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USS Iwo Jima, LHD-7, Gallery 1/350 Kit# 64002, OOB Review and Build

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  • Member since
    June 2023
Posted by Rascal's dad on Monday, June 5, 2023 9:31 PM

June, 5th, 2023, 9:06 pm CST

       Hello Mr. Jeff,

      Rascal's dad here / former ABH-1 USN retired------  I just found your review and build on the U.S.S. Iwo Jima, LHD-7 and just had to print it out.  You see,  I was stationed on her sister & lead ship of the class--- U.S.S. Wasp , LHD-1 { March 97 till retirement in Jan. 2001}  My duty assignment was Air Dept. / V-3 Division { hangar bay} Asst. LPO & 3m Maintenace . I also was TAD to the Safety Office during both Med cruises while aboard . While in Saftey, I was 1 of 2 Flight Deck Safety Petty Officers -- the other  being an AO1 that happened to be my LPO's brother.

   May I say---- that the pictures of your build that I saw are amazing.  Very nice job on the overall build.  I don't know if someone brought this to your attention or not back in 2015---- but I did find a small error in your aircraft build of the CH-46's. 

You placed 1 or 2 CH46's with folded rotor blades in the hangar bay,  The error I saw, was that the rear rotors were mounted wrong----- you had them facing to the rear when they should have been facing the forward rotor blade set. The CH-46's rotors  folded to the middle of the aircraft , over lapping the forward set of blades.

   As I said,   this is an amazing build of the LHD Class ship models. I hope that when I get started on my kit,  that I  can come up with the same overall amazing build. I have the full PE upgrade set, and enough extra aircraft sets for a full Air Wing  and all 3 LCAC's carried by the Wasp.

                                   

 

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Sunday, July 21, 2019 3:53 PM

Here's the Iwo Jima with a new air wing...Escort carrier sporting lots of F-35Bs:

 


USS Iwo Lima LHD-7 with an Ecort Carrier air wing of F-35Bs

The Japanese are doing the same with their two Izumo class carriers:


Two Carrier JMSDF Force with Izumo Carrier and F-35Bs
  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 8:52 AM

Jeff Head

Now that I got and finished the USS Harper's Ferry, LSD-49, in 1/350 scale, and with this USS Iwo Jima in 1/350, and LPD-21, the USS New York, and with their escorts, I am able to put together an antire ARG...really, a full MEU!

Here are some pics of the same: (Click on the pic for higer resolution)

...and here are the addresses for the three builds of the major AMphibs (the escorts are all on here too) of the Amphibious ships:

USS Harpers Ferry, LSD-49

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/t/172343.aspx

USS Iwo Jima, LHD-7

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/t/163616.aspx

USS New York, LPD-21

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/t/162273.aspx

I also have complete US Navy Carrier Strike Group with the building of the USS Ronald Reagan (rebuilt 1/350 Trumpeter Nimitz kit) and the Tamiya 1/350 scale USS Enterprise kit, along with the 1/350 kits of the Ticonderoga AEGIS cruisers , AEGIS Burke Destroyers,  Freedom Class LCS (which I built as the new FF design) and either Virginia, Sea Wolf, or LA Class SSNs.

 

Dahjval Dadhania...here's the build thread for the 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima, LD-7...next to the USS Enterprise CVN-80 and USS ROnald Reagan, CVN-76, probably my favorite bild, kit by Gallery.

 

This response shows all of the complete ARG I have built in 1/350 scale.

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Saturday, March 18, 2017 10:47 PM

Tanker - Builder

See!

 What I said ! That all gun Cruiser is awesome . With the single stack and that Gorgeous hull she could've been what some called a " Pocket battleship ."

 I always did like smaller ships with lots of guns . Formidible and small . Oh , and capable too .  T.B.

Yep, although classed as a heavy cruiser, IMHO, the Alsaka and her sister was really the US example of a Battle Cruiser.  

And with nine 12" guns and twelve 5" guns she was every bit that.

Only two were built.  They simply came when the war efort was beginning to steam roll the Japanese and we were not going to need a clas of six of them.

They were designed to hunt down and kill German cruisers and Japanese cruisers, but when they finally got into the war, they were mainly used to escort carriers and provide more air defense for them.

