Skywave / Pitroad

1/700 US Carrier Based Aircraft set
Reviewed by Timothy Barron
For anyone considering modeling a 1/700-1/720 scale modern US Navy carrier, replacing the airwing providing with the kit is something to be considered.  For example, the airwing provided with Italeri Nimitz class carriers are average at best.  One alternative for a replacement airwing is offered by PitRoad/Skywave.  Pitroad offers two carrier aircraft-only kits, "S12 - US Carrier Based Aircraft" kit or "S13 - US Carrier Based Aircraft."  The only difference between S12 and S13 are the decals provided for the airwing.  The S12 kit is reviewed here.  The price for these kits ranges from $16-20.

Each box contains two identical sprues of aircraft, a decal sheet, and the kit directions.  Either kit will enable the building of the following aircraft:

Two E-2C Hawkeyes
Two F-14 Tomcats (wings folded) with two Phoneix and three drop for each
Two F-14 Tomcats (wings extended)  with two Phoneix and three drop for each
Four F/A-18 Hornets with three drop tanks for each
Four A-4 Skyhawks with two drop tanks for each
Four A-7 Corsairs with two drop tanks for each
Two S-3 Vikings with two drop tanks for each
Two EA-6B Prowlers with under wing mounts and tanks for each
Two A-6 Intruders with two drop tanks for each
Four Deck Tractors
Decals for CVW-8 and CVW-15


1 - The kit is molded in plastic, and is extremely high quality.  There was minimal to no flashing, and there were no pits, or seam lines on any of the aircraft.  The only parts that have a seam lines are the deck tractors, and these could be easily removed with a sharp knife in the matter of seconds.
2 - All of the aircraft appear to be accurate in appearance and scaled well.
3 - All of the aircraft have molded panel lines which are extremely fine.  Upon painting, these panel lines could be highlighted via a wash or via fine pencil.
4 - The decals provided are all full color (i.e. there are no low-visibility (gray) decals).
5 - The instructions are in both Japanese and English, and are very clear and easy to understand. 

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1 - Extremely high quality aircraft, with excellent molding including very fine panel lines.
2 - Multiple drop tanks are provided for each aircraft, and Phoenix missles for the F-14s.
3 - Four deck tractors are provided.

1 - At $16-20 for each kit, if you wish to fill your carrier deck with a large number of aircraft, you would need a few of these kits.  Italeri carrier kits are usually around $20.  Many hobby shops will provide a quantity discount, so don't be afraid to kindly ask!
2 - No SH-60B Seahawks are provided.
3 - No low-visibility (gray) decals are provided.  Some of the decals could be used for the CAG's plane, as well as squadron commander's planes, which are usually painted in full color. Low visability markings are provided in Skywave Set S-13.

If you are looking to super-detail a carrier, and your wallet can handle it, this kit would provide high-quality aircraft for your carrier model.  Though the Italeri kits are in 1/720 scale and the Pitroad aircraft are 1/700 scale, the difference would not be noticeable to the naked eye.  You could even add further photo-etch details to these aircraft. Flagship Models offers "Modern Navy Jet Details" which provides photo etched landing gear, doors, weapons pylons, and weapons.