Jump to content

HMS Queen Elizabeth II + Sea Tornado FRS2


Recommended Posts

Greetings all

Having got back from Holiday and settled into work, I though it was time to catch up with everyone else and crack on with this build. I haven't got any phots as yet so here is the background story. Phots will follow soon.

With the carrier force that was CVA01 cancelled due to cost, the RN started looking for cheaper options. The proposed 'Through deck cruiser' was not fancied at all. The cost of a new build was prohibitive so the top brass decided to go second hand. It coincided at a time when the US decided they couldn't afford their sea power. With several of their Nimitz class carriers up on Ebay, the Brits jumped in with an audacious bid. Having quashed the Iranian bid of $55 by a dime, USS Abraham Lincoln was accepted into the Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS Queen Elizabeth II.

This was where the problems started. The top brass wanted to keep the traditional fast jet option, but forgot to cancell the Sea Harrier order placed 6 months previous. With no other aircraft available at the time this meant major modification was required. The bow cats were removed and ski ramp installed. The rear starboard lift was also removed and an officers cocktail lounge fitted underneath. Whilst reading the Aircraft Carrier design bible it transpired that it was the law to have an aircraft lift on the flight deck centreline, mainly to cause problems during flying. This was then fitted.

Meanwhile the RAF was being disbanded, so spare Tornado GR1 where stolen by the Navy. Having been offered F14's for £10million each the navy thought it would be cheaper to Steal the tornados and convert them into a marine variant. The eventual cost for this conversion worked out at £23 million per aircraft! The Navy thought this was good value and went ahead, citing the work was good for British jobs. The contracts were signed with the main contractor (Aerospatiale) and all work was then shipped out to the French!

The modifications to the Tornado was quite extensive. New undercarrieage for the extra shock, new radar and software, modified forward fuselage, shortened tail fin (To get it into the ship hanger), arrester hook, catapult hooks and numerous fuselage strengthening. The new version was delivered late, over weight, under powered and had an endurance of 37 mins with a full weapon load.

During modification of the Carrier, no one realised there was an extra hanger deck down below. When this was eventually opened up it was discovered to contain a complete wing of US aircraft that the Americans forgot to remove. These were then dusted off, painted RN and brought into service, saving the top brass blushes. The ski ramp had to remain however as this was the accomodation for the extra stewards required for the offices cocktail lounge. Therefore it was decided to keep the Sea Harriers, along with the US aircraft and also the Tornado making an impressive looking line up.

Ladies and Gents, I give you HMS Queen Elizabeth II and a Sea Tornado FRS2 ........ :thumbsup:

The kits I shall be using are: Italeri 1:700 USS Abraham Lincoln

Italeri 1:72 Tornado

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You are a genius and may also be a Psychic because its so far fetched it will undoubtedly come true :speak_cool:

What next a RN carrier flying the French Tricolor .......Oh hang on a minute......!!

Looking forward to seeing this :popcorn:

Andy

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback, glad you like the story, 22 years experience in the RN provides adequate inspiration for some of the details!

My camera decided to throw a wobbly so had to use my old camera which isnt as good so some of the phots are a bit ropey. I haven't got any pre build shots so i shall dive staight in. The Tornado was unstarted so was easy to modify. upper surface hasn't had any mods yet. Underside has holes filled, arrester gear hollow and cat hook recess added. The main gear doors have been modded. The cockpit has simply been assembled and painted. Windows will be closed so you wont see much anyway.

The QE2 was started however. The hull was assembled and gashly painted several years ago, it was then primed with Halfords a few years later and then sat in my stash ever since. I filled the joints, scratch built a ramp from plasticard and assembled the cocktail lounge gain from plasticard and then covered it all with copious amounts of filler. I have rubbed down abit but alot more work is required. Forward cats and JBD's have been filled and removed. Next update after the weekend (sun shining, kids to entertain and a wife to please (by working around the house before anyone gets any ideas!!))

models001.jpg

models002.jpg

models003.jpg

The nose, now you see it, off to the spares box to find a suitable (or unsuitable!) replacement. Hopefully i'm not cutting off my nose to spite my face!

