Cyber-hobby 1/350 USS Freedom LCS-1
| KIT #: || 1057 |
| PRICE: || $51.50 SRP |
| DECALS: || One option |
| REVIEWER: || Scott Van Aken |
| NOTES: || Includes a large etched fret |
USS Freedom (LCS 1) is the lead ship of the Freedom class of littoral combat ships (LCS). She is the third vessel of the United States Navy to be so named for the concept of freedom. She is the design competitor produced by the Lockheed Martin consortium, in competition with the General Dynamics-designed USS Independence. She was officially accepted by the Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast on behalf of the US Navy from the Lockheed Martin/Marinette Marine/Gibbs and Cox team in Marinette, WI on 18 September 2008.
She is designed for a variety of missions in shallow waters, capable against submarines and ships, as well as minesweeping and humanitarian relief. The ship is a semi-planing monohull design capable of over 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph).
Commissioned in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 8 November 2008, USS Freedom is home-ported in San Diego, California.
On 15 February 2010, Freedom set sail from Naval Station Mayport on its first deployment to support SOUTHCOM operations. On 22 February, off the coast of Colombia, the ship pursued a possible drug-running boat. The boat fled back into Colombian coastal waters and Freedom's crew recovered 1/4 ton of cocaine that had been dumped overboard by the boat's crew.
On 4 April 2010 Freedom entered the 3rd Fleet area of responsibility. She is currently carrying Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22, Det. 2, a LCS Surface Warfare Mission Package, and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment.
She is expected to be dry docked in San Diego’s Nassco shipyard so that her outer starboard waterjet can be replaced.
On 12 September 2010, the starboard Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine broke down and the ship had to rely on her diesel engines to return to port. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead said that the media had overhyped the issue and that such breakdowns were not uncommon.
During a heavy-weather ocean trial in February 2011, the ship sprung a six-inch crack in its hull that leaked 5 gallons of water an hour. The Navy is investigating. The problem appears to be due to faulty welds rather than a design error. The repairs are scheduled to begin on 27 June 2011 and last until September 19.
This is the second USS Freedom kit to be produced in this scale and it is a very nice one. The kit is molded to Cyber-hobby's usual high standards and provides pretty much everything you will need to produce an excellent replica. The kit can be built as either a full hull kit with display stand or as a waterline model, though the instructions only show a full hull version being done.
Other options provided in the kit are to have the side doors open or closed as well as the real door area. These doors provide access to boats, which are also included in the kit. Another door that can be modeled open is the one that give access to the hangar bay. The kit comes with a pair of SeaHawk helos and these can be modeled with the rotors folded or extended as in normal ops. I should mention that there is only room on the flight deck for one helo if the rotors are extended. Also included are three smaller MQ-8 drone helos, which also have optional folded blades. The kit is also supplied with a full array of offensive and defensive armament as well as the usual mass of electronic devices that festoon modern ships.
A nice inclusion is an etched brass set that includes a full set of railings. This set is labeled as being for a Bronco kit (as are all the sprues and decals), something I found rather interesting, so it seems that Bronco is or will be marketing this kit outside the US as the Cyber-hobby boxing is US only. In addition to railing, the etched fret includes helo blades and the safety nets around the flight deck as well as a few other smaller pieces.
- Newly tooled U.S.S. Freedom LCS-1
- Authentic superstructure accurately presented
- Delicate integrated communications suite w/authentic 3D radar
- 3 x MQ-8B UAV w/optionally folded photo-etched blades
- 2 x MH-60S helicopter is conveniently constructed
- RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile system reproduced
- Hangar door can be optionally assembled open/closed
- COMBATSS-21 combat management system and photo-etched railings
- SKWS decoy launchers realistically reproduced
- Photo-etched safety netting can be assembled erected/lowered
- Delicate RHIB w/fine details
- Stern ramp can be optionally assembled open/closed
- Mk 110 57mm dual-purpose gun authentically reproduced
- Realistic .50-cal machine guns mounted
- Waterjets w/accurate details
- Display stand included for display of full-hull version
Instructions are well done with the usual Gunze and Model Master paint references. The decal sheet is for the lone ship and is basically hull numbers, flight deck markings and forward gun markings. It is well printed so should work well.
Overall, it makes for an excellent kit of this new ship and will make into a superb model that, though over a foot long, will not be a shelf hog.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop.
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