Pit-Road 1/700
USS Miami CL-89

reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Cleveland's were the most numerous of the US Navy light cruisers. This ship was an improvement to the earlier St. Louis Class and incorporated all the latest technology the United States had to offer. The first ships of this class were referred to as round bridge, but wartime lessons dictated an open bridge often referred to as a square bridge. The USS Miami was one of these later types of Cleveland class cruisers.
Pit-Road released this kit in the late 90's and it caused quite a stiff in the modeling world. It's incorporated finer molding than had been seen on previous waterline ships and raised the bar on the level of detail and quality that was expected. This kit shares many component from it's companion kit the USS Cleveland and some of this review is from that kit.
The hull is nicely shaped and has some very fine deck lines scribed into the surface. There is an insert for the bow decking, typical of a lot of their ship kits. The ship is a little undersize in length and width but this is barely noticeable. Parts fit together nicely and the modeler will have very little puttying to get a good fit. The chocks are even molded on the deck. Click on the 
thumbnail images
below to enlarge
The superstructure parts are very nice, porthole, ladders, and other details are cast on. Splinter shields are very thin and look good even in this small scale.
Two of the Skywave E9 weapons sprue's are included for the guns and other fittings. I like this approach as I get to accumulate a lot of extra parts for spares. The 5" 38 cal dual gun turrets are the best available in plastic. The 6" 47 cal main guns are made up of three separate barrels and separate gun sights. Cranes and catapults are very nice, but better replaced with photo etched replacements.
A generic decal set is provided with hull numbers and flags of many Nations.
Decals are also provided with the generic Skywave "stars and bars" decals. Again more extra decals for your other projects as you will only need a few of these! click to enlarge
The instructions are well done, and consist of four pages. There are a couple of exploded views showing where all the parts go and even the beginner will have no problem assembling this kit. The last page has Camouflage design sheets for Cl-89, CL-67, CL-103, and CL-87

click to enlarge
This kit can be used to build these Square Bridge Cleveland Class Ships in their World War Two fit:
  • CL-64 Vincennes *
  • CL-65 Pasadena
  • CL-66 Springfield
  • CL-67 Topeka
  • CL-80 Biloxi
  • CL-81 Houston *
  • CL-82 Providence
  • CL-83 Manchester
  • CL-86 Vicksburg
  • CL-87 Duluth
  • CL-89 Miami
  • CL-90 Astoria *
  • CL-91 Oaklahoma City
  • CL-92 Little Rock
  • CL-93 Galveston
  • CL-101 Amsterdam
  • CL-102 Portsmouth
  • CL-103 Wilkes-Barre
  • CL-104 Atlanta *
  • CL-105 Dayton
* Named after a ship sunk early in WW2
The back of the box includes a painting guide showing the USS Miami in MS-32/1d drawing in 1/700 scale.