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Ships by Class/Type: Carriers
Topics on all types of carriers from the early 20th century to today.
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Regia Nave Aquila 1/2400
TimReynaga
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Posted: Friday, May 10, 2019 - 01:44 AM UTC
Mussolini's only aircraft carrier, Aquila (Eagle), was nearing completion when Italy surrendered to the Allies on 8 September 1943. Germany then seized the ship and placed it under guard. Aquila was later damaged on 16 June 1944 during an Allied air attack, and on 19 April 1945 Italian "co-belligerent" government sent divers from the former Decima Flottiglia MAS, who partially scuttled Aquila to prevent the ship being used by the Germans. The ship was never completed, and the hulk was broken up after the war.

I thought I'd build the ship as she might have appeared in service, so here is GHQs all-metal 1/2400 scale Italian Aircraft Carrier Aquila !

The little 3 inch long carrier, intended as a wargaming counter, is presented in GHQs usual style with relatively few parts in beautifully sharp metal castings.

This one is slightly more complicated than some of their others with 25 parts for the ship itself (hull, island, 2 cranes and 21 weapons sponsons) plus 10 aircraft, but the parts fit is excellent and things go together pretty quickly.


Assembled and primed, shes ready for paint in no time!

ChurchSTSV
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Posted: Friday, May 10, 2019 - 04:08 AM UTC
Another baby carrier!!

Gotta admit, you must save a ton of room building in 1/2400.
bwiber
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Posted: Friday, May 10, 2019 - 07:16 AM UTC
Already the educational aspect of the build has started as I had never heard of this one before. Looking forward to what you do with this one.

Bob
YellowHammer
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Posted: Friday, May 10, 2019 - 01:47 PM UTC
Another interesting subject Tim. I'll be watching you work your magic again.
John
TimReynaga
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Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 03:51 AM UTC
Thanks guys!

GHQs Aquila is in most respects fully up to their typically high standards, but for some reason the designers gave this model a COMPLETELY INACCURATE flat stern!



This flub would be a massive effort to correct, and unless seen from the rear it isnt that obvious... so I decided to just live with it.
TimReynaga
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Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2019 - 01:58 PM UTC
So moving forward without fixing that funky stern, I gave the Aquila a coat of Tamiya Sky Grey (XF-19) acrylic. Comparing it with the Italian Navy WWII Ship Colors paint samples from Snyder and Short Enterprises, this paint looks to be a reasonable representation of the Italian Navys standard Grigio Chiaro (Light Grey).


One of the greatest threats to the Italian Navy in the confined waters of the Mediterranean was British submarines, so to break up the outline of their ships, the Italians often added blotches of Grigio Scuro (Dark Grey) over the lighter base grey.




These patterns showed quite a bit of variety; I chose to apply a blotch pattern inspired by that of the cruiser Fiume.



Tamiya Dark Grey (XF-24) matches Grigo Scuro fairly well, and Bianco Sporco Opaco (Matt Foul White) false bow and stern waves compete the hull camouflage.

Cosimodo
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Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2019 - 07:33 PM UTC
Hi Tim,
This looks like another of your great little builds, though i think things maybe slightly overstated to describe a build of just 25 parts to assemble a carrier as "complicated"
Does it have the red and white striped deck like the cruisers and battleships?

cheers
Michael
TimReynaga
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Posted: Monday, May 13, 2019 - 12:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Tim,
This looks like another of your great little builds, though i think things maybe slightly overstated to describe a build of just 25 parts to assemble a carrier as "complicated"
Does it have the red and white striped deck like the cruisers and battleships?

cheers
Michael



Michael, you're right, 25 parts doesn't seem like much for an aircraft carrier... but the last one of these tiny ships I did, Ryujo, had only three parts!

As for the barber shop pole markings, well, who could resist those?!
TimReynaga
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Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 01:16 PM UTC
Now for the part of the build Ive been looking forward to the flight deck decal. Dan Arute at Flight Deck Decals 2400 offers some beautiful aftermarket decals for the flight decks of these tiny ships, and for the Aquila there is even a choice of three different styles.


Of course I had to choose one with the red and white barber shop pole on the bow!

With all that careful hull camouflage these highly visible markings might seem odd, but perhaps an even bigger threat than British submarines to the Italian Navy in World War Two was the Italian Air Force so the prominent aerial identification markings do make sense!


Ive glossed the model with Future, and given the featureless, flat expanse of the flight deck the decal should go on smoothly without the need for any setting solution.
TimReynaga
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Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 10:16 PM UTC
AAAARRRRRRRGHH!

Having carefully trimmed the Alps-printed decal from its white background, I placed it in warm water... and the damned thing started to disintigrate! Ive used these decals with perfect results before, but I noticed that this one had a skein of micro cracks, and tiny bits just started falling off even before I slid it from the backing paper. I applied it to the deck anyway, but it looked so sad I immediately took it off.


Ive written for a replacement...
ChurchSTSV
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Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 02:53 AM UTC
Aw, Tim! That sucks!! That deck decal looked amazing too!!
TimReynaga
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Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 12:57 PM UTC
Dan Arute of Flight Deck Decals responded to my plea about the defective Aquila deck marking with a free replacement decal - much appreciated! I applied it yesterday evening with the utmost care... soaked it in warm distilled water just long enough to loosen it from the backing, slid it off gently with a soft, wide brush to the glossed surface. As before it fit perfectly so no adjustment was required, and I didnt use any setting solution.


It was definitely better this time, but those nasty little white spots still appeared on the deck!



Both decals had started out perfectly printed, but I noticed that the water compromised the delicate inks which started to wrinkle, crack, and flake away almost immediately when immersed.

I am experimenting with remnants of the first failed decal, cutting out little squares of the undamaged areas. Ill try tonight to use them as patches to fix this second deck. I sure hope it works, because despite difficulties, I really love the look of the deck!