Dragon 1/700 USS Hornet CV-12 (1945)

KIT #: 7085
PRICE: $43.50
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo etch and 18 aircraft with decals.


USS Hornet (CV/CVA/CVS-12) is a United States Navy aircraft carrier of the Essex class. Construction started in August 1942; she was originally named USS Kearsarge, but was renamed in honor of the USS Hornet (CV-8), which was lost in October 1942, becoming the eighth ship to bear the name.

Hornet was commissioned in November 1943, and after three months of training joined the U.S. forces in the Pacific War. She played a major part in the Pacific battles of World War II, and also took part in Operation Magic Carpet, returning troops back to the U.S. Following World War II, she served in the Vietnam War, and also played a part in the Apollo program, recovering astronauts as they returned from the Moon.

Hornet was finally decommissioned in 1970. She was eventually designated a National Historic Landmark, and in 1998 she opened to the public as a museum at the former Naval Air Station Alameda in Alameda, California.


Dragon's kit of the Hornet is, I believe, the fifth or sixth Essex class carrier kit that has been done by Dragon in this scale. As such, many of the parts on this one are identical to other boxings. However, every ship is a bit different, and Dragon has taken that into account. With over 580 parts, this will not be an overnight build by any stretch, but the detail provided will make for a great model. Here are the major features:

- Accurately shaped and patterned CV-12 flight deck
- Flight-deck elevators can be posed in either raised or lowered positions
- Different types of radar provided including YE homing beacon, SK-2 radar, SK radar SP radar and Mk37 director
- New radar arrangement on superstructure
- Armament arrangement on flight deck has accurately arrangement
- Finely detailed one-piece superstructure
- Super-detailed anti-aircraft guns including 5-inch 38-caliber single open mount, quadruple 40mm Bofors and single 20mm Oerlikon
- Slide-molded 5-inch twin turrets
- Deck-edge elevator can be positioned up or down
- Plastic and photo-etched options for safety net
- Hangar deck with interior detail
- Option of either waterline version or full-hull version with display stand
- 1:700 photo-etched deck crew included
- Detailed aircraft comprising SB2C Dauntless, F6F Hellcat and TBF Avenger are conveniently constructed in transparent plastic

The photo etch fret for the side elevator is really a beauty and also includes about a dozen different figures to add some interest to things. Of course, having only 18 aircraft on deck doesn't make up an air wing, but it will add some interest, especially as the planes provided can be built with the wings folded if one so chooses. A decal sheet is included that provides both deck markings as well as insignia and the specific air wing markings used by the Hornet during this stage of the war. I should also mention that though the box art shows the Dauntless, you actually get Helldivers. Instructions are as usual with Gunze paint call-outs. A nice addition is a full color profile of both sides of the ship to help get that camo scheme down properly. It certainly looks very nice.


Another superb ship kit for those whose penchant lies in this area. It adds to a growing collection of Essex class ships and will look just great on your display shelf when you are finished.



Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer

July 2009

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