Trumpeter 1/700 USS New Orleans

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS New Orleans was the lead ship of a new class of heavy cruiser. An improvement over the earlier Northampton class, they featured new main gun turrets and a more compact superstructure with increased armor protection. The design was limited by the Washington Treaty and had to limit improvements so that they came in at 10,000 tons max. These cruisers were the work horses of the war early on and the New Orleans and her sisters fought all over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. 

This new kit by Trumpeter is based on the early war years when the ships still had their big overhanging bridge wings and modest anti aircraft armament. This kit appears to be yet another product of the partnership with Pit-Road as the lines of the kit closely resemble the Waveline and Hi-Mold resin kits. 

The hull is molded in the typical waterline style with a separate red molded lower hull. The fit between the two appears to be quite good. The upper hull is molded with plenty of portholes along the sides. These all have the gutters molded over them, sometimes referred to as eyebrows. These didn't come out as well as they did on the superstructure parts as the hull sides are curved and holes were somewhat elongated by the molding process.  Click images
to enlarge
The anchor hole is also too flat and two dimensional. It needs to protrude out from the sides of the hull more. One other issue is the molded on propeller guards. These should really be a separate part as most modelers will end up sanding these off and replacing them anyway.
This sprue includes some superstructure, the catapults, and the funnels. The latter have some little nubs along the joint with the skirt that don't belong there. This is probably a result of the digitizing process and these should be removed. The walls have plenty of surface details with hatches and what appears to be conduit molded
SPRUE B (x 2)
There are two of these sprues in the kit. They include the early style of main gun turrets with the rounded front face. Slide molding was used here to allow this to be done in one piece. Only the sighting hoods and gun barrels are separate parts. There are also life rafts, ships boats, and secondary guns to name a few. The guns are done the same way the old Skywave style ones were done and are fixed at the zero elevation angle. 
The boat cranes and gun directors look nice, while the boat davits are over simplified.
SPRUE C (x 2)
This sprue included the later style flat face turrets, (not needed on this kit). 40 mm gun mounts and molded stairs  The main gun barrels came out pretty well. 
The bulk of the superstructure is included on this sprue. These look pretty good though the taper on the splinter shields is somewhat distracting. The flag bags on done in two different styles on the parts. One shows what appears to be stairs, and the other is completely open. You can add some strips of styrene to close in the front of those on part #4 if this bothers you. Many of the boats have separate decks that give them a more realistic appearance.
The deck is molded in two halves with some pretty nice deck detailing for 700 scale. Surface detailing is pretty good.
The standard Trumpeter ships base is included. You have your choice of a flat wateline base as well.
An SOC float plane is included molded in clear plastic. The detail is  pretty good, although the wing struts are molded solid. You will need to be careful as clear plastic is more brittle than the softer gray plastic. But it does allow you to create a clear canopy.
A simple decal sheet is included with flags, hull numbers, and early war aircraft ensignia. They are well registered and include numbers for CA32, 34, 36, and 37.
The instructions are an eight page booklet with all kinds of exploded views. They are step by step and cover all the assembly steps. A nice full color painting guide is provided to show markings for the ship and float plane.

Thanks to Stevens International for the review sample. These kits should be showing up in your local hobby shops now. It is listed as #TSM-5742 1/700 USS New Orleans CA32 Cruiser 1942 with a list price of $32.95 US. They are the exclusive importer for Trumpeter kits in the US. If your hobby shop does not carry Trumpeter kits have them contact Stevens International or try their Hobby Shop Locator to find one that does.