But a GREAT ship, and those two that were built were comissioned in June 1944 and Spetember 1944.  The first saw quite a bt of action and earned three battle stars.

Here's a GREAT pic of the USS Alsaksa next to one iof he Ioa class battleships, the Missouri I believe.  Shows the comparison between the two very well.

 

 

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, March 18, 2017 1:27 PM

See!

 What I said ! That all gun Cruiser is awesome . With the single stack and that Gorgeous hull she could've been what some called a " Pocket battleship ."

 I always did like smaller ships with lots of guns . Formidible and small . Oh , and capable too .  T.B.

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Monday, March 13, 2017 7:38 PM

Tanker - Builder

Hi Jeff !

   I seem to remember a U.S.S. IWO JIMA that was launched in Bremerton Washington in the 60s . I do believe that is the former Iwo Jima class you refer to .

    I thought at the time , " What a weird looking ship " .The flight deck was round at the bow and the Hull looked like something from the past .

   At that time I hadn't embarked on my Ship Design and Engineering Courses at college . As a matter of fact , that was four years in the future .

    I based my comments on the knowledge I had gathered up to that time as a Neophyte Ship Designer as a hobby . I do seem to also remember some difficulty in the inclination tests in drydock .The same dock where the name ship was launched .

    The fact is the ship had at that time a 12 degree list when she finally floated free of the blocks and carried her own weight . I was told , Maybe not true , that the Navy , In a cost concious move , compensated for the list to the island side with an application of concrete on the opposite side to correct this problem .

   I know , stupid idea right ? I could , now , say that I saw some incredibly stupid things done at the yard during that time . Can you say no separators between the Steel of the hull on a ship and it's new Aluminum superstructure ? 

  Talk about a metal interaction . At least they didn't do that to our ship .  By the way , while there , I got to stand on the deck of the Missouri , sitting in mud , in the yard . The spot where I stood was the famous deck where the war officially ended ! She was ignored and filthy .

   Across from her was a compact ship also in Mothballs , that took my breath away . I know , I was on the Missouri ! Single stacked , but as beautiful in line and purpose as the " MO " . I learned the the ship was the U.S.S. Rochester . a class of heavy cruiser I knew nothing about . What a beauty !

   Her guns and armaments under wraps were awesome to behold . She looked , although she was a cruiser , like she could've been classed as a " Pocket " Battleship .

 I don't know what class they were , But I would like to see a model of the Rochester or her sisters done by Trumpeter or Dragon in 1/350 .What a gorgeous cruiser ! T.B.

TB, that first ship was the USS Iwo Jima (LPD-2) and she was the lead ship of her class and type.  They were the first ships designed and built from the keel up as an amphibious assault ship.  she was commissione din 1961 and decommissioned in 1993.

Seven were built, and the last, USS INchon, was decommissioned in 2004 I believe.\

Here's a pic of the USS Inchon before being decommissioned:

Basically, that class led to the Tarawa class LHA, then the class Wasp LHD (of which this model, Iwo Jima LHD-7 is a member) and now the America class LHA.

The cruiser class you were talking about is the Oregon Class Heavy Cruiser built near the end of WW II.  They planned on then, but with the end of the war, they stopped at four.  Rochester was the third one built.

With those nine 8-inch guns and all the other firepower, they were really nice vessels. and displaced 13-14,000 tons I believe.

 Here's the USS Rochester:

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, March 12, 2017 1:48 PM

Hi Jeff !

   I seem to remember a U.S.S. IWO JIMA that was launched in Bremerton Washington in the 60s . I do believe that is the former Iwo Jima class you refer to .

    I thought at the time , " What a weird looking ship " .The flight deck was round at the bow and the Hull looked like something from the past .

   At that time I hadn't embarked on my Ship Design and Engineering Courses at college . As a matter of fact , that was four years in the future .

    I based my comments on the knowledge I had gathered up to that time as a Neophyte Ship Designer as a hobby . I do seem to also remember some difficulty in the inclination tests in drydock .The same dock where the name ship was launched .

