Model Boat Mayhem

The Shipyard ( Dry Dock ): Builds & Questions => Navy - Military - Battleships: => Topic started by: dlancast on July 01, 2017, 02:51:46 pm

Title: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 01, 2017, 02:51:46 pm
Well folks, I placed an order for my next model project.  I was searching for something very unique, that would have good detail and interesting history and eye appeal.  I came upon a kit from Ironworks of the very first aircraft carrier the USN built.  A converted Collier, they built a flat top over the ship with one elevator and flew vintage bi-planes on and off the deck.  The year was 1930.  Interestingly, the ship lacks all of the advanced electronics of WW2 Navy ships. In fact, they built a pigeon coop on the stern hoping to use the birds to send and recieve msgs.  Unfortunately the birds flew away and did not return.  They turned the coop into a stateroom for one of the officers.  The Langly served well during the early part of WW2 and was later converted to a seaplane tender.  She was later damaged by enemy fire, that she had to be sunk at sea to avoid capture.   The model promises to be challenging at 1/350 scale, the hull and many cast parts are resin with a good amount of PE, mainly used for the extensive girder ironwork to support the deck.  Many individual airplane kits are provided.  I can't say that I love the look of the ship, but I like the challenge to build.  I should be starting in two weeks, so stay tuned.  Here is a link: http://www.steelnavy.com/ISWLangleyDJ.htm
Regards,  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on July 01, 2017, 04:05:30 pm
You might like to look at this page  http://www.hnsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/ac3.pdf  It's a general arrangement drawing of USS Jupiter the navy Collier that was converted into the Langley.  There are no hull lines but as it's a free download it wouldn't hurt to have it . 
There was also an article in the American magazine Fine Scale Modeller.  the modellers name was Bob Santos and he was building a waterline model to 1/700 but again there was a lot of useful information I'll see if I can find the issue and get a scan for you.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 01, 2017, 06:20:24 pm
Thanks for the info, that will be useful.  Yes, she was the Jupiter.  I believe I came across that waterline model of the Langley on-line after the builder finished her 1/700. Very nicely done.  Now that is a small scale.  its going to be an interesting build.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on July 01, 2017, 08:37:45 pm
I am already looking forward to your build log Dennis.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: tghsmith on July 01, 2017, 10:38:43 pm
(http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/640x480q90/673/D8mbIR.jpg) (https://imageshack.com/i/ipD8mbIRj)  some of master modeler William Blackmore's work,, there is a thread on WMU but due to photo bucket you can't see the pics..
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 17, 2017, 04:01:53 am
Ok folks, the fun begins,  I have just received box one of two of the USS Langley model.  Seems they had to cast new hulls, so that will be coming in a week or so.  In the mean time, I have a ton of very small bi planes to build.  Essentially, most of the aircraft is cast in resin,  I have to glue on two support struts, top wing, wheels and propeller for each one.  I think I have around 30 to build for the model. There is alot of cleanup to do yet as I begin priming and glue on struts.  Wing span is 30mm on these OU2's.  Well, I wanted a demanding prooject :((   Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 17, 2017, 04:02:24 am
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 17, 2017, 04:02:48 am
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on July 17, 2017, 09:56:37 am
Whose castings are those? 
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 17, 2017, 02:21:51 pm
Iron Shipwrights.  I noticed that some of the resin aircraft castings have voids, then I noticed a couple of packages of the same aircraft cast in plastic and concluded they are backup parts for any of the resin castings that have failed or are unrepairable.   Voids in resin castings is very common and can't seem to be avoided.  At this scale, it is probably a hit and miss kinda thing.  So far, my test aircraft is starting to shape up nicely as I work on it.  I plan to add some additional scale support for the wheels and maybe the upper wing... those struts are very thin and delicate... one wrong move and down she goes.  I like messing with challenges like this.  I will probably regret that statement when I get into the flight deck support system.  More like jewlery making I suppose.  Maybe I should have gone into that line of work, I'd be richer ;) Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on July 17, 2017, 02:29:28 pm
A guy down at my old model club used to joke that "1/700th photo etch was why they invented Prozac"  but just remember to take it one piece at a time and try to avoid dropping any of it on the carpet.
I'd have expect the resin casting to be better than those as Iron Shipwright is one of the better names in resin cast models.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 17, 2017, 02:51:06 pm
I have never tried 1/700... now you are talking small scale and parts.  I have been mostly used to 1/200 scale, but after proving that I can do the 1/350, decided to go that route for these aircraft carrier models.  I agree, the quality of casting on these parts is marignal.  Ironshipwrights is very good about replacing parts, which is a good thing at the price I had to pay for this kit.


Many aspects of model making are changing as technology provides better ways to produce finer parts and details.  I'm an ol guy and was raised on balsa and tissue paper using razor blades.  I'm not complaining.  The fun factor has gone up with the prices.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on July 17, 2017, 03:07:35 pm
I would have cast them in pewter as they are no weight, and you should get a better surface finish.

I look forward to see these all built and painted Dennis.

Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 18, 2017, 06:10:36 pm
Well, maybe I'll get better at it as I work through 30 aircraft, but truthfully, I am not happy with the results.  The scale is so small that I will have difficulty adding any addional support struts, which should be there, but are not supplied in the kit in PE unfortunately.  The landing gear is minimal, I need to figure out a way to make better tires, all it is is flat PE, which is a circle with two struts attached.  I suppose, after you get several sitting together on a flight deck, it will be ok.  Even the decals were a bit daunting, as the star went down first, then the red dot had to be added.  Boy, it sounds like I'm doing some whining here, but I sure hope the rest of the kit is better than this.  Instructions are minimal and they even admit that they made an error in PE for the deck supports, so you have to replace the old with new and somehow figure out where all that goes.  For the money I spent on the kit, I'm so far not giving it very high marks, plus, I still have not received the hull and deck.. maybe this week?  No tracking.   {:-{   Ho hum, I'll do what I can folks, be patient with me.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 18, 2017, 06:11:00 pm
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 18, 2017, 06:11:24 pm
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on July 18, 2017, 07:26:50 pm
I made some vehicles in 1/300th scale a while back and I used the plastic insulation of a piece of copper wire.  Sliced into very thin slices. 
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 18, 2017, 07:38:48 pm
Brilliant.... if I can find insulation that will have an ID that will come close to the diameter of the PE wheel...it might work.  I'll give it a go and tks so much for the tip. ok2  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on July 18, 2017, 08:42:32 pm
Do not worry Dennis, we know very well that it is the kit and not your skills that are not giving you the 100% success rate. New wheels will make those aircraft much much better. I think your decals have gone on very well considering their microscopic dimentions! I would have surrendered and added the red spot with a small brush and some paint  %%

Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 18, 2017, 10:07:48 pm
Ok, got new wheels on.  Thank you so much for the tip.  I'm much more happy with the result.  Turns out the flat PE round surface formed a perfect base to glue the sliced insulation on to.  I can probably try to slice just a bit thinner for a more scale look.  But it works!  Yahoooo! :o  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 18, 2017, 10:08:13 pm
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on July 19, 2017, 10:44:02 pm
Now isn't that sweet? I hope none of your house hold electrial appliances suffered for the model making cause!!

Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 20, 2017, 12:08:22 am
hahahah.... {-)   At 1mm a slice, I doubt I will make an impact.  Truth is that if I hadn't found just the right size wire in my kit in the garage, I was eyeing other sacrifical appliances in the house, such as the dead dish washer that is just taking up space until we can afford to replace it.  I can just see the picture.. wife comes home from work to find the washer torn apart, wires all over the place about the kitchen counter..... perfect excuse......."Hi honey, I just decided to try to fix it"... ta..da.. score points on that one mate!  O0   Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 20, 2017, 05:25:14 pm
The hull and deck finally arrived.  I must say that the resin casting is beyond words.  Detail abounds with hull plating, hatch doors, winches.  Can't say enough good things and very minal flash to clean up.  Deck is wood with printed on planking.  I will stain and then seal (both sides).


Ok, back to aircraft.  I'd really like to get all 30 out before moving on.  I'm still getting used to this small scale.  One point, the kit manufacturer states several times in instruction sheets that they will replace any part lost or unusable, no question.  That is comforting.  I almost took them up on it with the aircraft, but they supplied enough extra parts to make up for the bad stuff (I think they had a bad batch and just threw in more hoping the builder could get out the correct number.)  I'd be curious to watch the casting process.  Anyone out there seen it done?  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 20, 2017, 05:25:41 pm
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on July 20, 2017, 06:22:06 pm
We do it sometimes at work. but usually it's simpler things than these.  Professional casting has a fairly high reject rate air bubble and voids are quite common especially where the mould sections are thin.  They tend to bin the really bad ones and offer the not so bad as seconds.  The main difficulty is the speed at which the resin sets.  That tan coloured polyurethane is pretty standard an in a warm room can set as quickly as 10 -15 minutes but is only a liquid for a about 4 -5 minutes.  That really isn't long enough to use a vacuum chamber to get air bubbles out.  What companies do is squeeze the moulds from the ends so it opens like an envelope and pour the resin in, allowing the mould to close up squeezes out air bubbles but does leave a lot of "flash"  The home modelmaker, who can spend more time on a project might choose to use a slower setting resin which gives the time to chase any bubbles out before the resin sets.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 20, 2017, 06:38:27 pm
Wow, thank you very much for that information.
Best,
Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on July 20, 2017, 07:31:34 pm
My colleague uses the reject small castings to bulk out larger castings so saving wasted material. Your hull looks splendid Dennis, that will save loads of cleaning and tidying up.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 20, 2017, 09:07:00 pm
Dots of madness.  I haven't tried a touch of paint, but rather torture myself by placing one decal on top of another..... :((  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 20, 2017, 09:07:31 pm
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on July 21, 2017, 08:56:55 am
Pace yourself and all your spots will be in the right place. I think we are all the same from time to time, we do a few then get blase and then 'Fluff' up the next one. That wing looks great Dennis. Imagine having to paint the stars like in pre decal days!
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: deadbeat on July 21, 2017, 01:25:04 pm
I like the 1/700 scale, I've done a few, in particular two Tribal class destroyers from Trumpeter and the White Ensign Models PE upgrade set, very much a tweezer and magnifying glass jobas they measure just 6".

