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Re: USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)
The Italeri Kitty Hawk kit is actually a USS America hull (complete with America-only rounded sponsons) and flight deck, with a slightly inaccurate Kitty Hawk/Constellation style island. I did the Fujimi Kitty Hawk, but like the others have suggested, go Trumpeter 1/700.
I would suggest if you are wishing to spend money on after market accessories then do this right and purchase the Trumpeter 1/700 Kitty . Now that is a kit. GMM models photo-etch is a good start as well as their decal sheet.
On evil site under 1/700 Kitty Hawk you will find photo-etch for catapults and blast shields and I believe a very extensive and expensive photo-etch sheet(s) are sold. Check Shapeways for proper tilly and tugs ( may go under the description of crash crane).
There is also 1/700 jet aircraft on Shapeways, all wings fully loaded with drop tanks and weapons. Wings folded or unfolded. If you buy these expensive jewels, gently wash them with dawn, and black light for 3 hours which cures them. The larger the aircraft the more noticeable the print scaling but usually around joints. Paint with acrylic paint. A trade off for detail. There is also Skywave’s S-13 aircraft set but you have to clip wings and only drop tanks. Fine Molds makes an excellent 1/700 CIWS.
Nobody sells 3D aircraft carrier deck crew anymore. Too bad. The one outfit that did is long gone.
My two cents.
A co-worker (retired RMCM) that was stationed on the Kitty Hawk gave me a 1/720 Italeri kit of the ship that he'd been carting around since he picked it up sometime in the 80's. I thought I'd build it for him and I'm looking around the various vendors and not finding much in the way of aftermarket to improve the kit. I know the GMM photo-etch is available and will work with the kit, and that Model Monkey also has a nameplate available. I'm hoping there may be other recommendations that the collective can suggest.
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