[WWI] More on USS Oregon

Eric Bergerud rickt2 at prodigy.net
Fri Oct 26 02:16:13 EDT 2012


Thanks for the kind words on Oregon. It was an odd build. The kit was 
originally put out I think by Ideal in the mid-50s with a motor. 
Somewhere along the line Glencoe got hold of it. Anyway, the original 
kit was a pretty crude affair and if done full hull it looked very 
tubby. I figured it was a historic vessel and that some PE would make 
for a passable model. I was wrong. Below is another build with the 
kit unaltered and full hull. In many ways the build is very nice 
(excellent rigging) but I didn't think it would look like a warship. 
There was another problem. The original designers decided the ship 
would be easier to cast if the superstructure was greatly simplified 
and given a deck that did not in reality exist. Another photo shows a 
pic from a wonderful Oregon build on Armorama in 2008 by Marcos Serra 
(panzerserra) that illustrates the problem and indicates a solution. 
So, off the bat, I decided to cut the ship in half to make it 
waterline (there was very thick plastic but fortunately soft) and 
then dissect the superstructure. You can see build photos of my hull 
version and superstructure surgery. These two steps added at least 
two months to the build. I had also decided that the ship needed some 
armor style heavy weather. I think the photos of Oregon after the 
battle illustrate that the ship (as armor fanatics would now put it) 
was very "distressed." A 14,000 mile journey, two months of blockade 
and a full-bore race with a Spanish warship will do that. Wartime US 
paint of that era was "slate" or "battleship gray." I bought some WEM 
enamel to use as a paint chip and made a very good copy with Vallejo 
Model Color. There are three different progressively lighter base 
coats interspersed by salt fading. I used Golden unbleached white, 
buff and buff/ochre to paint the deck and melded the color with a 
very interesting paint called Iwata Art Com which is favored by some 
railroad modelers. It's acrylic but has a consistency almost like a 
pigment. I will be putting this stuff through its paces much more 
seriously on armor. So there's a build pic showing the new hull, new 
superstructure and fading. And a couple more of the finished ship. 
Might add that the rigging was very simple in the days after sail and 
before wireless. Oregon was also carrying a very small number of 
boats as the Army was using their big ones to help out with bungled logistics.
Eric


Eric Bergerud, Albany CA  
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