Some advice - don't drink coffee or any caffeinated drink whilst working on the tiny parts your hands will shake too much!

This scale lends itself for building the ship onto a seascape, the ship really comes alive when you see it in its natural environment.

Good luck with the build I'll watch with interest. My next 1/700 model is the British Dido Class cruiser HMS Naiad from Flyhawk complete with the upgrade sets, the detail is amazing.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 21, 2017, 02:26:49 pm
Tks for the encouragement gentlemen.  I much prefer the scale of 1/200 or thereabouts.  I'm simply running out of room with models that push the 4ft range.  So, I'm trying this scale to reduce the footprint.  I don't know about 1/700.  I suppose I will have to try one someday.  Yes, a waterline model is on my list as well.  Now, back to this squadren of tiny ducks.  Cheers,  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on July 21, 2017, 02:54:31 pm
Let's not forget there are intermediate scales. Being British I was heavily influenced by Airfix ships to 1/600th scale.  Add photo etch to some of those models and they can look super.  Here's my HMS Amazon by Airfix with White Ensign PE.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 21, 2017, 04:39:55 pm
Beautiful work and amazing, that kind of detail. Did you say 6" in length?  Wonderful and tks for sharing.  D.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: plastic on July 21, 2017, 05:31:39 pm
This 1/700 USS Theodore Roosevelt model has always blown me away.

http://www.steelnavy.net/TrumpTRoosevelt700KKatseas.html

The detail is amazing.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 21, 2017, 07:23:53 pm
That is as real as it gets... my mouth is still open  :} .  I served aboard the U.S.S. Ranger CV-61 back in 1969 (sadly, she is scrap now), so I know the drill aboard the bird farms.... pretty exciting.  Guess part of that is what is drving me to build these aircraft carrier models.  So many, so little time.... <:(  D.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on July 21, 2017, 08:34:28 pm
Beautiful work and amazing, that kind of detail. Did you say 6" in length?  Wonderful and tks for sharing.  D.

It's about 7.5 inches. One of Airfix's better offerings.  although there several things wrong with original kit as they based it on the Type 21 prototype but it's a nice model. 
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on July 21, 2017, 08:37:59 pm
That is as real as it gets... my mouth is still open  :} .  I served aboard the U.S.S. Ranger CV-61 back in 1969 (sadly, she is scrap now), so I know the drill aboard the bird farms.... pretty exciting.  Guess part of that is what is drving me to build these aircraft carrier models.  So many, so little time.... <:(  D.

Respect Sir! 13 battle stars in S.E,Asia and deployed in the Persian Gulf. She certainly saw her share of the "sticky" end.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 21, 2017, 10:33:16 pm
Yes sir, it was an honor.  I picked her up at Alameda Naval Shipyard in 69, after having just served a year in Vietnam CSC, Qui Nhon, PCF's Coastal.  Ranger went into the yard at Hunters Point and then Naval OPS off the coast of Calif. I discharged from the Navy from the Ranger just before she headed back to the Nam.  It was sad as she sat here at Bremerton Naval Shipyard waiting for the scrapyard.  An effort was made to save her as a musem, but too costly.  They towed her just a few years ago around the Horn to Texas for breakup... so sad... oh the memories.  I want to model her and I think I can build the Yorktown kit and rebadge her maybe....the York was close to same I think.  Forrestal Class.   Dennis RM2
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 22, 2017, 07:25:56 pm
Squad of OU2's completed.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 22, 2017, 07:26:24 pm
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 22, 2017, 07:26:49 pm
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on July 22, 2017, 10:53:08 pm
They're breeding Dennis! They look good now, but they will look brill on the deck  :-))
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on July 23, 2017, 07:37:07 pm
They look the business, Dennis.  Well done!
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 23, 2017, 08:32:41 pm
Tks, its like breeding knats..... I've got 20 or so more to do.  This next batch has even more detail, its unbelievable.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 27, 2017, 03:47:11 am
This next group of aircraft require different wing supports and landing gear supports.  Another challenge to say the least... its gonna take me another week to get them out, then their is another group to build.  Total will be around 30 aircraft.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 27, 2017, 03:47:36 am
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 29, 2017, 04:42:33 am
Still working on attaching landing gear on second squadren of my little "nats".... It looks like the scale to fit the hanger deck looks right. When the Langley was converted from a coal collier, the storage covers were left, iron supports were placed along the inside and across every so many feet to create support structure of the flight deck.  Aircraft were disassembled and stored below in the coal compartments, using a moving crane to lift and lower and raise parts fore and aft in the hanger bay.  One elevator was about midships to raise and lower assembled aircraft to and from flight deck.  It surprized me that in the early stages, the wings did not fold back.  The entire aircraft was lowered to the hanger deck and either stored assembled or taken apart and lowered into the storage bins below.  I have not been able to determine if walkways were placed over the storage covers.  Only thing I have to go by is pictures on the net.  Unless one of you folks knows for sure what they did.  Its going to be interesting to say the least once this support grid work begins on the model... all of it will be photo-etch parts.  Oh the joy! %)  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 29, 2017, 04:43:00 am
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on July 29, 2017, 05:09:27 pm
I can understand why they did this if a parsimonious Navy department wanted to minimise cost and keep a valuable cargo ship as re-convertable as possible, just in case these aircraft carrier things were a fad!! Otherwise, it is a slow old process even with quick release attachment points for wings etc.

