|The USS Langley was the first US Aircraft
carrier. She was originally built as the Jupiter AC-3. She was converted
into an aircraft carrier by adding a full length flight deck. Her purpose
was to prove the concept of carrier borne naval aviation and this she did
As new carriers were built, she trained pilots for them. She was later reclassified as a Seaplane Tender AC-3 and lost the forward portion of her flight deck. It was in this configuration that she was lost while ferrying planes to Java in early 1942.
Mountford Metal Miniatures has reproduced this ship in 1/1200 scale in metal and resin in her 1924 configuration. You can buy this ship as a kit or finished depending on your preferences.
|The ship is pre painted with a tan flight
deck with deck stripes. The hull is painted light gray, with black boot
topping. The ships boats are painted white and overall the finish is pretty
|Overall the kit has a nice appearance. The pre painted aircraft are fairly well done, but I think that I would prefer to do them myself using the Navilis 1/1250 aircraft decals. I would probably just paint over the top wing and apply the early star in circle with the red dot. Although I have to admit that from a distance it is hard to discern the detail in this scale. There are some minor issues with this ship, the hull at the waterline has a slight twist to it. This is more noticeable in the unfinished kit (see below) than the finished version. To really tell it you need to turn the kit upside down. That's probably something that most of us wont do.|
|As a kit the hull is cast in resin with everything else in white metal. The hull has a bit of over pour at the bow that will have to be sanded away. Surface detail is pretty good, but some touch up is needed at the bottom of the stern to smooth things out.|
|The flight deck supports are cast as one piece with pretty
good detail. I test fit these parts and while tight they will fit without
modification. If desired you can trim the pins as mentioned in the instructions.
Two types of biplanes are included with separate upper wings. These parts have a bit of flash that should be filed down before assembly. The tail sections are pretty thin so be careful, I broke one of mine while handling it.
A simple one piece instruction sheet is included with an exploded view and notes.
I am relatively new to 1/1250 kit collecting, and still have to resist the urge to modify some of the ships I have now. If I had my choice I would probably do this ship as AC-3 in her seaplane tender version. But the thought of cutting into a perfectly good ship scares me. That is why I am glad this ship is available as a kit also. Chopping the flight deck is so much easier when it is still unassembled. I applaud Mountford Metal Miniatures for giving us a choice. The finished ship is available as # WS 20 USS Langley for $49.95 or in kit form as #WS 20k USS Langley kit for $27.50
Special thanks to Morning Sunshine Models for the review sample. Be sure to check out their complete 1/1250 line of ships on their improved website.