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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Location: EG48
The Dragon kit is here, so let's talk about this beastie!

LCS-2 is General Dynamics' entry for the US Navy's littoral combat ship program, and is a waterjet-driven aluminum trimaran design that is optimised for low radar cross section. In addition to it's normal 57mm gun and SeaRam CIWS armament, it has hangar space for two helicopters and space for multiple mission-specific pods that can be onloaded and installed to increase capabilities.

Details for the Modeler:
The Dragon kit is of the ship as she was during her builders trials in July, 2009. There have been some minor visual changes made since then.

Buillders Trial Photos:
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=73827
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=73828
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=73829
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=73830
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=73831
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=73832
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=73833

http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=73503
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=73502
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=73501
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=73500

Navy Trials & Service:
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=83741
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=83742
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=83743

http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=83791
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=83747
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=83977
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=85232
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=78575
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=78574
http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=78573

For Further Information:
Navsource - LCS-2 USS Independence
Wikipedia
General Dynamics

It appears that for the most part the ship is in a dull, natural aluminum or some coating that weathers noticeably; the gun mount and some of the antennas are in a decidedly lighter, more uniform gray. The builder's trials saw anti-skid only on a patch up to the gun mount and the helicopter platform, but since that time anti-skid has been extended forward from the helo deck along the walkways and added around the cone-shaped unit on the top deck and walkways one level below that around the SatCom antennas (See this photo for details). Warning circles have also been added near the SeaRAM and gun mount (this photo for the gun mount).

She has an intricate and interesting railing design and I hope someone can be convinced to do a PE set for her!

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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 1:14 am 
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Interesting ship i may say! I dont know what be more frightning about that ship: the fact that you'd never see it coming or what it can do! When is she supposed to be in service?


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 1:25 am 
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Commissioned in January....

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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 2:07 pm 
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Yeah i found that out after i posted that. I went researching, and found that out.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:37 am 
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Something I spotted on Strategypage.com that relates to the LCS.

USN Adopts PAM and LAM
May 22, 2010: The U.S. Navy is taking over development of a missile system that the U.S. Army has discarded. Last month, the army announced that it was cancelling its NetFires (or NLOS-LS) missile system. With the successful introduction of GPS guided rockets, artillery and mortar shells, NetFires was redundant, too expensive, and still in development. The army has already spent $1.21 billion on NetFires development, and was due to spend another $431 million next year. But the navy believes it can finish development more cheaply, and convinced Congress to give it $75 million to do just that. This despite the fact that NetFires has not been successful in its most recent tests, although one missile was able to hit moving targets.
When development of NetFires began in 2004, the project was only supposed to cost $1.1 billion, and be completed by now. But there were problems, and more money and time was needed. Each missile is supposed to eventually cost at least $50,000 (if the original plan to buy nearly 10,000 missiles are implemented). However, the first missiles would cost about ten times that. Early on, however, the navy let it be known that it would buy NetFires to arm its new LCS (Littoral Combat Ships). The navy apparently did not want to look for a replacement weapon, and was confident enough in NetFires to take it over. There were few good alternatives here, as the LCS isn't really big enough to handle the standard navy VLS (Vertical Launch System), which handles much larger anti-aircraft, anti-ship and cruise missiles in other ships.

NetFires is actually two different missiles, identical in weight and size, but different in how they operate. The main one is PAM (Precision Attack Missile). This is a 178mm diameter missile that weighs 55 kg (120 pounds), and has a range of 40 kilometers. PAM attacks from above, with a 13.2 kg (28 pound) warhead. This enables it to kill any tank by hitting the thinner top armor. PAMs are vertically-launched from what looks like a 1.3x1.9x1.3 meter (4x6x4 foot wide x deep x high) cargo container. Actually, it IS a cargo container. The missiles are shipped from the factory in this sealed container. Each one ton container holds 15 missiles and can be carried on the back of a truck, or a ship. Once you plug a PAM container into the wireless battlefield Internet, the missiles are ready to fire. the fire control officer on the LCS send one or more PAMs against any enemy target that shows up on their screen (usually a larger flat screen.) The battlefield Internet is using aircraft, UAVs, satellites and ground sensors to pick up targets for LCS. When the fire control officer sees a target he wants to kill, a point and click will send the coordinates of the target to a PAM container on board, launch a PAM to the approximate location where the missiles own sensor will pick up the target and home in on it. The sensors will, most of the time, pick up the vehicle as destroyed and adjust the fire control officers screen accordingly.

Recognizing that there will be situations, like where there are a lot of woods or jungles, that will prevent sensors from spotting a lot of targets, there's a second NetFires missile, the LAM (Loitering Attack Missile). Same weight and all of the PAM, except it is actually a mini-cruise missile and can fly around an assigned area for 45 minutes looking for a target. If one is not found, it just crashes. If a target is detected with the built in radar (laser radar, or LADAR, actually) and the built in software recognizes the vehicle as an enemy one, the missile attacks from above. Alas, the LAM warhead isn't large enough to take out most tanks, but anything else would likely be toast. The navy sought to use LAM against missile and torpedo boats, as the LAM can search about 150 kilometers from the ship for targets.

The 3,000 ton LCS is itself a unique weapon. It is fast, able to sprint at speeds as high as 90 kilometers an hour. The only standard weapon on the LCS is a 57mm gun and some machine-guns. The LCS needs NetFires for additional firepower. The LCS features a number of major innovations. For one thing, it is highly automated, and has a crew of less than fifty. The LCS has a large cargo hold that can be quickly fitted with gear to turn it into a mine clearing ship, a fire support ship (with NetFires containers), a submarine hunter, or just about anything (anti-aircraft, commando support, or even command and control.) Each LCS also carries a Black Hawk size helicopter (MH-60), and has a hanger for it. There is also a water level dock for launching USVs (Unmanned Surface Vessels).

