USS Monterey CG61 is the 15th Ticonderoga Class cruiser to join the fleet and is the fourth ship to bear that name. Her keel was laid August 19, 1987; she was launched on October 23, 1988 and commissioned June 16, 1990. She is currently comported in Norfolk Virginia and part of the Atlantic fleet. The ship is powered by 4 LM-2500 General electric marine gas turbine engines. Armament consists of two Mk $41 VLS launchers for Standard Missiles, Tomahawk, ASROC, Mk 46 torpedoes, and Harpoon missiles. There are also two Mk45 5 inch/54 lightweight guns and two Phalanx. The Monterey can also carry two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters.
The Monterey is 567 feet long, 55 feet wide, and draws a 34 foot draft. She can run at 30 knots and carries a crew of 400 officers and enlisted.
During my time in the Navy the USS Monterey operated in our battle group. I served on board the USS Scott, one of the Kidd Class guided missile destroyers. The Ticonderoga class and the Kidd class ship shared a good deal of commonality below the main deck. She was originally home ported in Mayport Florida shortly after being commissioned. We operated with the USS America battle group together and spent a good of time sailing together. During our time at sea we crossed the Arctic Circle, shot down drones, and sailed into the Mediterranean Sea.
Inside the box. . .
The kit comes in a sturdy lidded box featuring a nice image of the Monterey during a vert rep (vertical replenishment) with a USNS supply ship. When you open the box you will find five separately wrapped bags. Four of which hold the meat and potatoes parts and one holds the special premium parts, the photo etched, Cartograf decals, and a small sprue holding the AN-SPY -1A/B radar parts. The ship can be built as either full hull or waterline.
holds the main section of the hull, the focal (forecastle), some of the superstructure details, and some of the weapons systems. Also included is one SHE-60 Seahawk hello, with either folded main rotor or open. The Navy states they ship can carry two, but during normal operations one hello is carried. The main reason is the aviation detachment brings on so much extra there is only room in the hello hangar for one bird. The captain’s gig, motor whale boat, harpoon launchers, and SWISS mounts are included as well. The details are crisp and really match those of the real ship. Even the ribbing on the hurricane bow is present.
holds the remaining part of the superstructure. Other parts located on this sprue are the intakes and exhaust of the gas turbine engines. These are very nicely done and full of detail. This area I know something of, since I was a Gas Turbine Technician and got to know the intake section rather well during my time on board my ship. The port and starboard side of the superstructure feature racks of life boats and some ladders molded into the sides. There are ejector pin marks on many of the parts located on this spree, but they will be on the inside of the parts when assembled.
holds the lower halves of the hull, rubbers, propeller blades, and display stand. I test fit the three pieces of the hull together and there will be some cleanup required if you make the full hull version of the ship. The propellers have fie finely detailed blades. These did have some flash on them in my version, but they will not require much clean up. The propeller shafts do have mold seams on them and will also require some clean up. The name plate for this kit says, USS Ticonderoga. The Monterey is a Ticonderoga class ship. She actually a baseline 3 Ticonderoga class ship. Some of the differences were internal others are the switch to the VLS system.
holds just two parts. They are the top surfaces of the VLS system. Each cover features 61 individual doors, which in turn covers one of the Monterey’s missiles. These two parts are nicely detailed and represent this section of the ship nicely.
contains the parts for the AN-SPY -1A/B system. These parts will require cleanup from the mold seams. They are nicely done with the exception of the mold seams.
The photo etched brass fret holds pieces for use as railings and the ships masts. The option is given to use either the brass parts or styrene parts for the masts. This is helpful for those who are not comfortable working with PE parts. Part MALI when used actually creates the signal bridge complete with hatch and open windows. The aft mast is also available in either PE or styrene.
There are three different railings represented in PE. One section is for the flight deck the others are for the main deck and superstructure. The flight deck catch nets are even in the proper diamond pattern. Most of the time we would run with our nets in the down position. The main deck railing is three bar while the upper deck railings are four bar. To add them you will to bend them to fit the proper deck and novice modelers might have a problem working with them.
The Cartograph decal provide markings for three different ships, USS Monterey, USS Chancellors, and USS Cowpens. Also on the card are the deck markings for the flight deck, weapons safety markings, forward and aft vert. rep. markings. Draft markers, two flags, and markings for the SHE-60 are also included.
The instructions are typical Dragon a one page, two sided, eight panel fold-out, with good clear drawings, and text. The full PE replacement part instruction is also provided, leaving no gray areas for the build. Color scheme is in Gunze Aqueous Color, Gunze Mr. Color, and Testers Model Master colors, for options and color conversions.
Reflections. . .
Since I had spent some time around the USS Monterey I did notice some areas that were not right. First of all there is only one color scheme for the ship, overall haze grey. When she was first commissioned her upper masts were painted black. When I first reported to my ship we also had back masts and upper decks. The only ships at that time that were all haze grey were Frigates.
Shortly after the America battle group returned from their 6 month deployment in 1992 the ships were painted overall haze grey. The Monterey was also equipped whit a system called RATS (Recovery Assist, Secure, and Traverse) on is flight deck. This allows the ships hello to land in bad weather. The kit does have the control room, part A36, but it is missing the transfer system on the flight deck.
The picture included shows the lay out on the deck for this system. The stern of the kit is missing the detail from the original ship. However this should be easy to replicate. One area that surprised me was the inclusion of the actual helo hangar. If you choose to show the hanger doors open the interior of the hangar is included. The kit does not point out the color for the interior; it should be white and the deck black.
USS Monterey Home Page