Ship Shape with Epoxy Resin
USS MISSOURI (BB-63)
Born in the midst of World War II, the shipyard workers at Brooklyn’s New York Navy Yard constructed the battleship in time for her launch on January 29, 1944 and commissioning as the USS Missouri on June 11, 1944 with Capt. William M. Callaghan in command.
The USS Missouri was the third U.S. Navy ship to be named after the Show Me state and the fourth American warship* to bear the name - there was a Confederate Missouri that was captured by Union forces during the Civil War but never commissioned as a United States Ship (USS).
Missouri was the last battleship commissioned by the United States, and is perhaps, best remembered as the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan, which formally ended World War II.
Today, a Virginia - class submarine, USS Missouri (SSN-780) has the honor of being the fourth USS Missouri and carrying the Missouri legacy into the future.
Recreating the USS Missouri
Peter (Pedro) Martinez is the Director of Admissions for Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. Over his career, colleges and universities have brought him in when their goal is to streamline their student admission practices and prospect visibility. Aside from improving enrollment approaches and processes; his responsibilities also include enhancing enrollment marketing programs for the school.
Peter Martinez & his USS Missouri
In his off time, Peter enjoys making detailed models of military warfare vehicles – including both land and seagoing vessels. His current pride and joy - a large-scale model of the USS Missouri - is five feet long and over a foot wide. The models go on display in his office as memorials – items of respect and awe – prompting those who visit to admire the pieces and become more informed.
“I’ve always loved the navy,” Peter explains, “the military has long been a part of my family. The leadership and presence along with a sense of history were cultivated when I was in high school. I built models as a kid, and it’s nice to get back to it as an adult. I have family members serving around the globe, and I try to honor them – and their efforts – with the models.”
Peter creating an “ocean” of epoxy resin
Peter decided that the USS Missouri he created needed to be at sea. So, he turned to ProMarine’s epoxy resin became to accomplish this. After conducting research to ensure he would “get the look right,” he then built a framework to contain the resin “ocean” he wanted to create for the diorama. It took ten gallons of resin to accurately establish the realistic surrounding sea, waves and get the proper lift of the ship he wanted to depict.
“ProMarine’s products are so easy to use – the project came together beautifully,” he stated. “The learning curve was no problem and integrating resin dye into the piece added the color and character I was hoping to achieve. The finished model speaks to me and goes to the heart of family. The piece really comes to life – as if it was plucked right out of the ocean – and placed on the table in my office.”
The ship Peter selected to depict is the original WWII version complete with older fixed-wing aircraft (in later years, the Missouri would be equipped with helipads on the aft section of the ship). Peter’s model is a 1:200 scale
representation of the real battleship which measures: 887'3" in length; 108'2" in width
(beam); has a draft of 28'11"; and displaces 45,000 tons. She could hit a speed of 33 knots; housed a crew of 1,921; had armaments including nine 16-inch, twenty 5-inch, eighty 40-millimeter, and forty-nine 20-millimeter guns; and is an Iowa-class battleship.
The Missouri riding the “waves”
“I enjoy being in my workshop – working on my hobby. It’s a release where I can let go of the daily stresses and fall in love with a moment in time. Building these pieces helps me imagine walking on the deck at sea – thinking about what those who served might have seen and felt – the waves and movement of the ship. I can escape everything for a moment in time.”
The Missouri at sea in Peter’s office
Next up for Peter is a model of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown; commissioned in 1937, she also served in WWII and fought at the Battle of Midway. His wife has suggested recreating an entire battle scene whereby she would layout landscapes with foliage – miniature palm trees and such – which is one of her passions. So maybe, when his children are a bit older, they too will take an interest, and Peter’s pastime will become one for the whole family to enjoy together!
We’d like to thank Peter for taking the time to be interviewed for this story – and wish him all the best in his creative endeavors!