1/700 USS Colorado BB-45

Modernized Battleship
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Colorado was the class leader of a new 16" gunned Battleship based on the earlier Tennessee class. With the exception of the twin 16" main guns in lieu of the triple 14" guns these ships were virtually identical in size and shape. Unlike her two sisters Colorado was on the west coast undergoing a refit when war broke out thus escaping the fate the befell the others. Colorado's refit was cut short and she emerged looking much like she was before. After operating around the Fiji Islands and New Hebrides from 42 to 43. She returned to the states to complete a much needed refit. This one resulted in the replacing of her aft cage mast with a stump tower and the lowering of her forward cage mast. 

The Colorado joined other US forces and sailed for the Mariana Islands to help in the advance across the Pacific. At Tinian Colorado was hit 22 times by enemy fire but remained on station as returned fire until she could be relieved. After repairs stateside she returned to action. While supporting the invasion of Leyte Gulf she was hit twice by kamikazes. Again she stayed on station and completed her mission before sailing to the Manus Island for emergency repairs. 

Colorado served out the rest of the war provided fire support as the Allies advanced to Tokyo. She returned home only to be placed in the reserve fleet prior to being scrapped in July 1959.

It is in her  modernized state that HP Models has reproduced this kit. They have captured the look with a  nicely cast hull and with plenty of fine details. The splinter shields are thin and well cast and deck planking detail is well done. The one problem with this hull is the excessive width of the torpedo bulge. It should not protrude from the hull that much. At least half of that thickness needs to be sanded away.
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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. The only thing I don't like is the cast resin cage mast. I plan to replace mine with a photo etch one such as the Tom's Modelworks cage mast set. I am glad that the resin tower is included as not everyone will chose to use photo etch detail parts.
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 with nice sharp detailing. Life rafts are lashed to the deck and some turrets have the appropriate gun tubs added. The real bonus here is the machined brass gun barrels. Many of us pay extra for these and it is nice to see HP including them in their kits. Secondary weapons look good too. The 5" 25 cal guns are well done with their half shields cast in place and separate gun barrels.
Anti aircraft weapons are based on the tried and true Skywave weapons set. The quad 40 mm guns look good but I prefer to use the photo etch 20 mm replacements such as the Corsair Armada's 20 mm photo etch set.
A flag sheet is printed on paper with the typical US flags.
The instructions are pretty good, but still lack some detail views.  Sheet one and two are also produced as a B sized sheet for easier reading.
Conclusions: At  $108 this kit is not for the beginner, but for those who want to model the model the  modernized 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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