Iron Shipwrights 1/350
USS Nevada BB-36 1944

Reviewed by Matt Enochs

The second USS Nevada (BB–36) was laid down 4 November 1912 by the Fore River Shipbuilding Co., Quincy, Mass. launched 11 July 1914; sponsored by Miss Eleanor Anne Seibert, niece of Governor Tasker L. Oddie of Nevada and descendant of Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert; and commissioned 11 March 1916, Capt. William S. Sims in command. Nevada joined the Atlantic Fleet at Newport 26 May 1916 and operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean until World War I. After training gunners out of Norfolk, she sailed 13 August 1918 to serve with the British Grand Fleet, arriving Bantry Bay, Ireland 23 August. She made a sweep through the North Sea and escorted transport George Washington, President Woodrow Wilson embarked, during the last day of her passage into Brest, France, before sailing, for home 14 December. Nevada served in both Atlantic and Pacific Fleets in the period between the wars. In September 1922 she represented the United States in Rio de Janeiro for the Centennial of Brazilian Independence. From July to September 1925, she participated in the U.S. Fleet’s goodwill cruise to Australia and New Zealand, which demonstrated to our friends down under, and to the Japanese, our ability to make a self-supported cruise to a distance equal to that to Japan. Modernized at Norfolk Naval Shipyard between August 1927 and January 1930, Nevada served in the Pacific Fleet for the next decade. On 7 December 1941, Nevada was moored singly off Ford Island, and had a freedom of maneuver denied the, other 8 battleships present during the attack. As her gunners opened fire and her engineers got up steam, she was struck by one torpedo and two, possibly three, bombs from the Japanese attackers, but was able to get underway. While attempting to leave harbor she was struck again. Fearing she might sink in the channel, blocking it, she was beached at Hospital Point. Gutted forward, she lost 50 killed and 109 wounded. Refloated 12 February 1942, Nevada made seaworthy at Pearl Harbor set sail for Puget Sound Navy Yard. Here she was modernized and refitted to be a much more effective ship in the current type of war she would be fighting. Gone was the anti destroyer 5"/51 broadside guns and single 5"/25 AA guns, in their place a battery of eight dual 5"/38 radar guided turrets. The ineffective .50 cal machine guns replaced by batteries of the harder hitting 20mm oerlikon cannons. Once this overhaul was complete, basically everything from the deck up was rebuilt or replaced with the exception of her main turrets. She would bear little resemblance to the pre-war battleships with tall tripod masts and turret top catapult, now with a compact superstructure and and a tall funnel extension, she truly had a unique profile. Modernized and ready for revenge, she sailed for Alaska where she provided fire support for the capture of Attu 11 to 18 May. In June 1943 she sailed for further modernization at Norfolk Navy Yard, and in April 1944 reached British waters to prepare for the Normandy Invasion. In action from 6 to 17 June, and again 25 June, her mighty guns pounded not only permanent shore defenses on the Cherbourg Peninsula, but ranged as far as 17 miles inland, breaking up German concentrations and counterattacks. Shore batteries straddled her 27 times, but failed to diminish her accurate fire. Between 15 August and 25 September, Nevada fired in the invasion of Southern France, dueling at Toulon with shore batteries of 13.4-inch guns taken from French battleships scuttled early in the war. Her gun barrels were relined at New York, and she sailed for the Pacific, arriving off Iwo Jima 16 February 1945 to give marines invading and fighting ashore her massive gunfire support through 7 March. On 24 March, Nevada massed off Okinawa with the mightiest naval force ever seen in the Pacific, as pre-invasion bombardment began. She pounded Japanese airfields, shore defenses, supply dumps, and troop concentrations through the crucial operation, although 11 men were killed and a main battery turret damaged when she was struck by a suicide plane 27 March. It would be this damage that would prevent her sortie in a interception force of the Japanese battleship Yamato on April 6th. Another 2 men were lost to fire from a shore battery 5 April. Serving off Okinawa until 30 June, from 10 July to 7 August she ranged with the 3rd Fleet which not only bombed the Japanese home islands, but came within range for Nevada’s guns during the closing days of the war. Returning to Pearl Harbor after a brief occupation duty in Tokyo Bay, Nevada was surveyed and assigned as a target ship for the Bikini atomic experiments. She was painted a bright orange color and anchored in the middle of the lagoon along with many of her former foes and aging comrades including another Pearl Harbor survivor, the USS Pennsylvania. The tough old veteran survived both of the atom-bomb tests of July 1946, returned to Pearl Harbor to decommission 29 August.On July 26th 1948, she was going to be sunk by a Top Secret explosive test, after the charges were detonated and the smoke cleared, the tough old battlewagon still floated proudly. The Commander in charge of the test was somewhat embarrassed, so he decided to try and use a new and developing technology. The radar guided missile, packing more than enough fire power to do the job, only problem was they missed the "Ol' 36" by 600 yards to the stern. Now becoming infuriated, the Commander ordered his destroyers to finish it the old fashioned way, round after round of 5-inch fire was pumped into the Nevada but again the old ship was not going to give up. He then ordered the USS Iowa to take matters into their hands, but again as with the destroyers the Nevada was not giving up. He called upon the cruisers Astoria, Pasadena and Springfield to send the proud veteran to her watery grave. The Nevada just bobbed and rolled smoking and smoldering but not giving up yet. Finally a strike of torpedo bombers were called in to finish her off once and for all. Shortly after 1400 hrs on 31 July 1948, a torpedo struck her amidships causing a tremendous explosion, this was the fatal hit as she over the next 30 minutes slowly gave into her fate finally capsizing and sinking in 2,600 fathoms of water. It took 6 days of pounding by her own navy's newest and traditional armaments to finally do what the Japanese and German armed forces and 2 Atomic bombs could not do. The Nevada and her men were honored on September 14th, 1985 with the commissioning of the USS Nevada SSBN-733, an Ohio class Trident Nuclear submarine.

