My Review and Build of Trumpeter's 1/350 scale KIT #5605,
USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 from USS Nimitz CVN-68

US Navy Aircraft Carriers after World War II

The United States learned during World War II that the aircraft carrier was the new principle combatant on the high seas, and that such a vessel, equipped with the poper, larger aircwing, made up of verious types of aircraft, and surrounded by the roper escorts, was the foremost power projection weapon...ouside of nuclear weapons...that the nation ahd.

After World War II, the United States had amassed nearly 100 carrier of all sizes, ranging from large fleet carriers, principally the Essex carriers and the newer Midway class that was an upgraded Essex class, down to small "Jeep" and escort carriers. Teh ability for these carriers to group tgether and project massive air amdas anywhere around the wrld, aircraft in many hundreds...made the United States Navy the ost powerful maritime power on earth.

With advent of the jet age, the US immediately began a large upgrade effort to its lare essex class carriers giving them new elevators, new catapults, and entirely new angled carrier deck, and new air wings consisting of the new jet aircraft.

These carriers, along wth the larger Midway class, were signifiantly upgraded and their displacements grew from 34,000 tons full load to 47,000 tons full load.

But, as the jet aircraft became larger and more powerful, the carriers likewise had to grow.

The United States embarked on building "super carriers, and the first of these were the Forresal Class, which were huge ships compared to the earlier carriers, being almost 1,000 feet long and displacing, full load, close to 70,000 tons. Four of them were built, followed closely by the Kitty Hawk Class of which four were built and which were just over 1,000 feet long and displaced 80,000 tons.

Then came the first nuclear pwered carrrier, the USS Enterprise, which was 1,120 feet long and diplaced 94,000 tons.

The success of the Enterprise called for the US Navy to build an entire class of nuclear powered carriers, and the US Navy put everything they had learned into it. THe new calss became the Nimitz class, which this moel is a depiction of, being a depiction of the USS Nimitz, CVN-68, the first in class.

Nimitz Class Nuclear Powered Carrier

The Nimitz class carreies are 1,092 feet long and displaced 100,000 tons. They are powered by two advanced nuclear reactors, have four large elevators, and have significant self defense, as well as an air wing capability of 90 modern jet aircraft, turbopropo AEW aircraft, and helicopters.

The first in class, the Nimitz, was launched ibn May 1973 and commissioned in May 1975. This model depicts that vessel, though I have decided to build it to be the USS Ronald Reagan, CVN=76. The klast of the ten carriers is the George. H. W. Bush which was launched in October 2006 and commissioned in January 2009. That vessel is a cross over vessel incorporating some f the new features of the new class, the Gerald R. Ford class, whch was launched in NOvember 2013 and is scheduled to be commissioned in 2017. The new class has two very advanced reactors that put out 400% more power and will power electromagnetic datapults, be an all electric system, and will allow for lasers and rail guns for self defense which are currently under development.

But the Nimitz class has proven to be, to date, the premier, most advanced aircrat carriers on earth, and the have been involved with every major military action the US has been involved in since the mid 1970s. It is said that whenever there is any chance of their being a major military need, one of the first questions that a US Preswident asks is, "Where are the carriers?"

The specifications for the class have changed somewhat over time, as these carriers have been improved over a forty year build periord.

Here are the current specs:

Displacement: 100,020 tonnes (110,250 short tons)
Overall: 1,092 feet (332.8 m)
Waterline: 1,040 feet (317.0 m)
Overall: 252 ft (76.8 m)
Waterline: 134 ft (40.8 m)
Maximum navigational: 37 feet (11.3 m)
Limit: 41 feet (12.5 m)
2 × Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors
4 × steam turbines
4 × shafts
260,000 shp (194 MW)
Speed: 31.5 knots (58.3 km/h)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
Ship's company: 3,200
Air wing: 2,480
Sensors and processing systems:
AN/SPS-48E 3-D air search radar
AN/SPS-49(V)5 2-D air search radar
AN/SPQ-9B target acquisition radar
AN/SPN-46 air traffic control radars
AN/SPN-43C air traffic control radar
AN/SPN-41 landing aid radars
4 × Mk 91 NSSM guidance systems
4 × Mk 95 radars
Electronic warfare & decoys:
SLQ-32A(V)4 Countermeasures suite
SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures
2 × WESSM/Sea Sparrow x 8 missiles each 2 × RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile x 21 missiles each
2 × PHALANX CIWS (Close-In Weapons System) Gatling guns
Aircraft carried: 90 fixed wing and helicopters

Ronald Reagan CVN-76

USS Ronald Reagan was launched in March 2001 and commissioned in July 2003. She was the ninth Nimiyz class and named after President Ronald Reagan.

