1/700 USS Pensacola CA-24

Pensacola Class Heavy Cruiser
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Pensacola was the first of the treaty cruisers, limited to 10,000 tons. Together with her sister ship the Salt Lake City these ungainly looking cruisers were easily distinguished from their counterparts in their unusual main gun arrangement of a triple turret over a twin turret both fore and aft. If that didn't tip you off the large tripod conning tower would. These two heavy cruisers fought thought out the Pacific, from Pearl Harbor to Japan, even surviving the carnage of Guadalcanal.

Displacement 9,100 Tons
Dimensions, 585' 6" (oa) x 65' 3" x 22' (Max)
Armament 10 x 8"/55, 4 x 5"/25, 6 x 21" tt. 4 Aircraft.
Armor, 4" Belt, 2 1/2 Turrets, 1" Deck, 1 1/4 Conning Tower.
Machinery, 107,000 SHP; Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 32.5 Knots
Crew 635.

The Hull is nicely cast with no bubbles or imperfections. Deck planking and details are well represented. The splinter shields are very thin but well formed. A nice feature is the way the middle superstructure is cast open allowing you to have an open aircraft hanger. My only complaint it the aztec stairs that most modelers despise. But these are in a location that will make their removal easy.
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Superstructure parts are cast on a thin resin wafer in the typical open face molding style. The various deck levels look pretty good, but I don't care for the way the funnels are cast in halves. The bridge level is cast with a slotted top, that when the next deck is mounted will give the bridge windows a hollowed out appearance. Never-the-less detailing is pretty good even on the tripod legs. I would recommend using these as templates and replacing them with plastic or brass rod.
The main guns we cast, but you will have a little work to do on the base to get them to sit on their bases. Secondary guns are lacking in detail, though the 20 mm guns actually look pretty good. Be careful getting them off the wafer, or consider replacing all the secondary with Corsair Armada's 5"-25 cal set and it's 20 mm photo etch set. Boat davits will be a chore to remove from the wafer so again use these as templates to make stronger ones from brass rod. While I may be somewhat critical of these parts, I'm glad that they were included, at least you have the option of using them.
The instructions consist of a plan and elevation view of the ship in her 1944 fit. There is also an exploded view showing all the parts and their location. A nice kit like this deserves better instructions as these are barely adequate. I realize that these are German kits but I hope HP considers an English translation and more subassembly views in the future.

Photo etch is not included but you will find what you need in Gold Medal Models generic set for US Cruisers and Destroyers. For reference you have quite a few choices with Squadron US Heavy Cruisers in Action 1, and the Norman Friedman's book on US Cruisers and Illustrated Design History.


This is a nice kit and currently the only one available of the Pensacola in this scale. Her sister ship is also available in a late war appearance. This kit is currently listed for $62.00 US. Check out this kit and the other HP Models in the latest Pacific Front Update.

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