Imperial Hobby Productions
1/700 USS Montana BB-67 1941/43 Fit

Reviewed by Sean Hert

The Montana class were designed for the US Navy as a classic slow battleship counterpart to the Iowa class fast battleships. They would have had larger, different hulls from the Iowas, with extra length and width to accommodate an extra triple 16" turret, heavier armor and a better anti-torpedo protection system. A lower speed of 27kts was accepted as the Montanas were intended for the battle line, whereas the Iowas were intended as carrier escorts. They would have displaced 56,000 tons empty and measured 925' in length. Five Montanas- Montana, Ohio, Maine, New Hampshire and Louisiana (BB 67-71 respectively) were planned, but all were cancelled in 1943 in favor of more aircraft carriers. Interestingly, their greater beam would have prevented them from using the Panama Canal, and a planned set of new 140ft wide locks was also cancelled with the battleships.

IHP has released a waterline resin kit of USS Montana BB-67, based on the final design characteristics of June 1942. The kit includes extra anti-aircraft guns and radars to adjust the fit to projected estimates later in the war.


The waterlined hull is cast as one single piece, with most of the superstructure and deck fittings molded in place, with the top of the armor belt showing above the waterline. The hull is flat, with no hogging or bowing. There is slight tissue flash around the edge of the hull, which itself has a slight texture molded in. There are a few spots of flash from what appears to be mold damage along the edge of the deck, which should prove to be little challenge to most modelers.

The decks have wood planking molded in, bollards, chocks and many of the waterproof deck vents. The mold on 01 level as indicators for placing the superstructure parts later in the build- a feature I like on resin kits.

This hull measures out to a waterline length of 15.25", with a 2.16" beam. This is spot on for length, and about .1" too wide.


The resin parts for Montana are packaged in a four plastic bags. These resin parts are either cast on wafers or on a thickish sprue, out of grey resin. These parts are all crisp and detailed, but there are a few scattered casting flaws; an air bubble here, or incompletely cast part there.

The first of these bags contains the multiple 20mm galleries for the main deck and superstructure, the main bridge and armored citadel, the Mk38 main directors and the forward stack.

This next bag has the 12 16"/50 gun barrels, 40 40mm gun tubs, cranes and aircraft catapults. The gun barrels are cast with the blast bag bloomers in place. Each of the gun tubs has a nicely textured floor, and well-shaped splinter shields.

The third bag of parts is larger than the rest, holding more superstructure parts and the second stack, as well as the main battery turrets and the 5"/54 gunhouses. The main turrets have rivet detail molded on the roof of each. The detail is somewhat inconsistent; it is sharper and more defined on some turrets than others. The twin 5"/54 gunhouses appear to be normal 5"/38 gunhouses; I am unsure if the twin 5"/54 mount ever reached final design, and if it did, did it differed greatly from the 5"/38.

The final bag of parts is full of the smaller detail bits needed to fill out the rest of the model. Rows and rows of quad 40mm Bofors guns and bases, life rafts, AA directors, searchlights, 20mm Oerlikons, radars, anchors and paravanes. Many of these parts appear to be copies from Tamiya Missouri kit.


Montana has a few metal parts; the 5"/54 gun barrels and the parts to build 2 SC-1 Seahawk floatplanes.


There are no photoetch frets included in this kit; IHP has a few Tom's Modelworks USN WW2 BB PE sets available.


There are no brass barrels included, but there are a limited supply of 16" brass gun barrels available from IHP.


There are no decals included with this kit.


Montana includes 4 pages of drawn instructions. The first page covers the history of Montana, a symbol legend and a parts list with illustration. There are 10 multi-part steps to building this kit. Each step has a hand-drawn, isometric styled image to show assembly.


This kit from IHP should be a fun build, and another dream come true for the "Whiffer" (What-If-Er) crowd. While some parts may have some small defects, IHP includes plenty of spares to cover losses do to shipping or miscasts. IHP has never shied away from catering to the interests of this sector of the ship building market, and this latest kit is a great addition to that pedigree.

Montana has a list price of $155.00 USD, and is available direct from Imperial Hobby Productions, as well as some of our sponsors. This initial production run has already sold out at IHP, but might be available through some retailers. Our thanks to IHP for this review sample.