Building the Trumpeter USS Nimitz CVN-68 in 1/350 scale by Kelly Quirk
This is the Nimitz as she appeared in 1976. The type of aircraft and very colorful air wing markings really appealed to me.

On this kit I used both photoetch sets from Gold Medal Models for the ship, and several different photoetch sets for the air wing (GMM, White Ensign Models, and Tomís Modelworks). 
First, the ship
.I wanted to do a very detailed hangar bay, and provide lighting so my work could be seen. All wall and ceiling detail was scratchbuilt. I used a conglomeration of reference material as a guide, finding different pictures wherever I could. The lighting was achieved with a set of LED Christmas lights I found at a department store. You get 18 lights and a battery pack for under $5. I did rewire the set to include a normally open momentary contact switch mounted on the frame of the wood base, so battery life isnít an issue.  Click image
to enlarge
You can see the boxes I made in the ceiling - each one will host an LED, which once lit looks very realistic. Also note the drop tank racks.
View inside the hangar deck from the outside. The hangar deck still lacks small details such as fire extinguishers, tool boxes, etc. All will be added. Also will hang UNREP hoses and gear in the UNREP station area.
The construction of the rest of the ship was pretty straight forward, utilizing the photoetch sets wherever applicable during the build. I did use the perforated catwalks that GMM provides, and while they were a lot of work to install, the end result was very well worth it. I elected to just remove all the molded on detail in the catwalk area, and scrathbuild the various boxes, pipes, etc along the catwalks after the PE parts were installed. The tie down spots on the deck were engraved way too deep. These were filled in with Mr. Surfacer until nearly flush with the deck, then hand painted after the flight deck color was applied.
I filled in the horribly out of scale tie down spots with Mr Surfacer, then sanded off. There is still a slight depression there, much more to scale. I'll be doing the same to the main deck.

Planes, tractors, etc. that will go in the hangar deck. Still have lots of detail painting and cleaning up to do, please excuse the sloppy work!
The Airwing

Here are the masters for the drop tanks. I started with the tanks in the GHQ set and carved/sanded them to scale. I made two different shapes, one for the F-4's and the other is good for all the other aircraft. My resin castings are crude, and take a lot of cleanup! But worth it in the end I suppose.
The ship was painted and weathered with Model Master enamels, and the kit provided decals were used.

In my opinion, the quality of the air wing makes or breaks a good aircraft carrier model. They seem to be the first thing people look at and comment on. I made masters for drop tanks and cast my own copies in resin. Ordnance was carved down from the GHQ weapon set. The various photoetch sets really dressed up the tiny models (each aircraft is literally itís own model kit), even including ejection seats (with pull rings), boarding ladders, tailhooks, flaps, refueling probes, landing gear, and on and on. Building 60+ aircraft can be maddening, and the decaling hasnít even started! Many canopies were cut apart and glued in the open position. 
The SH-3ís came from the Tamiya set, as Trumpeter just plain got these wrong. Also, a couple EA-6Bís came from Tamiya, and a C-2 Greyhound was added (from Jim Clark Products). The air wing was decaled with the beautiful set from Yankee Modelworks, which went on with no problems.
Various tractors, deck equipment, supplies, and figures were added throughout the ship to give it some life and interest. I made a spinning prop effect on one of the E-2Cís and positioned it just lifting off the catapult, again to add a sense of life to the model.
The ship was placed in a sea of wall spackling paste. The paste gave me enough working time to form waves and wakes, and dried with no shrinking. After painting various shades of blue and green, it was drybrushed with white in appropriate areas and given several coats a future floor wax for a high gloss shine.
The Completed Ship
The Nimitz currently is displayed above two other great builds; the USS Hornet CV-8 and the USS Ticonderoga CG-47.
The Ships of Kelly Quirk