The Gold Medal Models Modern USS New Jersey Fret in 1:700
By Bradford Chaucer

Loren Perry was kind enough to provide a set of his new 1/700 PE set for the Skywave/Pitroad modern USS New Jersey These are my impressions of the set.

I have to start out by saying that 1/700 is not my preferred scale. Anyone who has seen the size of my fingers will instantly understand why!! However, that said, I have to admit that I am impressed at the amount of stuff Loren has managed to pack into this 4 7/8 inch by 3 1/4 sheet of 3 mil stainless steel (at least I presume it is stainless). The quality of the etching is simply superb. The finest lines are clean and sharp with no sign of under etch or fuzziness. In addition, all of the parts are identified, to eliminate the need for guesswork. Several of the parts even feature surface detail, which I wouldn't have expected in this scale. There are also separate parts for 1968 and 1982 refits where appropriate

The set provides a full suite of rails, including upswept sections for the bow. All of the rail sections are identified; the bow sections by name, the remainder by level number. There are also a block of vertical ladders and a second group of inclined ladders with handrails. There are 2 sets of beautifully etched helicopter safety nets; a shorter set for 1968 fit and a longer set for the '82 fit. While on the helicopters, there are 2 sets of SH-60 rotors, an extended set and a folded set.

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It seems that every radar antenna imaginable has been provided, including some specific to each time period. You get ULQ-6 ECM (1968) platforms, SPS-49, SPS-10, SPS-6 (1968), MK 37 Gun Director radars and the 1968 main mast dual trapezoidal antenna. You also get the bow NTDS Antenna bridge and spreaders, and MK 13 radar director parts.

I addition there are rails for various mast platforms, bridge window frames, the stern crane with rigging (1968) details for the ships boats, Anchors and anchor chains, and a set of parts to do an UNREP crane and hose for the 1982 version. There are other parts, like Phalanx locker doors, a hose reel assembly for the helicopter refueling station and some other parts.

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The instructions art typical for GMM sets, 2 pages of views showing how each assembly is built, indicating which kit parts are used. Where there are differences between the New Jersey and Iowa, those differences are detailed in the instructions. The set is primarily directed toward modeling the 1982 onwards fit out, however some major parts and some instructions are provided for those wanting to attempt a backdate to the Vietnam era fit. However as Loren indicates, this is not a trivial modification, as there were appreciable changes to the superstructure, post Vietnam.

All in all, this is an impressive set, which should make that 1/70 scale NJ really come alive. It's GMM's 700-30 and at $12 it is quite a value.