Vietnam veteran replicates US Navy Fleet from 1941

Vietnam veteran replicates US Navy Fleet from 1941

By Kimi Andrew
HNN News Intern

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -- A Vietnam Navy veteran has replicated the US Navy Fleet from right before Pearl Harbor.

Russell Sandlin served two tours in Southeast Asia in the 1970s, but has since been building scale models of Navy battleships, destroyers, submarines and more.

The 98 ships in his miniature fleet are all 1/700th scale of each actual ship. Sandlin explained that this was the smallest scale he could create while being able to keep even the smallest torpedo boats accurate.

"Scientific research and experience in model making has made it just as accurate as can possibly be," said Sandlin.

The ships, which are made out of plastic model parts and painted almost the exact color of actual navy ships have taken Sandlin 30 years to complete. This replica of the US Fleet from 1941 is the first and only of its kind.

Now that his long-time project is coming to an end, Sandlin is looking for a place that his fleet can call home. He believes that the ships belong in Hawaii and hopes they can be on display where others can enjoy the detailed replicas.

"I want to give it away. Not looking for anything in return. All I want is to find a home for it. It's the only recreation of the United States Navy at Pearl Harbor anywhere in the world. It belongs here," said Sandlin.

The entire fleet will be on display from Oct. 7-14 for Fleet Week.

For more information on Russell and his ship replicas, click here.

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