The Iron Shipwright/Commanders 1/350 model of the USS Nevada BB-36 represents her in her 1944 Operation Neptune fit. This fit should be suitable for the Nevada anywhere from her support of the D-Day landings right on up through her decommissioning. It is a large hunk of resin with many finely cast details, a pretty good set of Photo Etch and a fantastic set of Brass 14-inch barrels for the main armament. It comes packed in heavy cardboard box with everything nicely packed inside.


The hull comes molded as one piece and has a ton of detail packed into it. Most of the deck detail including winches, splinter shields and superstructure foundations are cast in place. Unfortunately, like many of their other kits that I have seen, the casting quality ranges from excellent to very poor. You can see this spectrum right on the hull, You have intricate and nicely detailed deck winches, skylights and hatches that are nicely cast with plenty of sharp detail and the you have plenty of mis-formed details like splinter shields, capstans and vents. Air bubbles run amok on this kit, luckily most are in easy to get to places and a quick drop of gel superglue or spot putty take care of them. The place that these are the worst is the bottom of the hull, luckily again, these are in a place where it would be very easy to go through and fill and sand these and being under the ship, they would not be very noticeable. There are some remnants of the when the master was made like some gaps between the hull side and the deck, some re-scribed lines on the deck. The bilge keels are pretty much shot and useless, the only purpose they serve is to give the modeler a rough outline of their shape and location so one could scratchbuild them. Modeler be warned! The broken portion of the bilge keel is razor thin and cuts like one too! Their are 2 large resin pour stubs and a thinner spine that runs along the bottom of the hull that should be easy enough to remove with a razor saw. Unlike several of my other Iron Shipwright kits that suffer from poorly cast and misaligned portholes, this kit is actually pretty good with only a couple being slightly out of line. It helps also that by this point in Nevada's career, she only has a handful of them left.


The forward superstructure is cast in 5 separate pieces all with good detail and fair casting, they do seem to suffer less of the air bubble scourge and clean up very easy and quickly. A couple of them were slightly warped, but a quick splash under the faucet running as hot as it could made quick work of that. Accuracy seems pretty good here, the biggest flub I could find was the flag bags were mounted one deck to low. There is some minimal flash and some casting gates to be removed but this should be very easy for anyone with resin experience. The aft superstructure was a slightly different story, it was plagued with soft details and air bubbles. I feel that it should have been broken down better to allow the casting process an easier time. It will require quite a bit of work to get it up to the standard of the rest of the kit. The 20mm deck right behind the aft deck structure is cast separately and is pretty good with a few air bubbles and some minor cleanup work to be done.

