Aoshima 1/700
USS Wasp CV-7
Malta Transport Version

Reviewed October 2016
by Abram Joslin & Timothy Dike
USS Wasp History:
USS Wasp (CV-7) was a United States Navy aircraft carrier commissioned in 1940 and lost in action in 1942. She was the eighth ship named USS Wasp, and the sole ship of a class built to use up the remaining tonnage allowed to the U.S. for aircraft carriers under Washington Naval Treaty. After the construction of the carriers Yorktown and Enterprise, the U.S. was still permitted 15,000 long tons (15,000 t) to build a carrier. As a reduced-size version of the Yorktown-class aircraft carrier hull, Wasp was more vulnerable than other United States aircraft carriers available at the opening of hostilities. Wasp was launched with almost no armor, modest speed and, more significantly, no protection from torpedoes. Absence of side protection of the boilers and internal aviation fuel stores "doomed her to a blazing demise". These were inherent design flaws that were recognized when constructed but could not be remedied within the allowed tonnage. These flaws, combined with a relative lack of damage control experience in the early days of the war, were to prove fatal. 
Wasp was initially employed in the Atlantic campaign where Axis naval forces were perceived as less capable of inflicting decisive damage. After supporting the occupation of Iceland in 1941, Wasp joined the British Home Fleet in April 1942 and twice ferried British fighter aircraft to Malta. Wasp was then transferred to the Pacific in June 1942 to replace losses at the battles of Coral Sea and Midway. After supporting the invasion of Guadalcanal, Wasp was sunk by the Japanese submarine I-19 on 15 September 1942.
-History from Wikipedia.
USS Wasp the kit:
Aoshima has produced several versions of the USS Wasp: Atlantic service with the British fleet, and right after she arrived in the Pacific, and at her sinking with the I-19 submarine. This first version is the one being reviewed here. The kits are all basically the same, except the last two have different aircraft, and one sprue.

The kit is well packaged and everything was still on the sprues. The detail of the hull and flight deck are pretty nice for this scale, ships boats and rafts are decent, and the weapons/gun directors are good likeness, but could benefit from being replaced with aftermarket parts.

Sprue A is the hull. The detailing on the hull is pretty good, eyebrows over the portholes and the degaussing cable is cast into the hull. The hangar deck doors are all molded into the closed position, except for the forward most ones. The sections on the roll up doors are over scale, but not too terribly to detract from the overall model. The molding is nice and crisp. However it is underscale and measures out to be closer to 1/720 scale.  Click to
enlarge image
Sprue B is the flight deck and some of the superstructure/island structures. The flight deck is nicely cast as one piece, no deck seams to worry about here. The detailing on the flight deck is crisp and very nice, and not too out of scale. This sprue includes the elevators and “pits” for them, this is the majority of the hangar deck detail. The other pieces are nicely cast and decently detailed. The splinter shields are obviously out of scale and this is a problem throughout the kit.
Sprue C contains the waterline plate, the forecastle, flight deck bracing, and the other detailing for the hangar deck. The forecastle comes with the anchor chains and capstands molded into the deck, at this scale and since they’ll be under the flight deck I felt this was completely acceptable.
Sprue D contains the main catwalks/weapons galleries, the aft deck, and the island plus most of the island detailing. The catwalks have lines molded to the bottom to represent the bracing that holds the catwalks. The island is excellently detailed and includes a cast on Pri-Fly. The funnel topper is molded closed.
Sprue E contains the weapons, ships boats, and life rafts. The boats and life rafts are pretty decent, as mentioned before. The weapons and directors capture the shapes and ideas of the prototypes, but lack detail and the smaller weapons are over scale. To build the kit out of the box the included weapons are good, but to really make the ship pop replacing the weapons would be an excellent idea.
This sprue contains the rest of the catwalks and the 5” weapon galleries. Sprue G replaces Sprue F found in the Pacific version. The differense is the overscale splinter sheilds have been removed. Those who will be adding PE will appreciate this change.
This sprue contains two SBD Dauntless's two TBD Devastator's and four F4F Wildcats. The molding is crisp, but no propellers are provided and the wheels are just nubs on the bottom of the aircraft. I also noticed the bottoms had some serious ejector marks, but these shouldn’t be noticeable once the planes are on the deck.
These sprues contain the British Spitfires and the TBD Devastator. There is also another Dauntless (note the SBD should not have folding wings) but it is listed as not used for this version. Molding is crisp, however panel lines are exaggerated.
The decals are nicely printed and provide markings for the aircraft in the way of just the stars and roundels. Deck markings are included for the Wasp herself and are a nice touch saving you the trouble of masking and trying to get straight lines. Flag decals are included for both the Wasp and I-19 and they look good as well.
The instructions are clear and easy to understand, Aoshima didn't try to clutter them up with too many sub-steps to each assembly step. In my example the actual assembly steps were all only in Japanese, which isn't really a problem since the pictures are good enough to build the ship. The painting guide is a good depiction of the ship, but as with any build you will want to check your references to make sure the patterns are 100% correct.

I'm glad to have an injection molded Wasp on the market. While the overall kit is underscale, it is still a good addition to your waterline fleet. This Malta transport version will give you a chance for some variety for your airwing by parking some Spitfires on the deck. 

Thanks to Aoshima for the review sample. Check out their website for all their latest water line ships available now at your favorite hobby shop or online store.

This is an in-box review showing the kit contents. We welcome your input and comments in the review section of the forum especially if you can share details about fit, ease of assembly and accuracy. Click the logo on the right to join in the discussion.