MidShip Models 1/700 USS Idaho BB-42 1941

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The three New Mexico class battleships were commissioned between 1918 and 1919. They were similar to the Pennsylvania class but had a clipper bow to improve sea keeping. As built they had cage masts, but in the 30's they were modernized and received towering superstructures and anti torpedo bulges. 

Idaho was part of the Atlantic neutrality patrol until the US entered the war following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After which she sailed with sister Mississippi to the west coast. After receiving some anti aircraft upgrades, she sailed for Alaskan waters and helped retake the Aleutians. Her heavy guns were put to use again on attacks on the Gilbert islands. Later she sailed to Guam and again brought her guns to bear on the enemy ashore. After bombardment missions off Peleliu she returned to the west coast for a refit at Bremerton, Washington. Afterwards she went to Iwo Jima and then Okinawa where her guns dealt punishment to the enemy entrenched on the islands. She fought off Kamikazes and took one near miss on her port side blister. Following repairs she made her way to Japan to witness the surrender with her sister ships in Tokyo Bay. After the war she was decommissioned sold for scrap in 1947. 

Idaho received seven 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 cast waterline style with almost none of the superstructure. The deck has nice wood planking and the hull looks to be correctly shaped. The casting is pretty good with only a few areas that will need cleanup. 
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The superstructure comes cast in many separate parts. I would prefer to have some of this cast with the hull, but this will make modifications easier. The parts are all cast in the open face mold style and will need some extensive flat sanding to get rid of the overpour. The deck also has nice wood planking and the reinforced splinter shields look very good. There is a lack of surface detail on the walls of most parts. Doors and portholes will have to be added by the modeler. The shapes appear to be correct for this class of ship.
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The main gun turrets are cast with gun barrel openings and nice gusset detailing along the base. The bottoms will need sanded but this is preferable to having to remove casting gates in locations where there is surface detailing. The gun barrels are also cast in resin and are acceptable, but I suspect that many will replace these with aftermarket barrels. 
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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. The gun directors on the other hand look very good. They are nicely shaped and even have the hatch details present.
Three  of the larger whale boats and two covered launches are provided cast in resin. Detail is pretty good and these will just need the casting gate removed from the stern and some minor cleanup.
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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 only a few metal parts in this kit. Masts, anchors, and main gun directors. 
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 for the mast and yardarms.
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 ten pages and more extensive then their other kits. They include plenty of assembly views and should be sufficient to guide you through the building process. 

Also available is the other members of the class;  USS New Mexico, and USS Mississippi in their 1941 fits.

I wouldn't recommend this kit to a beginner, but anyone who has tackled a few resin kits shouldn't have a lot of problems building this ship. This kit is yet another resurrected Classic Warships kits. It is not really up to today's standards but the inclusion of a nice photo etch set, new plastic parts, and sharp decals helps to make it a pretty good value. It's biggest drawback is the thickness of the resin overpours on the parts. this is one area where MidShip could improve on the quality of their kits. This kit is a little pricey at it's MSRP of $100, but you can usually find it for sale for a lot less. 

These kits are available now at Pacific Front and Freetime Hobbies

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