One of the most distinguishing features of the Nevada's silhouette, was her funnel with tall extension. This a cast as one piece and is very clean, only clean up work would be hollowing out the funnel as it is molded with only a slight indention.

The meat and potatoes of any battleship is the guns. My kit came with five main turrets, 3 twins and 2 triples, they are fair to good casting overall. The twin mount was cast pretty good with minimal clean up required. The triple mounts were a little weaker in the casting quality but still very easy to make useable. They all have fair detail cast onto them with separate cast rangefinders. The secondary 5"/38 twin turrets are fairly nice but will require a lot of work to free them from their casting wafer and clean them up. Their accompanied Mk.37 directors are also nicely detailed, one of mine were pretty much an unusable blob of resin due to something going wrong during it's casting. I contacted Iron Shipwright and within 3 days had a brand new set of them, people can say what they want about their kits, but I don't think anything bad could be said for their customer service. The 5"/38 barrels are resin and are hit and miss, these would be well suited for replacement with a brass set of barrels. The 40mm's have nicely molded bases but their guns are pretty much useless, just about everyone that came with the kit have their barrels broken or snapped off. I did not order new ones as I plan on replacing them with aftermarket sets, but I am sure I could have gotten a decent set from them by request. The 20mm's aren't bad but considering what is available in the after market world, they defiantly could use upgrading. They are cast resin for the gun and mount with separate photo etch shields.

What little that isn't cast on comes packaged in 2 plastic containers. These are mostly the 40 and 20mm guns, props, shafts, boats and scout planes. These parts all range from fine to poor in quality. I would definitely want to replace the Kingfisher, it seems to be out of shape and not very well cast.


Here are most of the large assemblies dry fitted to see how she will look.


One of the nice features of this kit is the inclusion of a set of brass 14"/45 main gun barrels. These are made by B&D Barrels and are very well done. I don't have the exact measurements so I can't speak to they accuracy but they look right and are light-years ahead of anything done in resin or white metal. The set included was made for Banner's Arizona which has the bonus of 2 spare barrels, only drawback is they are too long to just be installed in the resin turrets. Being designed for the Banner Arizona, they are designed to pass through the face of the plastic turret and go into the mounting harness. This will require you to either drill deep into the resin or cut the barrels down to size and just glue them to the face of the turret.


The kit comes with 3 sheets of photo etch. The overall quality is good, not up WEM or GMM standards with relief etching, but it is still nicely done. Interestingly one of them came packed as the USS Tennessee but I suppose their are enough parts that it's universal. One sheet is all railings and some ladders. The second sheet is most of the standard details such as catapults, cranes and inclined ladders. The third sheet is the complicated SK radar and more inclined ladders.


Instructions are definitely a weak point, they are nicely drawn but the way they show you how to attach some parts is slightly confusing and could steer you wrong. Included is a paint guide for her in both her MS 22 and MS 31a/6b camouflage measures in black and white, they are easy enough to follow. This kit could also be used to paint her in MS 21 of late 1945 as well..


I am very happy and grateful to Iron Shipwrights for producing a kit of this ship in this fit. Even with some of it's issues, this kit is still very nice and can be built into a very nice and accurate model. She matches up pretty close to my sources so not to many problems there, some minor fixes here and there but still pretty good. I do wish that they would take some more time on fine tuning some of their kits, little details but when you consider the cost it would be nice to have some of these addressed. They do have the best customer service and the best selection of kits. With some patience, good references and some aftermarket sets, this will buildup to be a good looking representation of this fine ship. It is available on Iron Shipwrights website for $325. I will be doing a full buildup of this kit, so look for that in the future and I will be doing a "work in progress" thread on the Forum.
Matt "Taskforce48" Enochs