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Ships numbers

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  • Member since
    August, 2013
Ships numbers
Posted by Jay Jay on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 3:31 PM

Hi all you generous ship modelers;

I am building my 0ne and only ship, a 1/350 scale Light Cruiser and don't have anywhere in my stash the decals of the ship's numbers ( 81 )  nor did the kit come with any. I would hate to have to buy a whole decal sheet for 4 numbers. Would any of you care to part with (2 ) 8's and (2)  1's ?  They are the USN WWII shadow type ,white with a black shadow about 1/4 inch high. Please Messege me here if you can do and thank you in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 10:46 PM

JJ-

If your model is USS Houston, CL-81 during WW2 you'll need unshaded numbers. The navy adopted shaded numbers in 1946.

Most ships have four sets during that time. 24" at the bows and 12" each side at the stern. The Clevelands are a little unusual. Because of the square transom across the stern, photos show one small "81" in the center of the transom plus the bow numbers in the later Measure 22 scheme, and just the bow numbers in the earlier Measure 32 scheme.

 

I don't have many extras but I'll sure look.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 6:42 AM

Mr. Morrison,

TY so much for your informative reply. The CL-81 is the ship on which my father served in 1944 when she was twice torpedoed so accuracy is a must. if i may ask, how did you come upon this information  as i find it hard to come by?

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 8:00 AM

Jay - Jay !

  Let's face it .This guy is a font of information on things that float .So you can't go wrong listening to him . Now , on his answer I have to add this . I was taught that the Shadow Numbers you see today were NOT worn in wartime .

  They were a lot smaller and no shadow effect .The U.S.S. Kidd I am building has been marked in wartime service and the numbers are less than 1/4 in . high . This is a 1/96 scale ship too ! 

 Also regarding Mr Morrison . I think he has a Library affixed to him via a talking helmet or something LOL.LOL. He's okay ! .

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 8:06 AM

TY for the reply TB. Of course I will listen to Mr. Morrison and any and all who may help with this build, after all the good fellows on here are the experts in my book.

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 1:34 PM

JJ,

 

Happy to be of any help. Here is a site, not actually with the Navy, that is always a great place to start. It has very reliable contributors.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/081/04081.htm

Here is a site that has just about all you can ever need regarding painting and camouflage. Once you get deep into it and learn your way around the database, you'll be fascinated.

http://www.shipcamouflage.com/usn_cl.htm

When you find the pictures of her in November 1944, you'll see that she was in that complicated Measure 32/ 1D scheme when she was torpedoed at Formosa.

When/ if you like, we can go through the Measure together and decide how to proceed with it. 

One last thing, I noticed in quite a few photos that there were hull numbers in some photos and not in others, at the same time. I can only assume that censors blacked out the numbers in some photos but not others. I'd keep them.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 8:28 PM

Depends on the situation.

Dockyard photos were sledom censored; but, often, the numbers are fresh painted over.

Photos by members of the press, especially in places considered "forward areas" were heavily censored (radars and the like magically disappeat just a few weeks after being installed).

Also, to complicate things, hull painting is a big exercise and way height is an issue (as is the lading, since that brings the boot topping lower in the water [boot toppin is the black stripe separating the red bottom paint from the upper hull paint, boot topping doubles in width during wartime]).  So, hull mumbers could be skipped over in favor of gettign the hull painting finished sooner.

That's also becasue the outline of the hull numbers was inscribed in the hull with 6" long weld beads at each corner.  So, you could get the mubers painted on the first time you pull into a quiet harbor and can put a couple bluejackets over the side on a scaffold plank.  Doubly so wit hthe 24" tall wartime numbers.  ("Regular" height shaded numbers are around 72" tall, or taller in proportion to hull size; IIRC the Iowas have 88" peacetime shaded numerals at the bown).

Yeah, it seems like voodoo, all the stuff "we" know over here--but, it's not much different than the folk over in armor who know every variation there was ins PzKfz II, or all the changes between different versions of the Abrams tank.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, August 24, 2017 9:22 AM

Although making white decals is considerably harder than dark decals, it is not impossible, so you might consider inkjet decals.

The problem is that the sheets are white all over.  So the way you do it is to set the background color in the graphics program is as close as possible to the paint color you are using on the hull.  Then set the graphics program for white letters and numbers.  What you will get is a patch of the gray hull color with white numbers on it.  Cut the decals as close to the white numbers as possible with a good hobby knife.  Any gray areas inside the numbers do not need to be cut out, as long as the gray prints reasonably close to the hull color. 

Even with this technique, the edge of the white decals will show a feint white edge, which must be painted with a small brush or toothpick.

Quite a bit of work, but saves money over buying the whole number sheet.  The area you use on the decal paper is small (place it near a corner), so the rest of the sheet can be used for later projects requiring white or light colored decals.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, August 24, 2017 9:40 AM

And, that might work pretty well. At least on the starboard side, the bow number is white over black. I couldn't find a pic of the port side with a number, but the choices of background are black, white or Ocean Gray.

Don, I'm curious. It sounds like you run decal paper through the printer multiple times? I've never tried that. I have a pretty expensive printer that tends to jam on stuff like used print paper, so I hesitate.

Once I needed a bunch of white stars, so I printed them in outline on the back of the paper and cut them out upside down. It worked nicely.

Doing the math, these numbers are pretty small. 0.06 inches tall.

