by: Todd Michalak [ ]
Born from the ashes of the 9/11 attacks upon the United States, the USS New York instantly became a symbol of a wounded nation. The first of three new ships in the San Antonio-class LPD’s (Landing Platform Dock) warships, The USS New York LPD-21 bears the name of the state where the first of three terrorist attacks were made September 11, 2001. The New York was quite literally born from the ashes as her bow stem was constructed with seven and a half tons of steel recovered from the World Trade Center at Ground Zero in New York City.
After four years of construction, the USS New York was finally christened in 2008. She is the fifth ship in the US Navy to bear the New York name. The New York is a San Antonio-class is an amphibious warfare ship called a Landing Craft Dock. This type of ship has the capability to transport and deploy elements of landing forces including expeditionary missions as well. She boasts a compliment of 332 enlisted Navy personnel and 28 officers. The New York measures up at 684 feet in overall length, which is roughly 111 feet longer than her predecessor, the battleship USS New York (BB-34).
Fully loaded, the USS New York is a formidable assault vessel. The ship is armed with two 30mm Mk44 Bushmaster chain gun (Close in Guns) and the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) which is a surface to air Close in Weapon System. Her primary function is the capability to be able to deploy assault or expeditionary forces anywhere in the world quickly and efficiently. The New York carries a wide variety of boats, landing craft and aircraft. A full complement of two LCAC’s (Landing Craft Air Cushion…or hovercraft), one LCU (Landing Craft Utility), fourteen AAV’s (Assault Amphibious Vehicles), two CH-53E Super Stallions, two MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, four CH-46 Sea Knights, four AH-1 SeaCobras or four UH-1 Iroquois helicopters. In addition to the weapons, boats and aircraft, the ship carries an embarked landing force between 700 and 800 personnel.
1/700 Scale USS New York LPD-21
The USS New York LPD-21 (Model No. 70014) is a multi-media kit from from L’Arsenal 2.0 presented in 1/700 scale. The kit comes delivered in a sturdy flip-top cardboard box with all of the parts included protected in bubble wrap and Ziploc baggies nestled in a bed of protective packing peanuts. This kit is comprised of cast resin, phot etch and turned brass parts numbering 316.
• 84 Creme-colored Resin Parts
• 4 Sheets of Photo Etch Parts
• 16 Turned Brass Parts
• 2 Decal Sheet
Upon opening the box, the first part from this it that jumps out at us, is the hull of the ship. The hull is presented in a waterline format with the bulk of the entire ship cast in one solid piece. The internal launch bay covered by the landing deck is supplies in a separate piece allowing for some detailing inside the bay with the option of the waterline bay door in the open position. Although the bulk of this kit is made up from the single-cast hull, there are an additional eighty-two parts that are supplied to construct this model. The majority of these parts consist of the uniquely pointed superstructure and various vents, radar, armament and small surface craft. The majority of all small resin pieces are supplied still attached to their casting blocks. All of the parts throughout appear to be cleanly cast with crisp detailing and little to no flash. What flash that does exist, is typical of the casting process and easily removed through a light sanding of quick swipe of a sharp #11 blade.
L’Arsenal 2.0 has included a small pile of turned brass parts produced by Master. These parts consist of brass barrels for the Bushmaster guns, radar antennas and masts. There are four sheets of photo etch parts included with this kit, one of which is dedicated to the ship itself while the three remaining sheets are for the assault craft and aircraft. The bulk of the ship’s photo etch is made up of safety shield for surrounding the landing deck as railings which can be used inside the launch bay if the intent is to show the bay with and open door.
As mentioned in my opening, the USS New York has a compliment o assault craft and aircraft. L’Arsenal 2.0 has supplied 2 LCAC’s, four Seaknights and four V22 Osprey to detail the model. All of these items are comprised of a combination of resin and photo etch parts. The Seaknight helicopters are cast very well and construction is straight forward with only propellers and tiny photo etch wheels needing to be installed. There is the option of depicting the helicopters with the propeller blades folded or extended. The V22 Ospreys consist of four resin parts each with the propeller blades and wheels supplied in photo etch. The two LCAC’s provided in this kit look to be the most involved construction of not only the add-on parts but possibly the ship as well. The bulk section of these LCAC’s are cast very well with plenty of details already molded into them. There are only three resin parts that will need to be install, however, there is a rather extensive photo etch sheet for these two crafts which adds a very detailed and busy look to them.
There are two decal sheets supplied in this kit. There is a small set of decals included for the two LCAC’s with various standard identification markings. The larger sheet of decals is for the ship itself including proper number identifications for all of the San Antonio-class ships; including decals for the flight deck markings as well.
L'Arsenal 2.0 supplies ten pages of instructions for the kit and another two smaller instruction sheets for the Seaknight and Osprey parts. All of the instructions are presented in an exploded view format with coloring and numbering outlining the resin and photo etch parts to be installed.
L’Arsenal has been consistently exceptional in providing the highest quality resin ship kits for a number of years now. Through the personal reviews of their Sub Chaser and Minesweeper kits recently, and now the 1/700 scale version of the USS New York LPD 21, the same quality has remained unchanged. The castings are beautifully rendered with no air bubbles and little to now flash on the part. For what flash is present on some of the smaller pieces is typical of the casting process and cleaned quickly and easily. All of the parts including the main hull section are molded crisply and have plenty of details. There is a lacking in details inside the waterline launch bay, but the area is rather difficult to see inside once fully assembled. One suggestion might to be to add some hose reels, pipping and possibly some fire suppression tanks to add some color to this area. The added bonus of water and aircraft only adds to the model’s detailing. And while the model comes only in the waterline configuration, the details provided throughout will make for an extremely impressive static display when completed.
I will suggest that some prior knowledge from working with resin and photo etch multi-media kits is advised. These kits are not really designed with the novice builder in mind. I highly recommend the USS New York to anyone interested in this class of ships. The detailing in this scale is excellent and the ease of construction is sure to please most model shipwrights.