Aoshima 1/700
USS Wasp CV-7

Reviewed July 2016
by Abram Joslin
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, right after she arrived in the Pacific, and at her sinking with the I-19 submarine. This last version is the one being reviewed here. Searching online it looks like the kits are all basically the same, except the last two have different aircraft, and the most current includes the I-19.

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. I have read that the hull (the whole kit actually) is slightly under scale, but since I do not have plans handy I cannot give exact measurements. 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.
Sprue F contains the rest of the catwalks and the 5” weapon galleries. The detailing is good, but like the others the splinter shielding is out of scale.
This sprue contains TBF/M Avengers and F4F Wildcats. All the Avengers are molded with the wings down, but you get options for folded wings with the 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 SBD Dauntless. Sadly Aoshima must not have done much research on the Dauntless because they molded the plans with the wingtips not attached, like they fold up ala the Devastator or Corsair. Hopefully this won’t make it too difficult to model the aircraft.
As mentioned at the beginning of the review, this version includes the I-19 submarine. The molding is crisp and looks well detailed. 
You get an upper and lower hull, so modeling the submarine full hull or waterline is no problem. The deck planking is slightly over scale, but still looks good.
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.
A small stand is included for the I-19 if you wish to depict the submarine full hulled. It is very basic, but there is no real need for a fancy stand for the small submarine.
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.
All in all this is a great kit, especially since it is the only available plastic injection kit of the USS Wasp. It should be a fairly straightforward build and an excellent addition to any collection. With the addition of Aoshima’s separate photo etch set and some aftermarket weapons/directors you could build a very nice representation of the USS Wasp. Aoshima is bringing us many subjects that have yet to be modeled in plastic, and for that I am grateful. Hopefully newer kits will not be subject to scale issues and Aoshima will bring us many more less known subjects.

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.