Gallery Models 1/350 USS New York LPD 21 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2012||Manufacturer||Gallery Models|
|Subject||USS New York LPD 21||Scale||1/350|
|Kit Number||64007||Primary Media||Styrene / Photo-Etch|
|Pros||First kit of this subject in this scale; very nice detailing throughout||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$199.95|
The USS New York LPD 21 is the fifth ship in the San Antonio class of amphibious transport dock vessels and the seventh ship to bear the name 'New York'. The San Antonio class represents a new generation amphibious assault vessels which bring together a number of modern technologies as well as the functionality performed by several different classes of assault vessels previously. The key features of the San Antonio class include a hull and superstructure design that reduces radar cross-section, a large flight deck on the stern, and the ability to submerge itself a number of feet to bring sea level up inside the well deck and allow LCACs, amphibious vehicles, patrol vessels, and other craft to enter, dock, and depart the interior of the ship. A rear ramp and door are built into the stern to enclose the interior while underway and open to provide exterior access to the submerged well deck, or alternatively allow the LCACs to hover up the ramp out of the ocean and into a dry well deck.
Construction of the USS New York began after the attacks on the World Trade Center and over seven tons of steel from the remains of the twin towers was used to build this ship. The construction contract was awarded to Northrop Grumman shipyards near New Orleans, Louisiana and was under construction at the time of Hurricane Katrina. The ship was launced in December of 2007 and commissioned in early November 2009. At the time of this review, the USS New York and her crew are assigned to the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility (Arabian Gulf/Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean).
Gallery Models is a brand name under the Model Rectifier Corporation which offered its first model several years ago, the USS USS New York LHD 1 followed more recently with its sister ship, the USS Iwo Jima LHD 7. Both of these kits were developed in collaboration with Trumpeter and once again this team has produced a new kit that has not yet been produced in this scale - the San Antonio Class LPD. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 18 parts trees, 12 parts trees in clear styrene, one display base molded in black styrene, two frets of photo-etched parts, and one metal chain.
Thanks to the design of the full-scale ship and its low radar cross section, there aren't as many surface details on the kit which translates to an easier build than older ship classes. Nevertheless, this kit does capture lots of details right down to the racks of life rafts stowed around the exterior of the superstructure.
The kit construction starts with the well deck that is nicely detailed even though it will only be visible through the stern if you opt to pose the ramp and door open. Unlike the LHD kit though, Gallery Models didn't produce the vehicle storage area as this would definitely be out of sight in this model. The kit does provide interior frames for the hull to minimize flexing of the hull during handling and popping a glue seam loose.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Detailed well deck and staging area
- Positionable ramp and door on the stern
- Positionable crane
- Positionable hangar door w/detailed hangar bay
- Catwalks around flight deck with PE railings
- Detailed dual integrated masts
- RHIB boats stowed in open starboard bay and midships
- Photo-etched vents on funnel
- Ship's self defense details around the vessel
- Full-hull display with stand and ID plate
- 2 x AAV-7
- 2 x LCAC
- 1 x LCU
- 2 x AH-1W Cobra
- 2 x UH-1N Iroquois
- 2 x CH-46 Sea Knight
- 2 x MV-22 Osprey
- 2 x CH-53E Sea Stallion
Let me congratulate Gallery Models for the UH-1N. If you recall on the two previous LPD releases, the embarked Marine aircraft included the SH-60K Seahawk which was definitely the wrong aircraft for those kits. In this release, the Seahawk has been replaced with a new-tool UH-1N Iroquois (Huey) which nicely rounds out the Marine Air Wing options.
This kit comes with two sheets of decals. One large sheet contains most of the deck, hull and superstructure markings and the other sheet provides markings for the various aircraft and landing craft, as well as several flag options should you want to pose the New York in its famous configuration flying a huge flag from its forward integrated mast.
Like the LHDs before it, this LPD kit from Gallery Models is a really nice kit and if you've been intimidated by the complexity of the earlier LHD kits, this model will be an easier build and show you how well the model goes together so you can build the LHD to display alongside this beautiful model. Kudos to Gallery Models for tackling another class of warship that has been previously overlooked.
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!