Over the years we have done a large amount of work for the Australian Ship Corporation (ASC) in Adelaide including Submarines, both large and small, Patrol Boats and of course as part of the AWD Alliance, several large HOBART Class AWD models. As part of a push for construction of new Replenishment ships for the RAN, ASC asked us to do a model of one of the contenders. Designed by BMT in the UK, the AEGIR 18A is being built already for the RN and several other Navies in slightly different versions. This one was to be a little different and had to reflect what it might look like in RAN service. The model was built to a scale of 1:100.
We were given nearly free reign with finishing the model off as it might look with RAN flight deck markings, fittings and weapons. Because of the tight timeframe to have the model made in time for showing at the PACIFIC 2013 Exposition in Sydney, I decided that whilst the hull was being made by SOUTHERN CROSS MODELS down the road, I would get the superstructure built. The deck was laser cut in sections and the large aft superstructure, helicopter hangar and mast was built in Evergreen Styrene. Once detail was added, it was primed and allowed to dry. Flight deck markings were masked up and the upper decks were then painted and also masked ready to fit. It was decided to wait to paint the ship’s “Storm Grey” colour until it had been fitted to the hull.
When the beautiful hull arrived, all the underwater fittings were added and the lower hull painted and mounted to a temporary base. The deck sections were fitted and fibre-glassed into place and when dry, sanded and primed. The aft superstructure was fitted to the deck and once dry, blended to the hull sides. The fit was perfect and not a lot of filling was needed. The forward superstructure which held the derricks and forward mast was then fitted. This was much easier as it sat in the centre of the main deck. The forecastle was completely covered so this was just glued into place.
Once everything looked right, it was all primed. Guard rails and deck fittings were added and the lower painted hull was masked up. The main decks were then painted and masked ready for the main ship’s colour. It was given a couple of days to dry whilst some other fittings and the derricks were completed, hoses made and helicopters cast and painted.
The model was then painted in the RAN’s traditional colour of Storm Grey. Final details were added and the derricks rigged with fuel hoses and cables. Bridge windows were fitted in place through the hatch in the bridge roof and then sealed up. The ships pennant numbers “A 18” were put in place and the model was given a final coat of flat varnish.
The model was mounted onto a polished timber base which had been beautifully crafted by the local Men’s Shed group in Armidale and the acrylic cover fitted. The model was delivered to the ASC stand prior to the show and was a big hit with both ASC and BMT who had representatives there. It is now on display at the ASC building in Port Adelaide.