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The BIG MO, USS Missouri


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#1 superchief

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 07:52 AM

Revell's USS MISSOURI, 1953....If you build any plastic model, ship, tank, plane, or car it was influenced by this model. The plastic kit hobby we enjoy had it's beginning with the "Big Mo" and a guy named Lew Glaser. Mr. Glaser started the Revell company after WWII, manufacturing small toys from a new product called injection molded plastic. Plastics had been around since the early 1900's and a few entrepreneurs offered plastic toys and even a few models, mostly aircraft. But Glaser took a chance with his tiny company and offered the USS Missouri as a injected plastic kit, hoping to attract kids and men that saw service in WWII. It was a gamble for a new product: he chose the battleship for it's notoriety as the vessel where the  surrender was signed and the war ended. The model was the hit of the 1953 New York Toy Fair and he took so many orders his business exploded beyond anything he imagined.  The kit's success led to a line of  Revell models that influenced not only hobbyist around the world but other manufactures to invest in their own line of plastic kits. 

I received this model as a birthday gift when I turned seven, my dad and I built it on the kitchen table one weekend. Like a lot of kids my age it led to a lifetime of building plastic "miniatures", from spaceships to hot rods. The "Big Mo" was always in Revell's catalog, I don't recall a time when it wasn't offered as a selection. The kit is primitive in detail when compared to today's Tamiya versions of the same ship but the Revell model is a great "starter kit" for youngsters that want to get into the hobby, it's not a difficult build. 

I often wonder what would have happened regarding the hobby industry if Mr. Glaser hadn't taken a chance way back in 1953.....

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#2 superchief

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 07:56 AM

The first box art of the Missouri and the latest version.

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  • Revell%20H301-198%20MissourLBaa.jpg


#3 superchief

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 08:02 AM

I added a few things to "update" the model including new gun barrels I made from brass tubing as well as adding some white plastic "improvements".

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#4 Proud Kraut

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 10:21 AM

Superchief, thanks very much for this thread. I wasn't aware of the fact that "Big Mo" seems to be the mother of all plastic kits. You did a top job on this kit, I also like the way you did the water surface, Great dio! Could you please add the scale of the ship? Thanks again!

 

Lars



#5 superchief

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 11:00 AM

P.K.

 

 Thanks for the kind words. The model is scaled at 1/535 (20 inches long), as strange a scale as you might expect. But it was the model era of the "Box Scale", it was important that the kits would be properly displayed on the hobby shop shelves to appeal to young buyers, along with point-of-purchase "factory built models" to display near the cash register. Having all the models fit in the same size boxes was an early  business decision, it kept the shipping cases all uniform and reduced delivery costs. 

 

I almost forgot , I added some photo etch railings, a little out of scale, but this was a "fun" build and not to be a prize winner.

 

 

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  • Latest Builds 011 - Copy.jpg


#6 Proud Kraut

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 12:01 PM

Great background infos, thanks!



#7 ArtyScout

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 09:47 PM

Wow, nice job SuperChief. I was debating between Mighty Mo and what I'm building now, which is the Admiral Graf Spee. You did a great job and I especially like your water technique.

BTW what did you use for your rigging, was it E-Z Line?

 

Semper Fi.

 

Manny



#8 superchief

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 07:44 AM

Hi Manny

 

Thanks for the kind words.

 

To answer your question, no, I didn't use the E-Z-Line. I used good old fashioned stretched sprue for the rigging and antennas. This scale is so small I felt that any nylon thread or a product like E-Z-Line would look too heavy (plus I'd have to send away for the E-Z-Line, didn't want to wait). The sprue attaches very nicely to the models plastic surface, plus it challenged me (and my arthritic fingers)  to see if I could still do it. I remember using sprue rigging a biplane years ago, what a job that was.  Since the sprue was gray, I didn't have to paint it! 



#9 ArtyScout

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 10:53 AM

Hi Manny

 

Thanks for the kind words.

 

To answer your question, no, I didn't use the E-Z-Line. I used good old fashioned stretched sprue for the rigging and antennas. This scale is so small I felt that any nylon thread or a product like E-Z-Line would look too heavy (plus I'd have to send away for the E-Z-Line, didn't want to wait). The sprue attaches very nicely to the models plastic surface, plus it challenged me (and my arthritic fingers)  to see if I could still do it. I remember using sprue rigging a biplane years ago, what a job that was.  Since the sprue was gray, I didn't have to paint it! 

Well all I can say is that you and your arthritic fingers did an excellent job.

 

Semper Fi.

