Cyber-Hobby 1/700 USS Long Beach CGN-9
Cyber-Hobby 1/700 USS Long Beach CGN-9
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The first nuclear powered surface warship in history, Long Beach was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and home ported at Norfolk, Va. The guided missile cruiser conducted extensive shakedown testing of her complex weapons and propulsion systems from 2 October to 16 December 1961. Her superlative performance proved the nuclear cruiser a highly capable and effective warship.

The operation, “Sea Orbit”, reminiscent of the cruise of the Great White Fleet in 1907 to 09, demonstrated the strategic mobility of U.S. naval nuclear powered surface forces independent of normal fleet logistic support. During 58 steaming days Long Beach, Bainbridge and Enterprise steamed over 30,000 miles at an average speed of 25 knots, without being refueled or resupplied.

April 1967 the ship made a stop in “Ironbottom Sound” on 23 April for a memorial service commemorating the battles fought and lives lost there in World War II. After the wreath laying ceremony, she steamed up “The Slot” at 30 knots, back toward a different war.
Class Long Beach
Displacement 14,200 Tons
Dimensions 721' 3" (oa) x 73' 3" x 31' (Max)
Armament 1 Talos 1 x 2, (52 Missiles)
2 Terrier 2x2, (120 Missiles)
2 x 5"/38
ASROC (20 Missiles)
6 x12.75" TT
Machinery 80,000 SHP; 2 Westinghouse Reactors (C1W), G.E. Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed 30+ Knots
Crew 1100

Commissioned 09 SEP 1961, Decommissioned 01 MAY 1995, Stricken 01 May 1995
Fate: Hulk currently awaiting recycling at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

The reader might want to take into consideration that I consulted for Dragon on this kit. My opinions might be a bit biased. However I think the photos speak for themselves. 
The upper hull is really nicely molded with the smooth sleek lines of the LB. Mine came with a plastic cap over the bow to protect the tips with it's opening. The chocks around the hull are also molded open a nice touch. The bow is molded open with a separate bow insert. The bracing interior bracing is molded in place. The kit also features that distinctive sharp knuckle along the forward part of the hull.  Click images
to enlarge
The lower hull is also nicely molded with sonar dome and bilge keels. The latter are thin thanks to slide molding. The fit of the upper and lower hull is very good and steps have been taken in the design of the upper hull to allow some flex to get that perfect fit. 
This sprue contains the main bow deck and much of the superstructure. Most modelers might not notice, but this sprue is an amazing piece of work using not only horizontal slides to capture details, but also cam action slides that rotate out of the way when the mold opens. This allows for a series of single piece superstructure parts that rival that of some resin kits. There are fewer parts to fit up and fewer seams to fill and yet plenty of detail. Very impressive for an inexpensive plastic kit. 
Sprue D features most of the weapons and fittings used on this kit. Modelers are sure to like the missile launchers with realistic launch rails that pivot and the separate missiles. Boats, davits, and missile directors are well molded in this small scale. The directors are also designed so that they can be posed at various angles. 
This sprue features the 61 as built billboard radar array parts. The original as built aft platforms are also included. 
The 1967 Platform and cFast Replenishment Kingpost is included on this sprue. Molding is quite nice, but if you don't like the plastic bracing on the platforms, there are nice photo etch ones described further down in this review. Also shown is the Quadri-pod fan antenna support. This assembly can be replaced using p/e parts MA1, MA4 and MA14.
The rest of the superstructure parts are included on this sprue. Like the C sprue this one takes advantage of complex slides to mold detail on almost all sides of the parts resulting in some really nicely detailed parts. Platforms for the mast are also included and are pretty good for plastic. 
This sprue from the Dragon Laffey and Livermore is included to supply the gun barrels and bases for the 5" 38 cal gun mounts on the 67 version of this ship. You won't need the depth charge rack or 20 mm guns, but save them for some other WW2 ship projects. 
Two of these 5" 38 cal gun turrets are included. They of course are the same nice slide molded ones featured in the Dragon WW2 kits. Accurately shaped and very detailed they are a nice addition to this kit.
The 1967 style billboard radar is included on this sprue. The modeler can build up the bridge and apply these later allowing for a different shade of paint to be applied without separate masking. 
The base for this kit has been designed based on how most modelers like to display their ships in full hull mode. The stands which resemble lamp finales are even slide molded so they have no seams to fill and sand. Hole locations are provided so all you have to do is open them up with a knife or drill. 
A simple photo etch fret is included with the AS-2866/SRR Cone Antenna that mounts above the turrets. Finer platforms for the aft superstructure and various ladders and girder work is also included. 
The decals are the usual sharply rendered ones produced for them by Cartograph. They include warning circles, helo deck markings, battle E's and of course flags and hull numbers.
The instructions are six pages with lots of subassembly views that are easy to follow. The last page features a painting guide showing decal placement. 
The images below show the ship in both the 1967 and 1961 versions. Either version can be built from this kit. 
These are photos of a fully assembled production version of this kit representing the 1967 fit are shown below. 

Another great Cold War veteran ship to add to your fleet. The Cyber-Hobby line of ships has been marketed as an affordable compromise between price and quality. However it looks like you get both quality and price in this kit. This kit features state of the art molding, multiple versions from the same kit, and finely detailed parts. 

These kits should be in stores by Christmas 2010. Just in time for you to do some Cold War modeling over the cold winter months. Look for them on the shelves of your favorite hobby shop or get it direct from Dragon USA or Cyber-Hobby for $34.95