Trumpeter 1/700 RM Battleship Roma

KIT #: 05777
PRICE: $45.99 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit


Roma, named after two previous ships and the city of Rome, was the fourth Vittorio Veneto-class battleship of Italy's Regia Marina (English: Royal Navy). The construction of both Roma and her sister ship Impero was planned due to rising tensions around the world and the navy's fear that twoVittorio Venetos and the older pre-First World War battleships were not enough to counter the British and French Mediterranean Fleets. As Roma was laid down almost four years after the first two ships of the class, some small improvements were made to the design, including additional freeboard added to the bow.

Roma was commissioned into the Regia Marina on 14 June 1942, but a severe fuel shortage in Italy at that time prevented her from being deployed; instead, along with her sister ships Vittorio Veneto and Littorio, she was used to bolster the anti-aircraft defenses of various Italian cities. In this role, she was severely damaged twice in June 1943 from bomber raids on La Spezia. After repairs in Genoa through all of July and part of August, Roma was deployed as the flagship of Admiral Carlo Bergamini in a large battle group that eventually comprised the three Vittorio Venetos, eight cruisers and eight destroyers. Their stated intent was attacking the Allied ships approaching Salerno to invade Italy (Operation "Avalanche") but, in reality, the Italian fleet was sailing to Malta to surrender following Italy's September 8, 1943 armistice with the Allies.

While the force was in the Strait of Bonifacio, Dornier Do 217s of the German Luftwaffe—armed with Fritz X radio-controlled bombs—sighted the force. The first attack failed, but the second dealt Italia (ex-Littorio) andRoma much damage. The hit on Roma caused water to flood two boiler rooms and the after engine room, leaving the ship to limp along with two propellers, reduced power, and arc-induced fires in the stern of the ship. Shortly thereafter, another bomb slammed into the ship which detonated within the forward engine room, causing catastrophic flooding and the explosion of the #2 main turret's magazines, throwing the turret itself into the sea. Sinking by the bow and leaning to starboard, Roma capsized and broke in two, carrying 1253 men—including Bergamini—down with her.

In her 15-month service life, Roma made 20 sorties, mostly in transfers between bases (none were to go into combat), covering 2,492 mi (4,010 km) and using 3,320 tonnes (3,270 LT; 3,660 ST) of fuel oil in 133 hours of sailing. 


Trumpeter has earned itself quite a reputation with ship models and it is quite a delight to see some of the more 'rare' ships being produced. Even in 1/700, the kit has quite a few parts. Many of them are relatively small as the ship was festooned with anti-aircraft guns of various calibers and also had quite a few ship's boats, all of which are at least two piece constructs.

The molding on this as other Trumpeter kits is very good indeed. Detailing is appropriate to this scale and most of it is raised, also appropriate for ships. You get a one-piece hull with a two piece deck, most of the deck being from the front to the rear main turret and a smaller section aft of that, which on the ship is a level lower for the aircraft.

Speaking of which, you get four clear aircraft 'kits' for two Ro-43 biplane floatplanes and two standard Re.2000 fighters. The latter were supposed to be catapulted off and then land either at a land base after combat, or splash down in the sea with the ship coming to rescue the pilot. Sort of like the CAM Hurricanes used by the British. The kit provides a nicely done photo etch set for details around the funnels and some other lattice work that is perfect for this medium. The main guns each have individual barrels on a shaft so that each can be positioned separately if one wishes. Much of the build time will be spent tackling the various guns that were all over the Roma and her sister ships.

One builds up the superstructure into sub assemblies that are later added to the main decking. The kit provides the capabilities of building the ship either full hull, in which case you are provided with a nice display stand, or as a water line. Gone are the vacuformed sea bases that Trumpeter used to offer; perhaps it is a space consideration, but they were nice.

Color information is supplied and a full color painting guide is included with the kit. Decals are provided for the aircraft and appear to be very nicely printed.


Despite its lack of combat, the Roma has been a ship that has attracted ship fans over the years, and now we have a well done injected plastic kit of this handsome ship.


July 2011

Thanks to Squadron Products for the review kit. You can get yours today at your local retailer or have them order it for you.

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