The Technology House 1/700 USN LPD 17, LCS 1, LCS 2 Kit First Look
By Michael Taylor
|Date of Review
|The Technology House
|USN LPD 17, LCS 1, LCS 2
|Excellent casting, no clean-up required, nice detailing
The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is the first of the U.S. Navy's next-generation surface combatants. The LCS is smaller than the Navy's guided missile frigates, and have been compared to the corvette of international usage. However, the LCS adds the capabilities of a small assault transport with a flight deck and hangar large enough to base two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters.
USS Freedom (LCS-1), the lead ship of the Freedom class of littoral combat ships (LCS), is the third vessel of the United States Navy to be so named. The construction contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin's LCS team (Lockheed Martin, Gibbs & Cox, Marinette Marine, and Bollinger Shipyards) in May 2004. Her keel was laid down on 2 June 2005, by Marinette Marine. The ship was sponsored by Birgit Smith, the widow of United States Army Sergeant 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mrs. Smith's initials are welded on the ship's keel. Freedom was christened on 23 September 2006, and is expected to be delivered in 2007. Cost overruns during Freedom's construction combined with projected future overruns led the government to cancel LCS-3 (the second Lockheed Martin ship) on April 12, 2007.
USS Independence (LCS-2), the class prototype for the Independence-class LCS, will be the sixth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the concept of independence. It is the design competitor produced by the General Dynamics consortium, in competition with the Lockheed Martin-designed Freedom class littoral combat ship. The GD Bath Iron Works’ design is based on a high-speed trimaran hull based on the Austal (Henderson, Australia) hull that is currently operating at sea. It requires only a crew of fewer than 40 sailors while the trimaran hull enables the ship to reach sustainable speeds of nearly 50 knots and range as far as 10,000 nautical miles.
USS San Antonio (LPD-17), the lead ship of her class of amphibious transport dock, is the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the city of San Antonio, Texas. The ship is designed to be able to deliver a fully-equipped battalion of 699 Marines. The San Antonio is the first U.S. Navy vessel to incorporate new crew comfort features, including bunks with increased headroom, air-conditioning, and swivel-out laptop computer shelves.
Recently I was sent three 1/700 pewter ship replicas to paint and place on a base. When they arrived I was able to ascertain that they were made by a company called TTH located in Ohio. I visited their website and was very impressed by their work.
The Technology House (TTH), was started eleven years ago this coming August. TTH started out as a product design, CAD & rapid prototyping business. It has evolved into a manufacturing company as they produce some of the products that they’ve helped design. Eighteen months ago they started using some of their technology to create some ship and boat models. For some ships, they create the models in 3D CAD, pro/e or SolidWorks, build the masters on a Stereolithography machine (SLA) and create molds from the master, for others they use high speed milling machines.
The crew is led by Eric Hofmeister a USNA”90 grad who served aboard the USS Yorktown CG 48, and includes their engineering/CAD Department and Ed Dickinson a retired OSCM, Scott Moonen a retired BT1/GSE1, Dave Adams, a retired chemical engineer. Chip Gear (The Skipper) retired from the Navy after a career in Surface Warfare the highlight of which was command of the USS Capodanno FF 1093. Ed was a Master Chief on Chip’s ship and Scott was Chip’s fireroom supervisor.
The ships are cast perfectly clean with no cleanup needed. I searched on line for photos or renderings of the LCS’s and was able to find some through Wikipedia.
The Ospreys and Sea Hawk are from Tamiya(?) and the CH-46 is from JAG. I chose to paint the LCS-2 in a computer generated camo scheme that came out alright. I squared off the end of a toothpick and applied the colors like a ink stamp.
These are only a few of the pewter cast ships available through TTH. They have a lot of modern U.S. Navy vessels including Arliegh Burke variants, Guided missile cruisers and the like. Most in both 1/700 and 1/1200. With the addition of generic PE parts/decals they could look amazing.
Very impressive work by these gents. Perhaps some would like to have a look for themselves.