1/700 USS Tennessee BB-43

Modernized Pearl Harbor Battleship
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Tennessee was the follow-up to the New Mexico class. Similar in armament and size, they had a long sleek hull with clipper bow and towering cage masts with fighting tops mounted as built. The Tennessee and her sister the USS California were both present at Pearl Harbor Sunday December 7th 1941 and neither escaped damage. Fortunately for the Tennessee she was moored inboard of the West Virginia and escaped the torpedoes that sunk most of the other ships of Battleship row. She was patched up and returned to service with a few modifications such as the removal of her aft cage mast. In September 1942 she was taken in to Puget Sound Naval Yard for a major overhaul that drastically altered her appearance and  replaced her superstructure. She also had her beam increased to 114' and her 5" 51 cal single guns replaced with eight 5" 38 cal twin mounts controlled by Mk 37 directors. The USS Tennessee was active in the Pacific war providing heavy fire support for the Allied landings and helped to sink the Japanese Battleship Yamishiro at Surigao Strait.
It is in this modernized state that HP Models has produced this kit. I have several of HP's kits and so far this is the best one yet. The hull is nicely cast with plenty of fine detail, splinter shields are thin and well cast and deck planking detail is well done.
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The superstructure parts are cast on a resin wafer that is pretty thin. The parts are all well molded and crisp in detail. One only has to lightly sand the the part to remove the wafer. I do this by taping a piece of fine sandpaper to a hard surface, usually a pane of glass. The part is then lightly sanded back and forth taking care to hold the part perpendicular to the surface. I prefer to wet sand the part to keep the resin dust down.
Be careful with the platforms as they are delicate and care must be used to avoid breaking the thinly cast splinter shields. Fortunately the resin wafer is pretty thin here, and one can almost simply cut away the parts with a sharp knife.
The main guns are impressively cast as one assembly with main gun barrels in place. Extra barrels are provided in cast there is any breakage. Personally I prefer to replace these with metal ones such as those offered by Clipper.
Secondary weapons such as the twin 5" mounts are pretty well done. Not as nice as the replacement sets offered by Loose Cannon but better than the plastic alternatives. Most of the other parts are pretty well cast with a little flash that is easily trimmed away with a sharp knife. HP typically mounts their parts standing up on the resin wafer. This preserves most of the detail as opposed to the practice of casting the part laid down on the sheet.
A flag sheet is printed on paper with the typical US flags. 

There is no Photo Etch included in this kit.

The instructions are the best I have seen from this manufacturer and include many detail views including all major deck levels. Sheet one and two are also produced as a B sized sheet for easier reading.
A camouflage sheet is also included showing the MS-21 paint scheme of 1945. I would have preferred to see her earlier MS 32 dazzle camouflage measures but that is not how this ship is depicted.
Conclusions: At a little over $100 this kit is not for the beginner, but for those who want to model the model the post Pearl Harbor battleships this kit is a must have. I purchased my kit from Pacific Front Hobbies who are the Exclusive distributors for HP Models in the United States.

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