She is currently the only forward deployed US carrier, being forward deployed to Japan where she, her airwing, her escorts in her strike group, her replsnishment group(s) ansd a large squadron of Burke AEGIS destroyers and an entire Marine Expeditionary group centeredd on a large Amphbious Assault ship and its accompanying LPD and LSD and escorts are alse forward deplyed.

The Reagan has distinguished itself as a very well built, and very capable carrier. After several years, several sponsons were added to her to accomodate her full self defense weapons load. I am showing her as she currently looks after that refit (which occurred I believe in 2013).

Thee sponsons represent some of the changes over the original Nimitz class. The Island has also been made much more efficient, its spotting of aircraft bn the deck is more efficient, and, as mentioned, it has ugraded the sponsons, as well as weapons handling and other improvements.

The reeagan current self defense loadd includes: 2 x RAM-116 Missile launchers with 21 missiles for each launcher
2 x ESSM Launchers with eight missiles per launcher.
2 x Phalynx 20mm CIWS (Close in Weapons System) gatlin gins.
4 x Mk-38 Mod2 25mm auto cannons.
8 x .50 cal machine guns.

...and a very highly classified anti-torpedo defense system using very high speed anti-torpedo, torpdos to destroy incoming torpedos.

The Reagan has served in Operation Iraqi Freedom on Operation Enduring Freedom. it has been a part of all major exercises since moving to the west coast, and has worked losely with the US allies of Korea, Jpana, and Australia from its forward deployed base. most recently being involved in Operation Valient Shield, followed by operation "Invincible Spirit", a joint exercise with South Korean forces in the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea.

The USS Ronald Reagan is expected to serve for fifty years, meaning it will be around until the 2060s, protecting Amwerican interests and defending US SLOCs wherever called upon.

It's specifications include:

Displacement: 101,400 long tons (113,600 short tons)
Overall: 1,092 feet (332.8 m)
Waterline: 1,040 feet (317.0 m)
Overall: 252 ft (76.8 m)
Waterline: 134 ft (40.8 m)
Maximum navigational: 37 feet (11.3 m)
Limit: 41 feet (12.5 m)
2 × Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors
4 × steam turbines
4 × shafts
260,000 shp (194 MW)
Speed: 30+ knots (56+ km/h; 35+ mph)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
Ship's company: 3,200
Air wing: 2,480
Sensors and processing systems:
SPS-48E 3-D air search radar
SPS-49A(V)1 2-D air search radar
SPQ-9B fire control radar
2 × SPN-46 air traffic control radars
SPN-43C air traffic control radar
SPN-41 instrument landing system radar
3 × Mk 91 NSSM guidance systems
3 × Mk 95 radars
Electronic warfare & decoys:
SLQ-32A(V)4 Countermeasures suite
SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures
2 x Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile launchers x 8 missiles each
2 x Rolling Airframe Missile launchers with 21 missiles each
2 x Phalynx 20mm Close-in weapons system (CIWS)
Aircraft carried: 90 fixed wing and helicopters

Introduction and What's in the Box - December 26, 2016
(And all of the after Market extras puchased to complete this kit)

This model from Trumpeter is for the USS Nimitz, the first in class. - Her sponsons for her self defense are different than the kit.
- Her island is different than the kit.
- Her hangar is very much different than the kit.
- The layout of her safety netting is different than the kit.
- There is a bulbous bow on the Ronald Reagan that is not on the Nimitz model.
- Her sensor suite and radar domes are different than the kit.

In order to get all of these things right, a number of aftermarket kits and pieces have been purchased, and some pieces will be scratch built.

I intend to put a lighting system into the hanger which is not included with the kit.

I will cover all of the additional things I purchased and from whom, after talking about the Trumpeter kit itself. Still, the kit would make an impressive vessel built out of the box. There are over 1,400 pieces included, and she would be a very good representation of the Nimits in the late 1970s built as is.

There are no photo etch parts included, fr railing and such, which I find to be a pretty sever lacking fr a kit of this size and complexity and cost.

However, as I said, it still is a very superb kit and there are good after market photo etch kits for the Nimitz for any modeler who wanted to add that to this kit. GOld MEdal MOdels and Tom's Model Works have the best ones.

Trumpeter has esastablished itself as the premier 1/350 scale modern naval injected modled model making copany around. They do an excellent job in molding small detail pieces and provide a lot of them for their kits...the Nimitz kit cinldued. The kit comes in a beautifully illustrated box, that is well built and very protective. It also has numerous pictures around the box that depict the various features of the model.

