Dragon 1/700 USS Lake Erie

KIT #: 7142
PRICE: $35.00 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo etch parts


USS Lake Erie (CG-70) is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser of the United States Navy, named after the U.S. Navy's decisive victory in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. She is the first U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned in Hawaii.

The USS Lake Erie is a baseline 4 Ticonderoga class ship, with integrated AN/UYK-43/44 computers (in place of UYK-7 and UYK-20) and superset computer programs originally developed for the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. The Lake Erie also has an improved UYS-20 data display system and various decision aids, as well as the SQS-53C sonar and the SQR-19 sonar data processor.

In November 2015, investigators noted that a weird culture had developed on board the Lake Erie, including a grueling schedule with arbitrary weekend workdays; a supply officer so offensive that he was ordered not to speak to any E-6 or below; a crew that spent hours repeatedly cleaning the same places just to look busy; work done and redone because of miscommunication with the shipyard and the CO storing a goat onboard.[7]


I am not sure how many different boxings Dragon has done with the Arleigh Burke and Ticonderoga class ships, but I'll bet it is at least a dozen. Recently Dragon has realized that if one is going to include photo etch, this should also have railings and this kit has these items as well as the forward and aft masts. The plastic ones are still there, but why use them when the p.e. looks so much nicer.

In common with their other kits, one starts buildin by constructing the Seahawk as well as various deck weapons. The superstructure then gets assembled and in this case one can model the hanger bay doors open or closed. The helo includes folded blades in case you want to place it inside.

The main hull piece only needs the fore deck and aft gun deck glued on as the superstructure will cover most of the rest. Dragon provides a lower hull section with props and rudders so that it can be mounted on a base if one wants. Waterline modelers will probably leave off the lower hull.

As you may surmise, most of the p.e. is used with the masts and the deck railings. Interesingly enough, the instructions make no mention of cutting and installing the railings so I can only assume Dragon figures that if you are at the stage where using these is the norm, you already know how to attach them. Since the nameplate included with the kit is for the Ticonderoga,you'll need to sand down the mounting areas for it on the base.

Instructions are well done with Gunze paint references, meaning that some of the colors (actually most of them) will need to be mixed. I'm not sure if anyone makes dedicated USN ship colors, but if they do, this may well be the way to go. The small decal sheet is quite crowded, but everything is there. Dragon decals are excellent, even working well on semi-matte finishes. They are also rather thin so some care will need to be used during application.


 If you are one who wants to do all the Ticonderoga class cruisers, then add this one to you list. The inclusion of a well thought-out p.e. fret only adds to the value of the kit.



December 2015

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