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So this is in response to a couple of entries in the HMS Indomitable colours thread, where the colours of her sister ship, Illustrious, and specifically her colours at the time of the Taranto Raid, were briefly alluded to. I shall, hopefully, shortly be embarking on a project to build Illustrious at Taranto in time for the 80th anniversary next year, so I've been doing a little research. What I've seen is a rather confusing, as some sources state she was overall dark grey, while others state she had been given a disruptive camo scheme in time for the raid. So what is the consensus of opinion of the more learned members of this forum?
HMS Illustrious R-06 Eduard 1:350 The Airfix 1:350 HMS Illustrious kit has been out for some time now, in fact it was first released in 2010. It’s only since the sad demise of White Ensign Models that Eduard have finally decided to release some etch sets for the kit. There are three sets in total providing everything the modeller needs to superdetail their kit. (53136 Superstructure) This two sheet set contains one large sheet and one small one. As the set name suggests this set is purely to add detail to the island superstructure and will make for a very busy and detailed area. Before adding any etch a lot of the moulded kit details have to be removed, so study the instructions carefully, as it’s probably best done before anything else. Apart from all the watertight doors, hatches, vertical ladders the set contains new air intakes, goofer deck railings, otherwise known as 02 deck, and 05 deck railings, along with numerous small fixtures and fittings. The Type1022 radar is all but replaced with PE with only the bottom mounting and IFF aerial kept from the kit part. The funnels receive new yards, complete with their associated aerials, plus the upper hand/foot rails, whilst the main and fore masts are also fitted out with new yards, supports, platforms, complete with railings and aerials. A completely new platform and its supports are fitted just aft of the rear funnel, in fact there appears to be quite a few new platforms contained in this set, each with their supports and railings. The Satcom dishes and several other aerials are replaced with complex etched parts which will need some careful rolling to get the correct shape and there are new bases for most of the other kit aerials and radars. Whilst the individual floodlights from the kit are used, some careful cutting will be required for these; the support frames are completely replaced. Around the Flyco area of the bridge there is some new netting and beneath, the landing light arrays and their support frame are attached. At flight deck level there are seven new hose reels to fold and fit. (53137 Flight Deck) This single large sheet set contains not only lots of detail for the flightdeck, which includes the catwalks but also for other areas. As with the previous set there is quite a bit of kit detail that needs to be removed first, before the etch can be aded. The watertight doors on the quarterdeck and each of the boat deck openings and included, along with the two accommodation ladders, one for each side and all the railings that are pre cut to fit into their respective opening. Along both sides of the ship there are large air intakes and these are replaced with etched parts. On the inboard side of the ski-ramp the set includes a length of netting, two hose reels and three hatches, whilst on the foredeck new closed chocks, and mooring platforms are fitted and a selection of hose reels are fitted in the catwalks. The next bit will require lost of careful cutting out as all the kit catwalks are replaced with the exception of the outer bulkheads. The bulkheads are then fixed to the new perforated etched parts before being attached to the hull and all the angled supports fitted. Lastly the ships crane is provided with new lifting wires, guides, rollers and a hook, whilst the ships boats all have new handrails, guardrails and helm wheel fitted. (53138 Safety Nets). As the name suggests this set contains a full ships worth of safety netting is supplied on the one smallish sheet. Well, everything that wasn’t included in the set above. Conclusion It’s nice to see Eduard finally bringing these sets out as with the loss of WEM modellers were unable to detail their HMS Illustrious kits to the extent that other models could. Now this has been rectified I wonder if we’ll see more models being built and seen on Britmodeller and at shows. Review sample courtesy of
Illustrious Class Helicopter set Eduard 1:350 This small sheet of etched brass recently released by Eduard is, as the title suggests, purely for the helicopters provided in the Airfix kit of HMS Illustrious. Providing enough parts for four helicopters, two with spread rotors and two folded. The Sea King Mk4 details include replacement and new parts, such as new main and tail rotors, port side rear strake, pitot probes, upper and lower port forward crew doors, windscreen wipers, sponson struts, main rotor head gearbox top decking, main winch, plus various aerials and aerial supports. The Merlin is provided with weapon stations, starboard crew step, new main and tail rotors, main rotor head cover, main gearbox top decking, port and starboard rear strakes, various aerials, upper and lower port crew entrance door, and pilots rear view mirrors. Conclusion This is a very neat and fairly comprehensive detail set which, whilst fiddly, will really enhance the helicopters within the kit. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of