USS New York LPD-21

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Company: Hobby Boss
Provided by: Squadron - Website: Visit Site
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USS New York (LPD-21) is the fifth San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. Her keel was laid on September 10, 2004, at the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Avondale Operations in New Orleans, Louisiana. USS New York’s bow consists of 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center. She was commissioned on November 7, 2009, in New York City.


The HobbyBoss 1/700 scale USS New York kit comes packaged in a sturdy cardboard box. Each sprue is wrapped in plastic individually, with the exception of the duplicate sprues, which are wrapped together. There is foam padding covering the delicate parts and between the clear sprues for the aircraft. There are 21 sprues, plus the top and bottom hull pieces, and a stand. The ship parts are molded in light gray plastic, the stand is molded in black, and the helicopters and MV-22s are molded in clear. There are a total of 325 plastic parts in the kit. There is also a photo-etch fret that consists of 42 parts, and there are three decals sheets. Both the decals and photo-etch are packaged in separate clear bags. The photo-etch has a cardboard backing and clear protective film on both sides. The decal sheets each have a protective sheet taped over them. Color callouts are provided for Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol paints.

There is very little flash on the kit’s sprues, and the parts are mostly molded with fine, sharp detail (more on that later). There are only a few parts that have ejector pin marks that need to be taken care of: the roof of the wet well, the roof of the hangar bay, and the undersides of parts C4 and C8. To be honest, the marks in the hangar bay and wet well will probably never be seen, even if you do not clean them up.

Ship Construction

Construction starts out with the wet well and hull rear plate. The detail is nice, and although the instructions do not indicate it, there are extra decals on the sheet for the markings in the wet well (decal numbers 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, and 37). I painted my own markings before I realized there were decals. I left off the hangar and ramp doors, parts D32 and D37, which are attached to part A8, as I wanted to show these areas opened up. I made an open version of the hangar door out of strips of 0.015ʺ sheet styrene, which I then glued together and added to the top of the opening.

Step 2 of the construction covers the assembly of the hangar. This is another area where I enhanced my model with a little extra detail made from sheet styrene. I added an extra section of floor with an opening depicting the ramp down to the lower decks. I also added a new side wall and ceiling for the ramp area. Inside the hangar, I added a balcony around the three back walls using strips of styrene. It was because of this additional detail that I left the doors, parts D32 and D37, off in the previous step.

Step 2 also covers joining the top and bottom hull pieces together. The fit was excellent. The only area that needed a little filler was at the front of the top piece, where it meets the verticals walls at the front of lower hull. I also added the hull bulb, parts A2 and A3 from Step 8, at this stage of construction. These two parts only needed a little filler. One side of the bulb was molded a little longer than the other, but it was not an issue, as I just needed to do a little sanding to make them the same size.

Construction of the rest of the ship was straightforward and went smooth, except for the following areas:

  • In Step 3, the instructions call for part B7 to be glued to parts B2 and B3. The bottom of B7 is hollow, and although it is not called out in the instructions, part B8 fits perfectly between parts B7, B2, and B3.
  • In Step 5, the instructions call for part D5, a set of life raft containers, to be placed on the vertical wall at the front of the flight deck. I am pretty sure that part E5 should actually be installed there, so that is what I used.
  • In Step 5, there is no mounting hole in the very bow of the ship for part D6. I simply drilled a small hole to mount the part.

Overall, the molded-in detail and the fit of the parts were excellent. I had no issues other than the tiny size of some of the parts, but that is to be expected at this scale. There are no railings included on the photo-etch sheet. If you want to add them, you will have to provide your own.

I painted the ship using the recommended Tamiya colors, although I did find a mistake in the color callouts. Medium Gunship Gray is called out as Tamiya XF-58, which is actually Olive Green; it should be called out as Tamiya XF-24, Dark Gray.

The decals went on with no issues and responded excellently to Micro Set and Micro Sol, snugging into the details. Decaling the flight deck was a challenge, as every line, number, and dot was an individual decal. I had to do it in steps, placing the lines first, then coming back and adding the other decals. There is one error on the decaling guide: The decal of the ships name, which goes on the upper wet well door, is called out as decal 30, when it is actually labeled as decal 24 on the decal sheet. While I did not add any rigging to the ship, the kit provides a choice of four large American flag decals for use on the rigging.