There is a "waterline" option for this mdel. The hull comes in an upper piece and a lower piece and you can utilize the pieces provided to leave the lower piece off and have the entire, large kit be a waterline model. I will build the full hull.

Decals for the Nimitz are indluded and this means a very large decal shees for the larger landing deck and for the aircraft that come with the kit, which is the 1975 airwing including:

F4-J Phantoms Fighter Aircraft
A7-E Corsair II Attack Aircraft
A6-E Intruder Attack Aircraft
RA-5C Vigilante Recon Aircraft
EA-3B Electronic Aircraft
S-3A Anti-submarine Aircraft
E2-C Hawkeye AEW Aircraft
SH-3 Sea King SAR/ASW Helicopters

The hull does have some really nice surface detail along both sides, including the bilge keels.

The instructions are great. 26 pages explaining how the whole thing goes together. There is a full color glossy for the painting and the decals for both the ship and the aircraft that come with it.

All in all, as I said, a very good kit.

Here are the initial parts out of the box.

Introduction - Additional Parts purchased for the Ronald Reagan

As mentioned, a number of additinal parts were purchased to update the Nimitz model to modern tmres and to convert it into the USS Ronald Reagan, CVN=76. These included all of the following:

- Orange Hobby N03-016-68 F-35C 1:350 Scale aircraft, 2 ea x 3 (6 new/modern US Navy version of the new Stealth/Joint Strike fighter)
- KA-Models KP0-3501A 1:350 Scale, USS Aircraft Carrier crew, 50 crew x 2 (These are 3d crew members for the deck and carrier.
- Veteran Models 35014 1:350 Scale, RIM-116 RAM Launhers x 2 (These are missile launchers carryin 21 missiles each for close in defense).
- Gold Medal Models 350-8D 1:350 Scale US Nuclear carrier Decals x 1 (Decals for all Nimitz class carriers, includnig the nmbers and markings for the Ronald Reagan)
- Gold Medal Models 350-28 1:350 Scale USS Niitz Photo Etch set x 1 (All hand rails and sensors for the USS Nimitz)
- Gold Medal Models 350-29 1:350 Scale USS Niitz Extra Photo Etch set x 1 (Additonal photo etch equipment)
- White Ensign Models 3568 1:350 Scale All Nimitz Carriers Photo Etch set x 1 (White Ensgn Models Phto Etch Set for all Nimitz Carriers)
- Trumpeter F/A-18F #6235 1:350 Scale Aircraft 6 ea x 2 (12 modern F/A-18F strike aircraft)
- Trumpeter F/A-18E #6221 1:350 Scale Aircraft 6 ea x 2 (12 modern F/A-18E fighter aircraft)
- Trumpeter E-2C #6221 1:350 Scale Aircraft 4 ea x 1 (4 modern E-2D AEW Aircraft)F aircraft)
- Trumpeter MV-22 #6258 1:350 Scale aircraft ea x 1 (6 Osprey COD and ASW aircraft)
- GAller Models #6305 1:350 Scale aircraft ea x 1 (SH-60R (and other) aircraft))
- Shapeways 3d Print Ronald Reagan carrier sponsons and parts x 1 (The spnsons holding the self defense weaponry of the Ronald Reagan)
- Shapeways 3d Print F-35C aircraft x 2 (2 new/modern US Navy version of the new Stealth/Joint Strike fighter)
- Shapeways 3d Print Jet Engines and trailers pakcake with eight (Jet engines on matinenance trilers)
- Shapeways 3d Print Pallets and equiment for deck and Hangar (Pallets and equipment for the Ronald Reagan deck and hangar)
- Shapeways 3d Print Upgraded/Updated Hangar intrances x 3 (Much more detailed decks and entrances for the Ronald Reagan)
- Shapeways 3d Print Upgraded/Updated Hangar intrances x 3 (Conflg Stations and walls for Hangar Bay)

These parts can be found at places like:

Free Tome Models (
Squadron Models (
MegaHobbies (

...and other model manufactures on the web. Tom's Model Worls ( and Gold Medal Models ( have their own sites as well.

In addition, Shapeways is a 3-d printing site (, where various individuals print and market 3D parts. The 3-D Shapways F-35Cs were found at SNAFU Store site thereon ( Mst of the other Nimitz and Reagan specific parts were found at the BAconFIst Site thereon ( I have to say that BAcobnFist in particular does GREAT wrok. He has full 3-D parts for all of the various sponsons for the various Nimitz class, as wwell as a lot of equipment, and Islands for many carrier, including World War II carriers. Full silandinds printed in 3D in 1:350 scale for example the CV-6 Enterprise...erfect for replacing the island on the Hornet to convert it to the Enterprise...also Islands and lots of equipment for many ohter carriers. Some of the parts are a little spendy...but the represent things you cannot gt anywhere the complete sponson set for the Ronald Reagan.

