AFV Club
1/700 USS Robert E. Perry
Box Art
Knox Class Frigate
Reviewed by Jeff Hughes
The Knox class is a descendant of the Bronstein and Garcia Class Destroyer Escorts. The class was built as a low end open ocean convoy destroyer escort to replace the old and obsolete W.W. II escorts.  They were reclassified as Frigates in 1975.  The class incorporated the 'mack" concept, first used in the Bronstein Class to consolidate the electronic installations. In service it was found that deck wetness was a problem with this class.  Bow bulwarks and a spray strake was added to help alleviate this problem.  In the mid 1970's the Mk 16 ASROC "pepperbox" launcher was modified to fire Harpoon anti-ship missiles in the port pair of launchers.  An automatic reload magazine for the Mk 16 ASROC is located beneath the bridge, capable of carrying 18 reloads, 2 of which can be Harpoons.  The Knox class was designed to carry the Sea Mauler missile system aft of the helo pad, when this program was canceled the NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System , using the Mk. 29 launcher or the Basic Point Defense Missile System (BPDMS) using the Mk. 25 launcher were added to the class.  These eventually where replaced by the Phalanx CIWS.  The U.S. Navy has decommissioned the Knox Class and many of the class are currently serving in a number of foreign fleets.
The kit manufactured by AFV Club depicts the Knox Class Frigates as they appeared before being  decommissioned by the U.S. Navy.  The bow bulwarks and spray strake are added as is a Mk 15 20 mm CIWS.  The kit is molded in light gray styrene, comes on one sprue and is waterline only.  The molding is crisp with no flash to clean up on the approximately 89 parts.  There are only a few visible mold seems on the hull.  The quality of the molding will greatly reduce your build time.  There is a good deal of surface detail and it matches well to pictures of the class.  The hull measures approximately 5 feet short in length but is within 2 feet in width according to published dimensions of the Knox Class.
This kit resembles a Skywave kit in its design and detail, if it were not for molding differences in the Mk 15 CIWS, Mk 42 5" 54 cal gun, Mk 16 ASROC launcher and ship's boats, I would say it was one of their kits.  Of course this is not to say they did not design it.  In my opinion this is a compliment as I find Skywave at the forefront of injection molders of modern ships in 1/700 scale.
The LAMPS helicopter pad has the normal raised lines, which with most 1/700 kits should be removed so that the decals will lie correctly. Unfortunately, no helicopter landing markings are included in the kit. Leaving the builder to decide "do I try and paint those lines or get after market decals."  The kit can be built with the telescoping hanger in either the extended or retracted positions.  Unfortunately, the hanger door is molded in the closed position.  The SH-2 LAMPS I Sea Sprite ASW helicopter is nicely molded and comes with a Mk 46 ASW torpedo as well as the option to depict the helicopter with open or folded rotors.
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The hull is one piece and has some sink marks forward and aft. The hull has some nasty seam lines aft that will need to be addressed.  Take care not to sand off the variable depth sonar doors located on the stern.
The instructions are easy to follow, done using exploded views and have only 5 steps. A brief history of the class is given.  click here click here
This kit is manufactured in Taiwan and instructions and decals are included to model the class as anyone of the first three that were transferred to the ROC Navy as either the ROC or USN version.  If additional decals are needed there are a few different sets commercially available, but the only one I know of that has additional Knox Class names is the one manufactured by Skywave, DP-1 U.S. Navy Modern Decals #700-013.
Painting instructions can be found on the back of the box.  The instructions list Tamiya and Gunze Sangyo paints, as I do not use either I can not comment on their color match for USN deck and haze gray.  The front of the box has a color photograph of the USS Robert E. Peary, this photo can greatly aid in detailing and painting the model.
Overall this kit is well detailed and molded sharply, with a little sanding here and there, some brass rod and photo etch this kit could become a real beauty.  Built just out of the box it would also make an excellent model. Someday I hope to find the time to add her to my fleet.  I strongly recommend this kit to anyone interested in modern escorts.