Gallery Models 1/350 USS Wasp LHD-1

Reviewed by Sean Hert


The aircraft complement on a Wasp class LHD can vary depending on the mission type and challenges expected. The typical mix of includes helicopters and Harrier VTOL ground attack aircraft. Gallery has provided a good start with a variety of aircraft to choose from, except for the missing USMC UH-1N. Many modelers will want to purchase additional aircraft to fully outfit the airwing.

One thing about the included aircraft in the Wasp kit is all the sprues are in clear plastic. I am not sure why manufacturers continue with this practice, as most modellers do not care for the clear styrene; it is more brittle and harder to work with than the normal grey. Even sprues that have absolutely no need to be, like the CH-53E rotor sprue, have been shot with clear. I'd rather see all the aircraft in grey plastic, or a return to the multi-color sprues seen just a few years ago.

MV-22 Osprey x4

The V-22 Osprey has had a storied birth with many teething problems. Now that the Osprey has entered operational status with many units, the up-tempo activities of the Osprey have shown it to be as versatile as expected. As more units convert to the MV-22 (many are ex- CH-46 units), the much more of the Osprey will be seen around the fleet.

This model of the Osprey is of the normal MV-22 variant. Building the kits will require 2 option decisions; whether to model the wing in a stowed or open position, and if open- whether to position the engine pods in a normal or tilt-lift configuration. The kit includes folded props so the model can be displayed in a compact storage configuration.

CH-53E Super Stallion x4

The CH-53 is a big airchine, and this model certainly demonstrates that. When built with the fully extended blades, the diameter of the rotor is almost as wide as the flight deck on Wasp- and Wasp was designed to operate up to nine of this birds with rotors turning, at once!

The CH-53 is built from 2 sprues, has an option for either stowed or deployed rotors- it is impressively big either way.

AH-1W "Whiskey" Cobra

The Cobra has the distinction of being the first purpose built gunship helo. Now, 40 years later, they are still in service in a -W or "Whiskey Cobra" configuration, and are soon to be replaced with a four-bladed -Z or "Zulu Cobra".

Wasp includes 2 Cobras, both on the same sprue. The engine and "doghouse" under the rotors look more like the earlier USMC AH-1T Cobra, but in this scale it is hardly noticable.

AV-8B Harrier II x2

The Harrier "jump jet" is well known around the world. Originally developed in the UK by British Aerospace, the more recent variants in service with the USMC have been developed in the US. The AV-8B provides fast response ground support to the Marines on the ground, when they need it.

Each Harrier is built from a single sprue. The nose has the square bump of the NAVFLIR (Navigation Forward Looking Infrared). The extended tail spine is a bit oversized. The left fuselage half has the main gear molded on; care should be taken not to damage it.

CH-46E Sea Knight x4

The basic CH-46 design has been around for about 50 years, and this tandem contrarotating rotor medium lift design continues to provide good service to the US Armed Forces. The CH-46E performs many jobs on and around LHD's and the fleet, but it's primary job function is assault support for the USMC.

There are 4 Sea Knights included in this kit, one to each sprue. They have an option for either stowed or extended rotor blades.

SH-60K Seahawk

The addition of this helicopter is a mistake. While on occasion, Wasp does operate various -60 Seahawks, the SH-60 *K* model is a JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force) variant of the JMSDF SH-60J, license built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. It isn't even a US aircraft. It does appear to have the correct window layout for a SH-60K however.


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