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:13 pm 
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Picked mine up yesterday and I figured it'd be a fitting activity for July 4th to start it today... some notes:

Both lower pieces on my copy have a slight mold mismatch on the forward section; I'm doing this one waterline so I've only worked on the waterline piece, but one side was fixed with just a sanding stick and the other with two applications of Mr Surfacer and a sanding stick. There's no surface detail to worry about in the area, just a recessed detail forward that should be filled in anyway; Dragon mistook a painted X with a circle around it as a vent or detail of some sort. The waterline lower piece is a little wider than the upper piece from the flight deck aft, I think due to minor distortion of one or both pieces. It should not be difficult to fix by gluing one side at a time.

Fit is generally pretty good. Corners are beveled so that the joint is at the corner and not along a side; this can make sanding the joining surfaces true a little more difficult, but the fit isn't as ugly as some manufacturers, so this hasn't been a problem. Two pieces that I definitely recommend test fitting are the top superstructure deck house (Part C1) and the rear hangar bulkhead (part C8). The deck house and locating ridge on top of the superstructure needed the joining edges scraped a bit to get it to sit flush on the deck, and the hangar bulkhead protruded from the sides until I narrowed it a bit. The deckhouse deck piece (C20) does the same thing, but I feel comfortable leaving this alone as the real ship has a bit of a hang-over in this area as well.

The Hangar deck fit is superb, the front superstructure piece C6 fits well... I have most of the thing together after a day of dabbling at it here and there.

One thing the instructions fail to mention is that the stern bulkhead piece C38 will need parts of it cut away if doing the waterline version. Guidance is provided on the piece itself in way of recessed lines, but no mention is on the instructions.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:13 am 
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Hi to everybody!
Here is my LCS-2 USS Independence 1/700 model.
Work is not finished I am going to place some naval figures on the deck and create a "sea surface".


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:53 am 
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LCS-2 USS Independence 1/700


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Check out this shot of the interior of LCS-2. What the heck is all over the bulkheads; insulation?

http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=92677

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:53 pm 
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Couple of more shots for you:
http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=84137
http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=84823

I figured it was thermal insulation so that the hull & superstructure didn't radiate heat that detectors could use.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:49 pm 
How is the detail on the waterjets when assembled complete?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:25 pm 
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Gaz,
Check this out: http://www.modelwarships.com/reviews/sh ... eview.html



Edited by Tracy: Fixed link

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:35 pm 
So the Trumpeter model is out today. What's everyones feelings on Trumpeter vs. DML?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:17 pm 
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A little early to expect a review perhaps, if it's just out today?

Keep in mind the CyberHobby (AKA Dragon) release is a reboxing of the Bronco, so you're really asking about a comparison between the Bronco and the Trumpeter release.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:25 am 
Sorry guys I meant in general how does Trumpeter compare with DML


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:17 am 
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Here are some sprue comparison shots of the Trumpeter and Bronco kits. Each pair of pictures will be the same part of the kit, and I will comment on visible detail. The Trumpeter parts will be shown in the first picture in each set, with the coresponding Bronco sprue in the following picture. (All photos are from http://www.luckymodel.com)

Boxart
http://www.luckymodel.com/img/PI000000141016.jpg

http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000140841.jpg
Boxart, both nice looking
Hull
http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000143329.jpg
http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000141005.jpg
http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000141006.jpg
http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000141003.jpg
Trumpeter decides to have a one piece lower hull, which is a nice feature that the Bronco kit lacks

Superstructure and detail parts
http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000143330.jpg
http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000143331.jpg

http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000140999.jpg
http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000141004.jpg
Both kits have nice details here, but the Trumpeter model has a much more compact sprue layout. While this at times, this be a disadvantage, here it just saves on plastic and box space.

Stand
http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000143333.jpg

http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000141007.jpg
The Trumpeter stand is typical for the brand, while the Bronco one is more Dragon-like in appearance

Photoetch and decals
http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000140998.jpg

http://www.luckymodel.com/img/hi-PI000000143328.jpg
The Trumpeter kit has the edge in photoetch by far, but both kits have fine decals with the Bronco pulling slightly ahead in this catagory.


Both kits will build up into fine representations of the Indpendence, but the Trumpeter kit seems to have the edge in deatils and has crisper mouldings. The Bronco kit seemed a little rushed in design and implementation, but owing to the short space of time alloted to these kits, both companies did a fine job. Both kits have their nitpicks, but either one will provide a fabulous model of the Independence.

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Last edited by Timmy C on Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
[img] tags removed, as Luckymodel does not enable direct hotlinking to their images.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:06 am 
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The only PE advantage that Trumpeter has over the Bronco kit is that the Trumpeter includes 143 PE tie-downs for the flight deck, which I think is just excessively pointless and is more of a drawback than an advantage.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:29 pm 
Excellent comparrison shots. Looks like it'll be a trip to the local tomorrow to buy the trump. Thanks guys


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:21 am 
You wern't kidding on the flight deck eyeholes but once they are all in it's quite rewarding. Very detailed flightdeck and it leaves it open to a half withdrawn helo coming out the hanger with extra detail in the hanger.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:04 am 
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USS California BB44 wrote:
Boy am I glad they're keeping the same stand! I was worried for a minute.

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