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USS Hornet CV-8




Trumpeter's 1/350 scale Hornet may be ordered online from Squadron.com


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 05601
Scale: 1/350
Contents and Media: 433 plastic parts; 720mm (28") long and 100mm (4") wide
Price: USD$110.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: QuickLook
Advantages: Excellent quality moulding; high level of detail; includes hangar deck and eight aircraft; amazingly detailed aircraft; perfect fit between waterline hull and lower hull
Disadvantages: Hangar deck roller doors moulded shut; DIY detailing inside hangar deck
Recommendation: Highly Recommended to maritime modellers


QuickLook Preview by Brett Green




Is this the best injection moulded, mass produced ship model ever released?

Trumpeter is in the middle of a remarkable release schedule that includes a 1/24 scale aircraft, a 1/35 scale helicopter and a giant Soviet bomber in 1/72 scale. Even amongst this impressive crowd, Trumpeter's 1/350 scale Hornet is one of the most spectacular of their recent releases.

Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Hornet comprises 433 plastic parts. All the parts are presented in grey injection moulded plastic, except for the red lower hull and some of the aircraft components in black and clear. A simple display stand is included, as are eight aircraft - two Mitchells, Devastators, Dauntlesses and Wildcats.

Moulding quality of the kit is almost perfect. Despite the large size of many parts, there are no visible moulding problems on the outside surfaces of my kit. Similarly, at the other end of the spectrum, traditionally troublesome parts such as machine guns and boats are totally free of sink marks and ejector pin problems.

The hull parts leap to the attention when the box lid is lifted. At 28" long, the upper hull is a very impressive piece of plastic. It is beautifully formed with crisp, deep portholes along its length. A bottom blanking plate is supplied if a waterline model is on the agenda, and a lower hull is also provided to depict the full Hornet. The lower hull is moulded in a just-translucent red.

I have tested the fit of the lower hull to the upper hull. A narrow locating ridge runs the entire circumference of the lower hull. This slots into a corresponding are inside the upper hull. The fit is very good, even without glue.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Surface detail is equally good. All the raised and recessed detail is extremely crisp. I was especially impressed with the corrugations on the roller doors for the hangar deck (all, unfortunately, moulded closed), and the delicate yet distinctive engraved pattern of the carrier deck. The flight deck includes subtle representations of tie downs and deck elevators. The hangar deck itself has a tiled texture, but there is no other detail inside the hangar bay. However, one of the elevators is supplied as a separate part to permit alternate positioning or occasional removal. Ladders and portholes look very good too.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The large boats and life rafts are also worthy of mention for their high level of detail combined with simple engineering.



Without wanting to sound repetitive, the superstructure and remaining details also beautifully detailed.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The aircraft are remarkable. Each includes recessed panel lines, finely rendered propeller assemblies, clear canopies, separate undercarriage and even fabric-textured control surfaces. Where applicable, the aircraft wings may be positioned folded. Some liberties have been taken with the location and number of panel lines, but hey, this is 1/350 scale we are talking about! (Click thumbnail at the right to view details of the F4F)







So, is Trumpeter's Hornet the best injection moulded, mass produced ship model ever released?

Most of the competition is getting a bit long in the tooth now, with the exception of some very nice new releases from Tamiya including their Fletcher DD,  Prinz Eugen and Indianapolis. Pit Road might have some contenders too.

However, there is no doubt that Trumpeter's 1/350 scale Hornet is a very impressive package. Moulding is almost perfect, detail is excellent and there is plenty of potential for superdetailers and conversions to other Yorktown class carriers. This is a state-of-the-art injection moulded kit. The historical prominence, kit quality, size and high level of detail will grab the attention of many maritime and non-maritime modellers.

Full steam ahead, Trumpeter!

Highly Recommended.

Review and Images Copyright 2002 by Brett Green
Page Created 18 December, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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