My Review and Build of Gallery's 1/350 scale Kit #64002,
USS IWO Jima, LHD-7, Landing Helicopter Dock
(click on any picture in this review to see a higher resolution one)
Last updated: Introduction and what's in the Box - January 8, 2015
Introduction and What's in the Box - January 8, 2015
About the ship:
This model is a 1/350 scale model depiction of the US Navy's USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Wasp Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD). She is the seventh Wasp Class LHD. She was launched in February 2000 and commissioned in June 2001.
The Wasp Class LHDs at 40,500 tons were the largest amphibious assault vessels ever built until the launch of the USS America LHA in 2012, the first of the America class which displace 45,000 tons. Just the same, these vessels are larger than most other nations aircraft carriers, which they closely resemble. These amphibious warships are uniquely designed to support assault from the sea against defended positions ashore. The 844-foot long ship carries a crew of approximately 1,000 Sailors and 1,900 Marines. Aircraft carried by this class of ship include a mix of Marine Corps helicopters and attack aircraft. The United States maintains the largest and most capable amphibious force in the world, and the Wasp-class ships are built to be multi-functional, and take advantage of the experience gained from its predecessor Tarawa class. The Wasps can serve in either the amphibious assault, or sea control mode, adding significantly to America's ability to project power and defend freedom across the globe.
Capable of embarking 1,900 US Marines and all of the equipment to support them, the Wasp class also carries all of the equipment necessary to provide either air (via helicopter and V-22 Osprey aircraft) or sea assault (via well-docked air cushion or landing craft) on the targeted objectives of those marines, while giving them the logistical, command and control, close-air support (through its embarked wing of VSTOL fighter bombers), and the hospital support they require while doing so.
In the Sea control role, the Wasp class can embark an air wing made up of Harriers, or the new, even more capable F-35B STOVL Joint Strike fighter, 5th generation stealth aircraft. These aircraft are capable of fleet defense or war-at-sea offensive operations. The vessels would also carry ASW helicopters for defending against and prosecuting sub-surface threats in the sea-control role..
Originally intended to be a class of six, with the decommissioning of the Iwo Jima class which were the first dedicated amphibious assault ships ever built, the Wasp class has been expanded to eight vessels, the eighth of which, the USS Malkin Island, LHD-8, was christened in 2006.
That vessel replaced one of the last Tarawa class LHA vessels and provided a transformational bridge into the future development of the LHA(R) vessels, the USS America class, which will replace the other Tarawa class. The Makin Island was also the first Wasp vessel to have Gas turbine engines and an all electric drive like the LHA(R) vessels will have. She also was the first to use a fiber optic network for machinery control. The Navy integrated into her damage control system, the more capable SPQ-9B radar and the US Navy's Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC).
Specifications for the USS Iwo Jima, LHD-7, and all of the earlier Wasp Class Landing Helicopter Docks include:
Length: 844 ft
Width: 200 ft
Beam: 106 ft
Displacement: 40,500 tons
Propulsion: 2 GE LM 2500+ gas turbines, 2 shafts
Speed: 24 knots
Airwing: 40 rotary, vstol
- 2 × RAM launchers (42 missiles)
- 2 × NATO ESSM launchers (16 total launch tubes)
- 2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
- 3 × 25 mm Mk 38 cannons
- 4 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns
Ships in class: 8
The eight vessels of the Wasp Class, of which Iwo Jima is a part include:
LHD-1 USS Wasp
LHD-2 USS Essex
LHD-3 USS Kearsarge
LHD-4 USS Boxer
LHD-5 USS Bataan
LHD-6 USS Bonhomme Richard
LHD-7 USS Iwo Jima
LHD-8 Makin Island
About The Kit:
Gallery models has emerged as a very significant model maker, particularly in 1/350 scale. While they do not build as many models as a company like Trumpeter does, the models they do produce are very highly detailed, include significant amounts of photo etch metal parts, significant options, and are regarded as some of the best models kits available requiring very little after-market purchases to be able to produce a superior quality, almost museum quality model..
