The 622.5 feet long Independence Class carrier is the next subject in our 1/700 scale Premium Edition kit from Dragon. Many parts have been reworked and updated. Just one of the many highlights includes the clear deck, which allows the interior of the hangar bay to be fully viewed. The bridge island has also been redesigned with a clever combination of plastic injection-molded and photo-etched parts. There are also updated weapons and aircraft to populate the flight deck. This class of carrier was launched from 22 August 1942 onwards but now it has been commissioned yet again in this Premium Edition kit – a kit that offers ship modelers a first-rate replica of this important and illustrious type of WWII carrier.
Originally laid down as cruisers, nine Independence Class vessels were converted into light carriers as an emergency wartime measure. These aircraft carriers of the U.S. Navy offered distinguished combat service at a time when there was a shortage of larger carriers. Because they were not designed from the outset for this role, they were cramped and had limited maintenance and storage facilities for the maximum number of 45 aircraft that could be carried on board. Their appearance was distinctive with four funnels and a rather small bridge island. However, they were relatively fast with a maximum speed of 32 knots.