MOVIE MODEL REVIEW U.S.S. Nimitz (The Final Countdown)

This time on our special series looking at models from movie and TV shows we build and go for ride on the U.S.S. Nimitz as featured in the film The Final Countdown starring Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen.

For those not familiar with The Final Countdown, it is a film from 1980 with Douglas as the Captain of the nuclear class aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz CVN 68 and Sheen as a author writing a book about the attack on Pearl Harbour. Through a freak storm the Nimitz and her crew are sent back to the day before Pearl Harbour gets attacked. What should they do with all the power at their disposal? You will need to watch the film to find out but what I will say is that the real star of this film is the ship herself.

The model from Revell was smaller than I expected but then I understood why because with the scale of this if it was any bigger it would be a very large build with all the other aircraft that we also have to add to the model.

Revell U.S.S. Nimitz CVN 68
Product number 05814
Scale1: 1200
Skill level 3 advanced
Single components 99



Upon opening the box I found out that this was going to be a delicate, yet easy build, well at least I hoped it would be. There were the two main hull and decking parts and two other part trees with one taken up more by the planes and helicopters that could be placed on the deck.

A quick check of the instructions and I found my starting order as well as what I needed to paint first. I am not a experienced modeller but  I find it one of best ways to de-stress so looking at this model I knew it was just the right level of build for me.

The first task was to combine the main sections of the boat together and attach it to the base stand unit. This was a very good fit and I found no trouble at all with the action. I then painted the boat a navy gray which was a bit darker than the image on the website but I knew how I wanted my boat to look. Off to a good start…

So now I can decide to have the aircraft lifts in place or lowered. These are the lifts that bring the planes from the lower decks to the upper deck. You have a few to do and I went with three up and one lowered. These had to be painted a more metallic colour from the rest of the hull.

Next up was adding some of the ramp decks which are used when a plane takes off. You can choose to have these decks down or up and it was no trouble doing either. I choose to have two up on the main runway and one by the side of the deck.


Then it came to the main tower of the boat, which came in about four parts. The main building part which was easy to connect then the delicate communication arrays, which was the hardest thing about this build. The size of joins were very small and it took four attempts to get it just right and allow me  to be  able to stand them up freely on top of the main building.

I had to say I was really impressed with myself for getting this right and you will see from the pictures in the video at the end of this review that it looked good. My feeling of achievement lasted until I managed to knockoff the array with a badly placed swing of my wrist. I had damaged the joins and no there was no way to keep the three levels together so I had to improvise and make some cuts to the parts to make it work but it still turned out OK.

Now I wanted to get some colour on the decking and I went for the classic wood runway look. I know that was not exactly the right colour but it was my personal touch to the great lady. I was really pleased with how it turned out.

Onto the transfers to make the runway markings. Some of these were easy and others were very finicky but overall not too hard to get right. Once the first of the transfers were added I felt the model was truly coming alive.

The final piece of the puzzle was deciding which aircraft to place as there is a choice of fighter planes, bombers, AWACS and helicopters. The instructions give you a guide but it really is completely down to you. I made a busy feel for my carrier which included all four types of crafts. I gave all of them a different paint job and placed them strategically on the deck in what I would consider a full action stations formation.


So my final thoughts on this are that it was a great model to build apart from the communication array that was just nit strong enough and I would have preferred to have it as one piece rather than three. I like the fact that I could choose a few various options of the how the ship was displayed and what planes to use. It is a great size that will not take up too much room on your shelf and you can be proud of the final model.

For me this is a 4 out of 5 rating but a really enjoyable build.

Model details:

– Detailed hull with many structures
– Authentic power plant
– Textured flight deck
– Deck-edge lifts with optional positions
– Detailed bridge superstructure
– Radar equipment
– 16x F/A-18 Super Hornet
– 4x EA-6B Prowler
– 4x E-2C Hawkeye
– 8x MH-60 S Sea Hawk
– Flight deck vehicles
– Display stand
– Detailed decals for the flight deck and the USS Nimitz, CVN-68, 2010

Now for a closer look at the build and the model watch the video below.


Rating: 4/5

Source: Revell
Reviewer: Montoya

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