Aoshima 1/2000 USS Essex
KIT #: 06
PRICE: 300 yen SRP
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


USS Essex (CV/CVA/CVS-9) was an aircraft carrier, the lead ship of the 24-ship Essex class built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was the fourth US Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in December 1942, Essex participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning the Presidential Unit Citation and 13 battle stars. Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, she was modernized and recommissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier (CVA), and then eventually became an antisubmarine aircraft carrier (CVS). In her second career she served mainly in the Atlantic, playing a role in the Cuban missile crisis. She also participated in the Korean War, earning four battle stars and the Navy Unit Commendation. She was the primary recovery carrier for the Apollo 7 space mission.

She was decommissioned for the last time in 1969 and sold for scrap in 1975.


I am not sure if this is a reissue or a new tool kit, though I suspect it is a reissue. All of the detail is raised and that includes the molded on ship number on the flight deck and the deck markings. As you might suspect, there is not much to this one. Molded in three sprues, one of which is dark red, the molding is fairly clean and flash free. Probably the biggest molding glitch is a relatively large but shallow ejector pin tower on the island.

The kit looks like it could be built as a waterline if you so wish. The two dark red pieces are the lower hull. There is no detail on these pieces. This is the WWII fit with some longer sponsons and several shorter ones, all with A-A guns molded in place. The four paired 5" guns are included as are some radio masts and a pair of aircraft shapes. A stand is included to allow the model to be displayed.

The assembly instructions are on the back of the box and there is no painting information aside from what is shown on the box top, which doesn't help when it comes to flight deck colors! For those who fixate on size, it is 5 inches long.


This one has to be developed for wargamers as much as anyone else, though most wargaming ships I've seen are 1/2400. It would be appropriate for the beginning modeler, despite some rather small parts. Other will build it for a true weekend construction project.


August 2014

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