JAG's 1/700
USS Newport LST-1179

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Newport was the lead ship of a new class of tank landing ship. Unlike earlier LST's with large clamshell doors in the bow, this ship employed a 30 ton, 112 foot bow ramp that was hoisted into place with the two derrick arms that project out from the bow. This arrangement allows for  unloading of tanks and other vehicles directly ashore. Additionally, amphibious vehicles can be launched from the rear directly into the water via the ship's stern gate. Several floating barges are carried on the sides of the stern. These are lowered into the water and moved into position to form a causeway to unload tanks and truck ashore. The ship's flight deck can also accommodate most Navy helicopter types, although helicopters are not normally deployed. While this ship might seem a little limited in it's capabilities, it is designed to operate in conjunction with other Amphibious types such as the Austin Class LPD and larger LHA's such as the Tarawa.
Displacement 5,190 t. (lt.) , 8,792 t. (fl).
Length 522' 3" (ovl)
Beam 70' (max.)
Draft, max. forward (fl) 13' 6", max. aft (fl) 16' 3" 15'
Speed 20 kts
Complement 14 Officers, 15 CPO, 226 Enlisted; Troop Capacity 18 Officers, 21 SNCO 268 Enlisted
Boats, two 36' LCPL
Aircraft, flight deck one spot
Armament two twin 3"/50 gun mounts, As built
Later upgraded to; two .25 mm chain guns, six .50 cal machine guns, one 20 mm Phalanx (CIWS)
Propulsion, six 16 cylinder ALCO propulsion diesel engines, two shafts, three engines per shaft; two controllable reversible pitch propellers, shaft horsepower 16,000; twin rudders, one fixed pitch bow thruster, 800 hp. 
The latest addition to the growing line of Cold War "Gator Navy" ships released by JAG Collective is the USS Newport, a new generation Tank Landing ship. Like the other kits this one come packed in it's distinctive JAG tube, with the individual components wrapped in plastic bags. The hull is also protected with a foam insert that will prevent it from moving around in the tube.

This kit can be used for any of the Newport Class LST's from LST-1179 to LST-1198, and with a little updating a modernized version. Out of the box it is a dead on match for a 60's to early 70's LST in their as built configuration.

The hull is well cast in the usual JAG style with sharp detailing and crisp molding. There is no evidence of warping and the hull sits flat on the table. The superstructure is molded on the hull, so there is very little to assemble on this kit, which should greatly reduce your assembly time. Surface detailing is crisp and clean and the splinter shields are thin and well defined. The rear of the hull is opened up in case you want to detail the well deck, but you might want to remove a little more material to make it look convincing. 

Click images
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The few extra parts on molded on several wafers of thin resin. The twin 3"-50 cal mounts look nice, as do the floating dock sections. There are several deck winches and even a deck tractor. Several extra strips of styrene and plastic rod are included so you won't have any last minute runs to the hobby store to finish your kit.
The photo etch fret includes railings, and mast parts. If you have never used photo etch you wont be intimidated by this set, it is quite workable. If you want to go all out you might add some inclined ladders, but otherwise everything you need is there.
The decal set includes enough numbers to do any ship in the class, and also includes the ships names. Flags, deck markings, warning circles, striping, and the "E" for efficiency are also included.  The sheet is white on white so it does not scan well.
Instructions consist of the front and back of an 11" x 17" sheet. Parts breakdown and elevation views are included on one side with an exploded view on the other. There is plenty of information here to build this kit, without having to do a lot of extra research. 

A great little kit, a good choice for your first resin kit. The one weakness of this kit is that the loading ramp is cast onto the deck. I would prefer that this be a separate part in case you wanted to show the ship unloading. Never the less with a retail price of about $55.00, it is a great value for anyone wanting to build a unique ship.

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