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  1. I have had this bashed up old Heller 1:400 kit of HMS Illustrious in my loft for over twenty years. I had ideas to convert it to the rebuilt HMS Victorious R38 c1966 but it soon became obvious it was beyond my ability. Well, twenty years on, do I feel confident enough to re-start this brute; have my skills improved enough to tackle it now? Not only that, but could I upscale this from 1:400 to 1:350? There's only one way to find that out...... To upscale this to 1:350 then the hull needs to be lengthened by 80mm and widened by 10mm. I have split the model down the centre-line and inserted some lengths of 10mm wide plastic sheet as a starting point. I will now have to make cross-wise cuts in the hull, and add 80mm of plastic sheet inserts. To minimise the affect on the hull lines, I will attempt to make four cuts; spread over the length of the hull, and insert four pieces of 20mm each. If only that was all that were to be needed, I wish! Lengthening a model hull will mean that all the openings will be in the wrong places and these will need to be filled and then new openings cut to match where they should go. Even then, some of the hull lines will not be correct and will need either filling out or thinning back; plus the armour belt has to go. On the real rebuild of HMS Victorious, from wartime fleet carrier to a modern angled-deck carrier of the jet age, the whole ship was completely cut down from the flight deck to the hangar deck. I shall attempt my conversion by attempting something similar with this model. More to follow in due course, unless my medications run out! Mike
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