USS Ronald Reagan, CVN-76, in 1:350 Scale

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  1. Jeff Head
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    My Review and Build of Trumpeter's 1/350 scale KIT #5605,
    USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 from USS Nimitz CVN-68


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    US Navy Aircraft Carriers After World War II

    The United States learned during World War II that the aircraft carrier was the new principle combatant on the high seas, and that such a vessel, equipped with the poper, larger aircwing, made up of verious types of aircraft, and surrounded by the roper escorts, was the foremost power projection weapon...ouside of nuclear weapons...that the nation ahd.

    After World War II, the United States had amassed nearly 100 carrier of all sizes, ranging from large fleet carriers, principally the Essex carriers and the newer Midway class that was an upgraded Essex class, down to small "Jeep" and escort carriers. Teh ability for these carriers to group tgether and project massive air amdas anywhere around the wrld, aircraft in many hundreds...made the United States Navy the ost powerful maritime power on earth.

    With advent of the jet age, the US immediately began a large upgrade effort to its lare essex class carriers giving them new elevators, new catapults, and entirely new angled carrier deck, and new air wings consisting of the new jet aircraft.

    These carriers, along wth the larger Midway class, were signifiantly upgraded and their displacements grew from 34,000 tons full load to 47,000 tons full load.

    But, as the jet aircraft became larger and more powerful, the carriers likewise had to grow.

    The United States embarked on building "super carriers, and the first of these were the Forresal Class, which were huge ships compared to the earlier carriers, being almost 1,000 feet long and displacing, full load, close to 70,000 tons. Four of them were built, followed closely by the Kitty Hawk Class of which four were built and which were just over 1,000 feet long and displaced 80,000 tons.

    Then came the first nuclear pwered carrrier, the USS Enterprise, which was 1,120 feet long and diplaced 94,000 tons.

    The success of the Enterprise called for the US Navy to build an entire class of nuclear powered carriers, and the US Navy put everything they had learned into it. THe new calss became the Nimitz class, which this moel is a depiction of, being a depiction of the USS Nimitz, CVN-68, the first in class.

    Nimitz Class Nuclear Powered Carrier
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    The Nimitz class carreies were 1,092 feet long and displaced 100,000 tons. They are powered by two advanced nuclear reactors, have four large elevators, and have significant self defense, as well as an air wing capability of 90 modern jet aircraft, turbopropo AEW aircraft, and helicopters.

    The first in class, the Nimitz, was launched ibn May 1973 and commissioned in May 1975. This model depicts that vessel, though I have decided to build it to be the USS Ronald Reagan, CVN=76. The klast of the ten carriers is the George. H. W. Bush which was launched in October 2006 and commissioned in January 2009. That vessel is a cross over vessel incorporating some f the new features of the new class, the Gerald R. Ford class, whch was launched in NOvember 2013 and is scheduled to be commissioned in 2017. The new class has two very advanced reactors that put out 400% more power and will power electromagnetic datapults, be an all electric system, and will allow for lasers and rail guns for self defense which are currently under development.

    But the Nimitz class has proven to be, to date, the premier, most advanced aircrat carriers on earth, and the have been involved with every major military action the US has been involved in since the mid 1970s. It is said that whenever there is any chance of their being a major military need, one of the first questions that a US Preswident asks is, "Where are the carriers?"

    The specifications for the class have changed somewhat over time, as these carriers have been improved over a forty year build periord.

    Here are the current specs:

    Displacement: 100,020 tonnes (110,250 short tons)
    Length:
    Overall: 1,092 feet (332.8 m)
    Waterline: 1,040 feet (317.0 m)
    Beam:
    Overall: 252 ft (76.8 m)
    Waterline: 134 ft (40.8 m)
    Draft:
    Maximum navigational: 37 feet (11.3 m)
    Limit: 41 feet (12.5 m)
    Propulsion:
    2 × Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors
    4 × steam turbines
    4 × shafts
    260,000 shp (194 MW)
    Speed: 31.5 knots (58.3 km/h)
    Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
    Complement:
    Ship's company: 3,200
    Air wing: 2,480
    Sensors and
    processing systems:
    AN/SPS-48E 3-D air search radar
    AN/SPS-49(V)5 2-D air search radar
    AN/SPQ-9B target acquisition radar
    AN/SPN-46 air traffic control radars
    AN/SPN-43C air traffic control radar
    AN/SPN-41 landing aid radars
    4 × Mk 91 NSSM guidance systems
    4 × Mk 95 radars
    Electronic warfare & decoys:
    SLQ-32A(V)4 Countermeasures suite
    SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures
    Armament:
    2 × WESSM/Sea Sparrow x 8 missiles each
    2 × RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile x 21 missiles each
    2 × PHALANX CIWS (Close-In Weapons System) Gatling guns
    Aircraft carried: 90 fixed wing and helicopters


