Tamiya 1/700 CVE-9 Bogue
USN Escort Carrier
click on thumbnails for full image
During the early days of WW2 the lack of air cover for convoys was made drastically clear, with the heaviest losses to merchant shipping occuring in the so-called 'Black Pit' between North America and Great Britain where land-based air was unable to reach. Establishing bases in Iceland helped, but a better solution was to be found in the design of the escort carrier. Using merchant ship hulls and adding a rudimentary hangar and flight deck the little CVEs were to become one of the weapons responsible for defeating the U-boat menace. In addition to providing convoy escort, they were also used on aircraft transport duties wherever aircraft were needed.
The first of the escort carriers was the British HMS Audacity, this was soon followed by the Japanese Unyo class and the US Long Island. Within months many new US hulls were laid down - the Sangamon and Bogue classes were followed by the 50-strong Casablanca class and the 19 ships of the Commencement Bay Class, although not all were completed.
Recently released by Tamiya is this update of the Pit-Road/Skywave Bogue Class CVE. The kit consists of four sprues in the familiar medium grey, two of which contain the ship components and two the aircraft and anti-aircraft weapons. The lower hull has inserts for the open bow and stern deck sections. Fitted to the top of the lower hull, the hangar deck sides feature nicely moulded details including ladders, doors and closed hangar doors. The flight deck has engraved sections, with raised arrestor wires. And no moulded in marking locators (YAY).
Two sprues are devoted to the aircraft and weapons carried by the ship. These are significantly improved over earlier carrier kits, and actually look like the aircraft depicted. In this case four each of the Corsair, Hellcat, Helldiver and Avenger. 2x5", 8x40mm twin Bofors and 30x20mm Oerlikons are supplied and are little jewels in their own right.
A decal sheet providing names and numbers for all 11 Bogue class ships is provided. However only Barnes, CVE-20 is provided with a flight deck number.
This is a kit I missed picking up when it was first released and have kicked myself ever since. Well I now have one ... whether built out-of-box or with all the PE doodads one can find it will be a nice representation of an important class of ship.
Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for the review sample.
1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00
Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.
PO Box 90933