Corsair Armada 1/700 USS Wasp
USN Photo from

Reviewed by Timothy Dike

The USS Wasp was a one of a kind aircraft carrier design similar to the Ranger but with a few improvements. Corsair Armada has chosen this unique Carrier as the subject of their latest release. The kit is a work of art and pushes the envelope of resin kit making to the limits. 
The hull casting is one piece with a fully detailed hanger deck included. The walls are amazingly straight for their thin sections. Hanger doors are molded closed in case you don't want to detail this interior. The hull is cleanly molded and very detailed, no casting flaws were noted on my kit. 
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The flight deck is cast in resin as one piece yet is remarkable flat for a resin part of this size and thinness. Mike Czibovic owner of Corsair Armada has taken steps to keep it that way by securing it to cardboard. There is a little flash to trim away but otherwise it is very well cast.
The superstructure parts, gun sponsons, and catwalks are molded with very thin splinter shields. These parts all all cast open face style on a very thin resin sheet. Very little sanding will be needed to remove the flash. The Island is mostly one piece with plastic rod included to make the tripod mast. 
The photo etch set is very extensive and though this kit doesn't include aircraft it does include some propellers for them. You will still need landing gear though. The new 20 mm guns are the same as those in his other kits, parts to make a 1.1 and 40 mm gun are on the fret. This may be the finest weapons of that type that you will find, though I suspect it might be a bit to fragile for some builders. I like the gun director screen and bracket, this will work out nicely. Boat cranes and cradles and miscellaneous mast parts round out the fret. Missing are railings which you will have to get from some of the other PE makers. 
The 5 inch 38 cal. open mount are the best I've seen and I hope to see these offered separately like some of the other parts. Rafts, and boats are well molded as are the other parts. There are a number of open and closed chocks included, but they are cast right on to a runner with no allowance for a the kerf of a saw to remove them. Mike's solution to remove them is as follows: 
"Here's a tip for removing the spare chocks, or removing the ones on the hull to open the doors. I use a new X-acto #17 chisel blade to score the perimeter of the chock (press straight down to form a grove on all four sides) then chisel the chock off by pressing at the base and rocking the blade from side to side horizontally. Don't try to go all the way through on one pass, but work a little from both of the long sides. If there is a little crown on the bottom when the chock pops off, hold it with a pair of tweezers and give the bottom a couple scrapes with the knife to flatten it. I've used that method to move details on plastic kits, too. If you are careful, you can usually reuse the part you chisel off."
The instructions are a like a mini book on the Wasp and include several "B" size sheets with plan and right and left elevation views with parts position noted. Auxiliary views of the guns and flight deck bracing installation are also shown on a series of detail views with a couple large isometric views. 
The Ms 12 Mod. Camouflage is shown on another sheet with colors noted. Parts breakdown for the PE fret and the resin parts are on other A size (8 1/2" x 11") sheets with the ships history and photo's printed on another.
With a list price of  $180.00 this is an expensive kit, especially since you will have to supply your own airwing. But this is a must have for the 1/700 builder, the detail that went into it must be seen to be appreciated (hopefully the photo's above will help). The brass detail parts are extremely fine, a blessing or a curse depending on your skill level. You don't have to use some of those finer parts, but they are there if you wish to try.

Corsair Armada kits can be found at Pacific Front Hobbies, Colpar Hobbies, and Brookhurst Hobbies.

 Navsource USS Wasp page