Trumpeter 1/700 USS Essex CV-9

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Essex class was the US Navy's standard heavy carrier. These ships were built in large numbers to help replace the loses suffered by earlier carriers. It is only fitting that the second Essex would be named after CV-5 the USS Yorktown lost in the battle of Midway. This new ship would carry the battle home to the Japanese and help win the war in the Pacific.

Trumpeter first released the Essex class in 1/350 scale, so it only seems logical that they scale that version down to the Divine 700 Scale. This USS Essex follows hot on the heals of the Yorktown and Franklin have been released at the same time and are for the most part the same kit with some minor exceptions noted below.

This kit is designed much like it's larger cousin, with a waterline or full hull option molded in red plastic. The hull is cleanly molded with the short hull bow all as one piece. The majority of the hull above the hanger deck is left as a separate part. This will allow for many more Essex class versions to be done..  Click images
to enlarge
The flight deck is molded as a two pieces with lots of surface detail. The flight deck insert includes a single catapult like the Essex was built with. 
Aircraft tie downs and planking is pretty good. The elevators are molded open so you can position them full up, down, or any point in between. The bow section includes two catapults, with one set back a little. The bow fits pretty good and the seam should be a lot easier to hide. 
A full open hanger deck is included in this kit. The hanger deck is done as one main sections with a separate bow insert. The deck has steel plate detailing and nice surface detailing. The Essex class had a lot of roll up hanger doors so there is a lot of detailing possibilities here. The bow deck has anchor ways without the anchor chain molded on. This will allow you to use real chain without having to scrape off the molded on chain.
The first sprue mostly includes hanger deck walls. These are well molded and even the roll up doors are detailed on the inside. 
More walls and other parts on sprue B.  There are plenty of separate doors that you can place in the openings if you chose.
This sprue has the gun tubs for the open 5" guns and many other platforms. The elevators have the same nice deck detailing as the flight deck.
The bridge platforms and funnel sides are among the parts on this sprue. The splinter shields are pretty thin for plastic.
These are the main island parts. Like the other parts in this kit, the walls have hatch and plumbing detail molded on. Ladders are molded on and nice enough that most modelers will not wish to replace them with Photo etch.
This is the main weapons sprue and there are two of them in the kit, so you will have a few extra parts for the spares box.  The 20 mm guns are pretty nice, but no shields are included for them. They do have a flat molded on where the shield attaches so it should be easy to attach the photo etch. But most photo etch shields that I have seen have too narrow a slow to fit easily. But I'm sure someone will step up to the plate and offer an aftermarket set soon. The 40 mm gun mounts and the 5" gun mounts are well done and composed of several separate parts. This allows you to pose them at any firing angle, and gives you more superdetailing options and is pretty amazing for this scale.
Not only do you get an option to build the ship full hull or waterline, but you get the option to display it either way also. A full hull base is molded in black to set your ship on. A nameplate is with the ships name and hull number embossed on it. If you wish to display it in the waterline mode, a nice clear base is provided with a nice wave and wake pattern.
The aircraft in this kit are molded in clear plastic so you don't have to worry about painting the canopy to simulate a transparent color. Simply mask off the canopy and paint the rest of the aircraft. These aircraft also benefit from the CAD technology. These are molded with separate propellers and landing gear. Panel lines are recessed and the lines of the aircraft look pretty accurate for this scale. There are four of each in the kit, but they are also available separately if you want to add more. The Yorktown comes with four types of aircraft as the Corsair wasn't available when she was commissioned.
F6F Hellcat Fighter (x 4)
SB2C Helldiver Dive Bomber (x 4)
TBF Avenger Torpedo Bomber (x 4)
SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber (x 4)
Aircraft types carried will vary based on the ship and time period you are modeling, so you may need more of some of these aircraft. Each type is available separately as well.
The decals are pretty good, with deck markings and and plenty of markings for the aircraft. Deck stripe markings are provided as white dashed lines. The elevator markings are done in black and the elevator opening stripes are done in white.

The decals are sharply rendered and you wont have to replace these.

A 16 page instruction booklet is included to guide you through a step by step assembly process. The parts are all called out and placement is well illustrated throughout. 

A nice B sized color sheet is included with Ms-21 markings for the ship and aircraft. Paint colors are called out as well.


This is kit #TSM-5728   1/700 USS Essex CV-9Aircraft Carrier with a suggested list price of only $29.95. A great price for a carrier as nicely detailed as this. Thanks to Stevens International for the review sample. They are the exclusive importer for Trumpeter kits in the US. If your hobby shop does not carry Trumpeter kits have them contact Stevens International or try their Hobby Shop Locator to find one.