Combrig 1/700
USS Baltimore 1890

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
Like the Nation, the United States Navy had very humble beginnings, but grew to respectable size and power during the Civil War. After the war, Americans had little taste for building up her Naval forces and new ship design and construction was not pursued to any serious degree. As European Navies modernised their fleets, the United States concentrated on Westward exspansion over land instead of sea. Eventually it was realised that existing naval assets were insuficient to protect the newly aquired territory and construction of new protected cruisers were authorised. After a few trial and error designs, the Baltimore entered service and began to prove herself. While not really state of the art, she proved to be a sucessful design and soon proved herself. The Baltimore operated off the Atlantic coast and in the Mediteranean waters when new, before being sent to protect Americans in Chile. Joining the Asiatic Fleet she sailed all over the Pacific before returning stateside. When the first world war was fought, Baltimore was a training ship, and served in numerous other functions until her scrapping in 1942. Her long life was a testament to her design.

This kit represents the American Cruiser #3 Baltimore in her 1990 fit. Let's take a look at what's in the box.

The Hull on this kit is yet another example of the fine casting that Combrig is producing these days. The surface detail is extremely well done with nicely cast deck planking. Locating hulls are cast on for the gun turrets and the many vents that mount on the otherwise clean deck.
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Superstructure parts are very few, but what there is is well cast. The small bridge has the same nice detailing as the hull, and the funnels are nicely formed and sharp in detail.
The weapons are very impressive and consist of a three parts. A turret base, barrel, and sheild that by themselves are pretty finely detailed. Put them together and you have 
The ships boats are the best I've seen in this scale. The planking on the bottom of the whaleboats can easily be made out.
The Instructions are four pages done in the typical Combrig style. A plan and elevation with specifications and Historical info is on page one. A bill of materials and pictures of the kit parts and exploded assembly views showing parts placement on page two. This is a pretty simple kit, but I still think this is one area that could use a little improvement.

Yet another high quality Combrig kit, and another fine addition to the early war battleship fleets. This one features state of the art casting with unbelievable detail. I wouldn't recommend this kit for a beginner, but any one who has built a few ships should have no problems with this one. This kit is listed on the Pacific Front Hobbies website for $32.00 (US), a great price for a ship of this size and detail. It will make a fine addition to your early US Navy fleet.