    Ronald Reagan CVN-76
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    USS Ronald Reagan was launched in MArch 2001 and commissioned in July 2003. She was the ninth Nimiyz class and named after PResident Ronald Reagan.

    she is currently the only forward deployed US carrier, being forward deployed to Japan where she, her airwing, her escorts in her strike group, her replsnishment group(s) ansd a large squadron of Burke AEGIS destroyers and an entire Marine Expeditionary group centeredd on a large Amphbious Assault ship and its accompanying LPD and LSD and escorts are alse forward deplyed.

    The Reagan has distinguished itself as a very well built, and very capable carrier.

    It has some changes over the original Nimitz class and its follwers. The Island has been made much more efficient, its spotting of aircraft bn the deck is more efficient, and it has ugraded weapons handling and other improvements.

    It has served in Operation Iraqi Freedom on Operation Enduring Freedom. it has been a part of all major exercises since moving to the west coast, and has worked losely with the US allies of Korea, Jpana, and Australia from its forward deployed base. most recently being involved in Operation Valient Shield, followed by operation "Invincible Spirit", a joint exercise with South Korean forces in the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea.

    The USS Ronald Reagan is expected to serve for fifty years, meaning it will be around until the 2060s, protecting Amwerican interests and defending US SLOCs wherever called upon.

    It's specifications include:

    Displacement: 101,400 long tons (113,600 short tons)
    Length:
    Overall: 1,092 feet (332.8 m)
    Waterline: 1,040 feet (317.0 m)
    Beam:
    Overall: 252 ft (76.8 m)
    Waterline: 134 ft (40.8 m)
    Draft:
    Maximum navigational: 37 feet (11.3 m)
    Limit: 41 feet (12.5 m)
    Propulsion:
    2 × Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors
    4 × steam turbines
    4 × shafts
    260,000 shp (194 MW)
    Speed: 30+ knots (56+ km/h; 35+ mph)
    Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
    Complement:
    Ship's company: 3,200
    Air wing: 2,480
    Sensors and processing systems:
    SPS-48E 3-D air search radar
    SPS-49A(V)1 2-D air search radar
    SPQ-9B fire control radar
    2 × SPN-46 air traffic control radars
    SPN-43C air traffic control radar
    SPN-41 instrument landing system radar
    3 × Mk 91 NSSM guidance systems
    3 × Mk 95 radars
    Electronic warfare & decoys:
    SLQ-32A(V)4 Countermeasures suite
    SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures
    Armament:
    2 x Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile launchers x 8 missiles each
    2 x Rolling Airframe Missile launchers with 21 missiles each
    2 x Phalynx 20mm Close-in weapons system (CIWS)
    Aircraft carried: 90 fixed wing and helicopters
     
    #1 Jeff Head, Dec 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  2. Jeff Head
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    Introduction and What's in the Box - December 26, 2016
    (And all of the after Market extras puchased to complete this kit)

    This model from Trumpeter is for the USS Nimitz, the first in class.

    In order to create the USS Ronald Reagan, a number of changes have to be built into the model, and I am adding some others to modernize her airwwing into the near future, beyond what she has at this moment.

    - Her sponsons for her self defense are different than the kit.
    - Her island is different than the kit.
    - Her hangar is very much different than the kit.
    - The layout of her safety netting is different than the kit.
    - There is a bulbous bow on the Ronald Reagan that is not on the Nimitz model.
    - Her sensor suite and radar domes are different than the kit.

    In order to get all of these things right, a number of aftermarket kits and pieces have been purchased, and some pieces will be scratch built.

    I intend to put a lighting system into the hanger which is not included with the kit.

    I will cover all of the additional things I purchased and from whom, after talking about the Trumpeter kit itself.
    <p.
    The kit by Trumpeter is superb. It does have a hanger bay deck, but very little in the way of detail for it.

    Still, the kit would make an impressive vessel built out of the box. There are over 1,400 pieces included, and she would be a very good representation of the Nimits in the late 1970s built as is.

