Early War New Orleans Class Heavy Cruiser
The USS San Francisco was a member of the New Orleans Class of heavy cruisers. They were the last of the Treaty Cruisers, built to the limitations of the Washington Treaty she came in at just under the 10,000 ton Cruiser Limit. The San Francisco was one of the most decorated ships of WW2. She was Admiral Callaghan's flagship at the naval Battle of Guadalcanal Friday November 13th 1942. She survived one of the most punishing battles to fight on and help win the war in the Pacific.  represent the Frisco in 1942 or earlier.
Displacement 9,950 Tons
Dimensions: 588' 0" (overall) x 61' 9" x 22' 6" (Max)
Armament  9 x 8" 55 cal guns in three triple turrets
8 x 5" 25 cal Dual Purpose guns
4 x 1.1" Anti aircraft guns
10 x 20 mm
Aircraft 4 SOC Float planes
Speed 32.0 Knots
The hull on my kit was pretty accurate in shape and appears to match the references I have of this ship. The deck planking is pretty well done. There are some nice deck detailing cast on and this casting is much nicer than the New Orleans kit by this manufacture that was purchased several years ago. click images
to enlarge
The superstructure parts are removed from the casting sprue and are neatly packed in plastic bags.. 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. Some parts are cast without locator pins so you will have to measure the and determine placement for some. This is typical for most resin kit makers but newer Waveline kits such as the Baltimore Class Cruiser have them cast in place. There is a searchlight platform included but I would replace this with the one in Tom's Modelworks Photo Etch 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-9 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. While it is possible to make these guns look correct, 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 are pretty thorough and include exploded views and plan and elevation views. However there is no English translation. I would have liked to see a few more detail views of the sub assemblies, but these show enough to get the job done. Additional references on this ship are available in the list at the bottom of the page.

Overall this is a pretty nice kit of an important ship. It's flaws are pretty minor and easily corrected. It is in my opinion the best of the New Orleans Class kits on the market today. Your WW II ship collection wouldn't be complete without one.


My sample comes from Hobby Link Japan where the entire Waveline line of ships can be found as well as many more Waterline Series ships. Click the logo below to visit their website.

© ModelWarships.com