USS Lexington 'Blue Ghost'

Published: February 28th, 2016     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Keith Gervasi, IPMS# 44177
Scale: 1/525
Company: Round 2 Models
Price: $44.95
Product / Stock #: HL436/12

History

An Essex-class carrier commissioned in 1943, she set more records than any other Essex Class carrier. The Lexington was the oldest working aircraft carrier in the United States Navy when decommissioned in 1991. The Lexington was originally named the USS Cabot but while final construction was being completed at Massachusetts' Fore River Shipyard word was received that the original carrier named USS LEXINGTON, CV-2, had been sunk and the new carrier's name was changed to LEXINGTON. The nickname 'Blue Ghost' came about due to the Japanese claiming to have sunk the ship 4 times.

The Kit

This kit was first introduced in 1954 as the USS Wasp and many of us have seen it boxed as the USS Yorktown and now Lexington. Upon opening the box you will find two bags of grey injected plastic, a 4 page instruction sheet, decal sheet, wire and a shaped piece of cardboard (Hangar deck). The plastic has a lot of flash and many pin marks and there are a few pieces where the molds do not quite line up right (e.g. the barrels of the 5" turrets are oval). The aircraft are all F6F Hellcats and look pretty good considering these date from the 50s'. The decals look a bit out of register and might be a little thick.

Construction

10 steps are all that is needed for this kit which, with 156 pieces, doesn't sound right but remember that 32 are aircraft and 28 are the 20mm guns. Steps 1-4 deal with the mating of the hull & flight deck/hangar deck along with the various gun positions on the hull and props & shafts. All went together fairly easy and I was a bit surprised at how well it all fit. Steps 5-7 are the construction of the island and it's fairly simple & basic and went together pretty well. Steps 8-10 are the addition of the finished island, 5" mounts, elevators, aircraft and all of the light AA guns around the flight deck.

Finishing

I used Testors Model Master enamels 5-N Navy Blue and 20-B Weather Deck Blue for the upper surfaces and a mix of Acryl Rust & Insignia Red for the hull. The aircraft were painted with Tamiya Sea Blue (Yes, I know they should be in the tri-color scheme but this was easier.) The decals are thick and do not want to set down even after a couple applications of Micro-Set, Micro-Sol AND Solvaset. I decided to just do 20 aircraft just because they are all Hellcats...and my fingers got tired with these small decals!

Conclusion

This kit shows its age and after fixing a few pin marks and mold seam lines I decided to just build it and have fun....and it was! This is not a bad kit for its age and would be a good kit for younger modelers to start with. Is it accurate? No, but back when it came out and for years after it was pretty neat to have a carrier model with a FULL flight deck. I recommend this kit to anyone and everyone as it is good for beginners and for us older folks a good nostalgia build.

I would like to thank Round 2 for supplying this kit and the review corps for letting me build it (My mom never would buy this for me!) and all of you for reading this. MODEL ON!!!

  • Contents
    Contents
  • Bow
    Bow
  • Island
    Island
  • Stern
    Stern
  • Top view
    Top view
  • Top view
    Top view
  • Starboard side
    Starboard side
  • Port side
    Port side

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