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USS Lexington

Trumpeter 1/700 USS Lexington CV 2 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2005 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject USS Lexington CV 2 Scale 1/700
Kit Number 5716 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Detailing as nice as the 1/350 kit Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $22.95

First Look

USS Lexington
USS Lexington
USS Lexington
USS Lexington
USS Lexington
USS Lexington
USS Lexington
USS Lexington

When carrier aviation was officially born, it was fitting to name the first aircraft carrier after the man who attempted to be the first with the aeroplane using a shipborne catapult to launch his craft (unsuccessfully). While the USS Langley was converted from a freighter, the second and third aircraft carriers were built upon existing battlecruiser keels. USS Lexington CV 2 and USS Saratoga CV 3 benefited from the rugged design and infrastructure of the battlecruiser hull designs, upon which a huge hangar deck and flight deck were built.

The Lexington had an extensive influence in developing carrier operations experience and improving the concepts. One of its more interesting sidebars happened during the winter of 1929 when the Lexington was used as a floating generator to power the city of Tacoma Washington for over a month after a draught rendered the city's hydroelectric power system inoperative.

After Pearl Harbor, the Lexington was engaged with Japanese forces that included the carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku. Aircraft from those two carriers successfully struck the Lexington with bombs and torpedoes to the point where the ship was abandoned and sunk by a US destroyer.

Trumpeter has released the USS Lexington CV 2 in 1/700 scale. The kit is scaled down from their beautifully detailed 1/350 offering, but don't let the size fool you, the kit is still over 500 parts!

According to the specifications, the kit is comprised of 519 parts on 16 sprues. Six of these sprues are molded in light gray styrene along with the upper hull, flight deck, lower deck and name plate. You have a choice of lower hulls, either waterline or full-hull. If you opt for full-hull, the kit is complete with screws and rudders, and a stand is included molded in black. For the waterline version, a diorama base is also included representing the ship at sea underway.

The flight deck has the wooden planks nicely represented. The unique island and funnel are also nicely captured and are provided with some fine detailing to capture the scale look of the carrier as it was fitted in May, 1942.

As with the 1/350 version, the kit has the option of positioning either or both main elevators. Inserts placed under the flight deck will provide the illusion of a hangar deck, though there wasn't much point of engineering a full hangar deck since there are no other access points in the hull to view inside.

If you look carefully at those bottom sprues, you can see all of the ship's self-protection armament still represented one gun at a time in this scale. Care will be needed to keep many of these small parts from disappearing into the carpet!

The airwing for this ship consists of twelve F4F Wildcats, twelve SBD Dauntlesses and six TBD Devastators. These are all molded in clear, providing the modeler with a steady hand to create the illusion of clear canopied aircraft with interiors.

Markings are provided for the airwing as it appeared in May 1942. The ship didn't carry distinctive markings other than its Measure 11 camouflage.

Fully assembled, this kit is nearly 12 inches long. Its distinctive profile will add nicely to your growing fleet of flattops. This is a nice addition to the 1/700 ship line-up! This kit is definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!

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