Yankee Modelworks
USS Salem CA-139

by Sean Hert
I am to darn lazy to think up stuff about every little detail, so I'll let the pictures do most of the talking!

This is one of Yankee's Classic Warships acquisitions. The feel of the resin and the casting quality is a bit different than what I'm used to with YKM, so I'm guessing these are actual castings from Classic.

Good casting overall. The hull has virtually no overpour or flash. The upper and lower hulls almost match; I couldn't get the upper and lower hulls to match on the armor belt, and the lower hull seems a bit long besides. Both parts measure a bit long for Salem's 700'wl.

The surface detail on the upper hull is really very nice. The deck planking is very fine and consistent, and all the deck detail is bubble free. I really like the lip on the deck edge to aid in application of the railing. What superstructure parts are cast on the hull meet the deck seamlessly; no gaps, or hunks of RTV. Very nice.

The loose parts are mostly very well done- that big stack is very cool, as is the included Sikorsky HO3S-1 'Dragonfly'. The white metal parts aren't too impressive by today's standards; the 3"/50's just aren't up to the quality of the rest of the kit, or what I am used to seeing on more recently kits. The same goes for the 5"/38 gun houses- just a little too rough. It does *not* apply to the 8"/55 turrets, which are very nicely done.

The photoetch set is very busy, and will certainly take some planning and puzzling to make sure everything is properly done.

The instructions also need an update; after seeing Yankee Modelwork's recent graphics filled sets, these older hand drawn ones seem inadequate. They're not, though. Taking the time to read through them- like we always should- demonstrates the instructions are sufficient to build this kit just fine. The kit also includes YKM's now standard 1/350 US decal sheet.

Overall, it's a good kit. It's a neat subject in 1/350, and I'm just happy it's available again!

Purchased at Hobbyland, Columbus OH via Stevens International - $ 285

© ModelWarships.com