by David Flynn
1/600 HMS Illustrious 1940 (Airfix - Kitbashed with 3D printed flight deck, island, 4.5" guns, etc)
I have wanted a 1/600 scale Illustrious since I was a kid in the 1960s and 70s, but Airfix, Aurora, and Revell, never came out with one. With the invention of 3D printing, I decided to try to make my own. I started by modifying the hull of an Airfix Ark Royal. Aside from the stern It seemed more accurate than Airfix's Victorious. The flight deck, island, 4.5" guns, sponsons, and most of the Carley floats are 3D prints. The 2-pounders, boats, planes, and most other small parts are from the Ark Royal. Despite the inaccuracies of the hull openings, I am satisfied with the result, and it was a fun challenge to build. One photo shows the Illustrious with the Ark Royal for comparison. I also made a rendering of the box top that I wish was made for the model by coloring a photo (of the sistership Formidable) from a 1944 book (Warships of the World) that I had since I was about seven years old.