Trumpeter 1/700
USS Baltimore CA-68

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Baltimore was the lead ship of a new class of Heavy Cruiser. Not constrained by the limitations of the Washington Naval Treaty, these were the ultimate wartime Cruiser. They had a standard 3 triple 8" main turrets and six twin 5" 38 cal dual purpose secondary guns. Every other available spot on the ship was filled with 20 mm and 40 mm anti aircraft guns. 

This new kit is a cooperative effort between Trumpeter and Pit-Road. Pit-Road had previously released a couple Baltimore Class CA's under the Waveline label in resin. When I heard of this kits impending release, I thought they would simply redo the old Waveline kit. But this is a whole new kit that bears little resemblance to the earlier one. The kit builds a 1943 Baltimore as shown on the painting on the box cover with the dual float plane cranes on the stern. 

The hull is molded as a waterline kit with a lower hull option giving the modeler a choice. Flat waterline and full hull options are molded in red. The deck is also split at the stern, but the split is where the steel deck meets the wood deck and this makes it easy for the modeler to hide the resulting seam. The deck planking is nicely done, and another nice feature is that the locator holes are not open all the way through, so you won't have to fill them if they are not used on your ship. Click images
to enlarge
The stern is molded separately to allow the manufacturer to also do a Baltimore without producing a separate hull. The Baltimore and Pittsburgh are nearly identical except for the stern. The stern is split diagonally with a tab on the inside so it won't be difficult to align it squarely.
Sprue A contains the propeller shafts and rudder. There is also a mast, and the associated platforms for it. The gun tubs that are on this sprue have a square grid pattern on the floor. 
This is the main superstructure parts sprue. Notice the nice deck planking and the simulated diamond plate tread on the steel decks. There are no Aztec stairs on this kit, but a new approach is to mold only the foot plates to the walls. Better, but advanced modelers will probably replace these with photo etch.
This sprue has many of the other superstructure. Splinter shields are better done on this ship than earlier kits. Some of the walls have portholes molded open.
This is the weapons sprue and there are two of them in the kit. The 8" main gun turrets have separate turret sides with molded on sighting hoods. The 5" 38 cal twin mounts are a little plain. The 20 mm guns mounts are molded as one piece in a very simplistic fashion. I prefer the way the 20 mm guns are done on the Trumpeter Lexington and Essex class kits. 
However it should be noted that they forgot to include the shields for those other mounts. At least they are included in this kit, but I feel this is a step back from the innovative molding we have seen in their other kits.
There are also two of these sprues in the kit with the float planes, catapults, and cranes. Many of the gun tubs and life rafts are also on this sprue.
A display stand and and nameplate are included for full hull display.
A decal sheet is included with flags and hull numbers in black and white. Aircraft insignia are provided for the float planes.
A eight page instruction booklet describe the assembly in great detail with a variety of sub assembly views. These instructions are well done and should provide all the information that is needed to build this ship. For painting, a color plan and multiple profile sheet is included. Decal location is called out. Gunze Sangyo color numbers are used to help you paint the MS 21 camouflage pattern used in 43.

Correctly shaped and pretty nicely detailed overall, this kit will make a nice addition to your 1/700 scale fleet. Items like the 20 mm guns are a disappointment, but this kit still has a lot of potential.

This kit is #TRP5724 1/700 USS Baltimore CA68 Heavy Cruiser 1943 with a price of $20.69. You can also get this kit in her late war fit or her sister ship the USS Pittsburgh CA-72 as well as a host of others on Tridents online website