    The fact is the ship had at that time a 12 degree list when she finally floated free of the blocks and carried her own weight . I was told , Maybe not true , that the Navy , In a cost concious move , compensated for the list to the island side with an application of concrete on the opposite side to correct this problem .

   I know , stupid idea right ? I could , now , say that I saw some incredibly stupid things done at the yard during that time . Can you say no separators between the Steel of the hull on a ship and it's new Aluminum superstructure ? 

  Talk about a metal interaction . At least they didn't do that to our ship .  By the way , while there , I got to stand on the deck of the Missouri , sitting in mud , in the yard . The spot where I stood was the famous deck where the war officially ended ! She was ignored and filthy .

   Across from her was a compact ship also in Mothballs , that took my breath away . I know , I was on the Missouri ! Single stacked , but as beautiful in line and purpose as the " MO " . I learned the the ship was the U.S.S. Rochester . a class of heavy cruiser I knew nothing about . What a beauty !

   Her guns and armaments under wraps were awesome to behold . She looked , although she was a cruiser , like she could've been classed as a " Pocket " Battleship .

 I don't know what class they were , But I would like to see a model of the Rochester or her sisters done by Trumpeter or Dragon in 1/350 .What a gorgeous cruiser ! T.B.

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Saturday, March 11, 2017 7:09 PM

ridleusmc

Great work,

I've been on that boat a couple of times in 2004, and the CH-53E's have the modexes for my old squadron, HMH-464.  

Your build looks increadible,

Chris

 

Thanks Chris.

I was a very enjoyable build.

I made some mistakes on her...but enjoyed the experience just the same.

While I did not work on any of the LHDs, in my engenieering career I did have the opportunity t work in several Naval and air Force projects.  The NSSN program that became the Viginia Class SSN, got to visit the USS Ohio twice during her refit to an SSGN, and earlier in my career (going back a long time now) I worked on the A-7E Cosrair II in one of its last iterations.

Anyhow, thank you for your service, and glad that your squadron could be represented.

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Friday, March 10, 2017 12:12 AM

Great work,

I've been on that boat a couple of times in 2004, and the CH-53E's have the modexes for my old squadron, HMH-464.  

Your build looks increadible,

Chris

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Thursday, March 9, 2017 7:16 PM

Now that I got and finished the USS Harper's Ferry, LSD-49, in 1/350 scale, and with this USS Iwo Jima in 1/350, and LPD-21, the USS New York, and with their escorts, I am able to put together an antire ARG...really, a full MEU!

Here are some pics of the same: (Click on the pic for higer resolution)

...and here are the addresses for the three builds of the major AMphibs (the escorts are all on here too) of the Amphibious ships:

USS Harpers Ferry, LSD-49

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/t/172343.aspx

USS Iwo Jima, LHD-7

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/t/163616.aspx

USS New York, LPD-21

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/t/162273.aspx

I also have complete US Navy Carrier Strike Group with the building of the USS Ronald Reagan (rebuilt 1/350 Trumpeter Nimitz kit) and the Tamiya 1/350 scale USS Enterprise kit, along with the 1/350 kits of the Ticonderoga AEGIS cruisers , AEGIS Burke Destroyers,  Freedom Class LCS (which I built as the new FF design) and either Virginia, Sea Wolf, or LA Class SSNs.

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 6:15 PM

CapnMac82
It's too late now, but the aft rotors on a CH/RH-46 fold forward. In addition, belowdecks, all of the CH/MH-53 variants fold the tail forward (they faill to clear overhead obstacles otherwise. Main rotors only folded is for flit deck stowage, where the birds can be stowed TOW (Tail Over Water). You were being generous with space on the flight and hangar decks. The brown-shoes cram the birds in until they nearly touch. There are photos of Iwo's hangar deck with 3 CH-49 side to side. Barely enough room to pull them out with a tow tug. Do not sweat LCAC direction, they need to be nose-first into the well deck so that vehicles can use the LCAC ramp (until the new version of LCAC with fore & aft ramps comes into service).

 

Thanks so much!  All spot on and I can actually fix quite a few of those...and shall.

 

Again, thank you very muich, and God bless you an thank you for your serice to our Republic.

