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USS Missouri (BB-63)

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"MSW Crew-mate Tom Hathaway shares a great build story of his 1/350 scale, USS Missouri (BB-63), end of war fit, August 1945."

This build of the Tamiya 1/350 Missouri represents her end of war fit as she would have appeared in August of 1945. The kit as manufactured represents her “as commissioned” and there were several slight modifications required to bring her to this state.
The Ship:
USS Missouri (BB-63), an Iowa Class Battleship built by the New York Navy Yard. And commissioned 11 June 1944, Captain William M. Callaghan in command.

Namesake: The State of Missouri
Ordered: 12 June 1939
Builder: New York Navy Yard
Laid down: 6 January 1941
Launched: 29 January 1944
Commissioned: 11 June 1944
Decommissioned: 26 February 1955
Recommissioned: 10 May 1986
Decommissioned: 31 May 1992
Struck: 11 January 1995
Fate: Opened as Memorial in Pearl Harbor, next to USS Arizona Memorial, 29 January 1999

General characteristics:

Displacement: 45,000 tons standard (1945), 57540 tons full load (1945).
Length: 860 ft waterline, 887 ft 3 in overall.
Beam: 108 ft 2 in
Draft: 37 ft 9 in @ full load (1945)
Propulsion: 8 x 565 psi Babcock & Wilcox boilers, 4 x General Electric steam turbines; 212,000 shaft hp x 4 shafts.
Speed: 33 knots
Complement: 189 officers, 2789 enlisted (1945).

Armament: (1945)
9 x 16”/50 cal guns in 3 triple mount turrets
20 x 5”/38 cal dual purpose guns in 10 twins mount turrets
80 x 40 mm anti-aircraft guns in 20 quad mounts
49 x 20 mm anti-aircraft guns in single mounts.

modifications and additions...
Here’s a list of the scratch built modifications and additions:

• Bulwarks for added 20mm ammo chests on fore deck
• Multiple additional vents and hand rails along bulwarks
• Glass and covers for bridge windows
• Running lights
• Details inside the mid-ships 40 mm mount deck houses
• Main mast flag bag locker
• Modification to aft rear deckhouse 40 mm mount tubs
• Modifications to mid-ships searchlight platforms
• Scratch built practice 5” loaders
• Additional details to both stacks
• Additional detail to forward tower
• Revisions to forward and main masts
• Addition of radio antennas and platforms
• Additional detail on aft 40 mm Mk 51 Director tubs
• All new boat booms

Here’s my list of various aftermarket items added:

• Steve Nuttall’s complete Missouri barrel replacements (9 x 16”, 20 x 5”)
• L’Arsenal 5” twin Mount Mk 32 sets
• L’Arsenal 40mm Quad Bofors
• Tom’s Model Works 40mm Mount Rails
• L’Arsenal Mk 37 Gun Director Mts
• White Ensign Light AA Weapons and fittings
• Flagship 20 mm AA guns
• L’Arsenal Mk 51 Gun Directors
• White Ensign Floater Baskets
• L’Arsenal SC-1 Seahawk
• L’Arsenal 26’ Motor Whale Boat
• GMM Fast Battleship Fittings Set
• GMM Missouri Fittings Set
• GMM Missouri “Extra” Fittings Set
• Tom’s 3505 Radar Set
• Tom’s 3510 Catapult/Radar Set

Reference Material:
Battleship Missouri by Paul Stillwell

Iowa Class Battleships by Robert F Sumrall

The Iowa Class Battleships by Malcolm Muir

U.S. Battleships in Action Part 2 Squadron/Signal Publications Warships No. 4

Booklet of General Plans of Battleship No. 63 prepared by the New York Naval Shipyard

Dozens of various on line photos

The kit is very easy to put together with nice fit overall, however, as you can tell from the large amount of aftermarket material added, I personally felt that the details were lacking in much of the OOB items and the appearance of the build is greatly improved by the aftermarket items. Additionally as I did my research, I determined that Missouri’s appearance was slightly modified between the time she was commissioned and the end of the war, requiring some changes to the kit to reflect these minor changes.

Painting was done using Polly Scale acrylics for the Measure 21 Colors, and Tamiya acrylics for the rest. Almost all of the work was done by airbrush, with the exception of the decks which were done by hand as well as all touch up and detail painting.

The build was done by completing each of the three major deck pieces as a sub assembly which were each completely finished and painted before adding to the hull. Rails and rigging were done after this step.

The display was completed with a bass wood base stained an oak color with cross beams to resemble those you might find in a dry dock. I added a brass name plaque and a ship’s patch which I picked up at the Navy Exchange.

While this build took quite a long time to complete, I really did enjoy building a model of this very famous ship, the last Battleship which was ever placed in commission and scene of the final surrender ceremonies to end WW II.

Edit. Note
This model was built by Tom for one of our past MSW Campaign Group builds, MSW's "Dreadnoughts!" Campaign, which was dedicated to the memory of Garry Beebe, and to see the WIP (work in progress) the following forum threads can be referenced, with "in progress" images and discussions of each!

Missouri Foredeck Completed

Missouri Aft Deck Completed

Missouri Center Section Complete

Missouri Completed
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About the Author

About Tom Hathaway (thathaway3)

I've been modeling since the late '50s. My primary interest is 1/35 Armor, with special interest in US Field Artillery. Having spent 30 years in the Active Army and Reserve, I like to model vehicles from units to which I've been assigned. Over that time I was assigned to three different Artillery un...


Excellent work on a beautiful lady! Great PE work and a nice presentation base really brings it all together.
SEP 29, 2008 - 04:43 AM
A very nice, clean build!!
SEP 29, 2008 - 04:46 AM
Sweet build Tom!!!...Great job!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dave
SEP 29, 2008 - 05:45 AM
This feature is due for a couple of years... (my fault!) I still remember seeing the progress shots that Tom has posted while building it! A very challenging and mind blogging built, that resulted in a perfect display model Congratulations once again Tom! Rui
SEP 29, 2008 - 07:46 AM
Thanks, everyone! Dave, I especially liked your North Carolina build! Great job!!
SEP 29, 2008 - 01:17 PM
It's fantastic Tom! Very clean and detailed.
OCT 02, 2008 - 07:27 AM