 

Manny



#10 917601

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 02:38 PM

I love it, the only modeling I have done is paint the 16" shell I have, and I have to repaint it correctly before the summer is out. It weighs 1600 lbs so applying paint is the easy part. I am adding some pics to illustrate the " Mighty" part of our battleships. Your model would look great exhibited with my shell, nice job.image.jpeg

#11 917601

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 02:40 PM

The projectile.image.jpeg

#12 917601

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 02:45 PM

Manhandled on carts, it took six powder bags to launch it at 2700 FPS ...image.jpeg

#13 Proud Kraut

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Posted 18 August 2019 - 12:38 AM

The projectile.attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

 

Now THIS is a shell, wow! Great picture of the broadside!



#14 superchief

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 05:54 AM

Very impressive, that's one heck of a door stop! I had a 3" shell with a dummy warhead and brass casing that I used to keep a door from closing....what color is the "correct" color you need to correct?



#15 917601

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 12:42 PM

16"/50 HE ICM, MK146. Diamonds denote sub-munitions, and the lettering needs to be changed to match what is engraved on the driving band. image.jpeg

#16 917601

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 01:04 PM

It took awhile, but I was able to locate a few dozen of the M46 grenades that the shell carried (666). The grenades are considered " AP" as they will penetrate >3" of armor, and have anti- personell capability. From memory, this payload could cover 500 square yards of destruction, personell, soft skinned vehicles and armor. The MK 146 was the latest improvement on naval cargo munition technology, and the last. They were shelved around 1991 when the Iowa class battleship was stricken from service, and last used in the Gulf War 1.image.jpeg

#17 917601

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 01:09 PM

Earlier 16"/50 ICM with older style AP sub munitions, 400 in a load, The M46 grenade was redesigned with a shaped charge and 666 could be fitted.image.jpeg

#18 917601

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 01:21 PM

All said, the M46 grenade was also used extensively in Gulf War 2, the documented evils of cluster munitions, very, very effective, BUT..
https://www.hrw.org/...usa1203/5.5.htm

#19 917601

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 01:34 PM

A cluster grenade, cutaway. Showing the armed position, a common sight in Iraq as the dud rate was high. When deployed, about the size of a D cell battery, the white ribbon was about 12" and commonly caught in trees, bushes, armed waiting to be disturbed ( touched, handled), ....which led to the banning of cluster munitions...US, Russia, China did not sign the agreement and are still in inventory.image.jpeg

#20 917601

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 01:38 PM

Example.image.jpeg

#21 917601

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 01:44 PM

My 155mm M483 cluster munitions shell, it holds 88 M46 grenades ( center), l-r, 155mm M101 HE 1945, 155mm M483 DPCIM,1986 and my absolute favorite, a 155mm inert M121 VX nerve gas shell, undoubtedly the most destructive and feared. The M121 delivered 6.5 lbs of clear, non- odorous nerve agent. Lethality is measured in milliliters. image.jpeg

Edited by 917601, 19 August 2019 - 01:53 PM.


#22 917601

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 02:00 PM

Sorry for the long winded post, but most have no idea of what the US ( and others) still have in our war inventory....I find the subject fascinating, fascinating as Russia still has not abided by the treaty....and we still have not destroyed the last 10 percent of our stores until they completely destroy their stocks. To my knowledge, we store the undestroyed, deteriorating Chem weapons in Utah, Colorado and Kentucky.....

Edited by 917601, 19 August 2019 - 02:14 PM.


#23 917601

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 02:17 PM

Edit: Wiki states Russia announce compliance with the 1990's ban in 2017.

#24 gwb123

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:45 PM

Getting back to models, it is a real testament to the original Revell kit that you could upgrade it so nicely.

 

I am sure many of us had plastic fleets.  I ended up building three of the four Revell Iowa class battle ships... the Iowa, New Jersey and of course the Missouri.  I am not sure why I never got around to the Wisconsin, other than it might not have been available at the time. 

 

The box art was great! https://www.pinteres...253429/?lp=true

 

Here was part of my fleet... sailing out to see on my bedroom carpet.  Gone forever... when I went off to the Army, my Dad donated all of my creations to a church sale.  Hope some kid enjoyed them as much as I did.

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  • USS New Jersey.jpg


#25 superchief

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 08:19 AM

917601

 

I don't know where one can purchase surplus munitions, but that's quite a collection.

 

gwb123

 

I guess I wasn't the only kid that owned a fleet of plastic ships that saw "battle" on the living room rug! I had about 30 ships, all scales, All nations, and all time periods (USS Forestall along side Revell WWI destroyer). None were painted correctly, like Revell directions that instructed you  to paint the gun barrels silver...my U.S. flagship was Revell's USCGC Campbell, I guess because it was molded in white, tan and black plastic, the Axis flagship was Aurora's Graf Spee because it was so cool looking. For the life of me I can recall building each model but have no idea what became of them (like my car model collection and missile collection). My folks must have cleaned my bedroom when I enlisted and the fleet disappeared "over the horizon". Great memories.




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