Blue Water Navy 1/350
USS Hornet CV-8
image from Warship Pictorial # 9 by Classic Warships
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Yorktown Class carriers have always been a favorite of mine. The Hornet was the last of three, and she helped hold the line in the Pacific in the early years of  World War Two. The Hornet was the first to strike back at Japan, being the launching platform for Doolittle's raiders in their B-25's. She also fought at Midway along with her sisters Enterprise and Yorktown, the latter sunk in that battle. Later she fought in the Solomon Isle region, until finally being sunk at the Battle of Santa Cruz. 
Blue Water Navy produced all three of these carriers in 1/350 scale. This is a complex kit with many parts in resin, metal, and brass. The amount of work that went into making it must have been incredible. A look at the hull and you can see the forethought that went into it. The hull is one piece to the waterline with a separate lower hull section. The hull looks pretty good with the exception of the bow, which appears a little wide at the waterline. However it does capture the look of the Yorktown class carrier. The casting resemble a tanker in the way it is laid out with an exposed hanger deck. This should prove to be valuable to the modeler who wished to detail this area. Click images
to enlarge
A kit of this size deserves a few extra views of the hull. Note the detail on the cast on 5" gun bases, and the hanger deck flooring.
There are numerous resin parts for the superstructure, hanger walls, and various sponsons. The sheer volume of parts is almost overwhelming. The hanger deck wall are well detailed inside and out. The hanger bay doors can be cut away to reveal the interior if you wish. The flight deck bracing is pretty intricate and it's a shame that most of it is not visible when the kit is complete. Also note all the surface detail on the hanger deck walls.
Most parts are well cast with a few exceptions. One exception is the island superstructure, as you can see from the image on the right there is a slight bulging of the part at the bottom. To fix this, you have a couple of options. One involves using a dremel to hollow enough of the center out that the sides can be clamped into a vise and and compressed until flat again. A hair dryer or heat gun should be sufficient to set it in place. A far more extreme way to fix it is to sand it flat and replace the surface detail.
Metal casting is well done and the parts have very little flash on them. The 5 inch 38 cal guns look pretty good. I have shown both the SBD's Hellcats, and TBD's as well as the B-25's in the images below. As this kit was borrowed from Andy Elwood, I can't remember if they all came in the kit.
The aircraft may be a little of a challenge to put together for the average modeler. These even have their own photo etch. Speaking of photo etch, there are five different frets and three flight deck sections. I have mixed opinions about the etched deck, while it is nicely etched a resin one would have been easier to work with. A note of caution; do NOT use CA glue (super glue) to attach the deck! The low sheer strength of CA glue could result in your flight deck popping up if your model is subjected to different temperatures. Another friend of mine had this unpleasant experience on the way to the IPMS Nationals one year. A better method is to use a two part epoxy to secure the deck in place.
Finally the instructions, a small book in itself with 19 pages of diagrams and drawings showing the different area's of the ship. Not having built this kit, I can't say whether these pages provide all the info you need to build it right, but it certainly looks like just about every area of the ship is documented.
Conclusions:  A large kit that builds into an impressive model. It is a complete kit with all the parts to complete it except for paint and rigging. This kit is not for the novice and may be beyond even some intermediate modelers skills. It has a hefty price tag listed for $950.00 US on the Blue Water Navy website. I have seen it for as little as $600.00 at some of the retailers that carry BWN products. With the immanent release of the new Trumpeter Hornet I doubt many modelers will want to spend the money on this kit. Still it is doubtful that the new plastic kit will be able to achieve the level of detail already present in this kit.