Niko Model 1/700
USS Florida BB-30

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
BB-30 was launched on May 12 1910 the lead ship of the Florida class. A follow up to the Delaware class these ships displaced 21,825 tons on a 521' 6" hull. These little battleships packed 10 12" 45 cal main guns in five twin turrets. The second ship in this class was the USS Utah rebuilt as a target ship and sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7th. 

Florida operated with Battleship Division 9 during World War I. She sailed with the British Grand Fleet and escorted convoys across the Atlantic. After the war she was reconstructed and her aft cagemast was removed. It is in this late appearance that Niko Models has recreated this forgotten ship in 700 scale resin. 

The hull on this kit is very well cast. The fine details are well executed and the deck planking is among the finest I have seen in this scale. The shapes are crisp and sharp and the only thing I could find that I didn't like was the anchor way detailing that needs to be drilled out a bit.
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The superstructure parts will amaze you. These parts are cast on a thin resin wafer and will allow you to do some really nice superdetailing. Many of the structures are cast hollow so you could even add some interior details.
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The gun turrets are a little plain looking, but then so are the real ones. The gun barrels are cast in resin and look pretty good, but I suspect with a kit this nice many will want to replace them with turned brass versions. The smaller guns are well cast and feature nice detailing.
The boat cranes, mast parts, and anchor parts are nicely cast with just a bit of flash.
The floatplanes are little models in themselves. They feature nice radial engine detailing, and thin wings. There are some tiny voids here and there, but these are barely visible to the naked eye. 
The boats are well done in a variety of styles typically found on battleships of this era. The hollowed out versions have photo etch decks that help give them an extra level of detail.
A complete photo etch fret included the cage mast and various platforms. Railings are also included so there is nothing extra you need to buy to build this kit. 
The instructions are six pages, four of them exploded views using photos of the actual kit. A camo sheet is also included to help you get the colors right.

A highly detailed ship of a long forgotten Battleship class. Included is everything you need to build the kit with no need for any aftermarket accessories. This kit is listed in Pacific Front Hobbies catalog for $82.00 a fair price for a highly detailed kit with photoetch like this. They carry the entire Niko line of ships and many more hard to find, high quality kits.