by Roger Chesneau & AD Baker III
Chatham Publishing 2005
The ‘ShipCraft’ series provides in-depth information about building and modifying model kits of famous warship types. Lavishly illustrated, each book takes the modeler through a brief history of the subject class, using scale plans to highlight differences between sisterships and changes in their appearance over their careers, then moves to an extensive photographic survey of either a high-quality model or a surviving example of the ship. Hints on building the model, and on modifying and improving the basic kit, are followed by a section on paint schemes and camouflage, featuring numerous color profiles and highly-detailed line drawings. The strengths and weaknesses of available kits of the ships are reviewed, and the book concludes with a section on research references - books, monographs, large-scale plans and relevant websites.
The subject of this volume is the Yorktown class, the near-legendary American aircraft carriers that kept the Japanese at bay in the dark days between Pearl Harbor and the decisive battle of Midway, where Yorktown herself was lost. Hornet launched the famous Doolittle Raid on Japan before being sunk at Santa Cruz in October 1942, but Enterprise survived the fierce fighting of the early war years to become the US Navy’s most decorated ship.
With its unparalleled level of visual information – paint schemes, models, line drawings and photographs – it is simply the best reference for any model maker setting out to build one of these famous carriers.ROGER CHESNEAU is a lifelong ship modeler and author of numerous naval books, including Ship Models in Plastic.
While geared toward modelers, this book contains enough in the way of information, drawings and photographs, to make it of interest to anyone interested in aircraft carriers.
Some very interesting facts were learned in this book:
1. The CXAM radar fitted to Yorktown was previously fitted on USS California and as part of the shore defenses on Oahu after Pearl Harbor.
2. Hornet had a line painted down her flight deck to aid the takeoff of B-25 bombers in famous Doolittle raid on Tokyo. This line was still there later that year during her sinking at the Battle of Santa Cruz.
3. The superb drawings by Mr Baker made this reviewer notice something for the first time - the lack of liferafts prewar. In these days of SOLAS and "quality of life" in almost seem incomprehensible that liferafts did not appear to be fitted at all.
4. Hornet was built with an almost completely redesigned island and bridge structure as compared to her two older sisterships. This is reminiscent of the current Nimitz-class carriers evolving over the years.
This book is hopefully the first of future collaborations between Messrs Chesneau and Baker. (DS)