What an interesting project Dennis! I like the aircraft, what are the second type? Boeings??
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on July 29, 2017, 08:13:42 pm
Found this don't know if it gibes with your info.

https://www.militaryfactory.com/imageviewer/shp/gallery-shp.asp?ship_id=USS-Langley-CV1-AV3
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on July 29, 2017, 10:10:54 pm
Yes, thank you so much.  Very helpful.  Detail on that model goes beyond what the kit shows.  I was able to print out the pictures for reference.  It appears they just used the main deck as a walk-around and set the aircraft on top of the hold covers, or not when stowed below.  They had good ventilation on the hanger deck, I can say that.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 03, 2017, 03:44:24 am
Last squad of eight Curtis Hawk FBC aircraft nearing completion, then i can move on to the hull work.  These little devils are two parts of resin cast (not that great I might add), two PE wing supports, two wheel supports PE, one propeller PE, I had to scratch build the wire wheel supports and make the tires.  Painting was several coats of grey, yellow, red and black, sliver on the props.  Decals on wing tops (was a second decal of red dot that went over the star, this time I painted a red dot.. why didn't I do that on the others??).  I tried numbers on the hull from my decal sheet, both sides of the fuse.  I refuse to add them on the others.  These airplanes have taken me about two weeks, just to get them out.  I have no clue what I am in for once I get in to the deck support structure.  If I start drinking,  I will lose my manual dexterity and thats not good.  I love my job. {:-{   Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 06, 2017, 02:22:04 am
Well folks, the aircraft are finished finally.  I have 3 squads, a total of 25 planes to clutter the flight deck or whatever I choose to do.  The aircraft breakdown is as follows: (9) Boeing F2B-1, (8) Vaught O2U, (8) Curtis Hawk F6C's.  I am now moving on to the hull work. Lots of cleanup of flash, drilling out ports, adding prop shafts, bilge stringers, rudder, before the ironwork begins.  At last!  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 06, 2017, 02:22:36 am
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 06, 2017, 02:23:12 am
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: Tug-Kenny RIP on August 06, 2017, 11:17:43 am

Beautiful ............   :-))

What patience you have.

ken
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: Bob K on August 06, 2017, 12:45:08 pm
Denis.  I really love following your intricate builds.  However on this one I am trying to figure out just how tiny those planes really are.  I am guessing the squares on your cutting board may be half an inch as you based in Washington (ours in the UK are 1 cm squares).  Either way they look SO small.

Lovely work   :-))
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 06, 2017, 02:19:03 pm
Thankyou gentlemen.  Yes, the scale is very small... 1/350...   The average wingspan is 27mm.  In US terms, those squares on my cutting board are 1 inch.  They appear smaller in the photo due to distortion.  I am building at this scale to try to reduce the model size as I'm running out of room in my home for all the model cases I have produced.  Now with the crazy plan of building a model example of each US Navy class of carrier, I think I still have a dillema for space.  Maybe I should move down to 1/700 scale  {:-{ .  I have seen many fine examples of highly detailed models at that scale.  I can barely handle the scale I'm working at now.  Rudder has been mounted and bottom faired.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on August 07, 2017, 08:30:39 pm
Stick to 1:350th and just pace yourself.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on August 08, 2017, 09:42:04 am
Thankyou gentlemen.  Yes, the scale is very small... 1/350...   The average wingspan is 27mm.  In US terms, those squares on my cutting board are 1 inch.  They appear smaller in the photo due to distortion.  I am building at this scale to try to reduce the model size as I'm running out of room in my home for all the model cases I have produced.  Now with the crazy plan of building a model example of each US Navy class of carrier, I think I still have a dillema for space.  Maybe I should move down to 1/700 scale  {:-{ .  I have seen many fine examples of highly detailed models at that scale.  I can barely handle the scale I'm working at now.  Rudder has been mounted and bottom faired.  Dennis

I thought that when I moved from HO railroads to Z gauge and realised that I should gone in the other direction to O gauge, if only for the sake of my eyesight.  You're doing a grand job, I'm looking forward to seeing the finished carrier. I hope you're going to have a go at USS Wolverine, the Great Lake paddle steamer carrier, some time.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 08, 2017, 02:58:18 pm
Yes, I know about "N" scale RR.  And, I had not heard about the USS Wolverine.... wow.. a paddel wheel carrier.  Wild.  No.  I will be trying to stick to the major classess of US carriers... I think.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: deadbeat on August 08, 2017, 09:59:37 pm
There were two paddle wheel carriers in the Great lakes, USS Wollverine and USS Sable, they were converted pleasure craft and were used for landing and take off training.

