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USS Momsen

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Momsen DDG 92 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2010 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject USS Momsen DDG 92 Scale 1/350
Kit Number 4527 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Very nicely detailed Burke-class destroyer kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $89.95

First Look

USS Momsen
USS Momsen
USS Momsen
USS Momsen
USS Momsen
USS Momsen
USS Momsen
USS Momsen
USS Momsen
USS Momsen

The USS Momsen is an Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer that is homeported at Naval Station Everett, Washington. This ship is named for Vice Admiral Charles B. 'Swede' Momsen who invented the 'Momsen Lung' which was a rebreathing device that was used to escape from World War submarines in an emergency.

The USS Momsen was commissioned in 2004, powered by four gas turbine engines that can propel the ship above 30 knots. At first glance, it only appears to be armed with a single 5 inch main gun, but the Momsen, like the other members of the Burke-class, are armed with a number of vertical launch cells below deck that can fire the Standard Missile SM-2, Tomahawk cruise missile, and ASROC missiles. The ship is also armed with torpedo tubes.

Fight IIA Burke-class destroyers are distinguishable by their twin hangars to accommodate two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, improved 5 inch gun, deletion of the towed sonar array, deletion of the Harpoon missile launchers, among other features. With the cancellation of the DDG-1000 program, plans are under consideration to keep the Arleigh Burke class under construction beyond the DDG 112.

It is always interesting to see the gun battle between DML and Trumpeter as far as kit subjects go. DML released the DDG 92 USS Momsen (Flight IIA) about a year ago while Trumpeter released several other variants of the Burke-class. They've come back around this time to release their own version of the USS Momsen. You might think that these should be identical kits, but Trumpeter has definitely achieved the better kit.

Trumpeter molded this kit in their usual light gray styrene and presented it on eleven parts trees, plus separately provide upper hull and main deck. The kit also includes two parts in red for the full lower hull or waterline hull options, three parts trees in clear styrene, and one fret of photo-etched details. According to the specs, there 530 parts in this project.

When you look over the instructions, you'll see just how much detail is provided in this box. Trumpeter has taken great steps to capture as individually molded parts many details that other companies might simply mold as lumps on the deck. You can see the longer-barrel gun on the 5 inch mount that is fitted to this ship, the close-in gun mounts for proximity defense/security, and much more.

The hangar doors can be posed open or closed, so you can show one in the stall and one on the pad. The RAST tracks are clear and run into the hangars. The stowable flight deck extension plates are rendered in photo-etch and can be posed out for flight ops or up for safety railings.

You can see from the modular parts that make up the superstructure that Trumpeter can continue to accurately render other members of the Burke class with the right details.

I really like the details on the yardarms where Trumpeter has captured the various antennas that are fitted to these combatants. Even the ESM and Link 16 antennas are present.

As usual in Trumpeter's ship kits, you have your choice of a full-hull model on a provided stand, or a waterline presentation. Either way, you'll have some nice details to show off.

A nice touch in this kit is the set of photo-etched railings that capture one of the essential details of a ship model and are near impossible to do right in styrene. Normally the railings are left to the aftermarket companies to fulfill. You won't need any aftermarket details with this kit.

The SH-60 Seahawks are molded in clear styrene. If these are carefully masked and painted, the effect should be outstanding with the ability to see light through those windows. Nice touch!

The kit provides a very nice set of decals for the various identification and safety markings, as well as a number of spare drop-shadow hull numbers to render other ship numbers should you opt to do one of the Momsen's sisters.

In a new development, Trumpeter provides a nice full-color paint guide that is easy to read and provides paint colors using Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol paints. Keep that up Trumpeter!

If you compare this kit with the DML release of the Momsen (look here), you can see how simple the DML kit is in terms of details and number of parts. The DML kit will appeal to less experienced modelers (though that is offset somewhat with the number of photo-etched parts needed for that project) where this kit has more detail and also provides a nice set of railings. The DML kit must be built full-hull where you have the option of waterline build with this kit. While this kit is more expensive than the DML version, you get significantly more detail for that price. The choice is yours!

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!

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