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1700
USS Saratoga - (CV-3)

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Chester Uy share with us his build review of Tamiya's recent 1/700th Scale Waterline Series releases; The USS Saratoga (CV-3). Chester has done a fine job constructing and painting this iconic ship from the War in the Pacific!
The Sara: A little Background
The USS Saratoga (CV-3) was a Lexington-class aircraft carrier built for the United States Navy during the 1920s. Originally designed as a battlecruiser, and was converted into one of the Navy's first aircraft carriers during construction to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. The ship entered service in 1928 and was assigned to the Pacific Fleet for her entire career. And was one of a lucky few U.S. aircraft carriers to service the conflict in the Pacific Theater. Saratoga and her sister ship, Lexington were used to develop and refine carrier tactics in a series of annual exercises before World War II. She was one of three prewar US fleet aircraft carriers, along with Enterprise and Ranger, to serve throughout World War II.

The hull of the battlecruiser was kept and a flight deck was added, with the sides of the bow and stern enclosed to provide greater protection. At the time of her completion "Sara" was the largest carrier at 270.7m (888 ft) in length and with a maximum flight deck width of 32.3m (106 ft) with a capacity of between 70 to 87 aircraft of which 21 could be held by an enclosed single level hangar and moved there by one of two elevator. The ship was powered by 4 sets of turbo-electric drive engines and used 8 boilers on each side of the ship with a top speed of 34 knots making her the fastest pre-war U.S. carrier. In 1945, the Saratoga formed a night fighter task group along with the Enterprise and headed out to Iwo Jima. At the time she was armed with 16 5-inch guns, 23 quadruple and 2 twin 40mm gun positions, plus 16 20mm machine guns and was carrying Avenger and Hellcat night fighter aircraft.

In mid-1946, the ship was a target for nuclear weapon tests during Operation Crossroads. The test carried out at Bikini Atoll, she survived the first test with little damage, but was sunk by the second test ending a 17 year career.
The Kit
US Aircraft Carrier Saratoga - (CV-3)

Kit No. 31713

Scale - 1/700

Waterline Series


This ship kit is one of the Waterlines Series of Tamiya which is very similar with another manufacturers. The kit comes in the standard Waterlines Series slip-top box and contains styrene and metal parts.

Contents

• 5 sprues molded in grey

• 1 metal weight

• 1 sheet of decal

• 1 instruction sheet (11 steps)

• 1 painting instruction (Measure 21 only)


The construction of the kit is fairly straightforward and other than the assembly and painting of the tiny aircraft, the ship goes together quite well. I started things off with attaching hulls parts on both sides; cutting and cleaning the lifeboats, stacking them up before I could paint them. The assembly of the waterline plate consist of the metal weight that makes the kit stable, as well attaching the hull parts.

Moving on, the deck assembly needed to be done. Certain steps of this construction need to be painted before assembling as this will make your work easier and saves time in masking.

The flight deck needed to be painted first as well but did not get attached to hull yet, since the gun bases should be attached first (Step 6 of the construction) before attaching the flight deck on the hull.

The Bridge and Funnel assembly was next in the construction process. The level of detail on this part is superb The detailing is crisp and clean. The best way to start constructing these pieces was to start from bottom and work my way to top.

Step 10 of the construction needs a little extra care due to small parts; this is the gun assembly, life boats and spot lights. A small bit of advice is to attach the small parts to some tape before assembling them. This will prevent losing the tiny pieces while you work.

The final steps to the construction of the Saratoga involves the installation of the ship’s mast, Radar, 5-inch high angled gun, and 1 airwing which consisted of four bearcats and four avengers.
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About the Author

About Chester Uy (Eastrock)
FROM: METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Been back to scale modeling since 2010, started out with Armors but eventually started to build Auto and Ships.