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USN Nimitz Deck Section


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USN Nimitz Deck Section



1:48 Skunkmodels Workshop

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The Nimitz is apparently one of the world's largest ships, and deserves the title "Supercarrier". This kit allows the modeller to build a section of the Nimitz class carrier deck, including the catapult launch station and the jet blast deflector that rises from the deck just prior to launch, to save any nearby crew from getting their eyebrows singed off by full military power as the aircraft leaves under steam power.

The first item of note is that this is not a small section of deck, as in 1:48 scale the section builds up into a base 60cm x 36cm, so ensure you have the space to display it flat before embarking on the project (as if that's ever bothered me!). The kit is also not simply a flat chunk of plastic. The detail is good, and there are a surprising number of parts. Inside the top opening box are four sprues of black styrene, one of grey, eight separate pieces of deck, a sheet of thick gauge Photo-Etch (PE) metal, and a decal sheet.

The deck itself builds up from the 8 parts, with the joins matching the expansion gaps, and lots of recessed tie-down points scattered around. The whole deck area has a rough texture that represents the anti-skid coating applied to modern metal carrier decks. A few hatches are also supplied as separate parts, and can be posed open or closed at your whim. The grey sprue contains the parts for four figures, which are nicely moulded in action poses typical of the flight crew on deck.

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The blast deflector builds up on a separate section of deck for ease of construction, and each hydraulic ram bay is a separate part to ease moulding. Two hinges and the ram are needed for each of the six bays, which then attach to the six parts of the blast deflector surface. The deflector is only shown elevated, but it should be reasonably easy to pose it locked down if you feel the need.

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The catapult shuttle is built from a few styrene parts, but the actual rail is made from PE that is thicker than the usual 0.1mm that you would normally expect. No folding is required, but a few strips must be laminated to the main part using super glue (CA) once cut from the sheet. Thoughtfully, the designers have weakened the attachment parts by half-etching them so that they can be cut from the fret with a normal craft knife. A round blade on a firm surface should do the trick nicely. The shuttle itself then glues onto the rear of the part, and you will need to figure how your chosen aircraft attaches, and a little surgery to the usual bar & hook on the nose wheel will probably be required.

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Full painting instructions are included, suggesting a tyre black for the deck and a slightly lighter grey for the deflector. A yellow stripe will also need painting around the edges of the deflector bay, so that may well be best done first and masked off until the rest of painting is finished. Decals are included for the various lines, chevrons and warning areas around the openable hatches, with a diagram showing where they should be positioned.

Decals are by Cartograf, and are nicely printed with good register and colour density.

Conclusion

This set will answer the prayers of a lot of folks out there looking for a nice deck section with deflector. Of course, it's only suitable for the Nimitz class, but if you're not all that concerned about that, you can use it to display any US carrier borne aircraft from the modern era. The attention to detail is good, which all of the various features provided, and the metal catapult track adds extra detail.

Curiously, the painting guide has a blank white space where the deflector bay is, so you're left up to your own devices on what colour to paint that area on first look. The reason for that is that it's actually white, but the colour callouts fail to mention that. When I say white, I mean dirty yellowy white, as there's lot of lubricant streaking and dirt in there, so some weathering fun can be had. A set of edge stripes for the deflector itself is included too, which saves a potentially painful paint job.

Adding a set of Photo-Etched J's Work Modern US Aircraft Carrier Tie-Downs will just add the icing to the cake of a good kit.

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Hopefully, more classes of modern carrier will be covered in due course, and perhaps even some British and Russian ones eventually?

Recommended.

Kit



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PE Tie Downs

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With free shipping at time of writing too!

Review sample courtesy of luckylogo.gif

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Hang on... you're saying 60 x 360 cm... that's over ten feet long... that's huge!

I think there is an '0' too many. :hmmm:

Looks really nice as well.

Steve

p.s. I wonder how many DaveJL will buy :whistle:

Edited by jacksdad64
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Beginning to really like Skunkworks, bought the 2 other sets recently, the WWII and modern carrier deck sections. Also got the US Navy tug set from a member here and they are very nice. Good one Skunky, really filling a void!

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I've just looked at the pics on their website and I have a question: What makes this identifiable as a Nimitz class piece of deck? What differentiates this from, say, a Forrestal or a Kitty Hawk class carrier? It's just a rectangular piece of deck with a blast screen.

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Is it possible to assemble the main deck parts "un-glued" so that it can be transported to model shows etc?

Answer to the "Does it have to be a Nimitz..." i guess the answer will be "no", they all have similar JBDs etc. It is clearly meant to be one of the Bow cats (port side) as it doesn't feature any of the 'foul lines' or otherwise that would be seen over the waist cats. I think the Nimitz class are unique in that the green shirt that "shoots" the plane is inside a re-enforced glass 'bunker' that rises up thru' deck during launch sequences (on the box art the "Fly 2" yellow shirt is stood on top of it! - all the weapon lifts are on the st'b'd side aft. Enterprise certainly (she also has a uniquely narrow bow) and the Forrestal/Kitty hawks don't (?) have this catapult control "tower"

I think the Hasagawa F-14s give you an alternate nose wheel leg in the "down" (under tension) pose (as well as including the "hold back bar"). As the Hold back bar is 'broken' during each launch, there is usually a pile of them stacked on the deck (roughly where the green shirt is standing on the box art).

I'm certainly gonna get one of these, it looks great but (for those lucky enough to have experienced it) it perhaps doesn't capture the sheer noise, heat & sensation of all your internal organs being shaken to death :wacko:

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I could be tempted to go large and acquire this and the aircraft to go with it but a 1/72 scale will defo be on my hit list....

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Is it possible to assemble the main deck parts "un-glued" so that it can be transported to model shows etc?

I would say "yes", as the parts break up along the panel lines of the deck for the most part. You could assemble a few on each side of the break so you don't have a jigsaw to deal with, and at least half the length :)

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