Bronco Models 1/350
USS New York LPD-21

Reviewed by Sean Hert
January 2013
USS New York LPD-21 is the fifth ship in the San Antonio class of amphibious transport docks. USS New York is unique for many reasons, but most importantly in commemoration of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. In honor and memory of this tragedy, around 7 tons of steel from the Towers was melted down and cast as the bow of the ship. Two other ships in the class have also been named in honor of the 9/11 attacks; Arlington and Somerset, both under construction. 

This class will be the only US Navy vessels with a "ship to shore" aspect in the future, as the America Class LHA does not have a well deck. As such, these ships will play a vital and integral role in future amphibious operations and Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW). 


  • Length: 684 feet (208 meters) OA: 661' (201 meters) waterline.
  • Beam: 105 feet (32 meters)
  • Draft: 23'
  • Displacement: approx. 25,000t full load
USS New York's weapons are defensive in nature; her offensive arms are her Marines and their equipment. To ensure the safety of her embarked USMC components, New York is equipped with 2 Mk29 21-cell Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers, 2 30mm Bushmaster II cannons and numerous M2 .50 machine guns.

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

  • AAV-7A1 Tracked Amphibious vehicles (x2) 
  • M1A1 Main Battle Tank (x2) 
  • M1114 Up-Armored Tactical Vehicle (HMMWV) (x2) 
    • MH-60S Knighthawk 
    • MV-22B Osprey (x2) 
    • CH-53E Sea Dragon (x2) 
    • CH-46 Sea Knight (x2) 
    • AV-8B Harrier II 
    • Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)(x2) 
Bronco's New York is molded as a large two piece hull with waterline option. It is solidly cast, with thick plastic sides with internal stiffeners to make the hull more rigid. There is another large single piece upper hull/deck with attached most of the primary superstructure molded in. This is increasingly common with modern low-observability ships with the large monolithic appearance. The lower hull has ten holes for corresponding posts on the bottom of the upper half to aid in alignment and to mate the upper and lower hull halves. However, even with these additions it was not possible to align these parts successfully; full-hull modelers will need to do some tweaking, perhaps shaving of some posts, to these to align fully. 

The hull has surface cleats molded on, another common detail of modern warships. The large anchor bolsters look good, but the primary embarkation hatches are a little overdone. Also, there are a few other hatches missing from the hull section.

The superstructure is a large single piece which goes atop the primary upper hull. Like with the hull halves, the superstructure has internal stiffeners, locator posts and numerous "fingers" to help securely attach the large part to the hull. These efforts to make the superstructure more solidly mount actually make things much more difficult, if not impossible. The variety of vents and hatches appear correct in number, shape and placement. The grill/louver surface texture of these is very subtle, and should weather nicely with a wash or drybrush. The flightdeck/helo pad has the molded on tie downs, which appear slightly deep, but not overly so. There are raised details for deck markings, which should aid both those who wish to paint and those modelers who use the included decals. 

Sprue A has the bulkheads and deck for the interior of the aircraft hangar, the twin rudders, screws and prop shafts which drive New York at speeds greater than 22 knots. There is also an additional starboard bulkhead a basic UNREP station molded on for the boat deck amidships, and two wing platforms for the port and starboard AN/SLQ-32 ECM suite. 

The blades on the screws are a little thick, but look good, as do the rudders. The shafts and shaft bearings have some heavy mold lines, and look overly thick, soft, and out of scale. The hangar deck has some nice subtle tie-downs, but the hangar bulkheads are somewhat plain. 

B has the bow deck and parts to assemble the shrouded main mast, as well as the stern and two styles of well deck door. This door can be modeled either open or closed; when in an opened position, the door is split into an upper and lower portion, with the lower portion becoming a ramp into the well deck. 

Most of the details for the bow will be added later, including anchor capstans and *20* bollards. 

Sprue C has three large bulkheads; one for the front of the superstructure and includes the pilothouse and bridge, one for the rear of the superstructure, which include primary flight operations and the hangar door, and one for the well deck/vehicle deck. There is also the deckhouse which is placed before the bridge where the forward 20mm Bushmaster III cannon lives. Also featured prominently on this sprue is the one-piece bulbous bow for attaching to the lower hull. 
Sprue D a large one-piece part for sides and vehicle ramp of the well deck, the exhaust stack, and the parts to make the shrouded foremast. 

