White Ensign 1/350
USS Wasp LHD-1

by Sean Hert

White Ensign's photo etch detail set for the Gallery/MRC/Revell Germany 1/350 USS Wasp LHD-1 "The Ship" consists of 2 sheets of finely etched brass. This set is to upgrade the ship only; WEM also has sets for the Air Wing and the embarked vehicles and landing craft. ( all 3 are available separately or combined as in a "Ultimate Set")

The two sheets for the ship have almost 150 items for upgrading your LHD; by far, most of these parts are railings, supports and braces, but there are radars, ladders and other parts as well. It also includes a replacement foremast as seen on the recently released USS Iwo Jima, making this set usable for that kit as well.

The introduction, on page one of the instructions, has 7 important items about this set. It is interesting to note this set acknowledges the kit's inherent strengths, and does not aim to replace too many parts uneccessarily. The railings included are in pre-shaped lengths, when possible. Etched ladders have been included, to upgrade plastic parts as desired.

SHEET A

Sheet A has most of the railings needed for the ship: railings for the various platforms; railings for weapon and sensor sponsons and decks; railings for the many catwalks; railings for bridge areas on and around the island, and railings for the well deck gallery. There are also a few strings of stock 2- and 3-bar railing included.

All the railings in this set have a bottom attachment "rail", making the railing much easier to affix to the model, but can be a slight detraction in realism for some.

This sheet isn't limited to railings however. There are pre-formed safety nets for the aicraft elevators, inclined ladders and funnel cap grills- and what modern ship's photoectch set is complete without upgraded radars? This sheet has replacment assemblies for the SPS-10, SPS-48 and SPS-49 radars.


Sheet A

SHEET B

Sheet B has all the catwalk supports, as well as details for the internal vehicle deck and well deck deck. One great detail included in this sheet is the overhead gantry tracks for the well deck overhead.

Also on Sheet B is the inclusion of the foremast upgraded needed to convert your Wasp kit into any of the last four members of the class:

  • USS Bataan
  • USS Iwo Jima
  • USS BonHomme Richard
  • USS Makin Island

Since a kit for Iwo Jima has since been released, presumably these parts could be used to replace or modify the included plastic ones.

Rounding out this sheet are hose and cable reel details, a nice set of UNREP fuel hoses and parts for a nicely detailed accomodation ladder.


Sheet B
INSTRUCTIONS

6 double-sided sheets of instructions are included, for 11 pages of instructions. These instructions are in normal WEM style; a page of general and specific instructions about the set, followed by a silhouette of each photoetched sheet, numbered, followed by a list of part descriptions matched by number to the shilhouettes. This is then followed by the steps necessary to use and install the photoetch. These steps are usually in the form of an exploded view, with a descriptive heading and specific instructions.

CONCLUSIONS

Another great set from White Ensign Models. It should be a good set for either the Wasp or the Iwo Jima kits- and should prove usefuly in converting to any other member of this LHD class. Receommended!

This set, #35138 is priced at 57.79, or around $90.00, direct from WEM. The compelte set of all 3 LHD photoetch sets is #35148 is priced at 74.58, or around $116.00. Thanks to WEM for this review sample.


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