Glencoe 1/225 USS Oregon
Review by Felix Bustelo

You can see this model in the Photo Gallery

The USS Oregon was the third ship in the Indiana-class battleships and was launched in October of 1893. At that time, she was the largest military ship to be built on West Coast and was assigned to the Pacific Fleet. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War she was ordered to join the squadron blockading Cuba. She made a historical record-breaking run of 14,000 miles around Cape Horn (the Panama Canal was about 16 years into the future) and joined that fleet within a month of the beginning of the war. She participated in the Battle of Santiago, which destroyed the Spanish Fleet in the Caribbean Sea. After World War One, she was stricken from the rolls. In 1925, she was purchased by the State of Oregon, funded by donations from its citizens, and made into a memorial. In 1942, President Roosevelt ordered the Oregon back into service and she served as an ammunition-storage ship in Guam. After the war, she was scrapped despite pleas from the people of Oregon to save her.

 The Glencoe kit is a re-release of the old Ideal Toy Company (ITC) kit from the 1950's. The kit comes molded in two colors. The hull halves, ship's boats, stand and name plate are molded in white and all other parts are molded in a light gray. In total, there are more than 100 parts with this kit. I guess that the molds were showing signs of age as there is a lot of flash that needs to be cleaned up and there are dimples in the floor of the boats. There are the usual fit problems and gaps that need to be filled in. A dry fit of the hull halves and the deck pieces reveal a gap where the they meet that needs to be filled in putty. For purists, there are some errors with the kit, the most prominent being in the superstructure. There is a deck that did not exist in this class of ships that lies between the upper and bridge decks. If you wish to make a significant step in authenticating this kit, most of this deck needs to be removed and a new deck and bulkheads added. Fortunately, the kit is molded in a soft, easy-to-cut plastic which can simplify this task.

 The kit comes with a decal sheet that has the U.S. Flag, the US Navy Ensign, draft markings, names for the Oregon and her sister-ships Indiana and Massachusetts, and the shield that appears on the ship's bow. The instructions come on three double-sided sheets, with 7 blow up diagrams and a map of the kit's parts to their respective numbers in the assembly instructions. There are no numbers on the trees or parts themselves. There a painting instructions to represent the ship at three points in her career: pre Spanish-American War, during the war and postwar.

 Despite the problems, this kit can be made into a real stunner. Just check out the photo of this kit converted into a postwar Massachusetts in the Gallery. This conversion was documented by the modeler, Bob Santos, in articles that appeared in the July 1992 FineScale Modeler and October 1990 Scale Ship Modeler magazines. Those articles explain how to correct the error in the superstructure mentioned above. Also, there are two excellent photo-etch sets available for this kit, one is from Gold Medal Models and the other is from Tom's Modelworks . With a lot of work and patience, this kit can be made into a beautiful representation of a unique class of ships.