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HMS Eagle: Operation Pedestal

Crewmate Peter Fulgoney shares this highly interesting, unique, and most excellent build story with us, HMS Eagle: Operation Pedestal.

The history. . .

HMS Eagle : Operation Pedestal – fleet carrier – laid down as Almirate Cochrane – 26.2.1913.

10th August 1942 – Operation Pedestal – HMS Eagle joins aircraft carriers Indomitable, and Victorious to ferry Hurricanes and Spitfires together with HMS Furious out of Gibraltar in the largest allied carrier operation of the war so far in support of the defense of the strategically important Mediterranean island of Malta.

At 1311 hrs., the following day, 594 miles west of Malta, she is hit by 4 torpedoes form German U-boat U73, and sinks in less than five minutes with the loss of 160 men. 89 survivors are picked up, and 4 sea Hurricanes, already airborne are recovered by the other carriers.

Vessel Specifications
Length – 627’ 6’’ o/a.
Flight deck – 96’
Height – 48’ to flight deck
Displacement – 27,500 tons (1942)
Aircraft – 12 Sea Hurricanes (801 squadron)
1942 – part of Force “H” – Western Mediterranean

The model. . .

HP Models have produced a 1/700 scale kit that depicts HMS Eagle at the time of the operation and with the help of some excellent references, a satisfying build may be achieved. I was lucky enough to see Tony Lawrence’s 1/350 scratch build which he has at his shop, “ Dorking Models” where I also bought the HP kit. He also gave me a loan of his “Warship Profiles no 35” book this gives a history, and colour pictures showing a three colour camo scheme of 507a, 507c, and B5, with a dark grey flight deck. I also cross referenced the Alan Raven “Warship Perspectives” RN 1942 book, page 12, which gives the Operation Pedestal scheme. The colour scheme is very striking, and presents a welcome addition to my fleet.

As long as it isn’t too inaccurate, I’m happy with the “out of the box” build but I did change the crane for a scratch build out of 0.01 brass, and I added all the safety nets. The Sea Hurricanes are also out of the box, and look about right although I added Skywave spare parts, metal spinners. Also I drilled out the cockpits, painted, and filled with pva which dries clear. The rig is stretched sprue.

The white line along the flight deck is white pencil. I think this works as it is not as intense as the decals, and you can build it up as much as you want.

The sea is Tamiya USAF green spray paint with polyurethane finish. The foam is white acrylic, sparingly used, with pva to give more depth. If you’re building this kit, try and get hold of the references I mention, as the snap shots you usually see are helpful but not enough.

Photography was done using my Sony super steady shot camera on automatic on close up setting. The model on its base is held up to the sky so I can get a real sky, and lighting look to the presentation. BTW the base had double sided tape underneath so the build didn't slip!
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About the Author

About peter fulgoney (peterf)


Very nice little scene.
AUG 14, 2007 - 11:39 PM
Very nice build. I like the way Peter used the pencil for the markings on the deck - very effective. Love that camo too!
AUG 15, 2007 - 03:09 AM
Excellent work as usual!!! H.
AUG 15, 2007 - 03:19 AM
Awesome work Peter. I've used the color pencil technique on wooded decks before.
AUG 15, 2007 - 05:48 AM
Cracking stuff Peter! Where did you get a 1/700 scale crew? Scratched them? If so please tell me how!
AUG 15, 2007 - 10:40 AM
Very nice looking dio. You can really see her early Dreadnought ancestry when you look at her bow.
AUG 15, 2007 - 02:50 PM
Great build Peter, I love the water effects and the pencil line idea is now added to my list of methods. Thanks for sharing Ciao Luciano
AUG 15, 2007 - 07:20 PM
Thanks very much for the kind comments guys and it's always a pleasure to send work to this site as the presentation is superb. The 1:700 crew figures are available form WEM. I bought the Eduard sets, and the Gold Medal Models sets. Under the magnifier they all look a bit "flat", I guess they had less to eat in those days, and were fitter even if they did all smoke however I give them the burger, fries, and beer treatment by painting them with a thick acrylic coat - this makes them a little bit more 3 dimensional. Cheers, Peter F
AUG 16, 2007 - 01:27 AM
Although I have seen this feature before it was online, and since this week is being king of a "modeling time eater", I still have to say Congratulations Peter on another high quality presentation Keep up Skipper
AUG 16, 2007 - 02:59 AM
Great job. Very interesting build and the story adds a nice "backdrop" for the scene. Thanks for sharing
SEP 03, 2007 - 06:36 PM