QE2

models005.jpg

Officers cocktail lounge underway.

models010.jpg

models012.jpg

Enjoy folks!

Link to post
Share on other sites
The bow cats were removed and ski ramp installed. The rear starboard lift was also removed and an officers cocktail lounge fitted underneath. Whilst reading the Aircraft Carrier design bible it transpired that it was the law to have an aircraft lift on the flight deck centreline, mainly to cause problems during flying. This was then fitted.

Meanwhile the RAF was being disbanded, so spare Tornado GR1 where stolen by the Navy. Having been offered F14's for £10million each the navy thought it would be cheaper to Steal the tornados and convert them into a marine variant. The eventual cost for this conversion worked out at £23 million per aircraft! The Navy thought this was good value and went ahead, citing the work was good for British jobs. The contracts were signed with the main contractor (Aerospatiale) and all work was then shipped out to the French!

The modifications to the Tornado was quite extensive. New undercarrieage for the extra shock, new radar and software, modified forward fuselage, shortened tail fin (To get it into the ship hanger), arrester hook, catapult hooks and numerous fuselage strengthening. The new version was delivered late, over weight, under powered and had an endurance of 37 mins with a full weapon load.

After 22 years in the RAF, it's nice to see nothing is any different in the Royal Navy. (maybe we're just a little too cynical, lol)

Great builds....

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nimitz class carriers on EBay!!! I've just spat my cup of tea all over the cat reading that!!

love it, I'll be watching this one....unless the cat gets his own back of course

Steve

Link to post
Share on other sites

"During modification of the Carrier, no one realised there was an extra hanger deck down below. When this was eventually opened up it was discovered to contain a complete wing of US aircraft that the Americans forgot to remove"

:rofl::rofl::rofl:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well hello again!

Been beavering away on both kits over the last couple of days. The QE2 is currently going through the process of fill and rub down. I've given her a coating of halfords red primer, two reasons for this, first the red is a good finish for the red below the water line and two: I left a full tin of grey primer in the workshop before going on holiday but it mysteriously vanished :hmmm: , so have no other choice just yet! Again apologies for the photo quality, I shall get a better camera in for next time to show more detail.First picture is the cocktail lounge modification with a bit of reinforcing below the lift insert.

models2002.jpg

Next is the ramp area

models2003.jpg

Thats most of the physical modification done, I may chuck a few other surprises in if/when I think of them! Next on the agenda is flight deck markings. I dont want it to be anything like the original US markings so was pondering on Ark Royal markings of the 70's or 50's markings with brunswick green retro style. I pondered on modern 'through deck cruiser' markings but thought a flight deck of that expanse would be quite dull, dull, dull! I have a couple of days to decide yet.

As for the Sea Tornado, I'm enjoying this build, more for the dreaming up of mods. The original RAF nose radar was unsuitable for Naval use and replaced. The new radar didnt actually require a differently shaped nose but Admiralty Regulation 213.7E banned pointy objects within 7 meters of the 'chock heads' to prevent personal injuries so to prevent operational problems all sharp points were removed. I was also going to make up a story that the radars weren't ready at delivery and so the nose was filled with concrete for ballast, but disregarded this as a bit too far fetched and not believable :whistle:

The larger modified undercarriage caused problems when retracted. It encroached on the electronics compartment behind the nose. This meant a fuselage insert needed to be fitted to extend the nose. Modified undercarriage doors were also fitted. First off the nose:

models2005.jpg

models2004.jpg

models2007.jpg

The build is going well, the nose courtesy of an old Matchbox Meteor, a few bits have been donated by a green (??) Sea Harrier and the undercarriage from a crusader. I shall engrave the undercarriage doors as on the real aircraft they would close anyway (cheating i know but anything to make this easier). The next mod will be a recon camera port in the bottom of the nose, probably just big enough to squeeze lead shot in as I forgot nose ballast :doh: Alot of the building has been done. Colour schemes have now cropped up. I did ponder on an 800 or 801 aircraft, but disregardered this after I sat back and admirded my Navy Phantom. The brain started ticking over and after a check of the decal store I think I have an ideal scheme. 892 Omegas! I did think about a silver jubilee version but think this may blow out my fragile time lines! I am enjoying doing this build and just letting my imagination run riot!

