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I have made plenty of 1/350 kits all of the following with photo etch added.

USS enterprise with full air wing, hangar interior and  interior lighting, Likwise Nimitz. Also  Bismark, Missouri, Yamato, Prince of Wales.

Whilst large carriers obviously contain plenty of plastic, they do not contain many parts in their basic form. They are far simpler in construction. A look at the spruces of either of my carriers would show this. The most numerous parts are probably the much duplicated life raft boxes.

Airwings cost a fortune if you take that route, with the kits, the photo etch and then the individual, unique aircraft markings. You can have as few or as many as you like. A sparse hangar deck would suit many (although I went the whole hog throughout with interior walls, fire door, double skins at lift apertures etc etc). Total cost for Nimitz  would be Kit £140, Etch £120, Aircraft £70, Decals deck and aircraft £70, LED lighting £20, Hangar parts from plastic sheet, spares box etc £5... Total £425. Model making ain't cheap. I would upload some images, but the site won't allow them from my iPad.

An HMS QE would not in my opinion be any more difficult to produce (with just a hangar deck inside and no walls etc), than an Illustrious. Improving it with PE would be covered by Lion Roar,  Ensign, Toms or similar. There are only 2 aircraft types, F35B and Merlin ASW and AEW fit  (one extra part).. around 50 at most. The rest would be down to the doubtless grateful modeller.


116 posts

Airfix could do well enough with the new carriers, after all, they will be in service for around 50 years, according to plans.  They will be very large kits in 1/350th.  811 mm long and 210 mm wide at the deck, 111 at the waterline.  Add the stands and it will be quite tall, too.  That is a lot of plastic, so a hefty price tag and a hefty tooling cost, as well.  They already do a Type 45, so the addition of a Type 26 later, would be well on the way to a carrier group.

No doubt, Airfix have looked at this and done the sums.  Let's see what happens in a couple of years.

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