because they often show the ship in different fits.. Hopefully the placement and layout is near correct. Brooklyn was as colorful as the autumn! I used White Ensign Models Colourcoats BUFF, applied with an airbrush. Highlighting and shading was done using Artists oil paints.

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 The underwater hull simply painted only plain red seemed too dull in appearance. To give this some more prominence I wanted to 
simulate an impression of plating. On the uniform red primer layer I applied in equidistant strips pre-cut masking tape; a game of patience and perseverance. The gaps left I then sprayed in a lighter hue, then streaks sprayed with a slightly darkened (very gently) red Before the tape was removed, I have tightened the edges in pencil. Ultimately, the lateral breaks were also indicated with a pencil. From normal viewing distance, we see almost nothing of this effort It t is a beautiful non-homogeneous surface and gives the feeling of a plate structure. Decks had numerous coats ; basic color being "Teak" (WEM C01) The dividing lines between the planks were drawn with a very sharp pencil. The only legitimate criticism of this kit might be that the masts are made of resin and yards are Photo-Etched. Neither is really satisfactory... All of these parts were re-made by tapering various thicknesses of brass rod in a motor drill chuck whilst resting in a notch on a wooden base. The rod is then shaped with a file whilst the drill rotates. 


In Process
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The Brooklyn carried 16 boats..--all of different size and design. Each is a small, private model in its own right and requires special care and devotion. Unattractive boats can wreck the overall impression of a model. Relatively complex, the three large steam launches had their funnels replaced with thin brass tube; whilst the supports for the canvas canopy were made using PE supplied parts and 0.01 copper wire. It was game of patience and I did become quite tense--each little boat has more than 30 parts and is a mere 30 mm long ( 1 1/4" ) The fabric covering was replicated using the Jim Baumann method of spanning diluted white glue over the framework. Although the boats oars as photo-etched items in 1/700 scale work well enough - I feel that in 1/350 scale they need more substance. I made my own oars of stretched sprue, the ends flattened with flat tweezers.
All boats were undercoated in white, various enamel and oil paints were then used to simulate wood. Almost 4 years now - on and off- I have spent building my Brooklyn. A nice long time and now and again I think one or the other piece that needs to be supplemented or where color or something can be improved.... -- a model like this is never really finished! I find models like good wine - need time to mature. One thing I can say with assurance is that the kit was worth the money; as well as a challenge and a lesson!! 


Equipment Detail
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Sources:
Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905 
Drawings from U. S. Cruisers Norman Friedman, and U. S. Armored 
Cruisers by Ivan Musican 
http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/acr3.htm 
http://www.spanamwar.com/brooklyn.htm 
http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-b/ca3.htm


Equipment & Boat Detail
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Peter Plattner
Wien (Vienna), Austria

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