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Uss Pennsylvania porthole closures
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Virginia, United States
Joined: September 15, 2010
KitMaker: 79 posts
Model Shipwrights: 28 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 06:48 AM UTC
Since Dragon apparently will never release its 1/350 USS Pennsylvania in 1/350 scale (1944 fit) I'm rebuild one as of 1943 after the Mare Island rebuild.

In 1943 BB-38 underwent a complete makeover at Mare Island. One of the most extensive for a relatively undamaged Pearl Harbor battleship, she had much the same rebuild as the USS Nevada with her superstructure rebuilt to take a set of 8 dual 5" turrets and 10 quad 40mm.
All of her hull portholes appear to have been sealed but that is where it gets confusing.
The few pictures on Navsource.org seem to show this:
1 - The first level of casements and portholes (right under the foredeck) seem to have been closed off and welded flush. The few pictures from '43 show smooth sides for that deck.
2 - The next deck - rear casement level - show very distinct covers on the portholes. This is very evident on the picture at sea right after Mare Island - 0138009.jpg

I had assumed that these were round discs welded over the removed portholes but there are two photos of her, one in October '44 in the floating drydock and one from June '45 that show the discs were an octagon shape. An enlargement of 013812c.jpg clearly shows the non-round shape.
Unfortunately the US Navy plans don't show any information about this.

Am I seeing things - or are the porthole covers actually octagons, and were all of the covers this shape?
(And who makes a octagon plastic rod that would work to crate about 100 covers)

Thanks MIke
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Virginia, United States
Joined: September 15, 2010
KitMaker: 79 posts
Model Shipwrights: 28 posts
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 07:01 AM UTC
After finding out there is no hexagonal shaped rod anywhere close to the size, I tried an experiment -
I took the couple of photos from the Navy archives on-line that show the porthole covers very distinctly.
With a little help from Photoshop to clean up the contrast and GIMP to resize - I had a 1/350 scale view of how much detail would be noticed
In the end - not much. The fact that they were covers and not blanked out was noticeable, but not the shape.

At this point - I'm using the Tom's Modelworks photoetch, 84 very small disks. Just as bad as putting individual track links together.
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Virginia, United States
Joined: April 03, 2006
KitMaker: 1,154 posts
Model Shipwrights: 115 posts
Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 11:16 PM UTC
Wow. That's a lot of patience there. Good luck. Let us see how it turns out!
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Florida, United States
Joined: July 06, 2019
KitMaker: 76 posts
Model Shipwrights: 73 posts
Posted: Saturday, July 13, 2019 - 10:10 AM UTC
One wonders if the choice of octagonal over a circular scuttle cover plate was done to expedite completion and as a matter of industrial efficiency. Four quick diagonal cuts on square blank gives an octagon. Cutting circles in steel sheet typically takes longer.