MidShip Models 1/700 USS Pennsylvanian BB-38 1941

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Pennsylvania was the class leader for a new class of battleship commissioned June 12, 1916. The class consisted of two ships, the Arizona being the second. They were improved Nevada class slightly larger and heavier and with twelve 14" guns in four turrets. Both Pennsylvania and Arizona were at Pearl Harbor on December 7th. While the Arizona was bombed and sunk, the Pennsylvania was in drydock and somewhat shielded from severe damage. However there was enough damage inflicted to require repairs stateside. She was patched up and sent to San Francisco for an extensive rebuilding. She emerged with a brand new secondary armament and radically changed superstructure. A second rebuilding added more modern radar and even more anti aircraft guns. With this upgraded armament, the Keystone Battlewagon was able to exact some pay back for the loss of her sistership. Pennsylvania was involved in bombard missions in Alaskan waters, and all over the Pacific. 

Her most famous action was the Battle of Surigao Strait. On 24 October 1944, Pennsylvania was among a group of five other battleships, with cruisers and destroyers of Rear Admiral Oldendorf's Force. There mission; to stop the Japanese Fleet as it closed the Philippines southern approach. As they steamed back and forth at the opening of the Strait, the Japanese force was sighted. The Torpedo boats attacked with escorting destroyers and the big guns maneuvered across the enemy's "T". Two battleships and three destroyers were sunk that night. 

Pennsylvania received eight battle stars for World War II service. 

This new kit from Midship is actually the old Classic Warships kit. New molds have been made from the master and new parts have been added. The kit depicts the ship during 1941.

The hull is nicely cast with lots of surface detailing. There is nice deck planking, lots of bits and deck winches and nice anchor chain detailing. I am not a big fan of cast on anchor chain, but it looks like the master used real chain so the result is pretty good. 
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Splinter shields are well done and there is a lot of surface detailing present. The hull on this kit is the same as the one used in the Arizona
The Pennsylvania has a slightly different superstructure than sister ship Arizona. Her armored conning tower extended a deck higher and there were other differences. Those can be seen in these parts. Overall these are pretty well cast with some flat sanding needed to get rid of the resin over pour and bring the decks back to a realistic thickness. 
The fighting tops are well done with window frame details cast on. Some of the main mast platforms have gusset details cast on. The bridge part will need some work as there is a piece of resin from what looks like a mold tear that will have to be sanded off. 
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Main guns are well done with resin cast gun barrels. Note the gun barrels while individually cast elevated as a set so keep that in mind when building your ship. The 5" 25 cal guns are the same as those used in many of the old Classic Warships kits and current Midship kits and while they are well cast they are not correctly shaped. They are probably good enough for most modelers but you might consider replacing them with Corsair Armada versions. 
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A couple of the larger whale boats are provided cast in resin. Detail is pretty good and these will just need the casting gate removed from the stern.
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This kit features two of the MidShip standard weapons sprues to supply the small weapons and fittings. The rafts are molded in two styles and are both nicely done.   This will supply the small weapons as well as give you a bunch of extra spare parts you can use for other projects.
There are a number of parts that are supplied cast in white metal. These include the cranes,  and main and secondary gun directors. There are also  two Kingfisher float planes. Some of these parts a bit flashy and will need some clean up.
A photo etch fret is supplied to add the fine details to this kit. These include nice aircraft catapults, and cranes. Inclined ladders and lots of railings are provided. These parts are relief etched to help give them a 3D appearance. This is a complete fret and really enhances this kit. 
There is also a length of plastic and brass rod included to fabricate the tripod legs for the fighting tops. 
The decal sheet is a real treat and includes flags and pennants as well as both prewar and early and late war hull numbers. These are printed by Microscale and are typical of the high quality decals they usually produce. They are nicely registered and sharp.
The instructions are six pages with a bill of materials, subassembly views and exploded views. Note quite as extensive as those in the Nevada / Oklahoma kits.

This kit is the only kit that I know of for a Pearl Harbor era Pennsylvania. I have to admit that I was kind of expecting to see a reboxed Arizona kit. But this kit included those parts needed to correctly model this ship. It was a pretty good kit when first released by Classic Warships, but Midship Models has made it even better with new photo etch, decals, and plastic parts. It will make a fine addition to your Pearl Harbor fleet.  This one has a list price is $100 US. But I found it for $75 online. These kits are available now at Pacific Front and Freetime Hobbies

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