|The Atlantic Conveyor was one of two roll-on roll-off container
ships that were requisitioned by the Ministry of Defense for service in
the Falklands War during 1982. England was short of carriers and these
ships were converted to handle harriers and helicopters. The ship had it's
deck turned into a makeshift flight deck with a row of containers arranged
along the sides to provide some shelter for the aircraft. A landing pad
on the stern and on the bow allowed for flight operations. The ship embarked
eight Sea Harriers, six Harriers GR3s, eight Wessex 5 helicopters and five
Chinook helicopters. Below deck in the roll-on roll-off part of the hold
were vehicles to support the Falklands invasion.
The ship was rushed into service, but was not supplied with any defensive armament partly due to it's merchant ship status. She sailed south to help retake the Falkland Islands from Argentina. After she arrived the Harriers were flown off to the HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible. On May 25 a pair of Argentine Super Etendard aircraft fired their Exocet missiles at the ships in the British task force. One locked onto one of the Frigates but was diverted from it's target by chaff. The missile then locked onto the Atlantic Conveyor and hit her in the port quarter. A huge fireball erupted from her stern and the ship burned uncontrollably. She was abandoned and the fire reached the bow where more fuel and cluster bombs were stored. When these blew up the bow was blown away and the ship later sank with all but one of her helos going down with her.
Twelve men lost their lives including Captain Ian North.
This new kit from NNT is a pleasant surprise. It comes as a basic kit
or as a Hi-Tech version with extra photo etch sailors and Life buoys.
|The hull is well cast in waterline style with nice surface detail. The hull is somewhat hollowed out on the bottom reducing the mass of resin needed. The bow is detailed with some really nice deck winches. While the stern features nice detailing with it's own winches to lower the stern door.||
|The superstructure is cast as a couple of blocks. The bridge structure has some really nice window detailing. The stern ramp has really nice frame work and the forward wind deflector has some really fine casting with grate like opening cast in.|
|These are nicely detailed but some of the thin walls have
been slightly torn loose from the decks during shippping. It looks like
these will just needs to be glued back.
|The small parts and fittings are well cast on a series of resin runners. There are canvas covered boats, davits, and anchors. Many of mine have become separated and were loose in the bag. It appears that nothing is broken beyond repair.|
|The kit includes twenty 40 foot containers, and five 20 foot ones. These are nicely cast nice external ribbing.|
|There are six Wessex HU.5 helos, four Chinook HC.1, and a single Lynx HAS 2. All nice looking with the proper shape. The Lynx has a separate tail boom that can be folded for stowage.|
|There are eight Harrier FRS.1's and six Harrier GR.3's. Nicely cast and appear to be accurate in shape.|
|Two colorful landing pads are included on the decals with deck markings and markings for the Harriers and Helos.|
|There are two photo etch frets in the standard kit. One with railings, ladders, girder work and anchor chain. The other fret includes the props and landing gear for the helos. The props are relief etched so that the hub details will stand out against the thin blades.|
|HI-TECH VERSION OPTIONAL PARTS|
|If you order the Hi-Tech version you get two extra frets with figures and life buoys. The figure fret includes pre-painted figures; 250 naval and 30 civilians.|
|The other fret includes 100 life buoys, in half red/white
and quarter red/white styles. Not a bad upgrade for an extra 8 euros.
|The instructions are six large sheets with an exploded
view and some plan and elevation views of the ship. The latter are quite
detailed. The other pages appear to be specs and other data. What is lacking
here is a good graphic bill of materials to help identify the parts.
This is a very nice kit with exceptional detailing. It provides everything the modeler needs to build the Atlantic Conveyor for your Falklands war fleet. While my kit was well packed, most of the parts are all bagged together allowing the heavy superstructure parts to damage the smaller more fragile ones. I hope that NNT will consider isolating the parts in a series of smaller bags to protect them from the bumps and bruises of the shipping process.
Available from direct from NNT as as either kit # 70022 Atlantic Conveyor 1982 in standard version for EUR 93,00 or Hi-Tech version for EUR 101,00.