Blue Ridge Models 1/700
USS Montana BB-67
(BB-68 USS Ohio & BB-69 USS Maine)

Reviewed February 2015
by Timothy Dike
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 Iowa's, 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 27 kts was accepted as the Montana's were intended for the battle line, whereas the Iowa's were intended as carrier escorts. They would have displaced 56,000 tons empty and measured 925' in length. Five Montana's- Montana, Ohio, Maine, New Hampshire and Louisiana (BB 67-71 respectively) were planned, but all were canceled 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 140 ft wide locks was also canceled with the battleships. 

Blue Ridge Models has released it's Montana Class Battleships in 700 scale. In addition the Ohio and Maine variants are available too. Since they share some common parts, I have combined the reviews with the unique parts shown for each ship. 

The hull is cast waterline style with sharp details and casting. Lots of deck detail is included and the area where the wood planking should be is relieved to allow for flush mounting of the wood deck shown below. Door bosses and portholes are cast on the superstructure. Anchorway is cast clean for the separate chain. Note this version does not have float plane provisions on the stern and instead has more 20 mm gun placements. However PE catapults are included if you wish to add them. 
click images
to enlarge
The deck is a wood like laminate with laser cut planking. The planking appears scale width and there are cutouts for the deck clutter. Just use a sharp knife to separate the precut sections. 
The superstructure parts and funnels are nicely done. The former on thin wafers, with the funnels and director towers separate.
click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge
The 5"54 cal secondary turrets are well cast with small resin gates to remove on the front. The main gun directors came out very well
Director tubs, deck winches, paravanes and lots of bits and chocks are presented here. Having so many small bits may seem tedious, but you will appreciate them being separate when you apply the deck. 
click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge
The three versions of this kit have one of the following turret and main gun sets as indicated below.

MAIN GUNS 12 x 16" (Montana only)
The Montana version used four triple 16" turrets. These are well cast with separate blast bags and nicely done CNC machined brass barrels. Mounting pins fit nicely into the blast bag holes and the ends are drilled out for realism. 
click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge
MAIN GUNS 12 x 18" (OHIO only)
The Ohio version used four triple 18" turrets. These CNC machines barrels fit nicely into the turret sockets without blast bags. The barrels are nicely done also with drilled out ends. 
click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge
MAIN GUNS 8 x 20" (Maine only)
The Maine is set up for the massive 20" guns in twin mounts. I have to say these look formidable and very imposing. The barrels are nicely machined with open ends and nicely fitting bases. The turrets have the gate on the rear to minimize lose of detail when removing. 
click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge
The CNC machined 5" 53 cal barrels are nicely done and are center drilled. They have nice long mounting pins to facilitate mounting in the turrets. Brass rod for mast construction and A-Line chain is included for hanging your anchors. 
Fret 1 includes radar's, 20 mm and 40 mm gun details. Boat decks cable reels, and girder work are all featured on this relief etch brass fret. Two catapults are also included in case you wish to add them.
Fret 2 includes the railings, funnel walkways and details, cranes and inclined ladders amount other details. 
Fret 3 come from FStar Models and includes the light weight tripod 20 mm gun mounts. These are both single and twin styles with nice relief etched shields. 
Fret 4 also from FStar Models is the 40 mm quad mount gun assemblies. 
Fret 5 another FStar fret includes a multitude of open doors and hatches. These are nicely done and can be mounted open or closed.
The instructions are a 23 page booklet with all kinds of detail views shown in  variety of styles. Plan views and 3D auxiliary views will help simplify the assembly. I wish more manufacturers would put this much work into their instructions. 
BB68 & BB69
Page 16 scans
WHIF, what if this ship had been built? It would have been one massive monster of a ship. Now you can compare it with your other battleships. Build one or all three and compare the 16" vs 18" vs 20" armaments. 
These are kits are available at Freetime Hobbies as: