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USS Independence LCS-2

Manufacturer: DML/Cyberhobby
Scale: 1/700
Product No: 7092-3
MSRP: $30.95
Materials: Injection molded styrene, photoetched brass, waterslide decals
Available from: All good hobby shops
Text By: Neal Izumi Photos By: Valentine Bueno

Check Out Club Meeting: June 2010 Meeting

Featured In: June 2010 Newsletter

The USS Independence is one of the navy’s latest warships to enter service (2009), and is immediately distinguishable by its radical trimaran hull and low observable faceted shape. The LCS designation stands for “Littoral Combat Ship,” meaning that is was designed for coastal shoreline duties rather than deep water operations.

The Kit

I normally don’t build 1/700 ship models, so I would like to apologize for my ignorance ahead of time. (Like Danny Glover’s character said in Lethal Weapon: “What’s there to know? There’s the front, there’s the back, and there’s water all around.”) Salient sales points abound on the now standard DML/Cyberhobby kit box. I like this approach, as it tells the customer a lot about the product inside.

Okay, here’s the short version. The plastic parts are cleanly molded, with optional waterline or full hull. The waterline hull appears to be slightly warped. The full hull fit okay. A display stand is included for the full hull option. Other options include open or closed hangar, side and rear hull doors. Slide molded parts are in abundance, and a photo-etched fret is provided for the landing pad safety net, as well as a number of other bits. Curiously, no hand rails are provided for the upper hull. A generic sprue provides parts for the SH-60 Seahawk, as well as tons of bits and pieces for the spares box. A teeny, tiny decal sheet with a bunch of teeny, tiny markings is provided, and includes the striping for the helo deck as well as markings for the Seahawk. Be sure you have your Optivisor handy when building this kit!

The instruction sheet calls out Gunze H61/35 for the main hull and H22/13 for the deck, but the color index chart does not list what the colors are! (They are IJN Grey and Neutral Grey, respectively.) In fact, the color callouts are largely unused. What gives, DML?

Conclusion

DML/Cyberhobby’s LCS-2 is a nice model which should build up pretty quickly thanks to the simple low RCS design of the ship. I figure that 1/700 modelers who care about the missing P/E hand rails will already have spare ones lying about, and those who don’t care will…uh…not care! The cool shape of the ship will probably attract even non-ship modelers like myself. Due to some tiny parts and P/E, this kit is recommended for intermediate modelers.

The decal sheet and P/E fret that are included in the kit.

The decal sheet and P/E fret that are included in the kit.

The stealthy design of the LCS-2 means that parts count is low.

The kit has two optional lower hulls for full hull or waterline display.