Niko Model 1/700 USS Fargo CL-106

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Fargo was a modified Cleveland class light cruiser built during ww2, but commissioned after the war ended. The Fargo subclass had the same armament as the late war Cleveland's, however they could be easily distinguished by their single funnel giving them a sleek appearance. The Fargo served in the post war period showing the flag on good will visits to Central and South America. She was active in the Atlantic and Mediterranean until being decommissioned in Feb 1950 and laid up in the Reserve Basin at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard until being sold for scrap in 1971

Niko Models has yet another unique warship captured in 700 scale resin. This one provides the modeler with a ship that doesn't get a lot of attention. 

The hull on this kit is cast with much of the lower superstructure cast in place. The detailing on this kit is very finely executed. Splinter shields are nicely done with external bracing where appropriate. Cast on doors and hatches and plenty of surface details makes this part stand out. The gun tubs also feature reinforcing braces as needed. The open hanger on the stern is a really nice touch and gives the modeler some more detailing possibilities. 
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The few superstructure levels not cast on the hull are cast on resin runners along with the funnel. Nicely shaped and well cast they feature nice intricate detailing. A seaplane hanger is also included allowing you to show the hanger open or closed.
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The main gun turrets are cast with lots of detail. They feature shell ejection chutes, and sighting hoods as needed. The gun barrels are cast with blast bags and came out pretty well for resin. Part of the blast bags are cast onto the hoods. The 5" turrets also have lots of detail and are nicely shaped. Gun tubs are very well done with finely cast floor detailing on the floor that has to be seen to be appreciated.
40 mm twin and quad mounts are exceptionally well done. They feature nice thin gun barrels cast separately so the finished guns can be posed at any realistic angle. The gun base and mechanism is very detailed and appears to be very accurate too with shell ejection chutes and gear motors cast on.
Small parts such as gun directors and other fittings are also have sharp and clean shapes. Very detailed and finely cast for such a small kit.
The Float planes are cast with recessed lines on the wings and fuselage and nice mounting lugs for the large and small floats. So not only do they look good, they will be easier to put together. Boats and rafts are also well done.
An extensive photo etch fret is included with relief etching used to help bring out the details. There are not only the typical railings and radar's, but also catapults and platforms with diamond plate etched on. 20 mm guns, funnel foot rails, cranes and rigging, and all kinds of other small details. See the close ups below for details. Two tapered rods are included for the masts, a nice touch.
The instructions are six pages, four of them exploded views using photos of the actual kit. These are well done and should be sufficient to build the ship.

A highly detailed and accurate kit of the Fargo a kit you will not likely see in plastic anytime soon.  Included is everything you need to build the kit with no need for any after market accessories to spruce up the kit. This kit is listed in Pacific Front Hobbies catalog for $89.00 a great price for a highly detailed kit like this with photo etch. They carry the entire Niko line of ships and many more hard to find, high quality kits.