is a reissue of this beloved vintage Revell
kit. It is one of Revell's SSP - Selected Subjects Program - Limited Production
kits, advertised as a one-time offer. This is kit 85-0318
. The original Oriskany
was released in 1968 as kit H-370*. I was very happy when it arrived as I have a lot of happy memories of my Oriskany
when I built it as a kid; I still have parts from it in my parts bin.
Revell scaled it to 1/538 - known as "box scale" because the model molded to fit into a standard box. It has 116 parts and the model dimensions are;
Revell recounts the history of USS Oriskany
"Mighty O", USS Oriskany, went to sea in 1950 after being launched in 1946 and then suspended as it became clear she wouldn't be needed for WWII. She was the last of the Essex-class carriers and, before anyone laughs up their sleeves about her being a johny-come-lately for WWII, remember that she earned battle stars in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Her aircraft really chewed the landscape and earned her a Presidential Unit Citation. Kit features full hull, display stand, four types of aircraft, separate elevator panels, and full decals.
was an Essex class carrier that was redesigned as a "long-hulled" Essex. That design was sometimes considered a separate class, the Ticonderoga class. The Second World War ended before her launch and construction was suspended until the communist invasion of South Korea. USS Oriskany
was improved to the SCB-27 ("27-Charlie") design before commissioning in 1950 as the final Essex-class ship completed.
According to www.navy.mil these are "Mighty O's" stats:
displacement: 27,100 tons
length: 911 feet
beam: 147˝ feet
draft: 31 feet
speed: 33 knots
complement: 3,460 crew
armament: 8 5-inch guns, 14 3-inch guns
In the Box
was a big ship and in 1/530 scale it needs a big box. Lots of thick heavy gray plastic and the box top bulges; it's a standard top-bottom box with vintage dramatic boxart showing a Crusader blasting off the deck to chase a pair of "Fagots" or "Frescos" off the starboard bow.
Inside the box is a bag of sprues, a loose one-piece hull, and a loose flight deck, plus decals and an instruction sheet. Four sprues fill the bag:
* Island and superstructure, AA weapons, elevators.
* Hanger deck bulkheads and superstructure and deck parts.
* Elevator and part 16 aircraft.
* Masts, radar, shafts and screws, rotors for helicopters, ASW aircraft, whale boats, cranes, NS-60 Flightdeck crash crane** "Tilly," some tugs, and miscellaneous components.
Keep in mind this kit is over 50 years old. The molding betrays that age. While surface detail is almost all raised lines and molded on, it is fine in size and crisp. However, modelers will have to clean up some flash and remove mold seam lines on many parts. I did not find any sink holes on the ship parts; slight depressions mar the SH-3 Sea King helicopters and one of the S2F Trackers looks like it took an 85mm in a nacelle. At first I did not notice ejector marks that will be visible on the assembled model. Then I looked closely at the enlarged photographs. Some ejector circles are camouflaged by encompassing open doors on the superstructure. Otherwise I don't see any. But those poor SH-3s have those excess plastic overflow tabs. They are wart-like on the fuselages and each rotor blade have pimples near the rotor heads.
Many of the attachment points that hold the parts to the sprues are large. Cutting or nipping will be require to cleanly separate the pieces.
Revell molded some components with an open grid work. There really are not any pieces I'd call delicate or fine but I think Revell did the best they could for the technology of the day.
The air wing consists of the:
F-8 Crusader x 6
A-4 Skyhawk x 4
F9F Cougars x 2
S2F Tracker x 4
SH-3 Sea King x 4
A nice representation of the pointy edge of the carrier.
Revell put a lot of surface detail onto the model. Almost all of it is cast on and relief, even all of those tie-down dimples. Even the markings for the deck and insignia on the aircraft are molded on.
Hanger doors are molded closed. open, and in-between. Aircraft elevators can be attached up or down.
The sides and decks of the ship feature many items: hatches; doors; lifebuoys; lockers; ladders; hoses; cables; conduits; things I have no idea what to call them. I am impressed that Revell even replicated the netting around the elevators and catwalks. Above and below deck are raised lines representing structural members.
I think the 3" flak guns were 3"/50 Mark 22s and the 5-inchers were 5"/38s. Regardless, the model guns are little more than suggestions.
Revell made the gridwork for an elevator underside with open lattice. A mast also features an open structure.
Perhaps the most impressive detail is the tail rotor on each helicopter.
Decals and Instructions
I like Revell's instruction sheet as it lists each part and identifies it by name. The assembly diagrams are line art and clearly illustrated.
Revell now prints decals for the flight deck markings. They also include insignia for the aircraft. The decals are within register and opaque. They feel thin and do not have much carrier film around them.
Revell even includes their sheet of signal flags and ensigns. They are not decals but rather a slick paper that will need to be cut and glued around rigging. They must be a generic signal flag set as the American national flags are printed with 48 stars. There's even a Royal Navy ensign.
For me USS Oriskany
is a happy addition to Revell's
SSP program. Modelers who enjoy these nostalgic kits should be very happy that this model has been re-released. The model has good surface detail and some ambitious open grid molding. The decal sheet of aircraft insignia and flight deck markings is very welcome.
Molding is not up to today's standards with flash, seam lines, ejector marks - just what one would expect from tools cut in the late 1950s. The parts are robust and the ship should build into a hefty model.
I am satisfied with this release of this old friend and hope to have her painted and on my shelf in the near future. Recommended to those who enjoy nostalgic models and don't mind some TLC.
Thanks to Revell for releasing this model again and providing it for review. Remember to mention to them and retailers that you saw this model here - on
* A Dr. Thomas Graham wrote a valued book, Remembering Revell Model Kits
, and listed the ships that this model was released as: Essex; Bonhomme Richard; Lexington; Oriskany
& Wasp; Hornet; Bonhomme Richard; Lexington; Bonhomme Richard
was released in 1958 and the second issue of Bonhomme Richard
was in 1979.
** Most images reference the A/S 32A-35 Aircraft Carrier Crash Crane (CVCC) but it has six axles.