Best of Show - Category Winner Ships - Scale Model World 2017 (Telford - UK)
Gold Award - Ships 1/499 scale and larger - Scale Model World 2017 (Telford - UK)
Silver Award - Ship Class - Euro Scale Modelling 2017 (Houten - NL)
The USS Freedom is the first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and at the same time name giver of a completely new type and class of US naval vessels. It is designed for a variety of missions in shallow waters, capable against submarines, small ships, minesweeping and humanitarian relief. The ship is a semi-planing steel monohull with an aluminum superstructure. The friction stir welded aluminium deckhouse is very flat which, combined with an angular design, makes it difficult for radar systems to detect those vessels. Therewith, LCS-1 takes over operations such as patrolling, port visits, anti-piracy, etc. With this versatile operation range the US is aiming to replace Oliver-Hazard-Perry-Class frigates which became obsolete because of their outdated technology.
The Freedom has a length of 115,5 meters. Its core crew is at 40 sailors, usually joined by a mission crew and aviation staff. In operation the total crew is so up to 75 sailors. Automation allows a reduced crew, which is by far smaller than a crew of a Perry-class ship with over 200 sailors and a main cause in reducing operating costs. LCS-1 has a variety of weapon technologies on board, such as a Mk110 57mm gun at the bow, a Rim-116 missile launcher and two Mk44 Bushmaster guns on the top of the flight hangar, a number of Cal .50 machine guns and Seahawk helicopter for several purposes. The LCS’s are also following a flexible modular concept in which RHIB boats launched from the stern mission bay and drones (helicopters and boats) are becoming a more and more important role. Equipped with all that systems, the Freedom is a bit over weighted which means a vulnerable risk. Nevertheless, two Rolls-Royce MT30 36 MW gas turbines with 48,000 hp accelerate her up to a maximum speed of 47 knots.
The first Combat Ship LCS-1 USS Freedom was ordered at Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin in 2004. Only a short time later, on 2nd June 2005, keel was laid an around four years later, on 18. September 2008, the vessel was handed over to the US Navy. Commissioned in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 8 November 2008, the USS Freedom is home-ported in San Diego up until now. Meanwhile the Freedom has changed its appearance as it received a new camouflage paint in march 2013. At the end of 2016, already four ships of the Freedom-class were put into service, eight further ships are still under construction or in the testing phase and one more is ordered at Lockheed Martin so far.
My model illustrates the LCS-1 in its weathered appearance just before she received the new camo.
finished: 24.03.2017 (ca. 1 year building)
kit: Trumpeter (04549)
- BMK 20" conex boxes
- GMM Figures
references used: diverse web sources
At the very beginning of the build I decided to add lightning to the inside of the ship. That obviously brought me to scratch building the mission and hangar bays as well as the bridge. I've added a multitude of unbelievable tiny SMD LEDs (hand-welded) to illuminate the named areas. For the bridge I decided to make it in blue light. In the end, a very nice effect as I think.
In the painting progress I used differend shading techniques and tried a new one for the hull plating as you can see below.
In the meantime, I started building on the socket. As for the Plymouth Lifeboat, I applied a nice walnut veneer on the wooden socket box. For the water, I started with polystyrene for the main structure and a layer of plaster.
To be continued...