Mat Irvine: The Revell USS Hornet is a conventional kit for a naval ship of that period. A one-piece hull and one-piece flight deck are supplied, to which you add the superstructure, various elevators that carry the aircraft from below desks, and a variety of aircraft that were carried at the time.
Although the parts themselves are a straight re-pop of the original kit, one thing that is new is the enlarged decal sheet (below). Now, besides enhanced ship markings, including waterline stripes, there are fuller decals for the tiny aircraft, including the number 66 for one of the Sea Kings.
The USS Hornet - the eighth American vessel to bear the name - started with a straight flight deck when the keel was laid, in 1942. But she was converted and re-commissioned in 1956, with an angled flight deck.
USS Hornet was also PRS for Apollo 12, and before either Moonshot, had done duty for one of the unmanned Apollo test flights. But it will be for Apollo 11 that she will be remembered.
After the Apollo recoveries, USS Hornet was finally decommissioned in 1970, and was due to be sent ignominiously to the scrap yard. But a public appeal saved the ship, and she was declared a ‘National Landmark.’ By the 1990s, USS Hornet had become a permanent floating museum in Alameda, California, near Oakland on San Francisco Bay.
The original kit box from 1969 (below) was titled Hornet + 3 Apollo 11 Moon Mission Recovery Vessel.
Revell-Germany USS Hornet (CVS-12) Apollo 11 Recovery Vessel
Assembled length: 523 mm (21 in)
Manufacturer’s ref 05121
Thanks to Revell-Germany for the review kit
Click here for USS Hornet models and memorabilia.