    There are no photo etch parts included, fr railing and such, which I find to be a pretty sever lacking fr a kit of this size and complexity and cost.

    However, as I said, it still is a very superb kit and there are good after market photo etch kits for the Nimitz for any modeler who wanted to add that to this kit. GOld MEdal MOdels and Tom's Model Works have the best ones.

    Trumpeter has esastablished itself as the premier 1/350 scale modern naval injected modled model making copany around. They do an excellent job in molding small detail pieces and provide a lot of them for their kits...the Nimitz kit cinldued. The kit comes in a beautifully illustrated box, that is well built and very protective. It also has numerous pictures around the box that depict the various features of the model.

    There is a "waterline" option for this mdel. The hull comes in an upper piece and a lower piece and you can utilize the pieces provided to leave the lower piece off and have the entire, large kit be a waterline model. I will build the full hull.

    Decals for the Nimitz are indluded and this means a very large decal shees for the larger landing deck and for the aircraft that come with the kit, which is the 1975 airwing including:

    F4-J Phantoms Fighter Aircraft
    A7-E Corsair II Attack Aircraft
    A6-E Intruder Attack Aircraft
    RA-5C Vigilante Recon Aircraft
    EA-3B Electronic Aircraft
    S-3A Anti-submarine Aircraft
    E2-C HAwkeye AEW Aircraft
    SH-3 Sea King SAR/ASW Helicopters

    The hull does have some really nice surface detail along both sides, including the bilge keels.

    The instructions are great. 26 pages explaining how the whole thing goes together. There is a full color glossy for the painting and the decals for both the ship and the aircraft that come with it.

    All in all, as I said, a very good kit.

    Here are the initial parts out of the box.


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    #2 Jeff Head, Dec 28, 2016
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    #3 Jeff Head, Dec 28, 2016
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    #5 Jeff Head, Dec 28, 2016
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    Introduction - Additional Parts purchased for the Ronald Reagan

    As mentioned, a number of additinal parts were purchased to update the Nimitz model to modern tmres and to convert it into the USS Ronald Reagan, CVN=76. These included all of the following:

    - Orange Hobby N03-016-68 F-35C 1:350 Scale aircraft, 2 ea x 3 (6 new/modern US Navy version of the new Stealth/Joint Strike fighter)
    - KA-Models KP0-3501A 1:350 Scale, USS Aircraft Carrier crew, 50 crew x 2 (These are 3d crew members for the deck and carrier.
    - Veteran Models 35014 1:350 Scale, RIM-116 RAM Launhers x 2 (These are missile launchers carryin 21 missiles each for close in defense).
    - Gold Medal Models 350-8D 1:350 Scale US Nuclear carrier Decals x 1 (Decals for all Nimitz class carriers, includnig the nmbers and markings for the Ronald Reagan)
    - Gold Medal Models 350-28 1:350 Scale USS Niitz Photo Etch set x 1 (All hand rails and sensors for the USS Nimitz)
    - Gold Medal Models 350-29 1:350 Scale USS Niitz Extra Photo Etch set x 1 (Additonal photo etch equipment)
    - White Ensign Models 3568 1:350 Scale All Nimitz Carriers Photo Etch set x 1 (White Ensgn Models Phto Etch Set for all Nimitz Carriers)
    - Trumpeter F/A-18F #6235 1:350 Scale Aircraft 6 ea x 2 (12 modern F/A-18F strike aircraft)
    - Trumpeter F/A-18E #6221 1:350 Scale Aircraft 6 ea x 2 (12 modern F/A-18E fighter aircraft)
    - Trumpeter E-2C #6221 1:350 Scale Aircraft 4 ea x 1 (4 modern E-2D AEW Aircraft)F aircraft)
    - Trumpeter MV-22 #6258 1:350 Scale aircraft ea x 1 (6 Osprey COD and ASW aircraft)
    - GAller Models #6305 1:350 Scale aircraft ea x 1 (SH-60R (and other) aircraft))
    - Shapeways 3d Print Ronald Reagan carrier sponsons and parts x 1 (The spnsons holding the self defense weaponry of the Ronald Reagan)
    - Shapeways 3d Print F-35C aircraft x 2 (2 new/modern US Navy version of the new Stealth/Joint Strike fighter)
    - Shapeways 3d Print Jet Engines and trailers pakcake with eight (Jet engines on matinenance trilers)
    - Shapeways 3d Print Pallets and equiment for deck and Hangar (Pallets and equipment for the Ronald Reagan deck and hangar)
    - Shapeways 3d Print Upgraded/Updated Hangar intrances x 3 (Much more detailed decks and entrances for the Ronald Reagan)
    - Shapeways 3d Print Upgraded/Updated Hangar intrances x 3 (Conflg Stations and walls for Hangar Bay)

