by: Joe Szczygielski [ ]
Being one of the largest warships, the Nimitz class aircraft carrier can accommodate a hundred aircraft on itís flight deck. To launch the powerful aircraft, every Nimitz carrier has 4 steam catapults on board located on the bow and port side of the carrier.
The 4 hydraulic catapults, each capable of accelerating a fighter from 0 to 160 knots in 3 seconds and can launch 4 fighters from the deck within one minute. During the launch operations, the Jet Blast Deflector (JBD) behind the catapult is elevated 45 degrees and acts as a barrier to protect aircraft and crew members on deck from the high energy jet exhaust.
Itís about time that an ejection molded kit was available, other options were to scratchbuild one or buy one of those highly priced resin deck boards.
ContentsThree sealed clear plastic bags, two are fill with the deck pieces and the third containing the jet blast deflector parts and 4 posed figures, a total of 124 plastic pieces. A 14 page instruction booklet, 1 glossy Cartograf printed decal sheet and lastly one photo-etch fret for the catapult.
The kit come in a light weight cardboard box, the box art illustrates a EA-6B Prowler shadowed in the foreground ready for takeoff.
After removing the parts from the bags I found that the parts left a tacky residue on my hands, so washing the pieces is a must. I found no flash throughout the pieces, however there were some heavy seams lines that well need to be removed, an afternoons worth of work. None of the deck panels had no visible sink hole, however the three jet blast deflector panels had a dip along the center line (see photo 10).
The instruction booklet is 14 pages, five of which are for the assembly in 12 steps. Last two pages are painting and decal placements.
There are no instructions for the figures. Each figure is separate and only the heads and arms need gluing.
There are 10 puzzle like deck pieces molded in a matt black finish. Each of the deck pieces are numbered on the backside of each piece. The deck surface is molded in a light course texture. One of the best features is that the tie down rings are molded into the deck and are flush to the deck surface, the detail is exceptional.
However there is the matter of all the seams that will need filling. I will tackle that in my next build review, so look out for that.
There are two hatch opening in the deck for the shooters which can be positioned open or closed.
The hydraulic actuators that raise and lower the jet blast deflector are detailed but are a little thick. The JBD can be positioned open or closed.
The photo etch catapult parts fit flush into the decks cut-out (part 8). There is also a 3 piece catapult shuttle which is made up in plastic, this too seem a bit thick.
A nice detail Skunkmodel Workshop was to position the catapult on an angle, something most of us do while displaying our aircraft on bases. Once together the base deck measures out to 23 Ĺ by 14 ľ inches.
You will definitely need some shelf space displaying the one. Construction seems straight forward with a bit of clean up along the seam lines. The biggest part will be filling along the seam lines along the deck surface.
Finally for once a ejection molded aircraft display base for your jet models. Not only can this be used as an aircraft ready for take off, close the JBD and display a helicopter of aircraft wheeled into position.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Click here for additional images for this review.