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US Navy Waterline 1:1200 Ship Recognition Model Kit WWII 34 Ships

US Navy

US Navy Waterline 1:1200 Ship Recognition Model Kit WWII 34 Ships


This is an original WWII-era Ship Recognition Model Kit of ships of the US Navy made by Comet Metal Products, Inc. and South Salem Studios. The kit was used to train US Navy seamen to identify ships at sea. The kit contains 34 metal ship models mounted on individual removable wood shelves.  

Included ships/ship types are:

Made by Comet Metal Products:
  • Aircraft Carrier USS Saratoga (missing parts)
  • Aircraft Carrier USS Ranger
  • Escort Carrier USS Bogue
  • Battleship USS Iowa
  • Battleship USS North Carolina
  • Battleship USS South Dakota (missing parts)
  • Heavy Cruiser USS Baltimore
  • Heavy Cruiser USS Chicago
  • Light Cruiser USS Phoenix
  • Light Cruiser USS Omaha
  • Light Cruiser USS Atlanta
  • Light Cruiser USS St Louis
  • Destroyer USS Gridley
  • Destroyer USS Fletcher
  • Destroyer USS Benson
  • Destroyer USS Farragut
  • Destroyer Escort USS Buckley
  • Seaplane Tender USS Curtiss
  • Seaplane Tender USS Barnegat
  • Submarine Tender USS Fulton
  • Minelayer USS Terror
  • Minesweeper USS Raven
  • Oiler USS Cimarron

Made by South Salem Studios:

  • Escort Carrier USS Sangamon (missing part)
  • Battleship USS New Mexico
  • Battleship USS Arkansas
  • Battleship USS Pennsylvania
  • Battleship USS Tennessee (missing parts)
  • Heavy Cruiser USS Pensacola
  • Heavy Cruiser USS Wichita
  • Destroyer USS Somers
  • Destroyer USS Porter
  • Destroyer USS DD-186 (Replacement for missing DD-186 model)
  • Destroyer Escort USS Evarts

Most ships are in very good condition. Kit measures 27" wide, 5.5" deep, and 14" tall. It is 23 lbs before packaging.


In 1941 Bessarabis, whose owner is believed to have come from Romania produced models of U.S. ships, including some rather rare auxiliary ships such as MEDUSA, NITRO and CANOPUS for the U.S. military. But when they failed to meet the U.S. Navy’s contractual requirements, the

contract was pulled. In the meantime, two brothers, Joseph and Abraham had started Comet Metal Products. The brothers gained a Navy contract to produce ID models when the U.S. U.S. entered the war. This began a 20 year career of producing ship models in 1:1200 scale. Comet also used the name Authenticast Ltd. on its boxes and catalogs. The line included all the major navies of the world. During the war Comet copied many models by Wiking and Tre-Mo, although the military rejected these for identification training. Another model company, South Salem also produced identification models, although now where near as many as Comet did. South Salem is notable for having produced a substantial line of Japanese merchant ships for Navy and Air Corps training purposes. After South Salem went out of business, Comet issued some of these models under generic names such as "Large transport" etc. however, Comet never did not reproduce any of the warships from South Salem, many of which, such as AGANO, TERUTSUKI, MIKURA, NEVADA (1943) and PENNSYLVANIA (1943) were quite unique.

Also during World War II, another company, H.A. Framburg of Chicago, Ill., obtained a government contract to produce ID models. Framburg was a producer of decorative lamps and light fixtures. But when the war came, the copper, brass and other metals used to make these products became strategic materials and unavailable except for war material. Like so many other companies, Framburg had to adapt to the situation. So Framburg sought and obtained a government contract to make recognition models of U.S., British and French ships. 64 different ships were produced starting in 1943 and reflected the situation at the time. Ships were represented in 1943 rig, especially the few different French ships. While the detail on these models was far from the crisp, clean work we see in today’s models, nevertheless, Framburgs remain some of the most anatomically accurate models ever made.

After the war, Framburg reverted to production of lamps, but Comet continued to produce ship models, tanks, planes, and model railroad parts. Comet also produced post war ID models of some Soviet and U.S. ships. But in the 1950's the U.S. government gave up models as a means of recognition training, and Comet concentrated on the hobby market. In 1962, the last of the Slonim brothers died, and that brought Comet to an end.

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