Gallery Models 1/350
USS Wasp LHD-1

Reviewed by Sean Hert

USS Wasp LHD-1 is the lead ship in a class of amphibious assualt ships designed as a continuation and improvement upon the earlier LHA class. With a stronger and larger flight deck and improved design well deck, the Wasp class is even more efficent and versatile in offloading and supporting the US Marine Corps and their missions.

Wasp has the distinction of being the largest man-made object rolled across land when she was moved into drydock for launching. Launched in 1987 and commissioned in 1989, Wasp has had a busy career executing both miliary and humanitarian relief operations. From Operation Restore Hope off Somalia, to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Wasp has been and important part of modern US diplomacy and power projection.

Wasp was the first ship to go operational with the MV-22 Osprey, when VMM-263 (-ex HMM-263) deployed aboard in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007


  • Length: 844 feet (253.2 meters)
  • Beam: 106 feet (31.8 meters)
  • Draft: 26.5'
  • Displacement: approx. 41,000t full load

USS Wasp's weapons are defensive in nature; her offensive arms are her Marines and their equipment. To ensure the safety of her embarked USMC components, Wasp is equipped with 2 NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, 2 Mk29 21-cell Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers, 2 Phalanx CIWS, 2 25mm Bushmaster cannons and numerous M2 .50 machine guns.

The assault vehicles, equipment and aircraft included in the kit is comprised of:

USMC Assault Vehicles

  • 2 M60A3 Patton Tanks
  • 2 M1A1 Abrams Tanks
  • 2 AAV-7A1 Amphibious Assault Vehicles
  • 2 MTVR (listed as "MVTR") Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (Truck)
  • 2 M1114 HMMWV or "Humvee" Up-Armored Armament Carrier
  • 2 M1097 HMMWV Heavy
  • 2 LAV-25
  • 2 M198 Towed 155mm Howitzer


  • 4 MV-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotors
  • 4 CH-46E Sea Knight Helicopters
  • 4 CH-53E Sea Stallion Helicopters
  • 2 AH-1W Cobra Helicopter Gunships
  • 2 SH-60K Seahawk Helicopter

Ship's Complement

  • 2 LCU Landing Craft
  • 2 LCAC Landing Hovercraft
  • 10 Flight Deck Tractors
  • 2 Flight Deck "Tilly" Cranes

This kit by newcomer Gallery Models is a stunner. The large box is surprisingly heavy, until you open it and see it is packed tightly with sprues of goodies. Everything is well packaged and delicate parts are rapped in light foam for protection.


Wasp is molded as a large single piece hull with no waterline option. It is solidly cast, with thick plastic sides to stiffen the hull against warpage. This dimensional stability will be enhanced with the addition of the flight deck, as well was the hanger and well decks in the after half of the hull. The only parts of the main hull that are molded separately are the bulbous forefoot and bilge keels.

There is no indicated waterline, and there are some additional stiffing strakes on the inside of the hull; waterlining this hull will be slightly more challenging than most.

The hull has many surface details molded on. This high level of detail is well executed, and looks great. The conduits and pipes running along the hull, and the hangar and deck openings are nicely done, and are a precursor to much of the bulkhead details to be seen later in the kit. The large anchor bolsters are present, and the inset deck edge elevators are nicely done, as well as various hull openings and hatches around the hull. The bottom of the hull shows some slight mold lines, but they will be easily removed with some light sanding.

The kit measures out to about 27" long at the waterline and about 28 7/8" overall, which is pretty close to the indicated 29". It's also very close in beam, about 3.5". Both the length and beam measurements are within my margin of error.


There are three different decks, comprised of 4 parts in this kit. The long single piece flight/main deck is first, followed by the single piece hanger deck, which also forms the overhead of the well deck, and the 2 piece well deck/vehicle deck. The flight deck also has underside detail to form the overhead of the hanger deck.

The flight deck covers almost the entire length of the ship. Covered with molded-in tie-downs, the deck is also inscribed with the locations of the deck markings. The flight deck also has many small protruding platforms, for various antenna and other uses. The cross bar parts of the tie-downs are not quite flush with the decks, but the tie-downs themselves look about the same size as a main gear wheel on the aircraft.

Flight Deck

The hanger deck is also dotted with tie downs, and has locators for the bulkheads and repair facilities. There are also notches indicating where the hangar doors to the elevators will be positioned.

Hanger Deck

The well deck is made up of two deck sections. A shorter upper deck section for vehicle prep with a ramp leading down to wet well deck. Each deck piece is detailed with the appropriate surfaces.

Well Deck

Well Deck

Sprue A is one of the larger sprues in this Wasp kit, with a great variety of parts on it. From the two aircraft elevators to the props, shaft and rudders are all here. Both of the ship's boats are also here, as well as many smaller detail parts like radars, platforms and antenna.


