These two models are among a number of fairly recent issues by Skytrex of post WWII British warships, mainly carriers and fleet auxiliaries. They are available in 3 versions: kits, completed and painted models, and completed/painted/mounted on a wood base. They are decent complements to the range of postwar British ships offered by Albatros, though their detail and finish isn't quite up to the Albatros level, being more on par with Trident/Alpha and somewhat superior to Hansa and Delphin.

Ark Royal and her sister, Eagle, were conceived in WWII as enlarged and improved Implacable class carriers with two complete hangar decks, allowing aircraft capacity to be increased to 100. Both did not complete until after the War, however, Eagle to her original axial deck design in 1951, and Ark Royal in 1955, with the new angled deck that allowed simultaneous launch and recovery of aircraft. From that point on both sisters differed considerably, the differences becoming even more apparent with each successive modification.

The Skytrex HMS Ark Royal
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These were numerous during the 50's and 60's as larger and heavier aircraft were introduced and improved radar and sensor arrays were developed. The Triton model shows Ark Royal after her last major refit in 1967-70 when she was modified to operate F-4 Phantoms. The angle of her landing deck was increased to 8.5 degrees, bridle catchers fitted to her catapults, and her island rebuilt to support heavy lattice masts that carried the new Type 965 AKE-2 array, 982/983 and CCA radars. Unfortunately, Skytrex has not exploited the advantages of photo-etch technology the way other producers have. Masts, though articulated, are solid metal as are the boat handling cranes, and radar screens lack the fine detail achievable through photo-etch. At the price these models command (about $64.50) one could expect at least as much attention to this sort of detail as Albatros has given to its model of HMS Ocean offered at around the same price. Flight deck markings in the assembled and painted version likewise leave much to be desired. These consist of only a single row of dry transfer-applied dashes down the middle of the angled deck, along with unnumbered parking circle decals and black strips at the catapult tracks. Surface detail amounts to engraved guidelines for deck markings, catapults and deck elevators. No arrestor wires are shown, though a couple of yellow maintenance vehicles are attached to the deck. Boats and life rafts are individually painted, but the flight deck requires extensive additional customizing to render it anywhere near accurate.

Victorious, like Ark Royal, would benefit greatly from photo-etched masts and radar as well as more accurate deck markings. The famous WWII carrier is modeled in her postwar configuration following the major reconstruction carried out between 1950 and 1958, which gave her an angled deck, increased hangar space, remodeled island and modernized radar suite that included the large Type 984 3-D fighter control nacelle above the bridge. All of her six 3-inch twin AA mounts are shipped, which fixes the model's representational date to before 1961 when two of these were removed. Flight deck markings are confined to a single broad white transfer-applied stripe down the center of the angled deck with the letter V applied to the port quarter, and two black catapult tracks.

The Skytrex HMS Victorious
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Despite their drawbacks, these models can be upgraded with a little care and research, and fill a major gap in the range of offerings available from the Cold War era. Though both have been modeled before (Victorious by Anker and Ark Royal by Trident) the older models are even more crude and are relatively scarce on the second hand market. Skytrex has recently added Albion and Bulwark to the Triton line and also offers Hermes in her 1981 fit, though more discriminating collectors may wish to wait for the yet-to-be-released Albatros version.

Wiedling lists these models under the Triton heading, but they are referred to in the Skytrex catalog as "Modern Warships in 1:1250 Scale". Alnavco calls them Mercators.