CVN Ops – Gulf War 2 Diorama

1/48 CVN diorama, Gulf War 2

by Dave Freeman



As a VA-72 A7E Corsair prepares to launch of the Starboard Cat, a VF-14 moves forward to the port Cat.

The models

Both models (1/48th scale) were refurbished for this diorama. The A7 is built from the Monogram Kit (5418). The original kit markings were damaged with age, so replaced with markings from a superscale set. The F-14 was built from the Revell kit (original markings VF-32) but repainted and remarked as a VF-14 bird using superscale decals. The A-7 carries six TER mounted Mk 7 (CBU-78 Gator cluster bomb) dispensers and two Mk 82 LDGP (Low Drag General Purpose) bombs plus an AIM-9L/M mounted on the port shoulder station. The F-14 is loaded for an air defence/escort sortie, with 2 AIM-54 Phoenix, 2 AIM-7 Sparrow and 2 AIM-9 Sidewinder. The figures are from the Hasegawa kit x48-6 US Navy Pilot/Ground crew set A.

The model is mounted on a wooden base. This was covered with two layers of 5MM foam core then a framing matt to form the actual deck. Use of two layers of foam core allowed the design/build of the jet blast deflector seen raised behind the A-7. This has 4 actuating pneumatic arms raising the deflector. On an actual carrier, there are approximately 8 actuators on the "real thing", so some artistic licence was taken. The actuators (as built) raise the deflector and would then lower/sink into the lower deck area. The actuators are built by using wooden dowel for the lower section, drilled out to an appropriate size, with off-cuts of plastic sprue as the upper actuating arm. Laying plastic strip into the mat "deck" creates the cat track. The cat "shoes" are scratch built from plastic product. The figures are painted in semi-realistic colours. Directing staff and "shooters" are shown in Yellow vests, arresting/cat staff in green vests, with a safety officer (in white vest) also present.




  • Kit instructions for builds
  • Decal instructions for marking of aircraft.
  • Gulf Air War Debrief – Aerospace Publishing London for weapon details
  • Numerous Internet sources for carrier operations.


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