The USS Enterprise was the second Yorktown-class aircraft carrier and the only one of its class to survive the Second World War. Commissioned in 1938, Enterprise was forward deployed to Pearl Harbor in 1940 along with other ships of the Pacific Fleet. When the Japanese planned their attack on Pearl Harbor, their intelligence sources had indicated that the aircraft carriers Enterprise, Saratoga and Lexington would be there. On December 7th, Enterprise was returning from delivering VMF-211 to Wake Island. The Enterprise entered the damaged harbor later in the day to refuel and resupply before setting out to screen the Hawaiian islands from another attack.
The ‘Big E’ escorted USS Hornet a few months later when the latter launched Doolittle’s B-25s for their famous attack on Japan. In fact, Enterprise was present at most of the battles for the Pacific though the Japanese managed to damage the ship several times during the course of the war. In December, 1944, Enterprise was modified to embark an air group that was equipped for night fighting, earning her the first designation as CV(N) 6. With that special capability, the Enterprise was able to keep air cover over Iwo Jima for 178 continuous hours.
After being hit by a kamikaze in May 1945, Enterprise returned to Puget Sound for repairs and was in the process of returning to service when the war ended in Japan. She was reconfigured to support Operation Magic Carpet to ferry troops home from Europe, completing three such voyages. By the end of 1945, Enterprise was decommissioned as the Navy had sufficient Essex-class carriers in service for its post-war requirements.
You may recall that Academy released a new-tool 1/700 USS Missouri kit in their easy-to-build series using multi-colored plastic which was followed by the same kit in a ‘Modeler’s Edition’ release which included photo-etched parts and paint masks. When Academy announced a new-tool USS Enterprise in a ‘Modeler’s Edition’, I didn’t know what to expect. This new kit has arrived on the bench – let’s take a look.
This new-tool USS Enterprise is NOT a snap-together kit. The basic kit is a standard glue-together design which has some nice details and options, and this ‘modeler’s edition’ also includes paint masks and photo-etched parts. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on ten parts trees plus upper hull, plus one tree molded in red plus lower hull, and one tree molded in black. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Choice of full hull or waterline hull display
- Optional display stand for full-hull option (black parts tree)
- Complete hangar-level deck
- Gun decks provided fore and aft
- Utility boats and davits
- One piece flight deck
- Separately molded fore and aft elevators
- Elevators can be posed at flight deck or hangar deck levels
- Detailed island superstructure
- Photo-etched railings
- Photo-etched radar
- Photo-etched ladders
In addition, the kit includes the following aircraft compliment:
- 6 x F4F Wildcat
- 6 x TBD Devastator
- 6 x SBD Dauntless
This kit also has a sheet of yellow-tape masks that cover the deck, catwalks, gun emplacements, and upper decks. These will make the task of painting the ship easier to execute.
The kit depicts the Big E as it appeared early in the war as the painting diagram shows the colors for Measure 11 (not identified in the instructions) as well as the early-war aircraft compliement. If you go to your references, you’ll see other markings and details you’ll need to depict the Enterprise before the war or late-war. In any case, this is a nice release that modelers will enjoy adding to their shelves.
(Description courtesy of cybermodeler.com)