Waveline 1/700
USS New Orleans

Early War New Orleans Class Heavy Cruiser
The New Orleans class was born of the Washington Treaty that limited cruiser design. The ship was an improvement over the earlier Northampton Class Cruiser with better armor and improved armament. They served in all theaters of the war and are probably best known for their service in the South Pacific during the struggle for Guadalcanal.
The hull on my kit was pretty accurate in shape and appears to match the references I have of this ship. There were a few places where there was excessive flash that needs to be sanded away. You might want to invest in a set of PE hatches to cable reels to detail your kit as this one is a little plain.
The superstructure parts are nicely molded on a resin tree, similar to the plastic kits we are used to. The parts are molded in a two part mold as opposed to the open face style we normally see. I prefer this method of casting as it leave you with less over pour to clean up, and make it easier to place the parts. The splinter shields are pretty thin and and the decks have nice planking detail. There is a searchlight platform included but I would replace this with the one in Tom's Modelworks CA set designed for this kit.
The turrets are well done and have the distinctive curved front that early members of this class had. Later ships had a turret with a squared off appearance, so before you try to modify this kit into another member in the class check out Classic Warships book on the New Orleans Class or the Squadron US Heavy Cruisers in Action book for reference. A USS San Francisco is also offered and so if you want to build one of the later ships in the class you might want to get that kit.
The kit includes a number of metal castings for small parts such as the gun barrels and secondary weapons. These parts are very well cast and some of the sharpest metal castings I've seen. Some are metal versions of those found on the E-6 Weapons sprue which is also included. The crane and catapults would be better off replaced by those in the above mentioned PE set, but otherwise are nice enough to use by them selves. The one complaint I have is that the secondary guns included are 5" 38 Cal, where the New Orleans had 5" 25 Cal. guns. You would be better off using Corsair Armada's 5-25 Cal set sold separately. Depending on how much work you want to do the light A-A weapons can be used off of the Skywave sprue or replaced with some of the PE guns available.
The instructions call for using plastic sheet and brass rod to fabricate some parts of the deck and mast. Thankfully these are included so there will be no last minute runs to the hobby shop for extra parts. The instructions themselves are well illustrated, but my kit was all in Japanese with no translation.

Overall this is a pretty nice kit of an important ship. It's flaws are pretty minor and easily corrected. Your WW II ship collection wouldn't be complete without one.


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