|The USNS Kilauea was the first of a new
class of ammunition ships specifically designed to handle ordinance and
transfer it while underway to other warships. Handling explosives takes
a specialized class of ships, and these ships are purpose designed to handle
them in a safe way. These ships are able to make 20 knots underway on their
modest size hulls, fast enough to keep up with US Navy task forces. There
are eight total ships in the class:
The ships can do UNREP and VERTEP via the Sea Knight helos that operate
off the flight deck on the stern. Most of the ships have been transferred
to the Military Sealift Command and have had their armament removed. This
new kit from Ship & Co. represents the Kilauea while she was still
armed with 3" guns in two twin mounts. Some of her sisters also had a second
set of these guns mounted on the aft superstructure.
|The hull on this kit is well casting in waterline style. Detailing is sharp as evidenced by the deck winch with anchor chain detail on the bow. There are a few places where the bulkheads are cast a little to thin, so be careful in handling them. My sample has a couple of voids that will have to be filled in.||Click images
|The superstructure parts are well cast on thin resin wafers. The details are sharp and well defined. The various structures all have a quite a bit of surface detailing present.|
|The various UNREP booms and other parts are fairly well cast with some cleanup needed. There is a light film of flash on many of the thin parts, but it seam to clean up easily with a hobby knife. Two Sea Knight helicopters are included that look very nice. Photo etch rotors are provided (see below) and the landing gear are cast on.|
|There are actually four separates frets all etching in stainless steel. One fret contains radar assemblies these are nicely done. The second fret contains helicopter rotors. There are three different types of rotors supplied. You will only need the ones on the left. I folded and one deployed set is provided. A fret of railings and safety netting are also provided.|
|The decal sheet provided is stocked with all kinds of colorful markings. They are well registered and very sharp. Hull numbers, Battle "E"s and deck markings are included. There are also markings for other ships included. Perhaps a preview of good things to come.|
|The instructions are three pages with photos of the assembly
process. Photos of the model with notes showing the parts locations are
provided These are barely adequate in my opinion. What is needed here are
some clear line drawings, perhaps a plan and elevation view and some instructions
for the photo etch. A nice kit like this deserves nice instructions.
An impressive kit, especially for a new company. It is really nice to see new subjects in 1/700 scale. No doubt there will be a lot of happy modern Navy fans out there now. Ships & Co. products are produced in Italy and available direct from LaModellistica for € 85.00 or roughly $133.50 at the current exchange rate. You can also find them at your favorite online ship model vendors. Look for more exciting cold war and modern Navy subjects from them in the future.