JAG's 1/700 USCG Bear

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The US Coast Guard Cutter Bear WMEC 901 was laid on August 23, 1979, launched on September 25, 1980, and formally commissioned on February 4, 1983. She is one of  thirteen “Famous Class” 270-foot medium endurance cutters. At 1,800 tons these are fairly large ships and are well suited for ocean going search and rescue as well as coastal protection and enforcement. The Bear has made 18 significant drug seizures involving 12 marijuana and 6 cocaine busts during her career. She has operated not only along our coast lines, but also as far away as the Mediterranean in support of the Kosvo operations. The Bear is currently home ported in Portsmouth, VA. and as of 2005 continues to serve.
Length OA 270'
Length WL 255'
Beam 38'
Draft 14.5'
Navigational Draft 18'
Displacement 1,800 tons
Speed 19.5 Knots
Armament 1 x 76 mm/62 Cal AA Mk75 Main gun
2 x 50 M2 N
If you want to add something besides Haze Gray to your waterline fleet, this may be the kit for you. This modern Coast Guard Cutter will really stand out in your fleet. The hull and superstructure are cast as one piece greatly simplifying the construction of this kit. The casting is sharp and clean, with no visible defects to be seen. The deck has a fair amount of detail cast on, and chocks and bollards are well formed. The bridge windows really stand out thanks to the deeply recessed windows. The overhanging surfaces on the stern are also remarkably cast without any problems. Click images
to enlarge
The retractable helicopter shelter is cast separately with the door structure. 76 mm gun turrets and other items such as the rescue raft and boat are well cast. There is only a light bit of flash on these parts, nothing that will present a problem with removal. There is an SH-60 Helo included in the kit. This is nicely cast but not typical of the helo's that operated off these ships. A couple lengths of plastic rod are also included for the mast parts. click to enlarge
A nice brass photo etch fret is provided with the railings and safety nets. Four bladed helo props are supplied in folded and deployed mode. A lattice platform for the Mark 92 radar dome, RDO antenna, radar, and yardarms for the mast complete the fret.
The decals are sharp and well registered. Hull numbers for ships 901-113 as well as ships names are supplied. The large Red, White, and Blue stripes found on Coast Guard ships are really sharp for this scale. You also get helo deck markings, flags, and other USCG crests.
The instructions consist of a B-sized sheet (11" x 17"). This a little beyond the max. size of my scanner, so the instructions are scanned as two images and merged. One side shows an exploded view of all the components with leaders showing their placement. This is done for port and starboard sides. For additional information check the USCG Bear website.
This kit can be used to build any of these 270-Foot WMECs in service
  •  USCGC BEAR (WMEC 901), Portsmouth, VA
  • USCGC TAMPA (WMEC 902), Portsmouth, VA
  • USCGC HARRIET LANE (WMEC 903), Portsmouth, VA
  • USCGC NORTHLAND (WMEC 904), Portsmouth, VA
  • USCGC SPENCER (WMEC 905), Boston, MA
  • USCGC SENECA (WMEC 906), Boston, MA
  • USCGC ESCANABA (WMEC 907), Boston, MA
  • USCGC TAHOMA (WMEC 908), New Bedford, MA
  • USCGC CAMPBELL (WMEC 909), New Bedford, MA
  • USCGC THETIS (WMEC 910), Key West, FL
  • USCGC FORWARD (WMEC 911), Portsmouth, VA
  • USCGC LEGARE (WMEC 912), Portsmouth, VA
  • USCGC MOHAWK (WMEC 913), Key West, FL

This kit has been around for a little while, but is still a very nice kit. It features the fine casting that JAG has become known for. This would be a great first resin kit for the 1/700 scale modeler who would like to try resin. It is very complete and builds nicely out of the box. This kit is # JAG 019 USCG Bear  listing for $35.00 US. It is available direct from JAG or wherever fine model ships are sold.

© ModelWarships.com