Trumpeter 1/700 USS Maryland (BB46) 1941
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit|
USS Maryland (BB-46), also known as "Old Mary" or "Fighting Mary" to her crewmates, was a Colorado-class battleship during World War II. She was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the seventh state. She was commissioned in 1920 and, serving as the flagship of the fleet, cruised to Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.
She is most notable for her service in World War II. She was present on Battleship Row during the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and was lightly damaged by Japanese bombs. Returning to duty in 1942, she saw service in the Pacific War, first supporting the rest of the fleet at the Battle of Midway, and then patrolling the Fiji Islands to guard against Japanese incursion. Next, she went on the offensive, commencing shore bombardments in the Battle of Tarawa and later in the Battle of Kwajalein. During the Battle of Saipan she took torpedo damage to her bow, necessitating repairs and refits. She then participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf where she was hit by a kamikaze. She took another kamikaze hit at the Battle of Okinawa, and was in for repairs at the end of WWII.
After service in Operation Magic Carpet, she was decommissioned in 1947 and sold for scrap. She received seven battle stars for WWII service.
To my knowledge, this is the first time this ship has been done using injected plastic in any scale. It is very much like the more recent Trumpeter ships in that the molding is excellent, the ship can be built either full hull or waterline, and there is a nicely done photo etch fret, many of the pieces which are replacement for the injected bits.
So let's start with the p.e. fret. Right away you see that the delicate 'cage' towers are part of the set. Really, there is no other way to properly portray this feature other than p.e. or perhaps scratch building it out of wire. I'll take the p.e. There are replacement items for the ship's cranes, including the one used for the aircraft and for the catapult. Again, these just look better in photo etch. Crossmembers for the ship's mast are also in p.e. It appears there is a radar antenna as well, but since this is the Pearl Harbor fit, the ship will not need it.
Being the 1941 fit, there are all the old fashioned secondary guns, some with gun shields, but most without. No mass of anti-aircraft guns as you'd see later in the war though there are still quite a few of these. Each of the various weatherdeck areas is made up of the various exterior bulkheads attached to a central core. Some modification of parts will be needed to use some of the photo etch, but the instructions cover all of that. The guns have the option of having blast bags attached or not. A catapult is attached to the #3 turret and it is not in photo etch, but this was a different design so looks fine in plastic.
If you wish to use the full hull option, you have a nice display base on which to rest your ship. The OS2U Kingfisher aircraft are molded in clear plastic, which seems to be the standard way of doing very small scale aircraft nowadays. You are provided with two of them.
Instructions are well done with notes on where to drill holes and what areas to trim when needed. There is the usual full color painting and markings guide and while the decals (not shown) are minimal, they are sufficient for the kit. I should point out that the insignia for the Kingfishers is totally inappropriate for 1941 as that style did not appear until late 1943, so you'll have to find substitutes.
Ship fans should be very pleased to see this one being released. It helps to fill a very large gap in pre-war battleships and I can only hope that we will see others being released in good order.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can find this one at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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