Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Long Island was the first US Navy Escort Carrier. Originally laid down as the Mormachmail and launched in January 1940, she was taken over by the Navy and finished as the first of what would be many more carriers built during world war two. Smaller and slower that a fleet carrier these baby flattops were ideal for escorting convoys where their airwing could keep a look out for patrolling subs. In the Pacific they proved valuable escorting invasion forces and providing aircover for the troops going ashore. 

The Long Island first served as AVG-1, a test bed for the new escort carrier concept in the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Later she escorted convoys in the North Atlantic and qualified air crews. Early in 1942 she sailed for the Pacific as operated off the west coast escorting Admiral Pye's battlewagons. She provided air cover for the US forces following their retirement from Midway. After some more air crew training she sailed for the south west Pacific and sailed to within 200 miles of Guadalcanal. There she launched aircraft desperately needed at Henderson field. In August 1942 she was reclassified ACV-1 and could be found in the New Hebrides for the rest of the year. 

As newer escort carriers came into service, she was able to return to the west coast and resumed training air crews. In 1943 Long Island was reclassified CVE-1 and operated primarily as an aircraft transport delivering  aircraft to bases all over the Pacific. After the war she helped bring the troops home during Operation Magic Carpet. She was decommissioned and converted back to a merchant ship and served on for many more years.

Specifications
Displacement 13,499 t.
Length 492
Beam 696
Draft 258
Speed 16.5 k
Complement 970
Armament 1 5
2 3
Aircraft 21

Long Island received one battle star for World War II service.
 

This new release from of Loose Cannon East is almost as revolutionary as the real one.  David Angelo has evidently done his homework as the Long Island is one of my favorite ships and this kit appears true to the prototype. There are even parts to build an early or late version of the ship.

HULL PARTS
The hull is well cast in waterline style with lots of surface detail and an open hanger area at the stern. Most of the structures below the flight deck are cast as one piece. If the bow looks a little bumpy, don't worry there is an insert that fits there. Click images
to enlarge
SUPERSTRUCTURE AND FLIGHT DECK
The flight deck is cast in two layers with a laser etched clear acrylic sheet providing the top and resin the lower section with the gun tubs protruding out. The lower section is in two parts but the seam will not show thanks to the one piece top. The top has deck lines etch on the surface representing the catapults and deck planking. If it looks too simplistic, then scroll down to the the separate photo etched arrester gear wires and other details.
The other superstructure parts are cast on a thin resin wafer.
SMALL PARTS, WEAPONS AND DETAIL ITEMS
The main and secondary guns are cast on these resin sprues along with a variety of rafts and other parts. Flash is minimal and the detail is pretty good overall. 
PHOTO ETCH
Probably the most impressive part of this kit is the extensive girder work that supported the flight deck. This is provided by some impressive relief etch brass. The brass is thick and the etching is deep giving the parts a 3D appearance. This will be the highlight of the ship when finished. 
Loose Cannon photo
Another fret is provided for all the railings, safety nets, radar, and thinner support parts. A variety of aircraft details are included including some propellers and landing gear.
DECALS
Two decal sheets are included with aircraft and deck markings as well as flags. 
INSTRUCTIONS
The instructions are pretty extensive and show the ship in several subassemblies. These are among the best instructions I have seen in a resin kit. The give you a step by step guide on how to build this ship. Along the way are notes pointing out potential pitfalls in the assembly if the directions are not followed. Early and late war parts and their locations are noted. A camo sheet is provided for the early Ms-12 mod and the later Ms39/9a applied in 1943. 
Conclusions:

This kit in my opinion is one of the best Loose Cannon has ever produced. The real ship was very complex thanks to the exposed girders, but thanks to the instructions most any modelers with some resin and photo etch experience should be able to tackle this project. The kit has almost everything you need with the exception of aircraft. Check out the misc. reviews section for aircraft sets you can use. If your bored with the US Navy aircraft, try loading some Army Airforce bombers on the deck to simulate the Long Island in the aircraft transport role. This is definitely a kit with possibilities.

This is kit #45 listed for $85.00 US, a great price for a detailed kit like this. Pacific Front Hobbies & Free Time hobbies have this kit in stock, or it can be purchased direct from LCP East. Check the Loose Cannon page for details on this and other kits.




© ModelWarships.com