by Rory Shallis
Model Completed: (not finished)
After checking the pieces out and fitting them together for about two or three days, I started my long project by painting the underside with a perfect dark red/maroon spray (and later hand painted the waterline black stripe. I decided that the ship would probably be built to look like the 1996 CVN-65.
|The first major approach was to assemble the model step-by-step,
as the Tamiya instruction booklet says to, but I usually do five billion
steps at one time. The sponsons eventually made their way to being the
first step. Continuing the booklets steps, I soon finished the “ship” part
about 35-40 hours later. (This isn't including the island superstructure!!!)
|I then did the Hornets. When was the last time you saw
a high-viz F/A-18 on the Big E? As for these, I also used a primer base
coat, and this was followed by a light grey finish, but without weathering.
Two of these planes have hollowed out cockpits, ejection seats, and (thermaform)
canopies in the open position. Two of these also have their refueling probes
(painted red) exposed. One of them has dropped flaps and ailerons. Half
of the Hornets have weapons including HARM missiles, Sidewinders on the
missile rails on the wing tips, and drop tanks.
|I made two E-2C’s which were painted light sea grey, decaled
and photoetched. This was added just make a slight difference in the air
wing makeup. For the same reason, I made two SH-3H’s. One is in the stowed
position at an angle beneath the island. The other has just made a dramatic
landing angled flight deck part of the ship and all planes in the area
had to be cleared immediately as I tried to make it look like there was
confusion. I tried to detail these craft extensively, but it wasn't much
use. Both have rotor droop, yellow fuel nozzles, and the detailed canopy
decals from GMM. The one on the angled flight deck has steps, and a tow
mule with a luggage wagon attached to the back for an expected guest that
hasn't yet come out of the cabin door. There are 2 Kaman Sea sprites and
2 SH-60’s on the aft landing area for Vertrep purposes. I received them
from buddies on ModelWarships and Steel navy (Thanks guys)!
|After the air wing was practically finished, I had to decide an arrangement or configuration for the moment I was trying to capture. Since this would eventually be a double UNREP, I felt it would be more realistic if some aircraft were getting ready to take off for security and safety reasons (which are always conducted during any type of unrep to make sure the group was not in any danger, since they're practically sitting ducks). A fuel exchange probe was constructed for CVN-65 due to some diagrams Mr. Kelly Quirk sent to me (THANKS!) Super detailing began. The catwalks had numerous pieces added. The island superstructure had new walls added, clear plastic windows inserted, numerous little video cameras and they're wires added above the flight control center (rectangular plates were added underneath also), and the very accurate and detailed PE from GMM (350-2).|
|I water-lined the ship (after being practically finished) up the large,
black waterline strip and mounted it (screwed it down) into celluclay.
This base was painted the darkest blue I could find.
For the remaining things, I added over 200, hand painted figures using the accurate color chart provided with the set from GMM.