Imperial Hobby Productions 1/700
Proposed USS South Dakota BB-49
Ship kit review
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The arms race of the post world war one years produced quite a few ship designs. Many of these fell victim to the Washington Treaty of 1921. The big three naval powers at that time England, Japan, and the United States agreed to limit warship size and numbers. The US had planned on building bigger and better battleships that would be a match to any other nations best ships. The South Dakota was one such 'super dreadnoughts', an improvement on the previous Colorado class. They were to mount twelve 16" main guns in four triple turrets. They were longer and had the two funnels trunked into one.

You do not need to imagine what this ship would have looked like if it had been built. You only need to build this kit and you will have a 3D representation of it. Compare it to other canceled ships such as the Lexington Class Battlecruiser.

This is a fairly large ship, just shy of 12" in length. It is a multimedia kit with resin, cast metal, and photo etch parts to work with. The hull is well is nicely detailed and clean of any casting defects. The deck details are well cast and mooring chocks and deck planking are well defined. Click images
to enlarge

 Surface detailing is well done and the deck planking is very fine. The small raised ridge around the deck level will help with applying photo etch rails if the builder chooses to use them.
One thing I really like is the lack of molded on anchor chains. Only the anchor skidway is cast on, allowing the modeler to add real chain for a more realistic effect. While I have seen some nicely cast anchor chain molded onto some kits, it is still hard to beat the effect of real chain. Note that this kit even includes properly sized chain.
Superstructure parts and funnels are well cast with only a thin film of resin to cut away. Other than drilling out the funnels and replacing the funnels grills there is little the modeler will have to do to these parts.
The main guns are well cast requiring only a light cleanup to remove the flash. The real plus is the machined brass gun barrels for the 16" main guns and 6" secondary armament. Unlike some other barrels on the market today these have a mounting pin. There is a bit of brass flash on the ends but this is easy to clean up with a file.
Metal parts are fairly well cast, with just a little flash on the edges. Most of this will come off by dragging a sharp knife along the edges.
A photo etch fret from Tom's Modelworks is included for the cage masts. You will have to supply your own railings. A length of anchor chain also adds to the overall value of the kit.
The instructions are pretty basic and include a few detail views. Since this is an early ship design it is not cluttered with anti aircraft guns and has some rather clean lines so it should be a relatively easy build.

This is not a kit for beginners, it requires some experience with resin and metal parts. With a list price of $205.00 it is pretty pricey, but it is truly a one of a kind and will stand out in a crowd of Arizona's and Iowa Class battleships. IHP already has a  Lexington Class Battlecruirer design, and an HMS Invincible Battlecruiser so you can model what could have been had the Washington Treaty not interrupted the arms race of the post WW1 years.

Thanks to Imperial Hobby Productions for the review sample check their website for a complete list of Ship kits in metal and resin.