U.S.S. San Antonio LPD-17
Upon opening the kit I found the plastic to be delicately molded in an easy to paint light grey styrene with fair detail for a model its scale and size. The parts count is rather high because many of the details are molded as fine separate niceties. Very small (less than an 1/8th inch) parts such as the masks, life rafts, antenna, and supports are molded in this fine plastic and make use of magnifying devices necessary.
- 7 - Total plastic trees including
- 1 - 3 piece stand in light grey plastic
- 1 - Upper Hull in light grey plastic
- 1 - Waterline Hull in light grey plastic
- 2 - 24 piece MV-22s in light grey plastic
- 2 - 119 pieces for Ship details in light grey plastic
- 1 - Photo etched tree with 7 pieces
- 1 - 2 ½” x 4” decal sheet covering 1 version and 4 MV-22s
- 1 - 7 Step instruction book
Construction of the San Antonio proceeds is 7 orderly steps with call outs for at least 7 different minor sub-assemblies during construction. Options are limited to open or closed starboard doors and rear well deck. MV-22s may be built with the wings and blades folded for storage or in flight mode. There is no interior on ether the flight deck or well deck. The mid deck crane may be built extended or folded but the kit contains no watercraft which would be stored adjacent to the booms.
For some reason my kit was missing part A-15 so it was necessary for me to replicate this part out of scratch plastic. No harm, easy fix.
I chose to build my San Antonio in the full hull version and mount to the 3 piece base. When bonding the hull D to lower hull B-16 take your time to avoid and unsightly seam between the two. The two parts went together well as I went slow using Tamiya super thin welding cement to match the seams together. What seam that remained was easily filled with Mr. Hobby 1000 primer and effortlessly sanded smooth.
The photo etched pieces replicate the starboard doors, masks, and rear safety catch fences. Parts A-39 and A-40 are replicated in PE but are no were on the instruction sheet. Also the rear catch fence part MA-9 is too wide for the rear of the ship by about 1/32nd inch so I trimmed mine to fit. There are no railings or ladders present other than those molded in plastic.
A full kit in itself is the MV-22 Osprey. 13 pieces to each Osprey in 1/700 scale is quite the challenge. I did find that two of the MV-22 bodies were not fully molded so I chose to build just one for the fan tail. The blades to this aircraft are extremely delicate and easily spoiled. There are 18 decals to each of the Ospreys, good luck there.
Decals for the kit were just right thin and went on well over a future gloss coat. I used only water and no solvent to set the decals. Missing was a decal for the base which I readily made on the home computer.
Paint for my kit was limited to Tamiya acrylics mostly Hull Red, Sea Grey with Dark Gray for the flight deck with Future as a decal sealant. I used AK Gray wash to bring out the details and Tamiya Clear Blue for the windows. When all finished I air brushed on a light coat of Tester’s Model Master Flat to get a nice even finish.
Overall this model was fun and easy build with the only stumbling blocks being the extremely small parts to work with. The model measures 11 ¾ inches long when built which scales out real close to the 684 foot overall length. I spent 14 hours building and finishing this kit and it looks excellent when placed next to other ships of the modern age.
Thank you to Cyber-Hobby for the chance to review this kit and the IPMS USA for the opportunity to once again put glue and paint to plastic.