|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
USS Springfield (CL-66/CLG-7/CG-7) was one of 27 Cleveland-class light cruisers built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was the third US Navy ship to be named after Springfield, Illinois. Commissioned in 1944, she served briefly in the Atlantic before transferring to the Pacific. There she served with fast carrier task forces, primarily in an anti-aircraft role, but also in a shore bombardment role in the last stages of the Pacific War. She earned two battle stars for wartime service. Like all but one of her sister ships, she was decommissioned and laid up soon after the end of World War II.
In the late 1950s she was one of three Cleveland-class ships to be converted into Providence-class guided missile cruisers. As part of this conversion, she was modified to become a flagship, which involved expanding her forward superstructure and removing most of her forward armament. She was recommissioned in 1960 as CLG-7 (later redesignated as CG-7). In her second career, she served entirely in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. She was decommissioned for the final time in 1974 and sold for scrap six years later.
For those who do not know, Renwal was once a competitor of Revell, but was purchased by Revell somewhere along the line. It may even have been a recent acquisition by Revell's owner, Hobbico. Anyway, this has resulted in a number of Renwal's kits being reissued in somewhat original boxes, but with modern dates and Revell part numbers as part of Revell's SSP (Selected Subjects Program).
This boxing is of the Springfield as it was in its final days as CG 7 carrying Terrier missiles. It is quite typical of the day having a flat bottomed 'carpet hull' that may of us remember from our youth in the 1960s. It was so called as the flat bottom allowed much easier 'cruising' on carpets. So while you could call it full hull, I'm betting the real ship wasn't so flat on the bottom.
All of the parts are nicely molded, but to be honest, are rather clunky compared to modern kits. For instance, the life boats are molded as one with the davits and the AA guns are little more than shapes. Same goes for the helicopter. Speaking of which, with the helo there is no need for the aft crane and that was used to haul up floatplanes. The missiles are also little more than shapes and the masts are sort of thick. Interestingly, the main armament guns are separate so you can have them pointing in different angles. The missile launchers can also be moved around so there is play value.
Instructions are well done and use generic colors so finding paints will not be an issue. There is a sheet of paper flags to run along the 'rigging' (the kit has holes for this line to be installed) and you get a small decal sheet with numbers and plimsol lines.
If you get the feeling that this kit is not worth building, well that would not be totally accurate. It really depends on how you approach it. If you want the latest and greatest in detail, this isn't it. If you are looking for a nostalgia build, a basis for a lot of scratchbuilding, or something for the youngster to try his or her hand on, then this would be appealing.
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