Commissioned in 1961, the USS Long Beach was the world's first nuclear powered cruiser. The monolithic superstructure atop her otherwise graceful 721' cruiser hull makes it impossible to confuse Long Beach with any other ship. She symbolizes a time when nuclear power was in its ascendance. Along with Bainbridge and Enterprise, she became part of the first nuclear powered fleet.
The JAG Collective USS Long Beach is a waterline 1:700 scale resin kit. It includes all parts needed to depict the cruiser in her early to mid 60s fit. With minor modifications and the addition of various Skywave parts (not included) the kit can be used to model Long Beach at any point in her 35 year career.
The casting quality of the JAG Long Beach is the best I've seen from an American producer, and arguably the equal of the best resin casters in the world. Yes, it's that good. Edges are exceptionally thin and sharp. I've never seen anything like it in resin. Of course an expertly crafted master pattern has something to do with it. The corners and angles are so crisp and sharp as to be inhuman. I mentioned this to Joe D'Amato, one of JAG's owners, and he informed me that parts of the hull were machined. Whatever they did, it works. The hull casting is full of crisp, superbly rendered detail with no voids or resin overpour anywhere. This quality extends to the smaller parts as well. Casting is flawless throughout.
A small etched brass fret containing helo deck netting, lattice mast, davits and misc small details is included. Those of you partial to railing will have to purchase a GMM or Toms fret. None is included. JAG tells me that the majority of kit builders don't add railing, so omitting it keeps the cost down. Instructions consist of a single page exploded view. They are minimal but adequate. Photographic documentation of Long Beach is abundant both on the Web and in books, so superdetailers will not want for references. And a final note, the model comes packaged in a black cylindrical tube. My sample arrived intact except for some easily repaired breakage on the bow wavebreak.
I recommend this kit without reservation. It should be an easy build and especially suitable for newcomers to resin. The remarkable hull casting does most of the work for you. There isn't much to add and the finished result is over 12" long, so your friends will be impressed with your modeling skill.
The Long Beach sells for US $85. See the JAG Collective page for availability.