  • Member since
    May 2016
Posted by Xena on Monday, July 25, 2016 12:28 AM

impressive Star

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, July 24, 2016 10:03 PM
It's too late now, but the aft rotors on a CH/RH-46 fold forward. In addition, belowdecks, all of the CH/MH-53 variants fold the tail forward (they faill to clear overhead obstacles otherwise. Main rotors only folded is for flit deck stowage, where the birds can be stowed TOW (Tail Over Water). You were being generous with space on the flight and hangar decks. The brown-shoes cram the birds in until they nearly touch. There are photos of Iwo's hangar deck with 3 CH-49 side to side. Barely enough room to pull them out with a tow tug. Do not sweat LCAC direction, they need to be nose-first into the well deck so that vehicles can use the LCAC ramp (until the new version of LCAC with fore & aft ramps comes into service).
  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Sunday, July 24, 2016 6:36 PM

First I painted the whole hull on gray. Then I added the rudder, strut supports, etc then painted the hull red. I then painted the black water line mark.

 

This is a great model, IMHO one of the best 1/350 scale models available in terms of overall detail.

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Sunday, July 24, 2016 6:24 PM

That had to be the USS Iwo Jima LPH-2. She was the first of class helo assault ship, purpose built for that purpose. I believe seven were built.

 
Here's a good link.
 
 
They were followed by the Tarawa Class, and then the Wasp class which the current Iwo Jima is a part of...and now the America class.
 
I believe that first one was commissioned in 1960, and decommissioned in 1993.
 

Jeff

 

[quote= Tank Builder"]

Hmmm.

         A thought just hit my old grey cells . In the sixties I was at Bremerton Naval Shipyard where my ship ( U.S.S. Ozbourn )D.D.846 was doing a F.R.A.M. refit .They were then building two ships in adjacent drydocks .

 On commissioning day , after a disasterous incline Test , I might add .The ship , a strange looking beast ( a mixture of a some kind of carrier with a rounded bow at the deck and an ancient looking hull design was commissioned . ) her name ? funny you should ask , It was the U.S.S. Iwo Jima ! Bulbeous stern design, single screw and all .

     That's a far cry from the one you have . I wonder what happened to those two squirrelly looking ships !  T.B. 

 

[/quote]

 

 

  • Member since
    July 2016
Posted by Greyhounder on Sunday, July 24, 2016 5:28 PM

just finished reading about the new U.S.S. America, another you'll need to add. Waiting to move before really adding to my 1/350 collection. easier to do unbuilt and in the box. have atleast 5 on the wish list and 6 in boxes. 

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, July 24, 2016 5:21 PM

Hmmm.

         A thought just hit my old grey cells . In the sixties I was at Bremerton Naval Shipyard where my ship ( U.S.S. Ozbourn )D.D.846 was doing a F.R.A.M. refit .They were then building two ships in adjacent drydocks .

 On commissioning day , after a disasterous incline Test , I might add .The ship , a strange looking beast ( a mixture of a some kind of carrier with a rounded bow at the deck and an ancient looking hull design was commissioned . ) her name ? funny you should ask , It was the U.S.S. Iwo Jima ! Bulbeous stern design, single screw and all .

     That's a far cry from the one you have . I wonder what happened to those two squirrelly looking ships !  T.B. 

  • Member since
    September 2008
  • From: Pennsylvania
Posted by PsyOpMech on Thursday, July 21, 2016 3:14 PM

I just started my own USS Iwo Jima project and I am loving your write up so far.

When you painted the hull, did you add on any of the hull pieces first or did you add and paint them later?

Thanks,

Brian J

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 4:20 PM

No problem...glad to help.

  • Member since
    July 2013
Posted by steve5 on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 9:38 PM

I appreciate the help jeff

 

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 12:06 PM

Thanks!  it was a very fun build/project.

Rates right up there with my build of the USS Enterprise, CVN-65, by Tamiya, in terms of enjoyment.

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Brunswick, Ohio
Posted by Buckeye on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 11:25 AM

Very nice.  Love the lighting!  Would love to try that myself one day.

Mike

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 9:10 AM

Thanks!

I usually buy my LED lightings strips for hangers and major decks from Modeler's Brand (http://www.modelersbrand.com/) and then do all of the electrical stuff myself.  I have a background in engineering and electronics.