https://ww2db.com/ship_spec.php?ship_id=867
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 08, 2017, 10:36:08 pm
Ok, Props and Shafts, Bilge Keels and final hull paint is on.  Working on Pilot house and funnel ducting now.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 08, 2017, 10:36:33 pm
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 08, 2017, 10:37:03 pm
more.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on August 09, 2017, 09:00:25 pm
For a moment I forgot the kit was 1:350th, and being amazed at the sheer thickness of the timbers your cradle is made of! Lovely work as per usual Dennis  :-))
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 10, 2017, 12:08:55 am
 :-) ..... I never thought of that!  I use that same cradle for a number of builds... its a bit over-done for this, but it gets the job done.  Busy painting on the hull... lots to do.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 10, 2017, 04:24:01 am
I thought I'd better get a shot of the funnel and stack arraigment on this ship.  Interesting plumbing I'd say.   The stacks were designed to be lowered for flight ops and raised for steaming.  I chose to place them at a mid point angle for interest.  There is a cover that will go over this assembly and then of course the flight deck and you will  not be able to see it.  Now we know!  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 10, 2017, 04:24:38 am
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on August 10, 2017, 08:39:00 pm
I hope the journals on the rotating elements were tight or leakage could make parts of the flight deck uncomfortable  {:-{
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 12, 2017, 10:24:58 pm
At last, the hull is painted, all parts added, prior to adding the ironwork support system.  This will all be PE and will be labor entensive, so bare with me as we trudge along, but should prove to be very interesting.  A side note of history.  If you look closely at the stern shot, there is a small cabin like structure that has two search lights on top.  The story is that was a pigeon coop to house the currier pigeons used for communication.  They were supposed to be "homing" pigeons.  Well, when they released the birds the very first day, they all flew away, never to be seen again. That ended that grand idea and the building was turned into one of the officers quarters.  Somehow, is that where the term "poop deck" came from?  Seriously, I think not  :(( .  Stay tuned.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 12, 2017, 10:25:30 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 12, 2017, 10:30:28 pm
Here is a closer shot of that "pigeon coop".  D.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on August 13, 2017, 11:31:47 pm
I can hear them coooing 'Where the heck are we? where the heck are we?'   :}

I do like the modular superstructures, the whole design still looks very temporary I still feel that the accountants of the navy were waiting to put her up for sale when the carrier experiment failed and didn't want the superstructures to encumber her resale value too much!

The Funnel system looks amazing. You can see where later side exhaust systems got their inspiration even if they did not swivel.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 14, 2017, 01:34:32 am
It is funny, the things they did and one of the exc.s having to live in a chicken coop.... {-) .  Well, the Langley was later coverted into a Seaplane Tender, they removed half the deck.  Didn't have to worry about resale, as sadly, she was shelled, took a bad list and they had to sink her (I think that is the story, don't quote me).  Yes, the stack venting arriagment was a developed process indeed, the Lexington, which was the next and very first aircraft carrier the Navy built from the keel up, had a huge stack structure on an island.  Oddly, the very next class of carrier, was the Ranger CV-4 and she had six swiveling stacks, 3 to a side. Similar to the Langley.  Of note, the Lexi started the island arraigment.  I have the kit of the Lexi as my next build and have advanced ordered the Ranger as my 3rd. Not sure how far I'm going to get, all at 1/350 scale.  I am in to the girder structure now and it is going to be interesting sorting it all  out.  Huge amount of iron work as you folks will soon see.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 14, 2017, 04:18:24 am
Ok, the ironwork begins. there will be a total of 13 "U" shaped supports, plus spacers and other supports in between.  The PE is very high quality and is nice to work with. Just the right thickness for stiffness, although some things like railings are so thin that you can bend them by blowing.  Great fun.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 14, 2017, 04:18:53 am
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on August 14, 2017, 09:20:42 pm
Wow! They look so intricate, and then you remember they are for a 1:350th scale model, so are minute  %% Go careful with all that you do with them.

This is going to be a beautiful model.

Regarding the Lexi, she and her sister were laid down as Battlecruisers, would this have dictated the need for a stack structure or do you think the designers were trying ideas out?

It is all very interesting.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 14, 2017, 10:28:29 pm
Your questions made me go back and look at the "Lady Lexi"'s history.  True, both she and her sister ship the Saratoga were initially laid down as Battlecruisers, but due to treaty, were scrapped as such.  Hence, the Lexi was  built as an aircraft carrier, retaining the battlecruisers hull.  Her stack was a new idea for the Navy designers and I suppose, as a first crack, she was built rather large to accomodate her stacks.  I got myself confused with the USS Ranger CV-4 which was the very first Navy aircraft carrier to be built from the keel up as such.  She was smaller and originally was not going to have an island.  Her stacks, as I mentioned before were much like the Langley's, pivoting on both sides for this ship.  Later classes went for the island stack arraigment for more modern carriers.  Funny how it all evolves.  I have mounted my first support structure, whiich is the "key" support that all the others will reference to for placement along the hull fore and aft.  Pics soon.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 15, 2017, 04:57:30 am
Ironwork is moving along. Seems to be fitting together pretty well. Some areas of the resin hull casting is not true and the PE is, so some fitting is required..too small to force it, it has to fit.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 15, 2017, 04:57:59 am
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 15, 2017, 04:58:23 am
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on August 15, 2017, 08:19:09 pm
I love the early carriers of thoe nations who bilt them, as they had such interesting support systems for the flight decks.

