The USS NEW JERSEY BB-62 1980'S MODERNIZATION
Tamiya began building large, 1/350 scale model vessels back in the late 1980s and has been doing so ever since. This model of the modernized USS New Jersey, which is an Iowa Class battleship that fought valiently in World War II. She fought in the Korean war, had her first large scale modernization in the 1960s for the Vietnam War where she supported troops on shore, and then in the 1980s was significantly modernized under Ronal Reagan's 600 ship fleet program where all four Iowa Class battleships received Phalanx 20mm CIWS, Box Luanchers for 32 Tomohawk missiles, tube launchers for 16 Harpoon anti-shipping missiles, a flight pad for anything from SH-60 Seahawk Helicopters to larger CH-47 transports, and all of the modern radars, sensors, communication, computer, and defense systemsto go with it.
The model comes in a large, beautifully illustrated box, that is well built and very protective. Inside, the hull comes in a single large piece that is well modled without any excees flash. In addition, the main deck comes in three pieces, and then there are six additional sprues with over 360 additional parts. The parts are well molded and have very little excess flash. They are molded in a light, navy gray.
At the time I putrchased the model there was no specific PE Detail Kit for it, as there are now from White Ensign Models, Gold Medal Models, and Eduard. I did purchase the metal railing sets that were available at the time and used them extensively nad they made quite a bit of difference. Today, any one of the 1/350 scale detail kits specifically for this model will add significantly more detail. I have considered buying one and replaceing most of the sensors and many other parts just to bring her up to date.
The build took quite some time. I worked on her in the evenings after work and on weekends for almost threee months.
The hull went together well with the main decking, though liberal use of rubber bands and some clamps were used. The guns and most of the vessel is finely detailed, making the painting of the windows on the bridge, and details elsewhere easier to accomplish. Use of masking was a must in getting the fine black stripe and then the hull red on the hull. The main 16" guns can be made to elevate and roatte through their full motion. These plastic pieces are well done, but a set of metal barrels would add to the rea;ism and detail.
By studying pictures of the actual vessel, which is relatively easy to do now with the internet, the rigging and placement of ladders and stairs can be ascertained and completed realistically and accurately. The kit comes with two SH-60 Seeahawk helicopters, though there is no hangar for them. These were well molded too.
All in all the realism and detail of the vessel are quite good and this kit, though moderately difficult, would add a real star to anyone's collection.
The completion of the PLAN Carrier group, centered on the already completed Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition ot the other escorts already completed) will incluide Mini Hobby's's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168; the PLAN Ningbo, DDG-139; and the PLAN ChangZhang5, SSN-405 by Hobby Boss. If a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, is added, I will add one of those, propbably LPD-999, Jinggangshan.
The completion of the US Carrier Strike group, centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition ot the other escorts already completed) will include Trumpeter's USS Bunker Hill, CG-52 and USS Freedom, LCS-1 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. (All of which I already own). When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) comes out from Trumpeter, Airfix, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser. Whatever Ford Class coms out, I will build her as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.
The UK Group will indlude the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious (which I already own), two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (which I own and should arrive in January 2013), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates (which I already own), and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN and Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Tragalgar SSN, both of which which I already own. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier and a 1/350 HMS Ocean LPD come out, I will add both to this group.
The French CSG will be centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gualle (which I already own). I have purchased 1/400 scale Heller French De Grasse, D612 DDG, which is an ASW DDG, the French Duquesne, D603 DDG which is an anti-air multi-purpose DDG, and the French Aconit F713 FFG and Gueprattet F714 FFGs, both of which are Lafayette class frigates. These five vessels will round out my French CSG. As soon as a French Robin class nuclear sub, like the French Perale S606 SSN comes out, I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is available, I will purchase it and add it to the group as well.
The Japanese JMSDF group will be centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181, which I own. It will be escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG (which I have purchased), Trumpeters's 1/350 scale DDG-114 Susunami (A Tachanami Class DDG which I own), and by the 1/350 scale SS-503 Hakuryu (which I own), one of Japans new, very modern and capable AIP Diesel Electric submarines. As soo as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale becomes available, I will add it to this group.
The completion of the US ARG will include Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS Iowa, BB-62 (which I have already completed), Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Sommerset, LPD-25, and Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS The Sullivans DDG-68,
Then, finally it will be a complete Russian CSG (centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov which is available but I have not purchased yet) the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumperter (which I own), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udalaoy DDGs (which I own), Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN (which I own), and the Russian Alfa Class SSN, which I have already completed.
Recently I purchased Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and bacame the Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, using steam catapaults. I will build the model as the Sao Paulo and thus start a Brazilian group, though the Type 22 DDGs and the FFGs the Brazilians use are not available at present.
Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, and ultimatly an Australian Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs. If they ever build the models, an Indian group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier the Vikrant and their Kolkata class DDGs and Shivlak class FFGs would also be nice.
You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifictions at my site:
...and most of their surface escorts at:
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