Link to post
Share on other sites

as I am working on a recce conversion of ther MB326 the work you have done on your Tornado caught my eye (as well as the rather (disturbingly believable) back-story... much more believable than my "world cup war of 2014"... I created a camera pod from a plastic spoon handle... it probably sits a bit too proud of the nose (which is nowhere near as good as yours) but it is a decent shape if you look at the Phantom Recce bird conversion.....

will be back to watch this develop (oh and love the QEII conversion as well)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hellooo all,

The latest update, the camera is still knackered so no phots today, you'll just have to use your imagination! The tornado has been rubbed and primed and rubbed and primed. It has now recieved a coat of Halfords Appliance white and the tail has recieved a coat of red ready for masking. Over the next week it will be mainly work on the colour scheme and it is looking quite nice in my opinion.

The QE2 hull is together and it is mainly going to be working on the flight deck for the next week, trying to figure out the colour scheme. I am erring on the side of the 70's stylee along the lines of the Ark. Although the Brunswick green is still knawing away at me and would be unmistakable! The airwing has had its first coating and they are looking quite nice.

Off surfing this weekend so no update until monday, when hopefully i'll have some phots.

Cheers now

Bob

Link to post
Share on other sites
The QE2 hull is together and it is mainly going to be working on the flight deck for the next week, trying to figure out the colour scheme. I am erring on the side of the 70's stylee along the lines of the Ark. Although the Brunswick green is still knawing away at me and would be unmistakable! The airwing has had its first coating and they are looking quite nice.

digital.. its all the rage now... ships, planes, cars, coats, cameras apparently.... lol......

looking forward to progressing - just re-read your backstory.. I had got the wrong end of the stick (or ship I suppose) - thought you were converting the QE2 into an aircraft carrier!!!!!! lol

Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings all

Well work has been shooting along, first off the tornado. Having sanded and smoothed to death, I have now painted her. Underside was Halfords Appliance white, Upper was Humbrol 123 and the fin flash was again courtesey of Halfords, She just needs a couple more blobs of paint here and there and then decalling will commence. Just to note she has been dropped several times hence no tail planes and 'independant swing wing' control! The white blob on the nose is a camera port that will dry clear (its actually a nose weight application portal, but don't tell anyone!). I fixed the canopy in place but unfortunately a load of crap has got on the inside and I cant clean it out. I dont know a way around this, but did think of turning the observers cockpit into a 'coal hole' like the Sea Vixen.

Enjoy the phots

models10005.jpg

models10007.jpg

models10010.jpg

models10011.jpg

models10012.jpg

models10013.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to the QE2, When the modernisation was completed, she was commissioned and set to go into service. All was going well until the skipper went to plug in his electric toothbrush and you guessed it, the whole domestic electricity supply was still American 110V with 2 pin plugs. She was then taken back into dock and work set about to replace the sockets and convert to 240V. Unfortunately no one knew how to convert Nuclear to 240V (Surface fleet and submariners dont actually communicate with each other ........ except to destroy the other!). So a standby generator was fitted into the upperhanger which of course needed an exhaust pipe. EU regulations stipulated a minimum height above the flight deck for this, so there was only one place to stick it! Radar arrays were then pinched from the developing Invincible class carriers along with the weapons fit.

The pics give an idea of flight deck markings and an idea of the superstructure.

Enjoy!!

models10001.jpg

models10002.jpg

The parts are from the kit, funnel and ariel is a spare from the Dragon Lusty, I also have a spare sprue from the dragon kits that have generic RN fittings and weapons, which will come in handy, Hmmmm I wonder where I can stick the Sea Wolf?

More to come next week

Cheers now

Bob

Link to post
Share on other sites
×
×
  • Create New...