|HMS Ark Royal 3 by Barrie Hole|
After completing my previous carrier (Ark Royal refuelling at sea) I wanted to develop diorama building and after researching a few subjects decided on another Ark - the wartime one this time. The Revell kit comes complete with a Tribal class destroyer but I wanted to avoid the obvious 'carrier and escort at sea' scenario. I read in the ship's history that in June 1940 she was host to a training squadron with their Walrus aircraft and about this time the ship's Skuas were being replaced with Fulmers and so 'Training Day' was conceived.
Starting at the bow a team of aircraft handlers are being shown the basics of launching the new Fulmer. Behind them Skuas are being prepared for take off - probably to carry out practice bombing. Further aft are two parked Walrus' and at the stern Swordfish are being loaded with practice torpedoes. However this has been interupted as the crew are watching another Walrus being recovered after a heavy landing. Off to starboard the destoyer HMS Ashanti is returning to port escorted by a tug and led by the harbour pilot.
The kit is an old offering from Revell and rather shows its age. The parts are nicely moulded but the fit of many is pretty appalling - the phrase 'fits where it touches' comes to mind. However patience and filler eventually won the day. I cut out the relief moulded boat galleries and built new ones from plastic sheet. I also removed the moulded on rafts and added new ones (from Fujimi's Eagle kit). The ship was detailed using WEM's PE sheet but I replaced the pom-poms with their improved version. I also used the Niko quad Vickers M.G.'s rather than the ones on the fret.
The destoyer got much the same treatment - WEM photo etch and Niko for the AA guns. The flag came from Revells Invincible decal sheet and the hull numbers are Hawk Graphics.
The small craft are from Tamiya's Tugger set and although they are modelled on Japanese subjects I have found that work boats are pretty much the same the world over. They also have some PE detailing and the deck clutter came from odds and ends.
All were painted with a mixture of Revell, Humbrol and Life Color paints. Weathering was applied using a weathering powder from a wargame supplier. Crews are Eduard. The sea incidentally is crepe paper coloured with artists pastels and then spray varnished. The highlights were then added with white acryllic paint.
Quite a mixture and not particularly easy to source. The Fulmers supplied with the kit were OK and the WEM sheet provided props etc but I really wanted a fully representative mix. Eventually I produced the following:
Fulmers - l'Arsenal resin castings. Lovely models but delicate. I killed several in order to produce the one with folded wings!
Skuas - Converted from Aoshima Kate torpedo bombers. WEM props and undercarts.
Swordfish - Aoshima. WEM props and undercarts. Thin copper wire struts. Torpedoes from sprue. I initially tried the l'Arsenal ones. They would make superb models in their own right but not by me!
Walrus - Trumpeter. WEM struts and props.
All decals from Starfighter except for the Swordfish lettering which was home made.
This one turned out to be one of the hardest projects I've ever done and there were times when I nearly gave up. In fact I had doubts right up to the point I started putting the diorama together and then it all suddenly seemed to work but thats often the way of things isn't it?
Photos and text © 2011 by Barrie Hole
August 9, 2011