The Virginia Class was the four-ship follow-on to the two ship California Class. Although slightly shorter than the Californias, the Virginias at 11,400 tons, full load, had around 1,000 tons greater displacement. Designed to escort carriers and multipurpose offensive operations, the class presented formidable AAW, ASW and anti-surface capabilities. The nuclear powered two turbines generated 60,000 hp and gave the ship a maximum speed in excess of 30 knots. Through their careers, the class received upgrades and system improvements, including Tomahawks and Harpoon canisters and the Standard AAW system. The JAG kit portrays the class early in their career before the addition of these weapons systems.


Profiles & Plans
Virginia6035spro.JPG (46844 bytes) Virginia6038ssternpro.JPG (56498 bytes) Virginia6037smidpro.JPG (64872 bytes) Virginia6036sbowpro.JPG (68862 bytes)
Virginia6031plan.JPG (50587 bytes) Virginia6034sternplan.JPG (68337 bytes) Virginia6033midplan.JPG (62456 bytes) Virginia6032bowplan.JPG (73127 bytes)

Although newer than the California and South Carolina, the class had shorter careers and left service before the older cruisers. The budget crunch in the early 1990s spelled their doom. They were due for nuclear fuel replacement and upgrades at a time when the naval budget was slashed in the first half of the 1990s. Something had to go and the Virginia, Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were decommissioned and disposed with less than 20 years service.

VITAL STATISTICS

Displacement: 11,400 Tons (Full Load); Dimensions: Length- 585 Feet (oa), Beam- 63 feet, Draught- 29 feet; Armament: Guns- 2 Mk 45 Five Inch/54cal. ; Missiles- Two twin rail Mk 26 Mod 0/1 MR-SAM; Torpedo Tubes- Six (2x3) ASROC; One LAMPS Helicopter

Machinery: Two D2G water pressurized  reactors, 2 shaft, two turbines, 60,000 shp; 30+ knots

Complement: 519 (30 Officers, 489 Enlisted)

Sisterships: USS Texas CGN-39, USS Mississippi CGN-40, USS Arkansas CGN-41

RESIN CASTING
If you have seen a resin kit from JAG before, you will know that JAG casts an incredible amount of detail into the hull castings of their products. If anything, the JAG USS Virginia has gone further than before. All of the fittings are there. JAG provides a wealth of deck detail, topped by a truly outstanding flight deck at the stern. The superstructure is also packed with interesting detail. From the multitude of doors and vertical ladders to prominent ductwork and subtle piping, the detail is there. Almost all of the superstructure platforms are cast as part of the hull. Not only does this simplify assembly but also the quality of their casting is amazing. Exquisitely thin with razor sharp support braces and all with defect or breakage. The bridge shielding is also delicately thin and yet sturdy. The bridge windows are one of the many highlights. Crisply executed and incised to such a degree as to readily assist in painting. Once painted, they should really "pop". By using Micro Krystal-Klear, you should easily attain the glazed appearance of the prototype.


Superstructure & Other Hull Detail
Virginia6043midshipssup.JPG (88583 bytes) Virginia6044pfq.JPG (60678 bytes) Virginia6045saq.JPG (63977 bytes) Virginia6046supup.JPG (68798 bytes)
Virginia6047sfqbri.JPG (59620 bytes) Virginia6048paqsup.JPG (56339 bytes) Virginia6049fltdeck.JPG (62597 bytes)
Virginia6050pbri.JPG (49327 bytes) Virginia6051sasup.JPG (54426 bytes) Virginia6052srfbri.JPG (50425 bytes) Virginia6053prfbri.JPG (65332 bytes)

Other significant features that are perfectly captured by the JAG Virginia are the knuckles on the bow. These very prominent features run almost to the superstructure. They in part give the bow a rakish look. The hull came free of defects of any description. Dead flat with not a pinhole void or resin bubble to be seen, other than on the flat bottom. Not only was it perfectly cast but the efficiency of the JAG packaging is readily apparent in the absence of breakage of any type.


