|1:700 HMS HERMES CV 1982|
During World War II, Britain began construction of light aircraft carriers to quickly increase their carrier fleet, and replace older carriers that were being lost in combat. While the US Navy responded to this requirement by converting incomplete hulls of cargo ships and heavy cruisers into the now-famous 'jeep' carriers, Britain decided to build a completely new class of ship, but one that could be built in numbers as well as provide an effective combination of airwing size, speed and endurance. The Colossus class was the result. The light carriers of this class proved their worth not only to the Royal Navy, but also to many other navies postwar, as the ships were sold (and resold) and modified, in most cases to the point of being able to operate small jets.
Britain didn't stop with the Colossus class; the Albion class were improved, larger versions which also served the Royal Navy well for nearly 30 years. Of this class of three ships (Albion, Bulwark and Centaur), a fourth ship, the Hermes, was completed to a slightly modified design. All the ships featured an angled flight deck.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the Royal Navy's carrier force suffered due to budget cutbacks, and all of the Navy's front line fixed-wing carriers had been retired by 1979 in favour of new, smaller VTOL carriers, operating the Harrier jet and Sea King helicopter. Some of the older light carriers were converted for other duties, and the Hermes was fitted to operate Harriers until the new Invincible class through-deck VTOL cruisers were ready. Hermes even received a 'ski jump' at the bow to allow the Harriers to conduct rolling takeoffs with heavier payloads. The value of the equipment and strategies were tested in 1982, when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and Britain mounted a military campaign to retake what she considered her sovereign territory. After the war's successful conclusion, the Hermes was retired and placed in reserve, but in 1986, she was sold to India and became their Viraat. She is still in INS service today, but is scheduled for replacement in the next couple of years by the ex-Soviet carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which India has purchased and is refitting.
This all-new kit is from all-new tooling, and represents the Hermes in 1982 Falklands War fit. The kit is all-resin.
*Resin waterline hull
*Resin Flight Deck w/'ski jump'
*Resin Detail Parts