Review: USS Nimitz CVN-68 Airwing Set, 3563
Brand: White Ensign Models
Scale: 1/350
Review by: Zoltan Pocza
Sample by: White Ensign Models




Releasing the Trumpeter 1/350 USS Nimitz was a blast to the market, and filled a huge hole in the lines of the wanted kits from modelers. It can be build up to any carriers of the class with more or less modification, depending on which one you'd like to build. Trumpeter released the aircrafts also, with one exception at the moment, the EA-6B Prowler. Until now I don't know when it will be released, but Trumpeter said that it will be.... I hope it's going to be realized ASAP.

White Ensign Models decided to release a Photo Etch set to enhance the aircrafts available for the carriers. In this review, we'll introduce the 1/350 USS Nimitz Airwing Set, PE 3563. WEM released separate frets for each aircraft types, these reviews can be read here soon also.

First Impressions

The packaging was convincing, the WEM envelope included a cardboard to strengthen the fret, a 5 page detailed instruction sheet with detailed instructions and advices for the safe and effective work, and the fret. The fret itself is in a zipbag. I cannot find a good word to describe how detailed and small parts you will find in this set, but it's top notch in every aspect!

I think Peter Hall challenged all the insane modelers with these sets. He had the courage to design a fret with small parts that you haven't seen before, and I'm sure he has a secret contract with some eye specialists :) I'm sure you're eyes will pop out while working with this incredible set!


This set contains parts to the aircrafts inculded in the Nimitz kit, and additional goodies that are must have items if you want to make you deck / hangar deck looking busy and real. Here's a breakdown of what you'll find in the set:

Aircraft Interiors:

SH-3 Seaking
RA-5 Vigilante
F-4 Phantom
A-7 Corsair
A-6 Intruder
S-3 Viking
A-3 Skywarrior

Aircraft Exnterior details:

SH-3 Seaking
RA-5 Vigilante
F-4 Phantom
A-7 Corsair
A-6 Intruder
S-3 Viking
A-3 Skywarrior
E-2C Hawkeye

Deck Equioments:

Aircraft Hangar Handler
Missilet Trolley Racks
Start Cart Hoses
F-4 Phantom Entry Ladders
Aircraft Tow Bars
Liquied Replenishment Trolley
Flat Bad Trolley
Flight Deck Crash Barrier
Universal Towing Arm

I recommend the installing the cockpit with the stick, instrument panels and  the ejection seat for experienced, and insane modelers only. I prepared an F-4J for this article, to show the difference between the stock and the WEM enhanced model, and it was not that easy to insert the cockpit tube. To do this you have to "heavily" modify the fuselage halves as the thickness of the plastic is a huge obstacle itself. Basically it's not a big deal in general, but these are really small parts, so it's harder to work with. Please check the photo to see what areas needs to be modified!

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Click on the image to see it enlarged!

The ejection seat is somewhat really crazy. There are face curtain ejection handles on the top of the seats, just like the real one. The small seat has details on the sidewalls, and needs to be folded on some plasticard parts you have to cut into place to simulate the seat cushion. I highly recommend using a magnifier with built in lights, I prefer the head mounted versions (I got mine from E-bay), I think Mad Pete want to push us to the edge of human capabilities.

Although the seats are nice, and incredibly detailed for this size, there are some problems using it. It's too big, it's a bit out of scale (.....but wait! What the heck I'm talking about? It's 1/350!!!!). I think you have no chance using the kit canopies if you want to use these, those are too thick and are in one piece (at least for the Phantom, but I presume it's valid for the other aircrafts too). I think I'll create my own canopies using thermaform, because these can be made a lot thinner, but I still don't have too much idea how to cut them to shape for the Phantoms for example, as those have a 4 section canopy if you want to open it (and you will want to open it when you completed the cockpit with hard work, and rescued it about a hundred times from the mouth of the carpet monster!)

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Click on the image to see it enlarged!

There is one general instruction for every cockpit and ejection seat. You have to fold up the walls and bulkhead of the cockput tube, place the the instrument panels to the appropriate place and insert the stick if you can :) I had no appropriate tool to handle it. For completing the ejection seats, you have to make the seat cushions using plasticard pieces. When it trimed to the right size, you have to fold in the sidewalls and the top section of the ejection seats. If you still not lost the ejection seat in the carpet for the eternity, you can insert them in to their place.

In the set you can find wheel struts, wheel, wheel bay doors, pylons,arresting hooks, and many other useful pieces. Please enlarge the pages of the instruction sheets, I scanned it in a resolution to make you see all the details!

Instruction sheet
Click on the image to see it enlarged!

Click on the image to see it enlarged!

Please see the high resolution full fret image below to inspect the details!

High Resolution images! 1600 pixel wide!


Click on the image to see it enlarged



Highly recommended, even if you don't want to bother building all the cockpits for the full airwing. There are too much other goodies on the set that worth dealing with to miss this set! Remember, there are separate sets for the different aircraft types also, not only the ones included in the Nimitz kit! I'll review these sets soon...

I never thought that once I'll think about my 1/144 Hornet as a big model...

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Click on the image to see it enlarged!



Order online at


Sample kit courtesy by Caroline and John Snyder, White Ensign Models. Thank you!

Photos and text 2005 by Zoltan Pocza

Friday, March 25, 2005