On release of the 1:350 scale Airfix Illustrious kit I decided to convert HMS Illustrious, at present,   to HMS Invincible during the Falkland Conflict in  1982 which is completely different in all aspects to the Airfix offering. A different ship and a different era. The bow of the ship had to be completed changed so everything was taken off including the ski jump and rebuilt from scratch using 20 thou plastic card. The ski jump had to be scratch-built using only the slopy part of the take off run of the  kit The blast shield and the Sea dart missile launcher was also scratch-built.. Detail on the bow was added using the odd parts of a motherboard, plastic bits and pill capsules! Alterations were also made to the hull of the vessel especially on the port side. Sponson in the boating area had to be taken off and opening altered completely, to accommodate a launch instead of a dinghy.

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The Island also had to be radically changed to accommodate the bulbous Radomes which incidentally were fashioned from the rubber squeezing part of pipettes.. The main mast was also altered . Detail was added to the bridge and the island side walls  mainly consisting of  extra lighting and CC units , new piping and trunking and fire prevention systems. Extra boating equipment , one sloop and a small launch on the starboard side  had to be scratch-built as Invincible carried 3 on starboard and two on the port side. The sponson on the port stern side of the ship was taken off and the stern was reshaped completely The hangar was also detailed creating a busy atmosphere….

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The Airwing
The Seakings 7 Has 5’s and 2HC4’s
from HMS Hermes were all modified from the Tamija SH3H American version as well as the Harriers which were originally AV8’s  which came from Commander Models. The model was painted in a mixture of acrylics enamels and oils. Contrary to what may seem RN Vessels are always in a clean freshly painted finish. But after consulting a myriad of pictures of the Invincible it showed that the vessel was quite weathered ….the top sections of the masts which were originally black were over-painted in grey en route in the Atlantic…so were the undersides of the Harriers…I tried to create an impression of soot from number one funnel on the main mast as shown in various pictures. 

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White Ensign Photo-etching was used to detail the ship.

From the Bridge HMS Invincible by Leo Marriott.
Harrier Carriers Vol1 HMS Invincible by Neil McCart.

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Louis Carabott