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Norfolk Naval Museum Capture of U-505

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  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Norfolk Naval Museum Capture of U-505
Posted by CapnMac82 on Friday, November 10, 2017 6:38 PM

Had just a smidgen of time before my flight out, so I stopped by the Naval museum adjacent to USS Wisconsin.

Cast of players

An overview

The Pillsbury

The Guadalcanal


Pillsbury's bridge

Guadalcanal detail

For those of you tired of working in small scales, this appears to be in 1/96 scale.

Now, I think this would be better with bakster's water effect (this is both too gray and too green for the Atlantic. 
THere probably ought to be a lot more people on deck, particularly on Pillsbury, especially at General Quarters--but that's a personal opinion.

Sadly, my phone was out of power, or I'd have photos of the 1"=1'-0" (1/12) scale A-6D.  Or the rather larger F-14 (no scale stated, but about 5-6' long).

But, I did get these photos, and of the only large diorama in the place.

My work related meetings ran long, as my original intent was to get to the Mariner's museum, and failing that, the Whisky.  Was a lovely day to be outside--about 51º with rain mixed with mist--a very Navy sort of day.  Indoors easily won.

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Friday, November 10, 2017 8:40 PM

I see what you mean about the color of the water, but it's such a masterpiece.  It's models like this which keep me inspired.  I guess my favorite ship of the lot is the USS Pillsbury.  It's always unfortunate when work gets in the way of model related fun.  


  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, November 10, 2017 9:03 PM

That's a pretty neat deal. It sort of makes the CVE look small. That model by the way is something to be reckoned with. That's a 500 foot long ship.

I think it was built by a modeler named Bill Waldorf. I do know it was commissioned for the Hampton Roads Museum by the Escort Carrier Sailors and Airmen Assoc.

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:33 AM

The water not withstanding, it is an inspiring diarama.  It makes the story come alive!


  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:49 AM

Beautiful diorama!


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, November 11, 2017 11:34 AM

Okay !

 By the way did you check out the Wisconsin ship model ? If you did you saw my work . I am the one listed as " Gunny " T.B.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Saturday, November 11, 2017 10:19 PM

Thanks for sharing this!

I am working on a 1/144 scale model of the Guadalcanal, for RC.  As such, I've been researching the Guadalcanal, trying to get my colors right.  She was painted in MS 32/4A in June '44, so the scheme is right.  My only question is about the flight deck numbers-  they look too chunky, too "blocky".  (Basing my comments on photos of the ship I've found online.) 

One thing I did find is a photo that looks like the aft "60" was nearly worn away completely.  There's a phot on NAVSOURCE showing an Avenger coming in for a landing, with the sub in tow astern.  You can barely see the aft "60" except along the corners.  It seems quite reasonable to me-- that the aft number would get worn away by flight ops, at a rate much faster than the bow number.   My plan is to omit the aft number entirely, unless I can come up with a way to scrub or fade most of it away....

Webmaster, IPMS Patriot Chapter

Billerica, MA


  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:25 PM

Bow flight deck number looked far too tall to me--but, the directive for painting the numbers was likely based on much larger ships.

The dio is striking, without doubt.

Ok, as a surface officer I see how forced the perspetive is; as a modler, it doesn't quite jibe with my memory of photos of the actual event.  But, husely impressive.  The supporting infor on the walls around probably gets short shrift, and that's a pity.

I wish I'd had more time to eyeball the Whisky there, but too many needs and too few minutes prevented that.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:33 PM

A very impressive diorama indeed! I recently watched the Victory At Sea episode that covered the capture of U-505. Somebody did some excellent work here from that reference point. But I gotta agree about the color of the water, having just crossed the Atlantic on a cruise that ended a week ago. I could not believe how vivid of blue that ocean is. Far more so than the more greenish Pacific that I know so well.


F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton



  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Monday, November 13, 2017 8:34 AM

 Hi Again ;

 I got to thinking . The comments about the water are spot on . As a Captain for B.P./Shell I can tell you the Atlantic is a whole lot bluer than that . Maybe off the Grand Banks in a shallow spot it might be okay .

  • Member since
    April, 2017
Posted by Mark Steele on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 2:55 PM

The Skipper of the Guadalcanal at the time of the U-505's capture was Capt. Daniel V. Gallery (Later RADM).

Gallery wrote a series of books after he retired about Navy life, which is what prompted me to join the Navy way back in the 70's.

The books, "Cap'N Fatso" and "Stand By To Start Engines" are funny as hell.

Great read if you can find them.

On the Workbench:

Tamiya 1:350 USS Enterprise (CVN-65)

Kinetic 1:48 C-2A(R) Greyhound

Kitty Hawk 1:32 T-28B

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Lacombe, LA.
Posted by Big Jake on Friday, November 17, 2017 3:33 PM

I was in Chicgo last month and saw it again. GREAT display.




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