USS Stennis CVN-74
1/720 Scale Aircraft Carrier

Reviewed by Timothy Dike and Jeff Hughes

Authorized in Fiscal year 1988, launched in November of 1993 and in service December of 1995. The USS John C. Stennis is the United States Navy's 8th nuclear carrier. The John C. Stennis is really an improved Nimitz Class carrier but is usually placed in the Theodore Roosevelt Class of nuclear carriers. There is a considerable difference between the Nimitz, which entered service in May of 1975, and the Stennis, brought on by almost 20 years of lessons and technological changes. In fact, due to the time it takes to build one of these monster warships no two ships are exactly alike.

The have approximately 63.5 mm of Kevlar armor around vital spaces and the desks and hull are of extra-strong, high tensile steel. The ships are said to be able to withstand three times the severe pounding survived by the Essex-class aircraft carriers in the later years of W.W. II.

The flight decks of these monsters are approximately 4.5 acres in size, with a crew of over 6000 and usually carry over 70 aircraft all on a maximum displacement of 102,000 tons. Their reactors are expected to operate for 15 years before refueling.

The John C. Stennis is unique in that while all other ships of the Theodore Roosevelt class are named for Presidents she is named for an U.S. Senator from Mississippi. Senator Stennis was first elected in 1947 and retired in 1988. He was often referred to as the father of America's modern Navy." Senator Stennis was an advocate of a strong military and served as the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1969 to 1980. 


CVN 73 John C. Stennis home page - The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World 1998 - 1999 - Complied by A.D. Baker

Italeria produces several Nimitz class carriers in 1/720 scale including the Stennis. For those wondering 1/720 is very close to 700 scale and the differences in size is very slight so this kit will still look pretty good alongside your other 1/700 scale ships. This kit is rather large and too big for my scanner so pictures will have to do. 

The deck is pretty good shape wise but the molded on hand rails don't help. These should be cut off and replaced with photo etch such as those in the Gold Medal Models USN Supercarrier set. The hull is molded with the lower hull attached by several tabs so you will have to cut it away and reattach it regardless of whether you are doing a full hull or not. If you do chose a waterline model there is a flat bottom insert to replace the lower hull.

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The aircraft are a little heavy on the molding, and I would recommend replacing them with the Skywave USN aircraft set. Most of the aircraft are usable if you chose not to replace them. But the FA-18 needs a little work on the vertical stabilizers as they are a little on the stubby side.. click to enlarge image
The instructions are pretty good and show the building process in several different stages including all the sub assemblies.

Pretty good right out of the box, but add the Gold Medal Super carrier set and you have the makings for a real Super carrier.