Some of the other kits that have produced for their 1/350 scale line-up include:
USS Wasp, LHD-1, Over 1,000 parts
USS New York, LPD-21, Over 700 parts
USS Intrepid, CV-11, (Angled Deck)Over 1,000 parts
US Navy Aircraft Carrier Deck Equipment
US Navy LCAC Hovercraft
US Marine Aircraft
US Marine armored vehicles
This model of the USS Iwo Jima lives up to this reputation in every respect, and in fact is recognized as probably their most impressive effort.
The Gallery Model's USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) is their follow-on to their release of the USS Wasp (LHD-1) in 1/350 scale in 2010. This one has more parts with additional add-ons that were included by the time the seventh vessel, the Iwo Jima was built, and with a more complete phto etch set and more equipment.
It is a big model with an overall length of 28 3/4 inches and a width just in excess of 3 1/2 inches.
The hull is a large single piece. No provision for waterline option here...you will have to cut it yourself if that is what you want. I do not intend that any way so it is fine for me. Also, the main flight deck is a single piece with all of the tie down indentations in place. There are three large decks for the well deck and vehicle deck as well that are individual part. See the picture below showing the hull and flight deck dry fitted together.
There are a LOT of part sprues for this vessel...let me just list them all with what they comprise and you will see what I mean:
For the ship itself we have:
Sprue A x 1 : with aircraft elevators, props, shaft, rudders, ship's launches and many smaller detail parts
Sprue B x 2 : with life raft capsules the ships large anchors, winches, and other details.
Sprue C x 2 : with Phalanx CIWS, RAM & Sea Sparrow launchers, .50 cal guns, 25mm Mk 38 cannons, RBOC launchers, & ECM antenna.
Sprue D x 1 : with plastic railings, walkways and the bilge keel parts.
Sprue E x 1 : with deck edge walkways that have food detail on the underside, simulating girders and supports.
Sprue F x 1 : with bulkheads for the well deck, and the bulbous bow extention of the hull. Very nice detail in the well deck.
Sprue G x 1 : with bulkheads for the upper well deck and a portion of the hangar deck.
Sprue H x i : with bulkheads and other parts for the hangar deck. Nice bulkhead details here too with watertight doors and conduits.
Sprue L x 1 : with bulkheads for the large superstructure and bridge, and small decks on the fantail and for the after Sea Sparrow launcher.
Sprue M x 1 : with details & antennae for the superstructure, parts for the exhaust stacks, platforms, lattice structures & name plate
Sprue N x 1 : with small parts for the island, platforms, masts, lattice supports for the mast, and misc. other smaller parts
Sprue P x 1 : with catwalks, platforms, and supports that along the sides of the hull.
That's a total of fourteen sprues for the ship itself. Most of them large sprues with a LOT of parts.
Then for the deck equipment:
Sprue WA x 2 : Two tractors, Two forklifts, Two fire trucks, two NAN-2 Nitrogen servicing units (for airing up aircraft tires) on each sprue.
For the military ground vehicles and equipment we have:
Sprue WE x 2 : with an M60A3 tank on each.
Sprue WF x 2 : with and AAV-7 amphibious personnel carrier on each.
Sprue WG x 2 : with an an M1A1 tank on each.
Sprue WH x 2 : with an an MTVR Heavy Truck on each.
Sprue WJ x 2 : with an an LAV-25 IFV on each.
Sprue WK x 2 : with and M1114 HMMWV (Humvee) on each.
Sprue WL x 2 : with and M1097 HMMWV truck on each.
Sprue WM x 2 : with an M198 howitzer on each.
That a total of 16 vehicle sprues.
For the aircraft we have:
Spruw MV22 x 4 : with an MV-22 Osprey aircraft on each.
Sprue CH53 x 4 : with a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter on each.
Sprue CH46 x 4 : with a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter on each.
Sprue AH1W x 1 : with two AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters.
Sprue SH60 x 2 : with an SH-60 Sea Hawk ASW helicopter on each. Sprue AV8B x 2 : with an AV-8B Harrier STOVL jet fighter on each.
