1/700 USS San Francisco CA-38

New Orleans Class Heavy Cruiser
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS San Francisco was one of the most decorated ships of WW2. She went up against Japanese Battleships at Guadalcanal in November 1942 and survived to fight again. After that battle she underwent a major refit that drastically reduced her superstructure and bridge. HP Models out of Germany has produced a fine example of her 1944 appearance. 
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.
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Superstructure parts are cast on a thin resin wafer in the typical open face molding style. The deck levels are all well defined with exceptional detailing. The catapults are very nice with everything but the railings included. I still prefer photo etch replacements but if you choose not to go that route these will work just fine.
The main guns we cast in the same way with barrels attached. Several broke loose and were laying loose in the bag. I think that separately molded barrels would be a better idea as it is pretty obvious that these are prone to damage cast in place. The secondary 5" 25 cal armament looks like they were modified from Skywave 5" 38 cal guns.
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.

Photo etch is not included but you will find what you need in Tom's Modelworks #717 set that is made specifically for this class of cruiser. Gold Medal Models also makes a generic set for US Cruisers and Destroyers that will supply the other parts. For reference you have quite a few choices with the Classic Warships Warship Pictorial #5 on the San Francisco, the Squadron US Heavy Cruisers in Action 1, and also 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 Frisco in her late war appearance. Thanks to Pacific Front Hobbies for the review sample. This kit is currently listed for $65.00 US. Check out this kit and the other HP Models in the latest Pacific Front Update.

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