|USS Forrestal by Barrie Hole|
In some respect this model has been over forty years coming. As a lad I spent several weeks accumulated pocket money on Revell's 1/542 Forrestal and was deeply impressed by both the size and quality of the model. So when I recently took up carrier building it was inevitable that sooner or later I would visit this subject again. I had been following the efforts to preserve the ship and decided it would be appropriate to model her returning from her final active duty deployment and being escorted home by a flotilla of private yachts and cruisers. The sailors in dress whites who had manned the rail have now broken up into groups and are doubtless eagerly awaiting to go ashore while the tugs make final adjustments to the moorings. I have slightly rewritten history as the air group would have been detached before docking but then whats a carrier without planes?
The ship is the Italeri/Revell kit which I updated to reflect the ship's final form. I also took the opportunity to correct some of the worst errors using Bert Kinzey's 'Forrestal in Detail and Scale' as reference. Basically the work involved partially rebuilding the island, adding the CIWS systems and modifications to the hull sponsons. Detailing was carried out using GMM's supercarrier fret and weapons from Skywave's modern ship equipment set. Some other detail parts came from spares. Decals were Starfighter's Forrestal ship set and the crew figures are Eduard.
The small craft came from various sources. You will probably recognise the tugs as being from either Tamiya or Dragon. In both cases I updated them to a more modern fit and provided some additional detailing. The yachts and cruisers are white metal castings from a company called 4D Models. They are actually intended for architectural models and are notionally 1/500 scale but then these sort of boats come in all sizes anyway so the scale discrepancy doesn't matter. Sails are 5 thou styrene and crews are Eduard again. The navigation tower came from leftovers on the GMM fret - I think it was originally a Nimitz class radar tower!
Painting on all was carried out using both enamels and acrylics and weathering was achieved with powder colours dry brushed on.
Nothing remarkable here - Trumpeter and more Trumpeter. The hardest part was folding the wings but applying the decals came a close second! I did drill out the intakes on the S3s and tailpipes on the A6s, EA6s and F14s - its surprising what a difference it makes but the F18 tailpipes were just too small and I wrecked a couple before conceding defeat. The Greyhound also has its tail ramp lowered and the SeaKing on the port elevator has been hollowed out and a flight crew positioned sitting in the open doorway. Decals are Starfighter again except for the Greyhound's which came from spares.
What was originally intended as a simple build and detail exercise actually turned into quite a mammoth undertaking though I must confess to being pleased with the outcome.
Finally a special thanks to Ken Kilmeyer, Forrestal's historian, for his assistance and fascinating insights about life on this fantastic ship.
Photos and text © 2012 by Barrie Hole
March 11, 2012