That's a total of 17 sprues with 18 aircraft. I purchased some additional Gallery, US Marine aircraft packs in 1/350 scale to go along with the vessel to round out a full airwing. more on that later.
For landing craft we have:
Sprue WA1 x 1 : with a Landing Craft utility (LCU) on it.
Sprue WA2 x 1 : with a Landing Craft utility (LCU) on it.
Sprue WB1 x 2 : with the skirt and fan parts for an LCAC on each.
Sprue WB2 x 2 : with the deck and fan parts for an LCAC on each.
Sprue WC x 2 : with the deck house for an LCAC on each.
Thats a total of eight sprues for four landing craft in total.
Then we have the Photo etch sprues, of which there are three which contain the railing, many of the sensors, and a lot of details for the various equipment, aircraft, vehicles, etc. for the ship.
So, altogether we have a total of 55 plastic sprues and 3 photo etch sprues...58 sprues with well over 1500 parts (when you include the PE) for this kit!
Now, I did not leave it there. I bought White ensign Models very ample and detailed Wasp Class, 1/350 scale photo etch set as well. This set includes a LOT more photo etch parts, and has some that are more detailed and better parts for the sensors than what Gallery provides. IMHO, Gallery should just bite the bullet and team with White ensign on these kits and include one of the white ensign PE kits in each of their USS Wasp and USS Iwo Jima kits.
As mentioned, I also purchased two of Gallery's US Marine Aircraft kits (kit #64003) for this vessel. Each kit contains the following:
2 x MV-22 Osprey VTOL aircraft.
2 x CH-53E Super Stallion transport helicopters.
2 x CH-46E Sea Knight transport helicopter.
2 x AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters.
2 x SH-60 Sea Hawk ASW helicopters.
2 x AV-8B Harrier STOVL jet fighter.
Adding those two packs adds another 24 aircraft, which means I will have a total of 42 aircraft for the airwing of my Iwo Jima, which will make for an airwing of:
8 x MV-22 Osprey VTOL aircraft.
8 x CH-53E Super Stallion transport helicopters.
8 x CH-46E Sea Knight transport helicopters.
6 x AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters.
6 x SH-60 Sea Hawk ASW helicopters.
6 x AV-8B Harrier STOVL jet fighters.
The Six SH-60 Sea Hawks are not really realistic for a typical assault air wing. They would be on a Sea Control air wing...but that would also include about 20 Harriers or JSF jet fighters. So for my air wing I may include two of the Sea Hawks along with the rest of those aircraft.
I will also be adding a decent lighting system for the well deck, the hanger deck, and for lights in the island. Those will be after-market purchases as well and I will say more on that when I come to it in the build.
The decals come in three sheets. The largest is for the vessel itself, particularly all of the many landing deck markings. There is also a sheet for the aircraft and another for the various vehicles and equipment. Well over a hundred decals altogether.
The instructions are in a 36 page booklet. They are, as always, very extensive and detailed...as well as intuitive (at least as much as they can be for so many hundreds of parts).
Finally, there is a full color, glossy, two sided sheet showing the paint scheme and the location of the decals. One side is various views of the entire ship. The other side has the aircraft and vehicles and their paint scheme. Both include callouts for the various colors and their stock numbers.
I intend to show the vessel with an LCAC and an LCU in the well deck, another LCAC exiting the well deck, and an LCU outside of the vessel...all loaded with various equipment. I will also have some truck and equipment on the vehicle deck with lighting in there...but those parts will be difficult to see.
I will show numerous aircraft in the hanger deck, probably with one elevator lowered and one raised to the deck. with the lighting in the well deck, a lot of that detail will be visible.
I then plan to show a relatively crowded flight deck with numerous helicopters and Osprey forward with their rotors folded, with the Harriers and Cobras crowded at the aft end of the ship, and then with two MV-22s, one CH-53E, one CH-46E, and one AV-8B in take off positions on the deck.
It should be a very, very nice depiction.
Here's how all if this looked out of the box:
A HUGE project as you can see!
In my first build session I will paint the main hull and add the props, shafts and rudders.
