Monday, April 20, 2015

Lexington Class Battle Carrier

NOTE:  You can click on most pictures to get a larger view of them.

[Editor's Note (May 2016): This will mark my second re-write of this article.  I feel like I've developed a certain style and flow to the articles that I write and I wanted to make all of them have that same feel across the series.  Consider this the REFIT version of the original article.]

The Lexington Class Battle Carrier was a hybrid that the E.D.F. had built in response to the need to match the fleet capabilities of the Gamilons.  The E.D.F. used the already existing platform of the the successful and quickly built Borodino Class Battleships and modified it to be able to carry a larger compliment of support craft.



So basically, we are talking about...

...this kind of ship...

...being modified into this kind of ship.

I absolutely love the mecha collection that Bandai has produced. I love the size and the attention to details that Bandai did with these models. My only complaint was that they had never produced a Lexington Class Carrier for this collection. They had produced a much larger version, but that sized model would not have gone well with my collection.  I have always felt that my massive fleet was left  with a big hole in it's capabilities.

Years later, after having built several entire runs of the Bandai Mecha Collection, I found myself with a complete set of ships that were not slated to be built.  Having honed my small scale kitbashing skills greatly in the Star Trek universe, I decided that it was time to add one of these ships to my fleet.

Lexington Class Carrier
Unknown Scale Bandai Mecha Kitbash

 
 
 
 

Although my version is not an exact replica of the larger kit, I liked how mine turned out. I think I really prefer some of my modifications over the original design.  The rear section of my ship is a bit wider than the official design which in my opinion is good and gives the ship room for more auxiliary craft storage.  The addition of the anti-aircraft guns also improves my design as they provide much better protection to the otherwise defenseless hanger decks.

Parts Used: Bandai Mecha (Older Version) Kits: EDF Borodino Class Battleship, Gamilon Vengeance Class Tri-Deck Carrier, Gamilon Desslar Command Cruiser, EDF Yamato Battleship, EDF Cozmo Tiger II Bomber


Before I had started building this ship, I started doing some major research into her.  There were not many official pictures of the ship, and all of those pictures were taken of her rear end so I did not have a good idea of what the ship actually looked like.  

I got lots of help from the Space Battleship Yamato FaceBook Group which is run by the ever famous Tim Eldred who runs the Cosmo DNA (OurStarBlazers.com) website.  If you ever need to find information on anything Space Battleship Yamato (or Star Blazers to us United states folk), then be sure to check out those two locations.

The friendly people from the group page made it clear that the Lexington Class Carrier was in fact using the Borodino Class Battleship hull.  This made my job a whole lot easier as I only really needed to kitbash the rear end of the ship and the entire front section could be left alone.

The main parts construction of the ship went very quickly.


The main engine exhaust port was a bit larger than the exhaust port from the Cozmo Tiger II Bomber so I needed to do some extending with sheet styrene.



The hanger decks required some cutting into the hull of main ship in order get the correct spacing between the decks.





I then added on the side panels to the hanger decks to give it a look that it has a larger volume.  I also then attached the primary exhaust port and a piece to fill the gap underneath.



At this point, it was time to build out the side mounted auxiliary engines.  Using sheet styrene, I enclosed and extended the engine housing to the back of the ship, and underneath it as well..  By doing this, I have given the ship more volume which I think is important for housing a small fleet of auxiliary craft.  I used the engine exhausts from the command cruiser to be my new auxiliary engine exhausts on this ship.




And next came the all important part of filling in all those gaps with my favorite model sculpting putty.




As I started doing the base paint and the detail painting, I realided that the back end was too plain.  I added on some engine grills from the Command Cruiser and painted them to look like antenna and radar array.  I also took the leftover anti-aircraft guns from a Yamato kit and gave her some protection in the rear. This was something I felt the official ship was missing as a hanger deck is the most vulnerable part of a carrier, so adding these back here made a lot of sense to me.  I did a little more putty work and then painted these new details.



And that pretty much wraps up my discussion on this kitbash of mine.  

I hope you found this article as useful and informative as I did while writing it.  Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or suggestions below.

And as always, "Live Long And Prosper!"

Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:

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