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USS San Antonio LPD 17

DML 1/700 USS San Antonio LPD 17 Build Review

By Steve Causey

Date of Review July 2014 Manufacturer DML
Subject USS San Antonio LPD 17 Scale 1/700
Kit Number 7096 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Very detailed, precise fit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $46.95

Build Review

For a brief introduction of this vessel and a look at this kit out of the box, look here.

1/700th scale kits have come a long way since I built my first Skywave kit back n the 1980s. This Cyber Hobby release of the LPD 17 is an amazingly detailed kit. The sprue trees (seven) are minutely detailed with no evidence of sink or ejector pin flaws. They are molded in the normal light gray styrene. The kit offers the option of waterline or full hull (stand included). A tiny fret of photo-etched parts, (flight deck nets) and four MV-22 Ospreys are included.

The kit goes together very well, starting with the upper hull and superstructure. If carefully removed from the trees, the parts require minimal cleanup. I usually paint these small kits first on the trees, then do individual re-paint as required.

USS San Antonio LPD 17

The instructions are typical for this type of kit (detailed, but you must pay careful attention to parts placement and order of assembly). A bonus is that the part numbers are in numerical order on the trees…a very nice detail!

USS San Antonio LPD 17USS San Antonio LPD 17

This class of warship seems very simplified and dull in appearance since it's utilizing low observable technology. I'll admit it's a big grey boat…but there are subtle color variations and hidden detail that the modeler can bring out with some careful detailing. The superstructure fits together seamlessly and painting is very simple for this class of ship (deck gray, haze gray, white) the parts count is very high, and that translates into very detailed (dare I say 'fiddly') assemblies. You will discover that sometimes tweezers are parts catapults and fingers are your best bet for tiny parts placement.

USS San Antonio LPD 17USS San Antonio LPD 17

The ship can carry up to 800 US Marines and their landing vehicles, but the kit only includes four MV-22 Osprey aircraft. I'd have really enjoyed an LCAC that I could show egressing from the opened well deck. You get four Ospreys on two trees molded in solid gray styrene, but one Osprey on each of the sprues had a molding flaw in the tail.

The decal sheet includes markings for the Ospreys but I stopped at the main markings. You need to decide how detailed you want your model to be. The kit comes together with very little seam work and paint masking is minimal due to the parts breakdown. The decals are supplied on a tiny sheet but include all flight deck markings, hull details and Plimsoll markings as well as the before mentioned aircraft markings.

USS San Antonio LPD 17USS San Antonio LPD 17USS San Antonio LPD 17USS San Antonio LPD 17

I enjoyed building this kit, but it will test your tiny part handling skills.

My sincere thanks to DML for this review kit!