The well deck walkways and sides are disappointingly plain- no rubber or wooden bumpers, no fixtures, hose reels, overhead cranes, etc. If you want to model your Bronco LPD with the well deck ramp open, a large amount of scratchbuilding will be required. 

This sprue has many of the details for New York; ship's boats, RAM launchers, Bushmaster turrets, .50 M2 Browning machine guns, life raft canisters, decoy launcher tubes and ECM emitters, along with some antenna domes. 

The Mk 144 21-tube RAM launchers look like they will build up into a nice assembly. The M2 Brownings, which come with a full shield, are very overscale. The AN/SLQ-32 emitters are a bit plain, but should suffice. 

One of the two sprue "E"'s also included the deckhouse with the base for the foremast which is placed atop the forward superstructure over the bridge. 

This small sprue of clear styrene has windows for the bridge and helo deck control.

Bronco's USS New York kit comes with two Landing Craft, Air-Cushion (LCAC) vehicles, but no LCU's. These hovercraft allow rapid ship-to-shore delivery of anything from Abrams tanks to fresh water. Each LCAC is built from a two-fret sprue, and are each a detailed model in their own right. While these craft only have an inflated skirt option, the detail of the skirt is high. The two deckhouses are multi-part and highly detailed, as are the FOD screens for the ducted fans at the rear.
This kit comes supplied with a selection of embarked ground vehicles, but no deck vehicles for handling aircraft or cargo.


M1A1 Abrams


Bronco has included five different types of aircraft in this kit; two "VTOL" and 3 helicopters. 
  • MH-60S Knighthawk 
  • MV-22B Osprey (x2) 
  • CH-53E Sea Dragon (x2) 
  • CH-46 Sea Knight (x2) 
  • AV-8B Harrier II 
The clear styrene parts all have a texture to them, as opposed to the normal smooth finish seen on clear accessories, like aircraft. This should aid in painting, since the paint will have some "grab" and be less likely to bead up due to surface tension. 
The USMC Harrier has four parts, with three additional optional ones; a replacement canopy and two 300-gal external drop tanks. 

AV-8B Harrier II
The basic CH-46 design has been around for about 50 years, and this tandem contra-rotating 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 2 Sea Knights included in this kit, one to each sprue. They have an option for either folded or extended rotor blades.

CH-46E Sea Knight
The MH-60S variant of the Seahawk, aka "Knighthawk", is a multi-mission variant designed to replace the venerable CH-46, primarily troop transport and vertical replenishment (VERTREP). This model is built from both clear parts and grey plastic, and includes deployed blades- the only folded blade option is included in photoetch. 

MH-60S "Knighthawk" 
The CH-53E is built from 2 sprues like the MH-60S, and is impressively big.

MH-53E Sea Dragon
The MV-22, like the MH-53 and the LCAC, is a highly detailed model in it's own right. The parts allow for building the Osprey with the wing and rotor blades either deployed or stowed, and engine pods rotated for forward or vertical flight.

MV-22B Osprey

Bronco has included some photoetch for the New York as well. The largest fret has a nameplate, railings and the sliding doors to cover the RHIB. The remaining frets carry details for the MH-53, MH-60S and the LCAC (x2 frets of each) 
The large block display stand is included.
There are 2 sheets of decals included in New York; 1 of deck markings for New York herself, one markings for the aircraft. Included with the deck markings is a large American flag decal.
The instructions for New York are in a nice full-color booklet format. There are multiple assembly steps in each instruction, with guidance icons (Use metal glue, do not cement, etc.) 

Overall, Bronco's USS New York appears to be a well-researched and accurate model, with some great details and accessories. The difficulty fitting the hull halves and superstructure are not necessarily an indicator of the fit for the rest of the kit- in fact, it is rare to find a modern plastic model that fits poorly anymore. The bland well deck is a disappointment, but many modelers will opt to build New York with the well deck ramp/door closed, so this isn't a "deal breaker"- but a little more detail would have been nice. Still, this is a great kit, and will look great in anyone's growing 1/350 Gator Navy! 

Thanks to Dragon USA for review sample. The USS New York is kit no. NB-5024 with a retail price of $199.99.