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196
Lightship 112 WWII Examination Ship

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If I’ve built this model once, I’ve built it a dozen times over the years. The Pyro Model Company offered this ship in 1956 and considering it’s age, the kit makes up a nice accurate model of America’s most famous lightship, the NANTUCKET shoals light vessel. A few years back I decided to build another Nantucket but with a different approach. In WWII all lightships in the US were withdrawn (with a few exceptions like the Buzzards Bay) from stations and many were “repurposed” as patrol boats. With their tub-like appearance and slow top speeds (8 knots) the lightships went from anti submarine craft to examination ship. In this role they would patrol a busy harbors entrance and challenge incoming ships by coded radio and lighted signals to identify it’s true intent and destination.

In WWII the LS-112 lost its peace time red paint and was equipped with a 4” deck gun and water cooled 50cal guns. The portholes were plated over, surface radar and a powerful radio transmitter was installed. Stripped of it’s traditional beacon lights, the ship’s 2000 lb mushroom anchors were put ashore and were replaced with a standard naval anchor.

In building my model I tried to reflect all the wartime modifications the ship carried. I also scratch built a new motor surfboat, power boat, and added boat booms as well as a gun platform back aft. Compare this with my “typical” red hull version photo and you’ll see this old kit has a lot of build possibilities.

Model Shipwrights would like to thank Mike Maynard for providing a feature of his Lightship 112 "NANTUCKET" WWII Examination Ship.
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About the Author

About Mike Maynard (superchief)
FROM: RHODE ISLAND, UNITED STATES

Retired Coast Guard, ship model builder, former train nut, lost in New England.


Comments

Wonderful work, Mike. A very interesting subject and example of bringing and old kit to life.
AUG 13, 2015 - 03:00 PM
What a spectacular conversion, Mike! This is really a wonderful gap-filler in wartime naval topics. Where did you get the deck gun on the stern? --Karl
AUG 13, 2015 - 10:41 PM
Mike P. Thanks for the nice comment. The actual ship, in it's lifetime, underwent numerous modifications, some are very subtle and are easy to apply to the model to make it different from the typical build. For example the hull, masts, small boats, and vent funnels were painted red at one time. If you look at the red version I built, you'll see pipe gussets on the bow bulworks, and a canopy frame back aft. It's a great model to improve upon!
AUG 14, 2015 - 07:24 AM
Karl Thank you for the compliment. The gun is scratch built from brass tubing and soldered together. The gun upper base is a lamp finial with a slot cut in to accept the barrel. The lower portion of the base is a piece of brass tubing and a port hole to form a flange base. The other pieces are scrap bits of brass from the junk pile. The training wheel is from a HO model brake wheel. If you can solder, you can build this gun, in any scale, it's pretty generic in appearence. You can also build this out of Evergreen plastic tubing and plastic strips and shapes. Cheers!
AUG 14, 2015 - 07:33 AM
That's cool. The nice thing about modeling naval caliber guns is that they usually have the same proportions, so you can scale-jump from one to size to another. I've even employed artists' brush handles to portray the eight-inch guns on the Lexington in 1:48! --Karl
AUG 14, 2015 - 10:07 PM
Mike: wow! You made the ol' girl look great! Super job.
AUG 15, 2015 - 12:21 AM
Never heard of this kit but now I want one
AUG 15, 2015 - 12:23 AM
Fredrick Thank you for the kind words. It's a neat kit and goes together well right out of the box. Plus there is always room for extra detailing if one has the mind to!
AUG 18, 2015 - 03:33 AM