SCHEDULE for Future Activities - January 8, 2015
- By Apr 15, 2015, Complete the US Navy Amphibious Ready Group centered on adding the Gallery USS Iwo Jima, a CG, and a DDG, to the vessels already completed.
- By Apr 16, 2015 Go back and finish the rest of the DDG and FFG escorts for each CSG.
The completion of the PLAN Carrier group was centered on the already completed Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Mini Hobby's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168. I recently pre-ordered a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, announced by Trumpeter and due out in October, 2013. I will end up adding two of those, probably LPD-998 Yuzhao and LPD-999, Jinggangshan, add the PLAN- DDG-139, Ningbo, and the PLAN DDG-115, Shenyang, along with the PLAN Weifang, FFG-550 and thus build a PLAN ARG.
The completion of the US Carrier Strike group was centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Trumpeter's, USS Freedom, LCS-1, Dragon's USS Preble, DDG-88 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) is released from Trumpeter, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser. Whichever Ford Class coms out in 1/350 scale, I will build it as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.
The US ARG will include Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS Iowa, BB-62 (which I have already completed), Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS New York, LPD-21, Cyber Hobby's USS Independence, LCS-2, Bronco Model's 1/350 scale USS Coronado, LCS-4, a Flight IIA US AEGIS class destroyer based on Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Lassen, DDG-82, and a Ticonderoga AEGIS cruiser...all of these models which I already own.
The completion of the UK Group featured the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious, R06 as its center piece until a 1/350 scale Queen Elizabeth carrier is released. When that happens, I will add that carrier to the group as its centerpiece. The Royal Navy CSG will also include two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (one of which is already completed), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates (one of which is already completed), and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN (which is also already completed) and Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Trafalgar SSN. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Ocean LPD comes out, I will use it to start building a Royal Navy ARG.
The French CSG is centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gaulle, R91. I have purchased the 1/400 scale Heller French De Grasse, D612 DDG, which is an ASW DDG, the French Duquesne, D603 DDG which is an anti-air multi-purpose DDG, and the French Aconit D612 FFG and Gueprattet F714 FFGs, both of which are Lafayette class frigates. These five vessels will round out my French CSG. As soon as a French Robin class nuclear sub, like the French Pearle S606 SSN is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will purchase two of them and replace the De Grasse and Duquesne with them, and then save those two for when a Mistral Class LPD is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale so I can create a French ARG with those vessels.
The completion of the Japanese JMSDF group was centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181. It will be escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG and the JMSDF, DDG-174, Kongo class (which I own), Trumpeter’s 1/350 scale DDG-114 Susunami and DDG-111 (both of which are Takinami Class DDGs which I own), and by the 1/350 scale SS-503 Hakuryu (which I own), one of Japans new, very modern and capable AIP Diesel Electric submarines. As soon as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale is released, I will add it to this group. Should a 1/350 scale Osumi Class LPD be released, I will buy two of those vessels and create a JMSDF ARG.
Then, finally it will be a complete Russian CSG (centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov which I own) the Russian Kirov Class nuclear battle cruiser (CGN), the Peter the Great, by Trumpeter (which I own), the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumpeter (which I own), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udaloy DDGs (which I own), Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN (which I own), and the new Yasen class Russian SSN (which I own), all in 1/350 scale. Sometime in the more distant future when a 1/350 scale Russian version of the French Mistral class comes out (which is building in real life right now), I will add two of those and build a Russian ARG.
Recently I purchased Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemenceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and became the Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, using steam catapults. I will build the model as the Sao Paulo and thus start a Brazilian group, though the Type 22 DDGs and the FFGs the Brazilians use are not available at present. I have however purchased a set of 1/400 scale A-4 Skyhawks and S-3 Trackers to build a suitable air wing for the Sao Paulo.
Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Carrier Strike Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Carrier Strike Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, and ultimately an Australian Strike Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs. If they ever build the models, an Indian Carrier Strike Group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier, the Vikrant, and their Kolkata class DDGs and Shivlak class FFGs would also be nice.
Years more worth of work!
You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifications at my site:
WORLD-WIDE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS