The USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) (a.k.a. JCS) is the seventh Nimitz class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. It was built from March 13, 1991 and commissioned on December 9, 1995. JCS was first deployed to Atlantic Fleet, which carried CVW-7 (AG) during 1998, then she was transferred to Pacific Fleet for replacement of USS Nimitz (CVN-68). From 2000 to 2002 JCS was mainly deployed to CVW-9 (NG) and sailed mostly in Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf.

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Most of modelers know modifications must be involved in building Italeri's 1/720 carriers. Even JCS is not an exception. This kit mainly reused all parts from Kit 503 (USS Nimitz CVN-68), but it includes new parts for some radars and antenna (such as Mk-91 Sea Sparrow Radar, SPS-49 Radar, white-domed satellite communication equipment (should be designed for USS Harry S. Truman CVN-75), and new sponsons for the bow and fantail of port and starboard sides. The JCS can be built in full hull or waterline.The hull is already molded in one piece, but separating lower and upper hull is a must process for both display versions.

There is no Detail and Scale book published for JCS, for photos of the carrier (or references of sister carriers), modelers can refer to these books:

REFERENCES

Title

Publisher

ISBN

Language

Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier USS JOHN C.STENNIS

 

4-7663-3283-0

Eng / Jap

Super Carriers (Naval Aviation in Action)

Osprey Aviation

1-84176-026-9

Eng

Super Carriers (George Washington)

Motorbooks

0-7603-0166-2

Eng

U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln

Concord

962-361-045-9

Eng

USS John C. Stennis has an official website at: (http://www.cvn74.navy.mil/)"USS JOHN C. STENNIS CVN 74"

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As for the kit itself, it just looks about 70% accurate. The shape of the island is not so similar to the actual one. It is the previous prototype for Nimitz. Modelers need to extend the rear end of the bridge. In addition to the shape of the island, there are other modifications for the equipment placed on the island. Most of latest radars and antenna (such as OE-82 "satcomm" receivers, SPQ-9B fire-control radar, ECM equipment, etc) are not included in the kit. Modelers will have to buy Pitroad/Skywave's ship equipment to obtain some of them.

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 Weapons provided in the kit are still acceptable and aircraft of Italeri quality, include 4 x F-14s, 4 x F/A-18s, 2 x A-6s, 1 x E-2 and 1 x SH-3. Modelers may also need to buy Fujimi/Pitroad/Skywave's extra aircraft for other tactical types (such as S-3, EA-6B).

Of usual Italeri quality, the kit has typical deep catapult tracks that are still visible on JCS. Modelers can fill them or just leave them on the flight deck. The flight deck number "74" is already printed in outlined white, but it is oversized. That is one of major problems for this carrier kit. JCS has never had her deck number painted so large. Modelers have to find a source to replace it and need to paint the white-yellow line of the angled deck (the line printed on the decal is white-orange). The red-white foul lines need to be cut in half because they are too "fat" for 1/720 scale.

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The kit lacks some of fine details, so Gold Medal Models (GMM) (http://www.steelnavy.com/GMMcarrier720.htm) latest super-carrier set is an essential part for building JCS. This photo-etched set includes rails, safety nets, detailed SPS-48/49 radars, radar mast, LSO platform, boat fenders, etc.

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