|Experiences in the first World War revealed a need for a fast heavily armed Capital warship. The British began design work on what would become the HMS Hood and those plans were shared with US officials. The US Navy had initially concentrated on heavy slower Battleships, but the merits of this type of ship were soon recognized. In 1917 six Battle Cruisers of the Lexington class were authorized. Originally to have been built with 14" guns this design was later revised to use 16" guns. The first of these ships was laid down in the early 20's, but the just adopted Washington Treaty limited ships like these and the first two were instead modified to become the Aircraft carriers Lexington and Saratoga. However one must wonder what it would have been like if they had been built as planned? They would have been among the largest warships afloat, dwarfing their Battleship contemporaries.|
|Imperial Hobby Productions has been producing resin kits since the early days of resin ships. The subjects vary from the traditional to the never built ships like this one. The quality of these kits has steadily improved over the years, and while I had thought that the last one I reviewed was good, this one is better.|
|This kit is a considered a craftsman kit as it requires more than just assembling parts. There are resin, cast metal, and photo etch parts to work with. The hull is well is nicely detailed and clean of any casting defects. Please note that the hull is not twisted as it appears in the photo on the right. That effect is caused by the huge size of the hull requiring my to arrange it diagonally on my scanner. In reality the hull is almost dead flat and is very well done for such a large resin casting.||Click images
| Surface detailing is well done and the
deck planking is very fine. The small raised ridge around the deck level
will help with applying photo etch rails if the builder chooses to use
|One thing I really like is the lack of molded on anchor chains. Only the base is cast on, allowing the modeler to add real chain for a more realistic effect. While I have seen some nicely cast anchor chain molded onto some kits, it is still hard to beat the effect of real chain. Note that this kit even includes properly sized chain.|
|Superstructure parts and funnels are well cast and require a minimum of cleanup. Other than drilling out the funnels and replacing the funnels grills there is little the modeler will have to do to these parts.|
|The main guns are well cast requiring only a light cleanup
to remove the flash. The real plus is the machined brass gun barrels for
the 16" main guns and 6" secondary armament. Unlike some other barrels
on the market today these have a mounting pin. There is a bit of brass
flash on the ends but this is easy to clean up with a file.
|Metal parts are fairly well cast, with just a little flash
on the edges. Most of this will come off by dragging a sharp knife along
|A photo etch fret from Tom's Modelworks is included for the cage masts. You will have to supply your own railings.|
|The instructions are pretty basic and include a few detail
views. Since this is an early ship design it is not cluttered with anti
aircraft guns and has some rather clean lines so it should be a relatively
This is not a kit for beginners, it requires some experience with resin and metal parts. With a list price of $212.00 it is pretty pricey, but it is truly a one of a kind and will stand out in a crowd of Arizona's and Iowa Class battleships. IHP already has a IJN Project. 13-16 battleship design, and an HMS Invincible Battlecruiser so you can model what would have been had the Washington Treaty not interrupted the arms race of the post WW1 years.
Thanks to Imperial Hobby Productions for the review sample check their website for a complete list of Ship kits in metal and resin.