Cap'n- why do ships have hull numbers? Using the 1" per 50 foot rule we signage designers follow, on a clear day, these would be legible unaided at no more than about a quarter mile, and that's really pushing it.

She flies her call sign flags, right?

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, August 25, 2017 9:50 AM

GMorrison

And, that might work pretty well. At least on the starboard side, the bow number is white over black. I couldn't find a pic of the port side with a number, but the choices of background are black, white or Ocean Gray.

Don, I'm curious. It sounds like you run decal paper through the printer multiple times? I've never tried that. I have a pretty expensive printer that tends to jam on stuff like used print paper, so I hesitate.

Once I needed a bunch of white stars, so I printed them in outline on the back of the paper and cut them out upside down. It worked nicely.

Doing the math, these numbers are pretty small. 0.06 inches tall.

Cap'n- why do ships have hull numbers? Using the 1" per 50 foot rule we signage designers follow, on a clear day, these would be legible unaided at no more than about a quarter mile, and that's really pushing it.

She flies her call sign flags, right?

 

You mean when I cut out the decals from a small area and then do a new set and feed the paper through again?  Yes, that is correct.  For the second time, I turn it around and feed it in upside down so the printer will feed it through properly.  After that, I have to use a paper cutter to get a new top edge to feed through.  Also, the paper must be at least about five inches to feed properly.  That limits the number of times I do it, but I try to make small decals line up along the top edge of the paper, and with that kind of a printout, I can get several sets from one piece of the somewhat expensive decal paper. No sense throwing out a 10 inch or 8 inch piece when I only needed one or two inches worth.

 

This may not work with laser paper, which heats the paper, but it is fine for inkjets.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Friday, August 25, 2017 10:10 AM

Well if no one has any decal numbers to spare, i will try to print them out but I don't think my printer program has the abilty to change the background color. failing that , i'll just go with no numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, August 25, 2017 10:38 AM

Way off isn't it? Are you making plans on that camo measure?

I think Gator has a set of masks of M32/1d for another Cleveland class, the USS Miami.

Those will be a great help.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, August 26, 2017 12:11 AM

GMorrison
Cap'n- why do ships have hull numbers?

As far as I know, it's something that happened when the Navy started building ships to class, rtather than to name, particularly the smaller ships.  If you have 10 of the exact same destroyer or torpedo boat, you put the number on as it's legible far further than a name.  The hulls were given a pennant number anyway, until a name was assigned.

Merchant vessles using call sign flag hoists were using spark-gap radio, which had a largish footprint.  USN really didn't fly call sign hoists until reliable HF & VHF sets that would fit in all combatants until around the 20s & 30s.  TBS (Talk Between Ships) cemented that use.

Interestingly enough, USN subs have used hull numbers more in exception rather than rule.  They were routinely painted over on patrol back i nthe diesel boat days.  The modern nuke boats only have them on placards hung fro mthe sail, or painted on the bunting of the home-port brow.

With small craft, there's no telling.  "By the book" hull numbers were directly proportional to poximity of HQ.  In my Riverine days, we had the legitimate, "by the book" black parts of the shadow numbers in placel, for when we were "in the rear with the gear."  Otherwise we were as likely to have spurious numbers, or mission specific numbers in very temporary paint.

I know we generally always refered to other velles by hull number , rather than by name, mostly for brevity.  But, some also for not using (and allowing to fall into official logs and records) the highly unofficial "other" versions of ship's names that we all knew (and oft used).  CV-59 fare easier than "Forest Fire" or having to reclarify whether the carrier or the Secretary of the Navy was meant ("Forrestal directs that TF...").

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Saturday, August 26, 2017 6:54 AM

This turned out to be a very interesting thread thanks to you Cap'n. ans ty to all who replied.

Mr. Morrison.  I truly appreciate your advice and input but the model is nearly finished includung the measure camo. I'll post pics when she's all done Mates

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, August 26, 2017 8:44 AM

Remember Jay - Jay !

 We'll be waiting with anticipation . T.B.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Sunday, August 27, 2017 8:47 AM

Ty T.B. I hope it's worth the wait.  Getting the little details done now , then the base and I still gotta figure out how to post pics via a new hosting site. 

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, August 27, 2017 9:39 AM

Ah !

 You got one on me .I still haven't figured out how to do it , and now got to to figure a new photo hosting site too ! Geez !  T.B.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, August 27, 2017 6:07 PM

Tanker - Builder
and now got to to figure a new photo hosting site too ! Geez ! T.B.

Well, if it ever stops being flooded down there after Harvey, I may just have to go down there and show ya how to hold your mouth right.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Monday, August 28, 2017 8:35 AM

AYE AYE Sir Captain

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, August 28, 2017 12:51 PM

Jay Jay,

 

I have some numbers for you. They are pretty small, just over 1/16" tall, so don't be surprised when you open the envelope.

Send me a PM with your address and i'll get them off to you.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Monday, August 28, 2017 2:44 PM

TY Mr. Morrison for your effort and consideration but I was wanting something aroud 3/16 in height. I think the 1/16 is too small for 1/350 scale.

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, August 28, 2017 7:45 PM

The wartime bow number was 24" tall. At 1/350 scale that is 0.06 inches, or 1/16" tall.

3/16", at 1/350 scale that equals 72" tall.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:31 AM

WOW TY so much for doing the math. I resind my previous comment and humbly accept your 1/16 size. PM on the way Mate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

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