The JAG USS Virginia & USS California
Virginia6039compPlan.JPG (74666 bytes) Virginia6042compBow.JPG (89280 bytes) Virginia6040compMid.JPG (78841 bytes) Virginia6041compStern.JPG (83696 bytes)

With so much detail cast into the hull, you might think that there would be a fairly small number of smaller resin parts. JAG gives you two resin runners and one resin wafer of the smaller parts. These contain 66 finely crafted resin parts. JAG has not skimped on the inclusion of minute detail for these parts. Shipís boats, missile rails, radomes, radar & mounts, ventilators, life raft canisters, gun mounts and the host of other smaller parts, all received the same attention to detail that was lavished on the hull. As with the hull, there was no breakage. The two gun barrels and the resin wafer sheet (not the parts thereon) had a slight warp, which undoubtedly was caused by heat in the back of the UPS van during shipping. Very fine parts are susceptible to warping when placed in a hot environment and the back of an UPS van in the summer in the Southeastern US is very conducive to heat build up. The two barrels can easily be corrected by application of hot air from a hairdryer. JAG also provides separate plastic pieces for masts, some platforms, landings and support posts.


Resin & Plastic Small Parts
Virginia6067tube&parts.JPG (100274 bytes) Virginia6066boatrunner.JPG (59089 bytes) Virginia6075boatsdet.JPG (73935 bytes) Virginia6076foreplatrails.JPG (59358 bytes)
Virginia6068fittingsrunner.JPG (55045 bytes) Virginia6072radars.JPG (53045 bytes) Virginia6073supports&vents.JPG (55203 bytes) Virginia6074mounts.JPG (68073 bytes)
Virginia6086wafer.JPG (56454 bytes) Virginia6089yards.JPG (50177 bytes) Virginia6088waferparts.JPG (62570 bytes) Virginia6085plasticpieces.JPG (133252 bytes)

PHOTO-ETCHED FRET
JAG always provides the ship specific parts on their photo-etched frets. All of the fittings done in brass that were unique to the class are provided. The only additional photo-etch parts that the modeler will need are railings. The instructions show the positioning of each. For this kit inclined ladders are included in the fret. The fret is small but packed with parts. Helicopter safety nets, radars, spray shields, stanchions, anchor parts, NTDS antenna, all join the inclined ladders on this fret.


Photo-Etched Fret Details
Virginia6054PE.JPG (164274 bytes) Virginia6058PEdet.JPG (149753 bytes) Virginia6059PEdet.JPG (134885 bytes) Virginia6060PEdet.JPG (133683 bytes)

DECALS
With most resin kits youíre just happy to get a decal sheet with shipís names, numbers and perhaps flight deck markings. Wait, you say you want red warning circles, fear not buddy, you have them with the JAG Virginia. You want fruit salad for your bridge amigo? Itís yours with the JAG Virginia. You have to have "E" hashmarks for your flagship mon ami? With the JAG Virginia, voila! JAG has heard your plaintive cries from the wilderness and has gone above and beyond the common and mundane. The decal sheet for the JAG Virginia is a truly remarkable ingredient to this remarkable kit. Enough verbiage, just look at the photographs and decide for yourself.


Decal Details
Virginia6061decal.JPG (72512 bytes) Virginia6065decaldetcir.JPG (80304 bytes) Virginia6062decalDetFruit.JPG (102237 bytes) Virginia6063decaldetE.JPG (64551 bytes)

INSTRUCTIONS
JAG includes one large sheet (17 inches by 11 inches), printed front and back. The front has shipís history, statistics, parts matrix (both in drawings and text), and very well drawn plan and starboard profile, with an additional insert drawing of the port aft superstructure. The reverse has two isometric views of the assembly process with 15 paragraphs of text assembly instructions. All parts in the assembly diagrams have the same number as the one for the part in the matrix. There is also an insert detail on assembling the SPS-40 radar. The instructions are logically presented and the sheet is printed in a clear professional style. I canít see how you can go wrong with these.


Instructions Detail
Virginia6079Inst1.JPG (120248 bytes) Virginia6081sbri1.JPG (96476 bytes) Virginia6080Instpasup1.JPG (101712 bytes) Virginia6082InstID1.JPG (116852 bytes)
Virginia6077InstAssembly.JPG (126577 bytes) Virginia6083InstRadar2.JPG (52635 bytes) Virginia6084InstMasts2.JPG (104032 bytes)

VERDICT
Websterís Dictionary will have to revise the definition of the phrase "First Class". To be truly accurate the definition must include a photograph of the JAG USS Virginia.

JAG logo.jpg (4860 bytes)
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