History is Fun

Saturday, December 20, 2014

BB-39 USS Arizona WWI

Good evening everyone!
I hope all is well and everyone is getting ready for Christmas and New Year.  It is nice to be in Stockholm and to hear Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays like in the state. This is Christmas time!!!

Well I have been busy with work and preparing for Christmas so my painting has suffered from this increased activity.

I switched from painting my WWII German Naval ships to my WWI ships. Currently I have 3 US Navy ships from WWI, I have only painted one and that is USS Arizona.  I have lived in Arizona and I have also been to Pearl Harbor to see the final resting place of this ship.

The miniature is from GHQ and it is very well cast and is of the highest quality.  It was easy to assemble and to paint.

The US Ships of WWI had a very distinctive look because of the conning towers that were designed to be light weight while being strong enough to withstand battle damage.  So this is what the USS Arizona looked like when she was commissioned in 1916. At the time she was the biggest Battleship in the world.

Here is a link to great article about the USS Arizona and I recommend reading it for anyone who is interested in the history of this great ship.  BB-39

Well I will leave you for now and Starting Wednesday of this week I will be on Christmas break from work and I will be doing some painting.

Here is a previously unknown picture of the USS Arizona in Stockholm in 1918.  
This was discovered in the National Archives this past week.
 (this is just me having fun with my photo editor)

Have a good weekend


  1. When you say 'lightweight conning towers' don't you mean the masts which are lightweight.

    My understanding is that the 'conning tower' is a heavily armoured part of the bridge structure.

  2. Hi Jim,
    Yes I used the wrong term for the masts, here is what Ryan Noppen says about the masts in his Osprey book "US Navy Dreadnaughts 1914-1945".

    "The obsession with weight-saving measures also resulted in a distinctively American dreadnought design feature: the caged mast. Dreadnoughts of the Royal Navy used a heavy, armored tripod mast to support the observer’s platform. Capps believed that such a mast took up too much weight and could all too easily be knocked out by a direct hit, essentially blinding the ship’s primary guns. The solution he offered was a caged mast, a tall cylindrical structure constructed from a lattice netting of steel strips. While very lightweight, the interwoven steel strips created a strong and sturdy structure that would remain intact even after absorbing battle damage. Firing tests confirmed the strength of the masts and they were installed on the South Carolinas, as well as fitted retroactively to the navy’s pre-dreadnoughts. With the observation platform 100 feet above the waterline, the caged masts allowed observers to spot targets up to 10,000 yards away."

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Blog.

  3. I am not an expert on Naval warfare from this period, but I do like the miniature and the paintjob as well. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you Jeppan! I plan to get and paint up some more US Navy ships which served with the British forces in WWI! I could not pass up the opportunity to paint up the Arizona, even though she was not sent over to be part of Battleship Squadron 6.

  4. She's a beauty Mark - and a great addition to our WW1 naval project. Love the shape of these broad keel US boats, and the iconic masts. I notice that she is a 12 dice broad side, ouch :0) Ze Kaiser iz getting nervouz! Good thing he recently ordered some Zeppeliners ;0)

    1. I am interested to see the Zeppelins and to see how well the Arizona does against the German fleet! I will get some more US Ships that were part of US Battleship Squadron 6. I would be good to have all the ships that participated in the Joint US British fleet.

  5. Nice looking ship, great details!