All of these together will allow me to do most of te work, though the Island and Bulbus bow will take scratch building in order to finish.

My resulting air wng will have:

12 x F/A/18F Strike Fighters
12 x F/A-18E Air superiority Fighters
10 x F-35C Stealth Strike Fighters
04 x E-2D AEW Aircraft
02 x CV-22 COD aircraft
02 x CV-22 ASW aircraft
04 x SH-60R ASW Helicopters

These 46 airraft will represent only a part of the total aircraft that could be carrierd. I will place ten aircraft in the lit hangar bay, and 36 airraft spotted on deck. Some parked, and othjer lined up at the catapults for an empending strike of F/A-18Fs and F-35C aircraft.

The Build - Painting the hull, the hanger deck, and the flight deck - December 27, 2016

I started off by painting the hull, and adding the sponson for the Island as well as the fantail. The model itself I puchased on ebay from altered_artist. He has a son who is career Navy. I jave a son-i-law who is also career Navy and when I say his Nimitz with a Best Offer offering, I pffered what I felt was a good prce and he took it. He had already painted the variuos inlests and auxillary openings for the Nimitz n the main hull and the sponson/support for the island, as well as the underwater hull-red and the black line water marker for the carrier.

I did paint the hull in the nuetral gray that best approximates the standard gray used on the sides and vertical surfaces of the US Navy surface ships. Here has how a lot of that looks:

I then had to trim off the plastic safety nets around the flight deck to make place for the much more detail photo etch parts, and then painted the walk ways around the flight deck. I then painted the flight deck itself and then dry fir the hanger deck and the kight deck into the ship to ensure their fit. I will glue them in later after finishing the detail around the hull, ncluding the lighting syste,.

I used some old Flight Deck Gray from model master for the flightdeck, and a dark gray for the hanger flight deck floor. I painted the hangar floor and the flight deck and then dry fit them onto the carrier to ensure their fit and "look".

Here's how the hangar deck looks inside the vessel (without the walls or details), and how the fight deck looks dry fit on the carrier:

Over the next little while (week or two) I will work on some of the plastic details around the hull, and begin working on the hangar bay walls and details. I may also start to work on the Ronald Reagan's island...but it just depends on what I can get to. Hope to have the next update by January 6th or so...sooner if I can.

The Build - Add wire for lighting, fantail, Reagan sponsons, add walls for flight deck - January 3, 2017

I drilled holes for the main wiring for the lighting system through the bottom of the hull and the back of the deck behind the hangar bay. I then built the fantial structure for the aft end of the ship.

Then it was time for the aft sponsons for the Reagan which were all finally added in 2013. On the aft end these accomodated a RAM Missile launcher, a ESSM Missile launcher, and a Phalynx 20mm CIWS, as well as some additional sensors. Finally, one of the accomodates a 25mm auto cannon. Three of these I got from Skyways as explained earlier, and two of them I scratch built.

I then added the forward sponsons for the self defense weaponry, both of them obtained through Skyways. On the port side it carrier another RAM missile launcher, and on the starboard side it carries another ESSM Missile launcher and another Phalynx 20mm CIWS.

These sponsons make all the difference in the world. They are distinctive to the Reagan. The Island will be the ther distinctive measure. Here is the hull as she existists without the flight deck, but with all of the sponsons:

At this point I added the initial walls for the hangar deck. Ultimately these walls will be detailed, but I had time in this session to add the basic walls and paint them. I have not gotten some of the details or the led lighting that I ordered yet, so I though I would sto there, with those walls in place.

...and here are the first walls from Skyway 3D, painted and detailed:

In the next session I will either do the hanger deck completely, except glueing the roof with the lights and the aircraft in, or I will start the islnad, depending on if the parts for the hanger deck come in.

The Build - Hangar deck details. Entries from elevators, starboard details on walls, fire walls, port details on walls - January 11, 2017

Over the last 8-9 days, I have been working on the hangar deck.

Lots to add. I have one more scetion of detail I ordered from skyways, but had a lot to add from a scratch build standpoint itself. I started out by adding the entry ways into the hangar deck from each elevator. I got these from my Skyways 3D (from baconfist on their list who has built a lot of Nimitz and various specific Nimitz carrier details). Here they are:

At this point I added the sections of walls between the entries. I made these from white cardboard like you would get for old school projects...card stock. I painted them to match and then added the starboard side.