Landing Craft

The kit includes parts for three landing craft: two LCACs (Landing Craft Air Cushion) and 1 LCU (Landing Craft Utility).

Each LCAC consist of six gray parts which go together easily. The inflatable skirt is molded in the fully inflated position. There is no option to put the ramps down, as they are molded in the up position. The two LCAC superstructure pieces have some detail molded to the tops of them, but the sides have no detail at all. This makes painting a real chore, as there is nothing indicating where the windows, screens, and other details are. I had to guess when I painted them.

The LCU consists of 14 parts which go together without any issues. Here again, the detail is nice on the upper surfaces, but the vertical surfaces of the superstructure have no detail. I added a mast to the LCU that is shown on the painting/decaling diagram but is not in the kit. I made it from stretched sprue and a little piece of strip styrene.

I painted the landing craft using the same Tamiya paints as the ship. There were decals for all three landing craft, and they went on with no issues. I was a little disappointed with the detail on the landing craft, especially after seeing the excellent detail molded into the ship parts.

Aircraft Wing

There are 12 aircraft included in the kit:

  • 2 – MV-22 – 12 clear parts, including separate main landing gear and folded or extended rotor blades.
  • 2 – CH-53E – 10 clear parts, including separate main landing gear and folded or extended rotor blades.
  • 2 – CH-46 – 8 clear parts, including separate main landing gear and folded or extended rotor blades.
  • 2 – UH-1N – 2 gray parts (fuselage) and 5 photo-etch parts (rotors, skid, horizontal stabilizers).
  • 4 – AH-1W – 4 clear parts.

The aircraft are all well molded and have recessed panel lines. The 2 UH-1Ns required a little putty at the back of the fuselage seam. The rest of the helicopters and MV-22s need extra care when removing the parts from the sprues. The clear plastic is very brittle and the parts are extremely thin. I broke a couple of the rotor blades while removing them. Also, because the parts are clear, it was difficult to place and align the landing gear and engines on the CH-53Es.

I used the recommended Tamiya paint (XF-22), and it turned out too dark. I didn’t realize this was an issue until I added the decals; most of them disappeared as they were the same color as the paint. I would recommend using a lighter shade of gray. Interestingly enough, the decals all look black on the sheet, but they are actually different shades of gray when you apply them. There are only enough decals to mark two of the AH-1W helicopters, even though there are four in the kit.


The kit includes the following vehicles on two gray sprues:

  • 2 – AAVP-7 – 4 parts
  • 2 – M1A1 – 4 parts
  • 2 – M60A3 – 4 parts
  • 2 – LAV-25 – 4 parts
  • 2 – M1114 – 1 part
  • 2 – M1097 – 1 part
  • 2 – MTVR – 3 parts
  • 2 – M198 – 2 parts

Only the two AAVP-7s are called out in the instructions, but the other vehicles are included so I used them. I found the instructions for the HobbyBoss 1/700 scale USS Wasp online at the Hobby Search website, which I used to build and paint the other vehicles. The vehicles went together with no issues. As with the landing craft, no window details are found on the M1097s, M1114s, and MTVRs. I had to guess when painting these windows as well. There are no decals for any of the vehicles. I did not use the M60A3s as they were retired from the Marine Corps before USS New York was commissioned.


To create a base, I painted an unfinished wooden plaque that I found at my local craft store. I mounted the kit’s provided stand to the plaque using a couple of wood screws. I then mounted the ship to the stand using a couple of pieces of styrene rod. The rod was inserted into holes that I drilled in both the ship and stand. I made little stands for the 3 landing craft using styrene sheet and rod. This allowed me to display the landing craft at the same level as the ship. The name plate I used was included in the kit.


Overall, this was a very pleasant kit to build. There is very nice detail molded into the ship, and the inclusion of the landing craft, helicopters, and vehicles add to the finished product. I only experienced a couple of minor fit issues throughout the entire kit. The photo-etch was easy to work with and added some extra detail that couldn’t be molded in styrene. I would recommend this kit to anyone that has some prior experience working with small parts.


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