You can also purchase individual LED lights from them or from others like  Life Lites (http://www.lifelites.com/).

There are also more complete, out of the box kits you can buy.  For example, Madman Lighting sells numerous pre-fabricated kits for lighting for various types of models like science fiction, aircraft carriers, landing fields, etc. (home.comcast.net/.../index.html).

Hope that helps.

  • Member since
    July 2013
Posted by steve5 on Monday, March 9, 2015 9:50 PM

a very impressive build jeff.,I have never tried to put a lighting system in my models., is there a particular site you go to., too buy these., I am about to start the black pearl ., and think lighting would look good against the black hull .,

 

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Monday, March 9, 2015 10:34 AM

The Build - Placing equipment and aircraft on the flight deck and elevators, completing the model - March 10, 2015

Well, all that was left at this point was to glue down the island, and then place the equipment (cranes, fork lifts, tugs, etc.) and the aircraft on the flight deck and elevators.

I ended up placing the aircraft in a little different configuration than what I used earlier in my dry fit. Mainly, I decided to place the Sea Knights forward of the island, with most of the Super Stallions aft of the island.

Once that was done and dried well, it was time to simply take the finishing pictures.

Here are the main pics:



...and some close ups:



...and the lighting system seen through both elevators and from aft, showing the well deck and vehicle deck:

...and some more detail shots:

...and finally, full shots from the port and starboard sides:

She is one nice looking vessel.

I have to say, this has been one of the top two most enjoyable 1/350 scale model ships I have built. This Gallery, USS Iwo Jima, LHD-7, and the 1/350 scale Tamiya USS Enterprise, CVN-65, that I built earlier added so much scratch build and lighting system to.

I would recommend both...an particularly this one...to anyone who enjoys building modern naval vessels. The detail for the three interior sections (vehicle deck, well deck, and hanger) and the ability to add details (photo etch kits, scratch builds, etc.) are simply phenomenal and make for a lot of enjoyment.

Now adding an escorting Ticonderoga and an escorting Burke will round out my ARG...though I do not have a 1/350 scale LSD and am not aware of a kit for one. Just the same, my completed ARG will include:

1 x Wasp Class Landing Helicopter Dock (USS Iwo Jima)
1 x San Antonio Class Landing Platform Dock (USS New York)
1 x Missouri Class Battleship (USS New Jersey - modernized)
2 x Independence Class Littoral Combat Ships (USS Independence and USS Coronado)
1 x Arleigh Burke Class, Flight IIA AEGIS Destroyer (USS Chafee)
1 x Ticonderoga Class AEGIS Cruiser (USS Gettysburg)
1 x Ohio Class Guided Missile nuclear Submarine (USS Ohio)
1 x Los Angels Flight III class nuclear submarine (USS Boise)

Having that group in conjunction with my entire US Navy Carrier Strike Group centered on the USS Enterprise is the culmination of a goal set many years ago.

One day I hope to add a 1/350 scale Zumwalt class destroyer to replace the New Jersey, and a Landing Ship Dock (LSD). Still, its a powerful group as it is.

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Sunday, March 8, 2015 7:35 PM

The Build - Complete Lighting Electrical, Deck Equipment, Deck PE Railing/ladders, Island Railing - March 8, 2015

This was a very involved session and it took me every bit of ten days.

I started by completing the lighting system electrical wiring into the stand, adding the switch and power source (a 9VDC battery), and then testing the lighting system...at this point I also added to props and anchors since the model was upside down while doing this.



I then painted and built the deck equipment. These are miniature assemblies ranging in part count from five to ten pieces each. There are the following:

2 x large mobile cranes
2 x large forklifts
2 x medium fork lifts
2 x fire trucks
2 x aircraft tugs
2 x equipment trailers

The forklifts are painted yellow. The tires are flat black, and the rest are light gray, with some dark grey accents.

At this point it was time to add the photo etch metal railing to the flight deck, along with the ladders and safety netting. There was a LOT of PE Railing...and I mean a lot. Between the PE Railing supplied with the kit, and particularly the PE railing that came with the White Ensign Models PE kit, there was plenty. But it is very time consuming to cut and add all of these sections of railing and carefully bend them where necessary.