Once these were in, I began detailing those walls. I added some of the overhead storage and then took some 1/72 weapons and scratch shapd them into furle tanks and added them to one of the overheads. I then added various service/maintenace stations along the starboard side. I used a lot of old spare parts form oder models, and scratch built them, adding railing where necessary and doors to access the various areas.Here's how that turned out:

Here's a peek through one of the elevator doors:

At this point I built the large doorways that split up the overall angerdeck. These are large blast and fre protection doors to contain any damage whould either and accident or battle damge hit the hangar deck. Here's how they were built. I scratch built these from plastic parts.

Then ot was time to add the card sections to the p[ort side and detail those walls. I did this, adding maintenance areas near the CONFLAG stations, and adding photo etch railing and doors where necessary. I am waiting for one more piece of 3D wall from Skyway to be fninshed...but that is all I lack now. Hee's how that is looking, including through the elevator doors:

...and a final look at the whole thing

In the next session I wil create the aircraft and equipment for the hangar bay and then add them as well as some personnel. I also hope to add the roof with the LED lighting and wiring installed.

Plenty of work to do!

The Build - Hangar deck decals, Hangar aircraft, Aircraft decals, Hangar Equipment, Hangar personnel - January 16, 2017

This portion of the build started with me adding some decals to the hangar deck including weapons station markers/elevator markers, separation markers between the fire blas doors, and markers for aircraft motion through the hangar.

At this point I was prepared to build the aircraft for the hangar deck. I am placing a total of 12 aircraft in the hanger which include:

4 x F-35C JSF

2 x F/A-18F Super Hornet

2 x F/A-8E Suer Hornet

1 x CVM-22 Osprey COD

1 x E-2D Hawkeye AEW

1 x MH-60R Seahawk ASW

1 x CH-53E Helo.

I then placed decals on all of these aircraft.

I then was ready to build the equipment for the hangar deck. This includes three tugs for moving aircraft, one fire truck, one cargo handler, and one fork lift. I then placed this equipment where it belonged within the hangar deck.

I was then ready to place the personnel in the hangar deck. I purchased two boxes of KA-Models, 1:350 scale US Navy modern aircraft carroer personnel. I bought the prepainted version. A little more expensive, but a better minute paint job than I would have been abe to accomplish. There are one hundred to the box, so I have two hundred KA-Models personnel. I also have about 80 personnel some of whom I will use in the island, which are pure photo etch metal figues. Those are more 2D looking while the KA-Models personnel are 3D. I used a total of KA 35 personnel for the hangar deck.

...and that does it for this session.

In my next session I will wire and build the hangar deck lighting system and then close the hangar deck up with its ceiling, onto which the LED lighs will be wired.

The Build - Adding the lighting system to the hangar deck, placing the ceiling on the hangar deck, placing the landing deck on the vesssel - January 24, 2017

I began this session by cutting and laying out the ceiling to the hanger deck. I used heavy, smooth finish card stcks for this.

There were three sections, which I split along the fire blast door/sections. I then added the lights to the LED lighting strips to these sheets using the self adhesive on the led light rolls, and solderless attachements which I taped down on each sheet as shown.

Once these were taped down, I then added the lights and checked each section individually for lighting:

Once this was completed, I then taped and glued the ceiling to the hanger deck and took a few pictures of the inside with the initial lighting:

Here's the ship with the lighting system in, the ceiling laid down to the hanger deck, and the flight deck dry fitted to the ship"

At this point, I was ready to glue the flight deck to the vessel. The lighting system was in place and working with the wiring pulled through to the bottom of the ship:

...and now a few more pics of the hangar deck with the flight deck glued in place:

Looking pretty good in there.

My next session will add detials around the flight deck, with auxulliary decks and weapons and the railing for those areas:

The Build - Weapons, Completing Flight Deck Details, Struts, Propos, Rudders, railing, Stern Structure, Safety Netting, completion of flight deck - January 31, 2017

Lots of work in this session. A lot of the details where I placed new sponsons or new structure comes from either after market parts (many from the BaconFist site on the Shapeways 3D outlet), scratch build, and some spare parts.

I started by building the weapons systems. Started with the old Sea Sparrow Launchers included with the kit, the Phalanx and the RAM Launchers on their sponsons.

Later scratch built the newer Mk-29 ESSM Launchers.

I then added a lot of detail to the flight deck including large radar dome, the landing radar tower, and other sensors and details:

I then added the struts, propos and rudders to the under side of thw vessel:

At this pint I built the elevators and painted them completely and then added the Photo Etch safety netting to each.

