Yankee Modelworks 1/350
USS Indianapolis CA-35 1945

Reviewed by Sean Hert

The Portland class cruisers were originally intended to be little more than an Improved Northampton class. As a follow-on class to the underweight Northhamptons, originally 5 were intended, but only 2 were completed as Portlands. The other three hulls were allocated into the following New Orleans class. The Portlands had additional armor over the machinery spaces and double the secondary battery of the Northampton design, while the torpedo tubes and bulbous bow were deleted. The torpedo tubes no longer fitting into USN cruiser doctrine, and it was believed the bulbous bow would cause pounding and subsequent damage to the frames.

The USS Indianapolis CA-35 was commissioned in November of 1932. The Indianapolis worked up and trained heavily in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in the years preceding World War Two. She is perhaps best known for 2 events in her life; she carrying the parts for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Little Boy, to Tinian Island in July of 1945. She is perhaps better know for her loss 2 weeks later, on 30 July 45, which led to the single largest loss of life at sea in the history of the United States Navy.

USS Indianapolis is perhaps the second most famous US Navy ship, and certainly the most famous US cruiser, from World War Two. A glaring omission from the plastic manufacturers, this resin kit from Yankee Modelworks is a retooled and updated version of the Classic Warships kit. This model is intended to represent Indy in her late 1944-early '45 fit. Some modifications will be required to update the fit to an "as sunk" configuration (removal of starboard catapult, etc.) This model is over 20" long, and can be built in either a full hull or waterline version.


Indianapolis's hull is cast in 2 solid pieces, upper and lower, split at the waterline. The hull halves show no casting stubs and come close to lining up, having some misalignment. Indianapolis was 592 feet in length at the waterline, which is 20.29" in 1/350; Yankee Modelworks's upper hull measures around 20.44", or about .15" too long; the lower hull is 20.375" long. Indy was 66 feet in beam (2.26" in 1/350). It is difficult to measure the beam of this kit due to the resin flash/overpour along the edge. After removing a small section of resin, the beam appears to be 2.195" on the upper hull, and 2.25" on the lower.

The upper hull has much of the superstructure cast in place. The decks have wood planking molded in, as well as the normal bollards, etc. The hull also has the external gasoline pipe leading from the forward tank to the hanger area, but other hull openings and discharge tubes are missing. There are two smoke generators cast onto the fantail.


The resin parts for this kit are packaged in a single zip lock bag. Many of these parts are cast on resin wafers, which are typically much easier to remove than pour plugs. The resin parts are cleanly cast, and mostly free of defects. Many of the blast shields are cast in place with the superstructure parts, making them a bit thick, but it rarely detracts from the appearance of these parts. Page 6 of the instructions has a complete list of the resin parts included in these bags.

The main turrets show a little mold wear that shouldn't be too difficult to clean up. The smoke deflectors on the 2 stacks are very thick and oversized; thinning them may be challenging, and scratchbuilt styrene replacements might be an easier route.

Parts Bag A

Indianapolis comes with a heavy zip lock bag full of white metal parts. Many of these parts are dated and rough, and just aren't up to modern standards. Yankee Modelworks states their intent to eventually replace many of these parts with resin, which will be a welcome improvement. The plastic 40mm guns continue to be some of the best ones out there. Page 7 of the instructions has a complete list of the metal parts included in this bag. There is some variation between the printer parts list and what is included. For example, the floatplanes are listed as having wings and fuselage, but the included plane is cast in a single piece. After examination of the parts list, and the contents of the bag, there are a few missing metal parts from this kit.

Many of these metal parts will require attention to clean them up; the rudder and the propellers specifically. The 5" and 8" barrels are in fairly good shape, but the 20mm's and ammo boxes are disappointing. The ancillary details, like Pelorus, paravanes and life rafts are quite acceptable. The 2 included SC-2 Seahawk floatplanes both have sinkholes where the wing floats attach, but should be easily filled in when the floats are attached.

Metal Parts

This kit of Indianapolis includes 2 sheets of photoetch. The first sheet has most of the required photoetch, like radars, cable and hose reels and detailed steam catapults.

The second sheet consists mainly of railings and floater net baskets.

Sheet #1

Sheet #2

YKM's standard 1/350 WW II USN decal set


Indy has a 25 page instruction booklet, complete with 3D CAD steps and images to guide painting. The first pages include a history of Indianapolis, and some basic instructions on working with resin to aid novices. Some painting hints and tips are the only thing missing from this front section. Pages 6&7 have a parts list for the resin and metal parts, with illustrations, which is useful- except when the lists and/or illustrations are incomplete or wrong.

These CAD based instructions are a vast improvement over the hand written and hand drawn instructions of the past. Each step is laid out in order, with photoetch parts added as you build.


YKM's update of this historically important USN heavy cruiser kit will build into a nice representation of this ship. I would like to see brass barrels included in this kit for the main rifles and 5" battery. While not having any great challenges to the build, this kit would not be a good introduction to resin ships, but would be an excellent candidate for a second or third 1/350 resin ship.

This is kit #YKM-35093 with a MSRP of $280.00, but can be found cheaper from our sponsors, like Pacific Front and Freetime Hobbies.

This is only one of the many kits produced by Yankee Modelworks. See the whole line on their website.

© ModelWarships.com