Italeri 1/72 Carrier Deck
Displaying models is often left up to the last moment, and it invariably results in a simple wooden plaque, if that. Italeri has decided to open things up a bit beyond that with a new series of display bases that are designed to be detailed yet simple to build, and will help place the finished model in its element.
This particular display base from Italeri provides the modeler with an aircraft carrier section, specifically the launch area, complete with blast deflector and catapult track. Molded in typical Italeri light gray plastic, this base has sharp detail throughout and, while simple to build, really calls out for some careful weathering.
Before getting to the paint, though, there is actually some assembly required. While the box is dominated by the large one-piece deck, there are two additional sprues that make up the blast deflector assembly and other details. The blast deflector bay is built up from four sections, and there is actually a fair amount of detail presented here. The first step is to attach an actuator piston into a bay. Three of these assemblies then fit underneath a bay piece, and there's two of these that get glued together side by side. Two end caps complete the blast deflector bay assembly, and this completed piece fits onto the end of that large deck piece.
The next assembly stage is to build up the blast deflector itself. This is made up from six individual pieces, each of which gets two actuator arms. You can also attach these plates flat, should you want to show the deck as it would be if a plane was being spotted onto the catapult. Speaking of the catapult, there is a shuttle piece that is separate, allowing you to position that according to the aircraft you want on the base. Finally, there is the launch officer hatch, which is made up from four parts.
For painting, refer to photo references, of which there are plenty online. Basically, a dark gray, but with lots of weathering. The kit comes with decals for the various stripes and warning markings. While the build will go fast, it is this painting and decaling stage that will require extra time in order to enhance the realism of the finished base.
This is a great kit to pick up, as there are so many different kits one could put on here. Everything from F-4s to Skyhawks to E-2 Hawkeyes, this base will help any US Navy aircraft look at home. My thanks to MRC for the review sample.