Once this was complete there was a lot more detail to add around the flight deck. This included hoses, fire hoses, the life many boats/rafts, photo etch railings, and the scratch built Mk-29 launchers:

Each of the Nimitz class has a large structure on the stern...not included with the model, and added to all of them.

I scratch built this structure and added it to the vessel:

I then added more details, including a large comm and lighting tower forward on the starboard side, the jet blast deflectors, the landing lighting system, and other details.

I then added auxillary deck railing along the port and starboar sides, using the Gold Medal Photo Etch kit (as I have been using fr most of the photo etching:

Then it was more details with more safety netting around the flight deck in particular:

And here is how she looks now with the flight deck pretty much completed and all of the details and newer structure added:

The next session willl be the large task of building and modifying the island.

The Build - Building the Ronald Reagan Island - February 5, 2017

So, I started out by building the various levels of the Island, and adding some internal structure, tables/counters etc. and personnel within each level.

Once all of those levels were completed, I then began building the various structures for the Ronald Regan island, where they did away with the large mast behind the island and added that directly to the island. At this stage I also added the various masts, antennae, sensors, etc. for the island istelf.

Then it was time to dry fit what I had to the model to see how she was looking...and she was looking fine.

I then added the decals for the Reagan, which are a little different. Each Nimitz has some unique schemes for the Jet Blast Warnings, and the location of the pennants, etc. I also finished adding some more details to complete the island, showing her stand alone and then dry fitted to the deck.

The some more of the completed island dry fitted to theentire vessel:

...and one last one:

Looking very nice now.

In my next session I intend to do the decals for the flight deck. This will take a lot of time because there are a lot of them, many moe than what come with the Nimitz kit...but that is what those Gold Medal model decals sets are for. The deck decals will really get this thing looking like the USS Ronald Reagan!

The Build - Flight Deck Decals/Painting, Munition Offload, Lighting in Stand, Trap Wires, additional details - February 10, 2017

I started this session off wanting to put the flight decals on. These decals really make the model.

But alas, the decals were so old, that they literally came apart when the got soaked in the water. I wrote Trumpeters distributor here in the US, Stephens International, and Trumpeter. But they wanted a receipt and since this was a Christmas present I did not have one and it had not been kept. So they would not help me.

So, I decided I had to paint it myself, and ely on the other decals I had.

Too bad really. Tamiya, when I wrote them and asked for an enitre part that was missing from a box, they sent me that part no questions asked. It was on my USS New Jersey BB build...and I thanked them and mentioned it in the thread.

You can see below how bad it was.

So, I had to paint the entire landing deck markings.

Once I got those done, I decied to place the hot/bad munition off-load stations around the flight deck. The White ensign Model PE set has a nice photo etch set of pieces for the one near the island. So I put those on and then added similar scratch builds at the other places, and then put the offload decals on:

At this point, I used the deacl sheets I had from Gold Medal Model for Nimitz carriers. I also found a few smaller adecals suppiled with the model that worked. and then decaled the entre flight deck, adding the elevator markings, the electrical outlet opening, the arms elevators markings, the ship's name, the pennent number, etc.

More detailed markings:

Now more details. In particular the Mk-38 Mod 2 25mm guns and the fifty cal machine guns around the vessel.

Here are the 25mm cannons:

Then it was time to add the trap wires. I took some vey light guage wire, inserted them into the holes in the deck for the trap wires, and then straightened them with wire tools, bent them and inserted them into the other hole and then added glue to each hole. Worked out very nicely. Here's the fifty cal machine guns, the ship's name, and then the trap wires:

And that about does it for the ship itself. Here's some nice pics of her:

...and I like this one closing off this session (and essentially closing out the model itself without the airwing on the flight deck:

Now I will start building the air wing for the vessel, along with more tugs and cranes.

The Build - Bulbous Bow, Air Wing, Life Buoys, Personnel, Completion, CSG - February 18, 2017

I began this session by scratch building the bulbous bow on he front end of the Ronald Reagan. The Reagan is the first Nimitz class to receive this addition, which helps with stability and maneuverability, particularly at high speed. I found a 1/72 scale fuel tank that had the proper width and then worked on its shape and then cut off the appropriate section of the bow from the Trumpeter Nimitz model and added this to it, painted it, and then it was done.