The Glorious' and other WW1 carriers with the intricate plate and lattice supports along the sides and the Japanese carrier that has the pair of lattice struts at the front. WW2 carriers seem quite plain and smooth in comparison.

Again that etch is amazing for the scale.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 15, 2017, 10:38:35 pm
I agree.  This PE is amazing stuff. Sure didn't have this tech when I was a kid modeling. Times have changed and I am not complaining.  It is getting more expensive though.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 16, 2017, 04:59:30 am
Elevator going in.  Nothing in plans or instructions on how to install, so using old photos and a best guess, I mounted 4 vertical rods that went through eyelets provided on the platform.  Placed the elevator about half way up and instead of a bottle of paint, I will place one of the aircraft on it.  I inserted a block under to get my height and then placed the bottle on top to secure it temp while the glue dries.  Looks like it will work. Rods will be painted black.  It is amazing how strong this miniscule structure really is and a testiment to the design itself.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on August 16, 2017, 10:18:00 pm
Brilliant as per usual Dennis  :-))
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 17, 2017, 05:37:33 am
More interior detail.  Aft motorized overhead crane installed, 3 aircraft attached, one on elevator, other two aft on top of storage space hatches.  Detail is crazy at this point and hard to get good photos.  When the deck goes on, it will be like putting a lid on things.  Good thing the sides are open.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 17, 2017, 05:38:04 am
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: rnli12 on August 17, 2017, 07:12:31 am
Dennis,
 
Excellent work hope your enjoying the intricate detailing!
 
Rich
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 17, 2017, 02:30:35 pm
Thank you, I am enjoying this.  Probably one of the most challenging builds for me to date.... plus, I'm 72 and fighting cancer and I can still do this!  Its a real blessing to me. Wife just smiles and says "keep building".  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: rnli12 on August 17, 2017, 05:59:26 pm
Dennis,

Wishing you a speedy recovery and successful completion of your model.

Best regards,

Rich
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on August 17, 2017, 09:02:32 pm
Amen. Get yourself fit as a fiddle as we want to see loads more of this quality and enjoyable work  ok2 I know its a personal battle with help from family and the medical staff, but say if you need a hand with anything.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 18, 2017, 12:56:52 am
Thanks so much for the kind words and thoughts.  Just saw my Oncologist and things look stable.  upcoming CT scan Sept. 1 will see what is going on inside.  I don't feel so bad and seriously, the model making gives me a real focus and lift and I'm so happy I can still do it.  Just a few more frames and I'll be looking to mount the deck.  Model is very close to completion, two more kits are in the wings just waiting (like a kid in a candy store). Cheers! O0
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 22, 2017, 05:56:18 am
Rail work is going in.  So thin and fine, one burp and you bend things... very delicate PE.  This area is where a boat launch will be mounted at some point.  Cleaning and painting yet to do here.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: Bob K on August 22, 2017, 07:20:32 am
That P.E. looks really amazing, especially at that scale. Painting it must be almost as hard as forming it to shape.
Such a pity that most of this wonderful detail will be hidden when the flight deck goes on.
I always lover your builds.  Sincerely concerned about your medical tests.  Hope all goes well for you.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 22, 2017, 02:38:51 pm
Thank you Bob.  The detail in this case can still be seen once the flight deck goes on, as it is on the outside mostly.  One will have to look within to see things inside.  It reminds me of Easter eggs when I was a little one, that were candy and hollow inside with small scenes inside.. I could look at them for hours.  Actually, this could be an absolutely stunning model at 1/200 or larger.  Thankful for each day given. Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 25, 2017, 10:09:43 pm
Been busy with ships boats.  Man, lots of painting to get those little guys right.  Started mounting today.  Yes, it is true that once the deck goes on.  It will take a keen eye and close up viewing to see whats going on below that flat top.  However, with those open sides, one can get a good look inside compared to later carrier design.  The kit of the USS Ranger CV-4 is now on its way.  That means I will have two carriers in the cue to build.  Better get busy here.  Oh, I did order an acrylic case from JDisplay Cases in Ohio.  Nice folks at fair prices.  I just ordered the case without base, as I will make my own wood base.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 25, 2017, 10:10:08 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 25, 2017, 10:10:36 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 26, 2017, 01:59:54 am
Just to give you folks a feel for scale here.  I'm gluing a block and tackle to one of the dinks, holding it there until the glue sets.  These 72 yr old hands can still do it.
Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 26, 2017, 02:00:19 am
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on August 26, 2017, 05:45:41 pm
I think we saluted you doing all those etched frameworks without crushing them Dennis, so these are yet another triumph for 75 year old hands  O0

Lovely work as per usual  :-))
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: SailorGreg on August 26, 2017, 06:14:45 pm
I think we saluted you doing all those etched frameworks without crushing them Dennis, so these are yet another triumph for 75 year old hands  O0

Lovely work as per usual  :-))

How dare you!  Dennis is a mere 72! 

