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USCG Bear, JAG Collective

  • Bear7
"The United States Coast Guard medium endurance cutter, USCG Bear, is the focus of this MSW "On Display" built by Dade Bell!"

Commissioned on February 4, 1983, the USCG Bear is a United States Coast Guard medium endurance cutter. Notable aspects of her career were searching 1900 square nautical miles after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and making 18 significant drug seizures. She is still in service.

This model is the excellent JAG Collective 1/700 kit. JAG is easily one of the best resin ship makers in the world and this kit went together like a dream. The level of detail is precise and tight.

I wanted to build this kit as a break from all of the usual gray and blue ships in my collection and as a sort of memorial to my late mother who received her Coast Guard certification less than a year before her untimely passing.

There is hardly any weathering visible on this model because the real ships are virtually spotless and always "pop" visually. Ironically, the real ships look almost "toy like" from medium distances thanks to their striking white color schemes.

The photo etch is from the model's included fret, with a couple extra rails from Tom's Model Works. The six vertical antennae are cut from whiskers my cats shed. They make the best antenna as they spring back to shape and are very hard to snap off as with wire or sprue.

Instead of mounting the model on my usual water base, I put it on a smooth light blue surface to better profile the clean lines and colors of the Bear. The HH-60 Jayhawk provides an extra splash of color.

This build depicts the Bear in her 1980's fit.
  • Bear6
  • Bear5
  • Bear4
  • Bear3
  • Bear2
  • Bear1

About the Author

About Dade W. Bell (Karybdis)

I'm a third generation modeler who builds a little of everything (mostly Japanese)- all while being a 45 year old hermit who lives a happy, simple life, with my fiancée (author Jaclyn Dolamore) and three cats. My father was an MM3 aboard the USS Saratoga (CVA-60), my grandfather was in one of the...


Beautiful work! such crisp build and lines... I also like the aesthetic choice of the light blue "base" instead of a water base. I will try that presentation method while I learn to make water bases. Quick question, is that light blue thin board pasted on black wood base? Im making my monthly "Michaels" purchase list Cheers!
MAY 23, 2008 - 03:47 AM
Hi Dade Very clean built and a very colorful and unusual subject! A great way to make a "little memorial" for your mother, too (no pun intended here!!!) JAG models are excellent and you have made justice to them Congratulation and keep up the good work Thanks MarK Rui
MAY 23, 2008 - 04:13 AM
Hey thanks guys! James, to answer your question, the blue portion of the base is a piece of styrene cut to size, sprayed with a gloss blue, and then glued to a wood base that was painted black. I had considered using some blue poster board, but decided not to just in case the glue to secure it to the base, and the glue to secure the ship to the board, would "bleed" and maybe mess up the presentation. Then again, sealing the board with a paper sealer would lessen that worry, so it's something to consider in other projects... Rui, I really enjoy JAG's products. When I get some other projects out of the way, I want to build their other USCG ship and the USS Long Beach!
MAY 23, 2008 - 11:19 AM
Nice clean build Dade!, nice touch adding the tools, gives a good account on just how small these 700th kits trully are. looking forward to your next work... Frank
MAY 23, 2008 - 12:58 PM