T hen built, painted, and addded the decals and tuch up to the air wing on the carrier. This took quite a bit of time. I had already added 12 aircraft to the hanar deck. I decided to add 28 aircraft to the flight deck. They included:

12 x F-35C Joint Strike Fighters
04 x F/A-18F Super Hronets Strike Fighters
02 x FA/18E Super Hornet Fighters
04 x EA-18G Growler Electronic Warfare aicraft
03 x E-2C Hawkeye AEW aircraft
02 x CVM-22 COD Osprey aircaft
01 x MH-60R SAR/ASW Black HawkHelicopter

This makes a total of forty aircraft on the model. Typical peacetime air wings consist of more than this, usually close to 60 aircraft. In war time, with a full load, the Nimitz class carriers can carry 90 aircraft.

I used Orange Hobby resin kits for the F-35Cs along with several Skyway 3D models. I used Trumpeter 1/350 scale models for all of the other kits except the COD Ospreys, which were made from Gallery Models, US Marine aircraft kit in 1/350 scale.

These took some time. For example, each Hawkeye consisted of 28 pieces itself. All of these are small kits. Then adding the painting, some of which consisted of paint schemes from actual US Navy squadrons for the Hawkeyes, the Super Hornets, the the Grim Reapers for the Super Hornets, and the Growlers.

Here's how that turned out being built:

Then it was time to complete building the deck equipment. This included the newer tugs for the F-35Cs, the older tugs, Fire equipment, cranes, electrical servicing carts, etc.

There is a LOT oe equipment on the deck of a US Navy super carrier when it is conducting high tempo operations...and the deck is a finely tuned, orchestrated busy...and

I also built some crates and packed equipment for the fork lifts to be moving around on the deck.

Here's three pics to show how that went:

At this point I decided to arrange and glue all of the aircraft and equipment in place on the deck.

I decided to depict a large launch operation, using the two bow cats and one of the waste cats to launch F-35s, F/A-18s, and a Hawkeye.

I then spotted aircraft around deck in position to be towed to their launch positions when the time came.

Here's how that looked with numerous pictures:

I then added life buoys around the vessel, from the stern to the various areas along the vessel where they might be located to toss to anyone who fell overboard, or whom the vessel may come to on its way...though if someone needed SAR, the helos and Opsreys could take care of that at any distance from the ship.

A couple of more of the carrier, the last with all of the aircraft spotted:

At this point it was time to add US Navy personnel on the fight deck, along the catwalk all around the flight deck, on the stern, and on the island.

I had already added personnel inside the island, and in the hangar deck. I had a total of 17 inside the island, and 24 in the hangar.

Now it was time to add more. The distinctive colored shirts for armament, fuel, electronics, and deck maneuvering for the aircraft, and then numerous personnel in thei US Navy whites, working around the carrier..

I used Veteran Models 1/350 scale US Aircraft carrier personnel...and they were very reasonable for purchasing the pre-painted personnel, so I bought those. They are very tiny and they certainly have the equipment to mass produce them in a very decent paint scheme which I would not have been able to duplicate.

Altogether on the flight deck, outside the island, on the stern and around the catwalk and various auxiliary decks I added another 91 personnel. Which means I have 132 personnel around the carrier. This of course is a very small number as over 5,000 personnel man these carriers.

Here are a bunch of pictures showing the personnel:

At this point the ship was essentially completed. Much earlier than expected...but I gauged my work on doing the work only in the evenings after work. Now that I have retired, I found myself working on the carrier many more hours each day...probably three times as much each day...just couldn't tear myself away.

Here are pictures of the whole thing on the work table after adding the touch up and the dull coat paint:

Now it was time for the final layout pictures on or kitchen island, where I take the final pictures of most of my models:

Very, very nice indeed! ...and here are some close ups, along with looks into the hangar:

And finally, I thought I would show the Reagan with its full Carrier Strike Group. This includes 1/350 scale models of:

1 x CVN-76, USS Ronald Reagan, Nimitz Class Nuclear Powered Super carrier
1 x CG-53 USS Mobile Bay, AEGIS Ticonderoga Class cruiser
1 x DDG-82, USS Lassen, AEGIS Flight IIA Burke class destroyer
1 x DDG-68, USS The Sullivans, AEGIS Flight I Burke Class destroyer, 1 x LCS-1, USS Freedom, Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ship
1 x SSN-775, USS Texas, Virginia Class nuclear powered attack submarine

This is the heart and soul of US Naval power on the high seas. These carriers, along with their strike groups represent the most powerful surface groups of ships on earth, particularly when protected as they are. This is a peace time grouping, in war time you would probably add another Frigate or LCS, another cruiser and another attack submarine.

This was a very enjoyable build.

Probably my most enjoyable to date (though I have to say that the USS Iwo Jim in 1/350 by GAllery models comes in a close second, and the Tamiya USS Enterprise, CVN-65, I built, a close 3rd behind it.