And I wish I had his hands when I'm trying to do those fiddly little bits.  O0

Splendid work Dennis.  I'm following along with great pleasure.

Greg
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on August 27, 2017, 06:38:57 pm
Sorry Dennis, I will un-age you by three years  :embarrassed:
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 30, 2017, 04:16:19 am
Then suddenly, the deck is on...... big milestone, as we head for the finish line.  I have a surpize for the ending for you folks, hope you like it.. hope it works..... {:-{  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 30, 2017, 04:16:47 am
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on August 30, 2017, 04:17:20 am
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 02, 2017, 02:52:45 am
My dad always used to say. "If you put enough horsepower to it, you can make a barndoor fly".... will here is proof I guess, but in a very tiny scale.  We have lift-off.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 02, 2017, 02:53:14 am
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 02, 2017, 02:53:40 am
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: rnli12 on September 02, 2017, 05:57:16 am
Coming along nicely, am tempted with a flat top myself!
 
 
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: Bob K on September 02, 2017, 07:23:07 am
Awesome work Dennis.  It is all so tiny.  Beautiful  :-))
The little plane taking off is a nice dynamic touch.
And you are only a year older than me.  Looking forward to your next carrier project.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 02, 2017, 02:29:42 pm
Thankyou gentlemen,  its all so much fun really.  I have to find out if the catapults used were steam or what.  My daughter suggested using thin cotton strans to cover the wire and make it appear as smoke or steam trailing behind the aircraft.  Not so sure how that would look... thinking about it.  All the old motion pictures I've been able to find do not show steam evidence.  that was the lightest guage wire I could use that would support the weight.  We are getting close to the finish on the build.  I have ordered the case and will start working on the base today... I need to get this guy mounted... its time.  Next project is Trumpeter's Lexington CV-2.  Same scale, but she was a larger ship, hence, bigger model.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on September 02, 2017, 02:44:22 pm
Its a huge jump in all factors from CV1 to the CV2 and will be interesting to see the models near each other just to gauge the quantum leap in dimentions!

A little cotton wool (wadding in the US?) teased out and varnished like those artists who create the nautical dioramas do would make a nice touch but only if there was a steam catapult. If not, creating the effect of having a plane take off is enough to capture the feeling of a carrier in action. Another way (assuming she had arrestor wires) is to have a plane mid bounce held up by one of the wires under tension. This could be a single strand of wire bent together, that bit sruck into a small hole where the arrestor hook would be and then to two ends bent out to form the wire.

Saying all that, she probably didn't have arrestors!

She is a lovely model and well demonstrates some advanced etching skills and modelling Dennis  :-))
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: deadbeat on September 02, 2017, 02:47:17 pm
I'm not sure the Langley had catapults - too early. They were a British development after WWII necessitated by the heavier jets replacing older aircraft.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 02, 2017, 03:16:12 pm
The Langley did have catapults, as to wither they were steam is in question.  I watched one old film clip that showed a seaplane being launched on a sled via catapult... very slow and no signs of steam.  Maybe cables and weights??  True, it appears that many of the launches I watched on film were free takeoff into the wind.  I may just paint the wire the same brown color as the deck and hope for the best.  tks for the suggestions.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: deadbeat on September 02, 2017, 04:10:37 pm
Checking one of my books it states that she did have cats ( two 60ft cats) primarily for launching float planes but didn't say their motive power, the book does not mention steam so I suspect, as you say, the cats used another method of power.

