Lion Roar 1/700 Trumpeter USS Baltimore Super Detail Set

Reviewed by Guido Hopp, VMF-06 "German Gamblers"

As the last class of wartime heavy cruisers the of the US Navy the 15 units of the Baltimore Class were launched between 1943 and 1946. The successor of the Wichita Class were equipped with 9x 8'' gun in triple turrets an was the last of the all-gun cruisers by design. Already by mid 2006 Trumpeter started to release their 700th scale Baltimore kit in co-operation with SkyWave. A couple of months ago Lion Roar released their add-on super set to complement this nice kit. As can be expected Lion Roar's offering is again beyond the photo pieces, but as well incorporates primary and secondary artillery gun barrels. In their line of "Super Sets" they always manage to offer something special for the modeller. In this set the 5"/38 twin turrets can be found cast in Resin.

In total, 8 sheets are included in the set. Upon opening of the familiar box, you'll find 5 cardboard sheets holding the photo etch sheets and bags with the special supplies. Everything is well wrapped up in bubble wrap. If you have ever had a Lion Roar Super Set in your hand, you'll pretty much know what to expect. The brass is soft and requires experience as well as sharp tools. For about 2 years Lion Roar photo etch sheets are covered by low-tack foil on the front and back. That is done for 2 reasons: First, the sheets are well protected against improper handling and secondly the foil my stop toe part from "pinging" into kingdom come; just remove the front side layer before starting to use the sheets and leave the back side on. The low-tack character of the foil will hold the part in place when being cut form the sheet, but allow easy removal of the separated part. Only one sheet does not have this foil coverage: It's the sheet holding the railings.

Sheet A

There is one fret of Sheet "A". It is made of brass and finely relief-etched. It supplies among others: Airplane handling cranes, assorted platforms with their railings right attached, radars, stairs, yardarms and nicely detailed bulkheads.

Sheet A
Sheet B x2

Again using relief-etched brass they contain catapults, doors and hatches, cable reels, floater net baskets, more stairs and ladders and AA encasements.

Sheet B
Sheet C x2

Sheet "C" supplies the whole range of 2cm and 4cm AA-guns and -mounts: single and twin 2cm, as well as twin and quad 4cm. Ready ammunition lockers and a range of ladders may be found here, as well.

Sheet C
Sheet D x2

Sheet "D" holds the 4cm AA encasements complete with eady ammo racks on the inside. Anchors, their chains and fairleads are to be found on these, too. Of course, Sheets "C" and "D" are relief etched brass, as well.

Sheet D
Sheet E

Finally here is one sheet of railings, suppling 5 styles of railings raging from straight steel to drooped chain. Two runs of railing are pre-shaped to conform the curved forecastle line

Sheet E
Special Parts

The modeller may appreciate not having to assemble the 5"/38 twin turrets. Most certainly it is time- and effort-saving to use the nice resin cast issues in this set. The cast parts are flawless and show all the necessary features including blast bags. Here the 12 tiny 5" gun barrels will come to fine use, as well. They are just of the right length, taper off slightly and have been drilled open at the muzzle. A small set back may be that all blast bags are shown at zero elevation, so it may be a bit demanding to show the "in action". However, those who can tackle this set, won't have much of a problem doing that small surgery themselves.

Next the secondary artillery mounts and barrels, nine 8" barrels, lathe turned, tapered, with drilled muzzles are included in the set as well.


Three sheets of instructions are supplied in the set. The cover page shows a schematic of the contents, while the actual instruction is limited to the four pages of the following sheets. The graphic advice is quite clear and won't bear many riddles in itself. The use fo the parts are shown in sub-assemblies mostly. Seemingly all parts (besides a few spares) have their use in this set. For my taste the instruction is quite OK, but I found that there is lack of explanation as to where to place such tiny items such as the reels, floater nets, ladders and stairs. I guess some of it will be self-explaining when building the kit and holding a good piece of reference in hand. However, I would wish for more complete information supplied from the set's instructions itself. Another, yet so tiny, set back is that in places the set requires the use of round .5mm rod which is all but supplied in the contents. Of cause many hobbyists will have a supply anyway or may be able to stretch some sprue. Still to call a set "complete" it should be included IHMO. But this is knit-picking of a very nice detail set. The instruction will do and offer a schematic as to who to use the parts on the Baltimore and the Pittsburgh, which was of different construction and configuration within the class.

Click to enlarge


  • Instructions may be more complete
  • A length of .5mm styrene, though required, is not supplied


  • Most complete by offering not only the necessary PE, but turned barrels and resin cast 5"/38 turrets
  • Great depth of detail
  • High quality
  • Low-tack protection foil

It's a great set. Seemingly all you need is there (given you have some styrene rod in your supplies). Whenever I get one of their new sets, I want to jumpstart the project right away. These set really make you want to get to workbench. Unfortunately, in my case, there is a plethora of unfinished projects yet to be tackled, so this one will have to wait a while. Of cause, if you want to find a problem, you will find one. In this regard the set is no different from any other, but yet more complete. In any case it's the challenge we appreciate in our hobby. For this reason I heartily recommend this set to everyone with some experience using PE in 700th scale and good piece of reference at hand!

Made for the experienced ship modeller, with above average expectations.