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Building and Detailing Trumpeter's 1/350 USS Franklin CV 13

Building and Detailing Trumpeter's 1/350 USS Franklin CV 13 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2017 Title Building and Detailing Trumpeter's 1/350 USS Franklin CV 13
Author Mike Ashey Publisher Mike Ashey Publishing
Published 2017 ISBN -
Format 72 pages, three-ring MSRP (USD) $13.75

Here's one of the larger project manuals from Mike Ashey Publishing, this time covering Trumpeter's nice 1/350 Essex-class aircraft carrier kits. While this title follows Mike's build of the USS Franklin (Trumpeter kit 5604), the construction notes apply to all of the 1/350 Essex-class releases by Trumpeter including Essex, Yorktown, Franklin, Ticonderoga, and Hancock. I have the USS Hancock kit in my stash because my uncle was a CPO aboard Hancock during WWII.

As with other titles in Mike Ashey Publishing series, the author walks you step-by-step through the process of building this huge kit. One of the first areas addressed is the infamous Trumpeter ejector pin marks that appear in a variety of inconvenient places. The author shows you how to use a punch and sheet styrene to quickly fill those recesses punched into the plastic surfaces during mold release.

While it might come as a surprise, there are a few fit problems with the kit, many of which I was unaware of and I am happy to see how these were addressed. Due to the sheer size of the model, the author also shows how to provide structural strength to the hull as well as to key joints in the hull and decks. The author even shows you how to level the elevators with the flight deck since these too do not cooperate well out of the box.

Another useful aspect of this title illustrates how to use Evergreen styrene to add structural details like the underside of the flight deck where it is visible from below. Simple modifications to kit parts open up areas of the hangar deck that would otherwise be blocked. Even simple updates to the hull provide a solid foundation for a better display base.

The author also walks through the aftermarket items he chose to use with his project, from the photo-etched railings and details to the resin anti-aircraft guns. He even used pre-painted aircraft in this build, which will save time for some while perhaps not be a desired option for others.

Though coverage of the Franklin build ends at page 66, the remainder of the title addresses the different bow of the long-hull Essex and overcoming some of the fit problems, some of which are common to the short and long-hulled Essex-class and some that are unique to the long-hull version.

If you've got a 1/350 scale Essex-class in your building queue, this informative title will help you through the assembly glitches without the need for colorful metaphors or adult beverages. I'm definitely going to be using this information for my Hancock build!

My sincere thanks to Mike Ashey Publishing for this review copy!