The book also states that she had transverse and longitudinal (sic) arrestor wires.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: Akira on September 02, 2017, 11:23:43 pm
A very challenging subject in any scale. The one you have chosen is all the more so. What do you take to keep those hands steady... I am a decade less and mine shake a flag in the wind... Langley did have catapults but I believe that they were mechanical rather than steam or hydraulic. I can check Norman Friedman's history on US carriers if you like, but I believe you would be safe to exclude steam from showing.
Beautiful work.
Jonathan
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 03, 2017, 02:03:20 am
Thankyou Jonathan.... I tend to agree that they were mechanical and hence, will not worry about steam or smoke for that matter.  I have seen static smoke done very effectively with cotton I believe.  The movie pictures I have seen of these old carriers really pump out tons of black smoke.  The Lexington I will be building next had a huge stack just aft of the main island and she made a natural smoke screen when she poured the coal on.  I give my steady hands as a gift from the good Lord is all I'll say.  For those of you folks who have expressed concern for my well-being, I just got ther results from my latest CT scan and all is well inside, everything is "stable"... doctors are happy and I'm happy  :-)   My motto: "Build On"... so, get busy gentlemen, so little time, so much to do.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on September 03, 2017, 02:16:15 pm
I am so pleased to hear that Dennis  :-)) Keep up the good fight and you will have the whole US carrier history built and painted in no time  :}
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on September 03, 2017, 02:23:31 pm
Steam Catapults were introduced post war by the Royal Navy around the same time as the angled flight deck.  Pre war catapults aboard American ships were either hydraulic or gunpowder. 
 (Quote)   " On 14 December 1924, a Martin MO-1 observation plane flown by Lt. L. C. Hayden was launched from USS Langley using a catapult powered by gunpowder."
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 03, 2017, 02:45:32 pm
The Indianapolis, US Navy Cruiser used gun powder for its catapults... could accellerate aircraft to flight speed in 30ft.  Pilots said it was like being shot from a cannon... :D .  I was stationed aboard the USS Ranger CV-61 in 69.  My sleeping rack was directly below the port main catapult, just feet from the "end" of the tube... the catapult cylinder hit a column of water to break its acceleration.  the sound was not easy to discribe when one was trying to sleep during launch.  But, after time, one could actually sleep like a baby while that "KaaaaWhammmmm" :-X  was going on.  Oh, Navy life, I miss it so.  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 05, 2017, 06:12:26 pm
Well folks, the Langley build is now finished.  I can say that I enjoyed the experience.  The scale and build were challenging and I have decided to stay at this 1/350 scale, as it keeps the footprint down some. This model was most difficult to photograph, so bear with me as I send you these final photos... if I could have crammed my camera inside between decks, I would have, I tried. As for the kit.  For the price, it is ok... the resin castings were not the greatest, except for the hull itself.  The photoetch was outstanding.  The kit manufacturer makes repeated claims that I could get any part replaced free of charge.  I never took them up on it, as I could usually make the part in question work with some scratch tech.  I'm more leaning towards the plastic kits out there with the upscale kits that really boost the scale work.  I find the castings much better (well, we will see with my next model).  So, as soon as I get setup for the next build, I will be silent and repost with the build of the USS Lexington CV-2, when she is ready to start.  Oh, the fun of it all. O0   Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 05, 2017, 06:12:50 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 05, 2017, 06:13:18 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 05, 2017, 06:13:49 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 05, 2017, 06:14:23 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 05, 2017, 06:14:47 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 05, 2017, 06:15:28 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 05, 2017, 06:16:02 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 05, 2017, 06:16:41 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: SailorGreg on September 05, 2017, 06:33:42 pm
Nicely done Dennis. I still am amazed by those tiny planes and the other detail that really needs a magnifying glass to appreciate.  Thanks for sharing.


Greg
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: Bob K on September 05, 2017, 07:39:42 pm
Outstanding, especially at that tiny scale.  Superb   :-))
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: TailUK on September 06, 2017, 08:48:24 am
Nicely done, Dennis.  Very nice!
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on September 06, 2017, 10:06:34 am
As a ship, she isn't the most attractive, but the design ideas and construction of the vessel; pioneering for the American Navy make it a most attractive model. She fits so well into the period where carriers were not proper unless they had a labyrinth of structural steel showing along with an attempt to fit weapons anywhere vaugely sensible.

A job done well on your part Dennis, and I salaute your persistence with the less well cast parts of the kit that might have put some people off  :-))

Bring on the Lexington..........  %%
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: plastic on September 06, 2017, 04:31:25 pm
I love this model and the attention to detail shown during the build - but I'd be terrified of transporting or even touching something so fragile!
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on September 06, 2017, 07:13:37 pm
Thanks for all the kind comments.  I have really enjoyed this build.  the model is solidly mounted.. some 2" screws are going up hard into that solid resin hull.  Yes, she is delicate, but seems compact.  I'll feel much better once the case is on.  Something I did notice was how much support strength for the deck when all those girders started coming together as a design for support...engineering even works at that tiny scale.  Regards,  Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on September 07, 2017, 10:21:24 am
In scale, it is probably stronger as the etch scales out at 4 inches thick! That assumes it is .3mm brass sheet used.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on October 11, 2017, 08:21:29 pm
Finally received my new display case from J-Display Case www.displaycasej.com , located in the US.  i am very thrilled with the high quality.  Very fair pricing, but very high shipping.  I can see why, the packaging is over the top in quality and safety.  Sorry for the low quality pictures, but you get the idea. I milled the base from Sapele wood. I'm happy.  :-)   Dennis
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on October 11, 2017, 08:22:04 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on October 11, 2017, 08:22:39 pm
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Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: rnli12 on October 11, 2017, 08:40:49 pm
Good to see it in all its glory. Brill
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: ballastanksian on October 11, 2017, 09:36:37 pm
I agree Dennis, she looks perfect in her new see though home.

She's an all round darling of a model.
Title: Re: U.S.S. Langley CV-1
Post by: dlancast on October 11, 2017, 10:47:04 pm
I have really enjoyed this build.  She was really a small aircraft carrier at around 500ft, compared to the Lexington I'm building now.  They just kept growing and getting bigger.  Floating cities, with enough firepower to do some nasty damage, or light a city in need.... (I like that part).  Dennis