1/700 L'Arsenal LPD-21
USS New York Special Edition

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS New York LPD-21  is a San Antonio class amphibious transport dock. Her bow stem includes seven and a half tons of steel recovered from the World Trade Center's twin towers. This large ships are replacing the  older Austin, Cleveland, and Trenton class LPDs as well as the Anchorage class dock landing ships. These ships feature a stealthier appearance and can load a substantial amount of troops, vehicles, and helos. The flight deck on the stern typically serves V-22 Osprey and CH-46 Sea Knights. Her stern features a large well deck that can load LCAC's or amphibious vehicles. These ships will be the backbone of US amphibious operations for years to come. 

L'Arsenal has produced the first kit of the San Antonio class in 1/700 waterline. Like many of their new kits, this one began as a CAD model that was used to produce the master. The end result as shown below is a stunning example of the USS New York in miniature. 

 The hull and most of the superstructure is cast in one piece. The casting is very nice and the only flash is at the waterline. Surface detail is very well done and the shapes and edges are sharply defined. The overhanging decks are cast perfectly on top and bottom. The well deck features basic detailing. If you chose to model the well deck doors open, then you might want to add the included photo etch railings around the platforms. The aft flight deck fits almost perfectly and you will not have any problems hiding the seam.  Click images
to enlarge
Shown with flight deck in place.
The flight deck, covered macks, and other details are also well cast. I love the way the macks have no visible casting gates and have little locator lugs that line up with the sockets cast into the top of the superstructure. The deck has a slight warp to it, but a bit of pressure when gluing it down should eliminate that. As you can see above it is barely noticeable. Antenna radoms and smaller structures are cast on resin blocks and are nicely detailed. 
The small guns turrets are cast with amazingly small and thin gun barrels. Antenna and other details are well cast with minimal flash. 
The rolling airframe missile launchers are well done and nicely detailed. A large and small RHIB are provided as well as plenty of life raft canisters. 
Two LCAC assualt landing craft are included. These are nicely detailed with most of the superstructure cast on. Separate engine and fan shrouds are provided as well as a nice photo etch fret. A nicely rendered decal sheet is included with numbers and warning stripes. The shapes appear to match photos of the real thing. This set is also available as a separate set. 
Two V-22 Osprey's are provided. These feature separate tail sections, and engine nacelles. Photo etch blades, landing gear and gear doors complete the assembly. The main castings look a little intimidating due to the thin strip of resin that supports the thin wings. These are easily removed with a sharp knife and shouldn't present any problems to those who have worked with resin kits. These aircraft are also available separately as set #AC-700-41 if you need more than 2. 
Four CH46 are provided also with photo etch blades and landing gear. The blades are included as deployed and folded so you have a choice of how to display them. Note some of my photos show five helos, but there are only four in the kit. The fifth one is from an extra set that I have. You can also purchase these separately as set #AC-700-40.. 
Photo etch figures from set number 700-33, also available separately are included to give the ship some life on the decks. These relief etch figures are provided in a number of lifelike poses from standing to kneeling down to service the helos. There are 154 of the figures, more than enough to populate this ship and then some. 
A relief etched brass photo etch fret includes the railings, platforms and boat cradles. Also included is safely netting, ladders and other fine details.
A sharply rendered decal sheet includes flight deck  markings, A variety of ship names and hull numbers will let you build other ships in the class. 
The instructions are nine pages of CAD illustrations showing the various parts locations in color. There is a Bill of Materials identifying the various parts. These are some of the best illustrated instructions I have seen in the resin ship business. The only thing additional I would have liked to see would be a plan and elevation line drawing. However these are more than enough to build this kit right. 
These photos are from L'Arsenal's website showing the resin parts assembled. A graphical illustration shows how the ship should look when finished. 
This new kit is a worthy representation of the USS New York just in time for the 10th anniversary of 911. It features the typical high quality casting we have come to expect from L'Arsenal with plenty of detail and lots of extras. 
The first release sold out within days. Get your own example of what most likely will be the most detailed example of this ship to hit the market. This kit is available direct from L'Arsenal in France for 90 EU or From Tony Bunch @ L'Arsenal USA here in the statesfor $99.