B is also a large sprue, but in this case is mainly concerned with the large number of life raft capsules that will surround the edges of the flight deck. As Wasp class ships not only have a large compliment, but can also carry up to 2,000 United State Marines, a large number of capsules would be required in case of loss. One of the ships large anchors, and some impressive looking winches are also present.


Sprue C has a mix of weapons on it, some of which are impressive little models themselves. The Phalanx CIWS, RAM launcher and Sea Sparrow launchers all look to be highly detailed and impressive parts. The various RBOC launchers and ECM antenna are also a nice touch. The .50 BMG and 25mm Bushmaster Mk 38 guns for close range self defense leave a bit to be desired however.


This is a simple sprue, with railings, walkways and the bilge keels.


This sprue continues with the deck edge walkways of sprue D. All the walkways have detail on the underside as well, simulating girders and other supports.


Sprue F has the main bulkheads of the well deck, and the bulbous bow extention missing from the hull. The well deck has nice detail, with a continuation of the wooden pads seen on the earlier well deck parts. The walkways above the well are molded with watertight doors, conduit and other details, but the prominent battle lights and fluorescent lights of the well deck are missing. Also missing are some cranes and other lift equipment for the overhead of the well deck, as well as railings for the walkways. That being said, the details that are present are crisp and fine.


Sprue G has bulkheads for the upper well deck, as well as some of the hangar deck.


H is mostly bulkheads and other parts for detailing the hangar deck. The nice bulkhead details, like the watertight doors and conduits, really stand out here. Some of the conduits running along the bulkheads are hair-thin.


Sprue J is reminescent of A, with many small detail parts. Many of these parts are various antennas for the monolithic superstucture/bridge. Also like sprue A, parts for one of the two exhaust stacks are also here, and some various platforms and lattice structures.


Sprue K is made up of large flat structures; mostly the bulkheads needed to make the aformentioned monolithic superstucture/bridge atop the flight deck. There is also the small deck for the fantail and after Sea Sparrow mount.

WA x2

Sprue WA is the tractors, Tilly cranes and other vehicles at service the Wasp's air wing. There are 2 types of forklifts, tow tractors, fire fighting trucks and even the NAN-2 Nitrogen servicing unit for airing up tires!

Deck Vehicles


This kit comes supplied with a large variety of vehicles, aircraft and equipment. From tanks and amphibious assault vehicles, to the aircraft complement and the landing craft needed to get Wasp's combat vehicles and Marines ashore, this kit has them. I am not sure about the choice to include a M60A3- I don't believe the USMC was ever actually issued them, and the lack of a UH-1N is as disappointing as the inclusion of a SH-60K.

To simplify the layout of this review, Wasp's accessories have been listed on seperate pages;

  1. USMC Assault Vehicles

  2. Aircraft

  3. Landing Craft


Wasp comes with 3 photoetch frets, labeled ETCH A and ETCH B (x2). These frets include some optional brass parts, like railings and ladders, to upgrade the plastic ones in the kit. The instructions call out when these optional pieces can be used. Not many kits include a full set of photoetch railings, so this is a nice touch. Be forewarned, these railings are not pre-shaped, and proper use will require some research by the builder.

Fret A

Fret B
A free standing nameplate is included
The standard display base is included.

There are 2 sheets of decals included in Wasp; 1 of deck markings for Wasp herself, one for the LCAC's, one for the AV-8B's, and a combined sheet for all the included helos.


A 36 page instruction book is included, using familiar construction order and methods. The only real options the modeler needs to decide upon during the build is whether to have the hangar doors and well deck door positioned opened or closed. Presumably, if you build the hangar doors both closed, you can skip the rest of the hangar construction and painting. The same goes for the well deck. One thing missing is some indications for the proper stowage or securing the LCU's or LCAC's aboard Wasp.

One thing that may affect some builder's styles- some steps show the ship inverted, bottom up, for application of some parts to the underside of the walkways and platforms around the flight deck.

A full color double-sided poster showing the painting steps for Wasp and all the on-board craft are included. Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol colors are shown on a paint reference chart. Some of the camo choices for the USMC vehicles are questionable, and the modeler should research appropriate camo schemes for the vehicles and time period being modeled.


From the look of the kit; the plastic, the sprue layout and the instructions, there can be no real doubt that Gallery is a Trumpeter imprint. That said, this USS Wasp is an impressive kit, loaded with great detail and packed with accessories. I do wish the kit included UH-1N's instead of the laughable SH-60K's, especially since Trumpeter already makes both SH-60J's and MH-60's in 1/350. Beyond that, this Gator Navy Wasp is a great addition to the modern 1/350 ships available, and will soon be wowing people at your local model clubs and contests. Highly Recommended!

Thanks to MRC for the pre-release review sample. Gallery Models is a new line exclusively imported into the USA by MRC. This kit should be showing up in your local hobby shops soon (March 2010). It is kit #64001 and retail price is $249.98.