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    These parts can be found at places like:

    Free Tome Models (<a href="http://freetimehobbies.com/">http://freetimehobbies.com/</a>)
    Squadron Models (<a href="http://www.squadron.com/">http://www.squadron.com/</a>)
    MegaHobbies (<a href="https://www.megahobby.com/">https://www.megahobby.com/</a>)

    and other model manufactures on the web. Tom's Model Worls (<a href="http://www.tomsmodelworks.com/catalog/index.php">http://www.tomsmodelworks.com/catalog/index.php</a>) and Gold Medal Models (<a href="http://www.goldmm.com/">http://www.goldmm.com/</a>) have their own sites as well.

    In addition, Shapeways is a 3-d printing site (<a rehf="https://www.shapeways.com/">https://www.shapeways.com/</a>), where various individuals print and market 3D parts. The 3-D Shapways F-35Cs were found at SNAFU Store site thereon (<a href="https://www.shapeways.com/product/53STP5YC3/1-350-f-35c-w-gear-x4-fud?optionId=58794966">https://www.shapeways.com/product/53STP5YC3/1-350-f-35c-w-gear-x4-fud?optionId=58794966</a>). Mst of the other Nimitz and Reagan specific parts were found at the BAconFIst Site thereon (<a href="https://www.shapeways.com/shops/baconfist">https://www.shapeways.com/shops/baconfist</a> I have to say that BAcobnFist in particular does GREAT wrok. He has full 3-D parts for all of the various sponsons for the various Nimitz class, as wwell as a lot of equipment, and Islands for many carrier, including World War II carriers. Full silandinds printed in 3D in 1:350 scale for example the CV-6 Enterprise...erfect for replacing the island on the Hornet to convert it to the Enterprise...also Islands and lots of equipment for many ohter carriers. Some of the parts are a little spendy...but the represent things you cannot gt anywhere else...like the complete sponson set for the Ronald Reagan.

    All of these together will allow me to do most of te work, though the Island and Bulbus bow will take scratch building in order to finish.

    My resulting air wng will have:

    12 x F/A/18F Strike Fighters
    12 x F/A-18E Air superiority Fighters
    10 x F-35C Stealth Strike Fighters
    04 x E-2D AEW Aircraft
    02 x CV-22 COD aircraft
    02 x CV-22 ASW aircraft
    04 x SH-60R ASW Helicopters

    These 46 airraft will represent only a part of the total aircraft that could be carrierd. I will place ten aircraft in the lit hangar bay, and 36 airraft spotted on deck. Some parked, and othjer lined up at the catapults for an empending strike of F/A-18Fs and F-35C aircraft.

    The Build - Painting the hull, the hanger deck, and the flight deck - December 27, 2016

    I started off by painting the hull, and adding the sponson for the Island as well as the fantail. The model itself I puchased on ebay from altered_artist. He has a son who is career Navy. I jave a son-i-law who is also career Navy and when I say his Nimitz with a Best Offer offering, I pffered what I felt was a good prce and he took it. He had already painted the variuos inlests and auxillary openings for the Nimitz n the main hull and the sponson/support for the island, as well as the underwater hull-red and the black line water marker for the carrier.

    I did paint the hull in the nuetral gray that best approximates the standard gray used on the sides and vertical surfaces of the US Navy surface ships. Here has how a lot of that looks:


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    #7 Jeff Head, Dec 28, 2016
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    #8 Jeff Head, Dec 28, 2016
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    I then had to trim off the plastic safety nets around the flight deck to make place for the much more detail photo etch parts, and then painted the walk ways around the flight deck. I then painted the flight deck itself and then dry fir the hanger deck and the kight deck into the ship to ensure their fit. I will glue them in later after finishing the detail around the hull, ncluding the lighting syste,.

    I used some old Flight Deck Gray from model master for the flightdeck, and a dark gray for the hanger flight deck floor. I painted the hangar floor and the flight deck and then dry fit them onto the carrier to ensure their fit and "look".


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    #9 Jeff Head, Dec 28, 2016
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    #10 Jeff Head, Dec 28, 2016
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