Trumpeter 1/700 USS Abraham Lincoln CVN 72 Aircraft Carrier Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2006||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||USS Abraham Lincoln CVN 72 Aircraft Carrier||Scale||1/700|
|Kit Number||5732||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Excellent detailing, great potential to model any of the Nimitz-class carriers, nice array of aircraft included||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$89.95|
The US Navy had pioneered nuclear propulsion with the USS Nautilus and has employed that technology on virtually every submarine since then. The advantage of nuclear propulsion over conventionally fueled ships is virtually unlimited cruising range and sufficient power to maintain life-support without surfacing for months. The surface Navy flirted with nuclear powered combatants with the cruiser USS Long Beach and carrier USS Enterprise, both of which were identifiable with their boxy superstructures. While the nuclear-powered cruiser didn't go far, the USS Enterprise set the stage for the nuclear-powered carrier.
After Enterprise entered service, the Navy resumed construction of two more conventional carriers, USS America and USS John F. Kennedy. This gave the Navy time to gain experience with their nuclear experiment before finalizing plans for the what would become the second most prolific line of aircraft carriers, the Nimitz-class (the Essex class was the most widely produced class of aircraft carriers built).
The fifth member of the Nimitz-class to leave Newport News Shipbuilding was USS Abraham Lincoln, commissioned 11 November 1989. For those who've kept up with the news, the ninth member of the Nimitz-class is now operational, CVN 76 USS Ronald Reagan, while the tenth and final member of the class was recently christened, CVN 77 USS George H.W. Bush.
The Lincoln, like its classmates, is a formidable weapons system that employs its sensors to monitor its battlespace and deploys its airwing to project its power when called upon. It was the first carrier to embark female crewmembers after the non-combatant law was lifted. The Lincoln was one of the first to carry the Super Hornet into combat and has flexed its muscles in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. President George Bush flew and trapped an S-3 Viking aboard Lincoln on her way home from that deployment.
In addition to combat potential, the Lincoln demonstrated its humanitarian capabilities in the aftermath of the 9.0 earthquake that devastated the west coast of Sumatra. Lincoln provided humanitarian aid to the survivors for 33 days before heading home.
Just when you thought it was safe to come outside with your wallet, Trumpeter strikes yet again. Their latest release in 1/700th scale is easily their most impressive - the USS Abraham Lincoln. While there have been a variety of releases of the Nimitz-class carriers in a variety of scales, only one is more impressive than this kit, and it was the kit this release was patterned after - the Trumpeter 1/350th scale USS Nimitz (also released in 1/700th as well).
Molded in light gray, hull red, and black styrene, the kit features crisp details on all of the visible surfaces. According to the fact sheet, the kit is comprised of 647 parts on 31 sprues. Out of the box, the kit provides a visible hangar deck and your choice of full hull or waterline hull displays.
The packaging of this kit is also quite impressive, with cardboard frames holding the hull parts from shifting around in transit. The engineering that goes into Trumpeter's kits is quite impressive.
This kit represents the Abraham Lincoln as she was fitted circa 2004. This means that the airwing is minus any F-14 Tomcats. The lead fighter squadron is VFA-2 Bounty Hunters and they'd transitioned into the FA-18F Super Hornet by this time.
The four elevators are positionable, as are the four sets of jet blast deflectors at each of the four catapults.
According to the specifications, the assembled kit is nearly 19 inches long. If you opt for the full hull display, a stand is included, and as with the other 1/700 scale ships from Trumpeter, a clear blue vacuformed water base is provided for the waterline rendition. In either case, this model is going to be quite impressive when built!
The airwing supplied in the kit includes the F/A-18C Hornet, F/A-18F Super Hornet, E-2C Hawkeye, C-2 Greyhound, EA-6B Prowler, and SH-60B/F and HH-60H Seahawks. Trumpeter should also be releasing sets of these and other modern types in this scale as well.
If you hadn't noticed, the aircraft are molded in clear. This was done with the WW2-era aircraft of the previous carrier releases and has carried forward here too. If masked and painted carefully, you can create the illusion of a cockpit inside the transparent windows/canopies..
Two sets of decals are included in the kit. The first contains all of the hull and superstructure identification markings as well as a wide range of deck striping. The second sheet contains an impressive array of markings for each of the aircraft included in the kit representing Air Wing 2 (CVW-2).
This looks to be an incredible kit right out of the box, and if you're looking to represent any of the Abraham Lincoln class ships, you have a great starting point in this kit, though if you're patient, I am certain the Trumpeter has more configurations on the drawing board. In any case, look for the aftermarket folks to go bonkers with this kit as this is clearly (in my opinion) the best aircraft carrier kit released in 1/700 scale to date!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!