Given the work to convert the 1970s era Nimitz and namesake of the class, to the 2000s USS Ronald Reagn, CVN-76, which is the next to last Nimitz class and represents a lot of development work over an almost 30 year period.

Further development has gone into the Ford Class, the first of which is supposed to conduct her intial sea trials, next month, in March 2017. With her new electromagnetic catapults and arrestor system, her new all electric drive, her awesome, and very powerful new reactors, each 200% more powerful than those on the Nimitz class, and her new air-wing, which will include the 5th generation F-35 stealth Joint strike gihters and the new COD Osprey aircraft I have shown here (because the Nimitz class will also receive them) as well as new UAVs...not to mention the likelihood, with all of that electrical power available on the Forc class of her class embarking ultimately with laser and rail gun weapons for self defense...they will be the new pinnacle of naval power.

As soon as a 1/350 scale Ford class is available...she will be added to my collection as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80, which is scheduled to be built in the early 2020s.

Thanks for reading...I hope you enjoyed my build of this marvelous carrier.

SCHEDULE for Future Activities - February 18, 2017

  1. By April 28, 2017 Complete the German Class F122 Frigate, F212, Karlsruhe by Revell
  2. By June 31st, 2017 Complete the 1/350 scale WW II Doolittle Raid strike group with the Gallery Hornet CV-8, the Merit International Enterprise CV-6, two destroyers (one a Dragon and the other by Trumpeter) and a Trumpeter cruiser.

The completion of the PLAN Carrier group was centered on the already completed Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Mini Hobby's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168. I recently pre-ordered a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, announced by Trumpeter and due out in October, 2013. I will end up adding two of those, probably LPD-998 Yuzhao and LPD-999, Jinggangshan, add the PLAN- DDG-139, Ningbo, and the PLAN DDG-115, Shenyang, along with the PLAN Weifang, FFG-550 and thus build a PLAN ARG.

The completion of the initial US Carrier Strike group was centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Trumpeter's, USS Freedom, LCS-1, Trumpeter's USS Preble, DDG-88 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) is released from Trumpeter, Tamiya, Trumpeter, or whomever else, I will add the USS Ronald Reagan, CVN-76 (made from the Trumpeter Nimitz carrier model) to this group, and then later, when one is completed, whichever Ford Class coms out in 1/350 scale, I will build it as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.

The US ARG will include Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS Iowa, BB-62 (which I have already completed), Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS New York, LPD-21, Cyber Hobby's USS Independence, LCS-2, Bronco Model's 1/350 scale USS Coronado, LCS-4, a Flight IIA US AEGIS class destroyer based on Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Ronald Reagan, DDG-68, and a Ticonderoga AEGIS cruiser...all of these models which I already own.

The completion of the UK Group featured the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious, R06 as its center piece until a 1/350 scale Queen Elizabeth carrier is released. When that happens, I will add that carrier to the group as its centerpiece. The Royal Navy CSG will also include two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (one of which is already completed), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates (one of which is already completed), and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN (which is also already completed) and Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Trafalgar SSN. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Ocean LPD comes out, I will use it to start building a Royal Navy ARG.

The French CSG is centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gaulle, R91. I have purchased the 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 D612 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 Pearle S606 SSN is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will purchase two of them and replace the De Grasse and Duquesne with them, and then save those two for when a Mistral Class LPD is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale so I can create a French ARG with those vessels.

The completion of the Japanese JMSDF group was centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181. It will be escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG and the JMSDF, DDG-174, Kongo class (which I own), Trumpeter’s 1/350 scale DDG-114 Susunami and DDG-111 (both of which are Takinami Class DDGs 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 soon as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale is released, I will add it to this group. Should a 1/350 scale Osumi Class LPD be released, I will buy two of those vessels and create a JMSDF ARG.

Then, finally the Russian CSG (centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov which I own) the Russian Kirov Class nuclear battle cruiser (CGN), the Peter the Great, by Trumpeter, the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumpeter (which I own), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udaloy DDGs (which I own), Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN (which I own), and the new Yasen class Russian SSN (which I own), all in 1/350 scale. Sometime in the more distant future when a 1/350 scale Russian version of the French Mistral class comes out (which is building in real life right now), I will add two of those and build a Russian ARG.

Recently I purchased Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemenceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and became the Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, using steam catapults. 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. I have however purchased a set of 1/400 scale A-4 Skyhawks and S-3 Trackers to build a suitable air wing for the Sao Paulo.

Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Carrier Strike Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Carrier Strike Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, and ultimately an Australian Strike Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs. If they ever build the models, an Indian Carrier Strike 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.

Years more worth of work!

You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifications at my site:


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