1/350 USS Alabama BB-60

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Alabama BB-60 was the last unit of the South Dakota Class Battleships. These were the follow up to the successful North Carolina class. They had a similar armament but on a more compact platform. Their armor protection was greatly increased, but having all the anti aircraft weapons clustered so close limited their effectiveness somewhat. The ships saw extensive action during the war, all survived with the Mammy and Bamma being preserved as museum ships in their respective states. 

Ships in the class included South Dakota (BB-57), Indiana (BB-58), Massachusetts (BB-59), and Alabama (BB-60).

This new kit by Trumpeter follows hot on the heels of  the Massachusetts. While the former is depicted in late war fit, this one is based on her 1942 Atlantic configuration. It should not be hard to convert this ship to other eras.

Like other Trumpeter 1/350 kits, the modeler is given a choice of full hull or waterline. A flat and full hull waterline bottom is molded in red plastic. The main hull itself is molded as one piece open at top and bottom. There are chocks located around the edges that are molded partly open. These will be easy to open up with a small drill. The upper and lower hull seem to fit nicely together and there is no warping on my kit.  Click images
to enlarge
The deck is molded in three parts. The surface detail is very nice, with realistic planking done with a staggered pattern. There are chocks and deck hatches molded that look nice. The only thing I don't like is the molded on chain. Many of the mounting holes for the various splinter shields are not molded all the way through so if you do want to convert this kit to another version, you wont have to fill a lot of holes. 
The upper deck has the same nice planking. Thankfully the deck parts join where the seam will be the easiest to hide. 
This sprue features superstructure details, walls, and other deck details. The walls include open portholes and door and plumbing details.
The hull side plating is included here. Molding this way allows for more detail on the hull, but will require some filling to blend. Propellers and shafts are also included. Overall detail is good and flash is minimal.
SPRUE C (x 2)
There are two of these main weapons spures here. The 16" main guns and 5" twin mounts are featured. Detail is nice, but be advised that the compromise is more seams to fill. 
SPRUE D (x 2)
More weapons including the 40 mm quad mounts. The quads have been retooled  to include molded shields. These look nice for the average builder, but those who want to add photo etch will have to do some cutting. I do like the diamond deck plate floor detail, even if it is somewhat exaggerated. The other parts such as anchors and rafts are nice. The rafts do seem to have an excessive amount of binding. Other items like the cable reels look very nice. 
SPRUE E (x 2)
The big 16" guns and little 20 mm guns are included here. The main guns are pretty nice and can be individually elevated. Trumpeter has used slides to create hollow barrels. The 20 mm guns are fair and still do not include any shields. This is not a problems for advanced modelers who like to replace these, but for the average out of the box builder, this leaves the guns somewhat naked. Other items like the Mk-51 directors look nice. 
The main superstructure is here with molded on grab irons and other surface detail. Molding is pretty nice on all these parts. 
More superstructure parts are here. The splinter shields are thin and taller than past ships and look pretty realistic. 
The catapults and crane are not bad for plastic. But it is not practical to mold open the framework on these parts. So you might want to consider photo etch upgrades. 
The standard Trumpeter ships base is included with a name plate for the Mammy.
An OS2U Kingfisher float plane is included molded in clear plastic. The detail is nice and the shape appears to be accurate. You will need to be careful as clear plastic is more brittle than the softer gray plastic. 
A simple decal sheet is included with flags, hull numbers, and aircraft ensignia. They are well registered but only include numbers for BB-60.
The instructions are an extensive 20 page booklet with all kinds of exploded views. They are step by step and cover all the assembly steps. 
Yankee Modelworks makes several conversion sets that will allow you to modify this kit to other ships in the class.
Yet another impressive kit from Trumpeter, this one even better than the last. TSM-5307 1/350 USS Alabama BB60 Battleship with a suggested retail price of  $139.95. Thanks to Stevens International for the review sample. They are the exclusive importer for Trumpeter kits in the US. If your hobby shop does not carry Trumpeter kits have them contact Stevens International or try their Hobby Shop Locator to find one.