Uss New York BB-34 1942 Profile Drawing
USS New York BB-34 1942

USS New York (BB-34) was a United States Navy battleship, the lead ship of her class.  Named for New York State, she was designed as the first ship to carry the 14-inch/45-caliber (356 mm) gun.  Entering service in 1914, she was part of the U.S. Navy force which was sent to reinforce the British Grand Fleet in the North Sea near the end of World War I.  During that time, she was involved in at least two incidents with German U-Boats, and is believed to have been the only U.S. ship to have sunk one in the war, during an accidental collision in October 1918.  Following the war, she was sent on a litany of training exercises and cruises in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, and saw several overhauls to increase her armament.

She entered the Neutrality Patrol at the beginning of World War II, and served as a convoy escort for ships to Iceland and Great Britain in the early phase of the war.  She saw her first combat against coastal artillery during Operation Torch around Casablanca in North Africa, and later became a training ship. Late in the war, she moved to the Pacific, and provided naval gunfire support for the invasion of Iwo Jima and later the invasion of Okinawa.  Returning to Pearl Harbor for repairs until the end of the war, she was determined to be obsolete and was chosen to take part in the Operation Crossroads nuclear weapon tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946.  She survived both explosions and the effects of radiation on the ship were studied for several years.  She was eventually sunk as a target in 1948. She received three battle stars for her service.

Trumpeter has issued two 1/350 scale kits representing both ships of the New York class.  Both kits share the same hull.  One of the major complaints of these kits is the poor representation of the hull shape especially the shelf below the after casemates.

Trumpeter New York Tesas 1/350

The focus of this page will be to present my ideas for improving the kit hull.  Note that I used the term “improve.”  As with many kits, there are a number of errors that appear more or less egregious to different individuals depending on their point of view.  So to that point, please do not expect a detailed description of how to completely correct every issue.  My goal is to have a hull and deck form that lends a greater degree of credibility to the model and improves what is glaring to my eye.

With that said, and at the risk of sounding like Eric Sevareid, I would like to add the following side note:

This kit presents and interesting example of extremes to a common modeling dilemma.  The modeler who builds from a kit, when faced with a number of discrepancies between the model and the prototype, is faced with choices:  Build the kit as manufactured; make modifications; or gripe about it and shelf the kit.  Indeed, this kit certainly presents enough errors that could make a good case for any of these choices.  I know when I first opened the box, my first thought was that someone had substituted the old Revell Olympia hull.  On further examination, some other issues sort of looked odd, but as always, it isn’t until you get going on a project, that you gain an understanding of the total picture.  My intention here is not to bash the kit, but to simply stress again that I have taken the middle ground with this kit.  When faced with an overwhelming amount of error, any “corrections” will also be flawed and should more properly be termed enhancements.  Finally, these efforts can be used as an exercise in problem solving as well as increasing a modeling skill set.

To begin with, I have sampled two kits ... the original New York and the later issued Texas.  As mentioned above, both kits share the same hull.  Both of my kits exhibited quite a bit of warpage and this combined with the thickness of the plastic presented the first challenge.  Figure 1 shows the fit of the kit hull right out of the box.  Using a profuse amount of masking tape, I was able to close the gap, Fig. 2.  The hull is left in this state for several weeks to allow the molded styrene to fatigue.

Trumpeter uss texas 1/350 hull
Trumpeter USS New York Hull

Comparison of the kit hull to prototype photos, it becomes apparent that Trumpeter neglected the tumblehome of the after portion of the hull.  In fact, you might make a case that Trumpeter understated the tumble home of the entire torpedo blister.  USS Texas museum ship image from Karsten Petersen.

uss texas at sea 1944
Trumpeter uss texas 1/360 hull comparison
Hull for trumpeter 1/350 uss New York
USS Txas Memorial

In addition, when comparing the kit deck to the deck outline drawing from Friedman and Squadron Signal, it appears that the aft deck portion should be a bit wider.  However, I am reluctant to hang an absolute on two drawings when not knowing the basis for their dimensions.

Trumpeter 1/350 New York deck layout comparison
Trumpeter 1/350 USS Texas 1944 deck layout comparison