Classic Warships 1/700 USS California

Tennessee Class Battleship

Reviewed by Timothy Dike

This is one of the original Battleship kits by Classic Warships. It is out of production and probably won't be released again, but in it's day it filled a gap in the available kits then on the market. It is considered a craftsmen kit, meaning that it provides the basis shapes, but many of the detail items must be provided by the modeler. It represents the California, but could easily be used as the Tennessee as well. These ships were very similar to later Colorado class but had 14" guns instead of the new 16" guns.

The hull is pretty well cast, especially considering it's age. It has pretty good decking and plenty of surface detail. The hull on my kit did have a few defects but nothing severe that cant be fixed with a little putty and sanding.

The Superstructure parts are molded in the open face style so one must sand away the resin on the bottom of the parts. The kit provides the basic shapes but other than the deck planking and a few fittings they are pretty basic in their details. There are no secondary weapons so you might want to have a weapons set handy such as the Skywave E-9.

Cast metal parts include some turrets that look a little too simple at first glance, but they have the right basic shape. I suspect that they will look better with the gun barrels attacked and a few life rafts attached. They have a flat bottom so you will have to measure to get them located in the right place. Also included are some tug boats and the concrete moorings that were typical of Pearl Harbor.

Instructions only consist of a plan and elevation view of the ship. You will need to consult some reference books to build this kit. 

The generic Photo Etch Cage Mast is included. You will have to trim the foremast to size as it is identical to the mainmast.


As stated on the box, this is a craftsmen kit and you will need extra parts to finish it. While it was quite a welcome kit in it's time, I think that the current offerings from Hi-Mold and HP are your best bet for modeling a Tennessee Class BB.