This took five or six days to accomplish itself.





Then it was time to do the same for the PE Railing and ladders for the island. Another painstaking operation with a LOT of railing. This took another 3-4 days.



She is looking very, very good! All that is left now is to glue the island down, and glue the aircraft and deck equipment down. Then simply take pictures of the completed USS Iwo Jima, LHD, 7, in 1/350 scale!

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Friday, March 6, 2015 4:52 PM

Thanks!

I used to build 1/700, 1/720, 1/800 etc. model ships.  but I stepped up to 1/350 scale some years ago because there was just so much more detail...both with the models and what you can add with after market and scratch builds.  

Never regretted it.

This one is coming along very nicely (and it is one of the truly classic, quintessential 1/350 scale ship kits out there)...but oh man, is there a lot of PE railing for this baby.  I have been working on the railing in the evenings and weekends for over a week...and am still not done!

  • Member since
    April 2014
Posted by B_one fixer on Saturday, February 28, 2015 2:08 PM

Wow that is amazing work so far. I wanted to step up to 1/350 scale but it would eat up alot of shelf space, so for now 1/700 will have to do. Great work again!

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Idaho, USA
Posted by Jeff Head on Saturday, February 28, 2015 10:27 AM

The Build - Air Wing for the Flight Deck - February 28, 2015

This entire session was devoted to building all of the aircraft for the air wing that would be seen on the flight deck and the elevators...and there are a lot of them! There are up to thirteen parts for each of these aircraft and the total part count for the 29 aircraft was just under 250 parts. I took me ten days of working in the early mornings before work, and in the evenings after work to accomplish all that was necessary for this.

For the flight deck and elevators I built the following aircraft:

6 x AV-8B Harrier II Fighter/Bomber Aircraft
5 x MV-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotor Assault Transport Aircraft
6 x CH-53E Super Stallion Assault Transport Helicopters
6 x CH-47 Sea Knight Transport Helicopters
4 x AH-1W Sea Cobra Attack Helicopters
2 x UH-1E Iroquois (Huey) Transport/Utility Helicopters

That's twenty-nine aircraft for the flight deck. Altogether, when added to the seven I placed in the hanger, it will make for 36 aircraft and helicopters for the air wing for my USS Iwo Jima, LPD-7 in 1/350 scale.

I started by arranging all of the parts...all of which come (either with the kit, or with the additional Gallery and Bronco aircraft packs I bought) molded in clear plastic. I then glued the major fuselage parts together for each. Once they were together and dried, I then painted the aircraft fuselages (Model Master Light Ghost Gray) and then added the hand painted cockpits and windows (Model Master Flat Black).



Once these were all dried, I then added the decals to the fuselages. There were up to eight decals on each aircraft and a total of 164 decals to be added.

I decided to do this before adding the landing gear and the rotors because these very small decals are much easier to apply before those other details are added. The landing gear and the rotors get in the way...and are also rather delicate and tend to break off when trying to handle them as much as you have to do when applying the decals...so best to add the decals first. Like this:

Once these decals were added and dried well, it was time to add the landing gear and the rotors for each aircraft. I had already painted these and they dried while completing other activities...but they are very small parts for the landing gear and require some precision work with tweezers, and just drops of glue for their application. The rotors are delicate and have to be handled with care, including removing them from the sprues.

In the end, they all went on to their respective aircraft.



Now, the aircraft were complete and it was just a matter of placing them in the appropriate configuration on the deck.

I decided to have them placed in the middle of an operation, with two Osprey, two Super Stallions, and two Harriers in the process of taking off. I have the rest arranged around the deck, with the Harriers and the attack helos to the aft. The Sea Knights aft next to the island, and the Super Stallions and Osprey forward of the island.. Two Cobras on the starboard elevator, and a Sea Knight and a Super Stallion on the port elevator.

Here's how all of that looks:



Now that is looking very nice indeed!

I dry fitted these in place initially...as I have done with the island. This is so I can more easily place the photo etch railing, and then wire the lighting system into the stand. That will be in the next session when I will complete the vessel and these aircraft and the island will be glued down.

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