The USS Independence CVL-22 was the first of a class of light aircraft carriers based on Cleveland Class light Cruiser hulls. All nine ships of the class were launched between August 1942 and September 1943. Only one (USS Princeton, CVL-23) was lost to enemy action during WWII and the others survived the war. Two ships served with the French Navy (Belleau Wood CVL-24 and Langley CVL-26) until the early 1960ies and Cabot CVL-28 served with the Spanish Navy until the 1990ies. She was the last of the class to be stricken in 2000 and none of the class survive today.
With the recent release of Dragon’s USS Independence in 1/350 scale, interest in this class has increased enough, for Still Motions Photographics to release a reference DVD on the class. So let’s have a look at what’s on the DVD.
The CD is a simple home made disc with a simple put effective plastic case and a cover page. The disc contains 1.51 GB worth of content that is 210 files, one of which is a pdf, the others are JPEGs in various sizes from 155 KB to 15’662 KB, with most being larger than 1’000 KB. This should tell you quite a bit about the content of this disc when it comes to high resolution photos.
The disk is a simple data disk and contains no menu or anything like that. Instead, upon putting it into the CD drive of a windows computer, Windows Explorer opens up and you can view the photos like e.g. a photo backup CD you’ve made yourself. The individual files have clear names to help you identify the ship and in some cases what part of the ship can be seen. There is no text on this DVD.
The DVD covers all nine CVLs in different detail from only 3 photos for the Langley (CVL-27) and the Cabot (CVL-28) to 45 photos for the San Jacinto (CVL-30). Some photos are general overviews in extremely high resolution so you can zoom in as much as you like. Other are detail shots for example of the radar, island or elevator. Ray Bean has obviously gone out of his way to find all the possible detail shots and he has used his equipment at its best to bring out details from larger shots. Most pictures are B&W with only two being in color, one of the island of an unknown CVL, the other of a flight deck tractor.
As an added bonus, the disc also contains camo side view plans of Measure 33 designs 3D, 7A and 8A, to help you with painting of these rather complex schemes. One of these even is a color art work of San Jacinto (CVL-30). Another bonus is the top and side view plan of the Dedalo (ex-Cabot) as she served in the Spanish Navy until the 1990ies. The last file that pops out of the group is the pdf “CVL 26 Monterrey Plans”. This contains a scan of the original plans of the New York Shipbuilding Corp. which will be very useful for measuring.
This DVD certainly contains a wealth of information and will be a must for anyone converting the DML Independence or – due to the less than perfect DML instructions – simply wants an accurate representation of what’s in the kit. I can thoroughly recommend this DVD without reservations!
I ordered my example from White Ensign Models in the UK for 13.57£
Highs: Contains a wealth of high resolution photos as well as plans. Easy to work with.Lows: None really!Verdict: I can thoroughly recommend this DVD without reservations!