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LCC 19

Trumpeter 1/700 USS Blue Ridge LCC 19 Command Ship 2004 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2005 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject USS Blue Ridge LCC 19 Command Ship Scale 1/700
Kit Number 5717 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice Details, Easy Build, Choice of Full Hull or Waterline Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $22.95

First Look

LCC 19
LCC 19
LCC 19
LCC 19
LCC 19

The original USS Blue Ridge was an amphibious force flagship that was a converted merchantman during World War II. Like its predecessor, the LCC 19 provides command and control capabilities virtually anywhere in the world. Unlike its predecessor though, today's USS Blue Ridge was designed from the keel-up for this mission.

Commissioned in November 1970, he ship is a floating communications platform, equipped with the latest variety of satellite communications systems available. Inside are a numerous computer systems collecting and collating information that keep the command staff up-to-date on the latest tactical and strategic developments that may affect their current operations.

In addition to all of the sophisticated electronics, the USS Blue Ridge is equipped with special facilities to allow for planning and monitoring the execution of combat, peace-keeping, and humanitarian operations. With all of the capabilities to connect military planners together from around the globe in real-time, the USS Blue Ridge represents the reality that an effective command staff needs to be near the action. The USS Blue Ridge stages out of its home port of Yokosuka, Japan, and operates routinely throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. She was deployed to the Persian Gulf region during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Here is an interesting subject, not your usual destroyer, cruiser or aircraft carrier. The LCC 19 is one of the US Navy's most modern command and control vessels and the kit captures those details nicely. The first thing that impressed me about the kit was its packaging.

UPS had mushed the shipping box from Stevens International and it was clear that one of the kits inside would be toast. On opening the box, the KV-2 kit was unscathed, but the Blue Ridge's box was definitely mutilated. You can see the Scotch Tape patch on the title photo where it took some 'bodywork' to get the box somewhat presentable.

The kit is molded in Trumpeter's usual light gray and presented on six parts trees, plus the main hull, three sections of deck, and two lower-hull options molded in red.

As with Trumpeter's other naval offerings, the kit features the option of full-hull or waterline display. A stand is included for the full-hull option.

In all, the kit is comprised of 182 parts that build up into a model that will be 11 inches long on completion. That's a lot of detail in a small space!

Markings are included for the USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), and USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), though the name for the Mount Whitney is not on the sheet. The USS Mount Whitney is due to be released sometime in the near future.

What else is interesting, note the four kit numbers on the decal sheet. The kits Blue Ridge (#5717) and Mount Whitney (#5718) represent the respective ships in 2004. In the future, these kits will be reissued as #5715 Blue Ridge 1997, and #5719 USS Mount Whitney (probably the same period). The differences between the 1997 and 2004 configurations of these ships will be with the satellite domes and assorted antennas primarily.

Trumpeter has done it again. This is a nice addition to the usual array of surface combatants and follows the cargo ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien as something different to model. This kit is definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!