DML/Dragon's 1/700 USS Oakland Light Cruiser

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Atlanta Class Light Cruiser
Reviewed by Timothy Dike

The Oakland was a late war Atlanta Class Cruiser, often referred to as Anti-Aircraft Cruisers (CLAA) because of their dedicated anti air armament. The early ships of this class were built with 8 5 in 38 cal turrets, but the two waist turrets were eliminated in favor of 40 mm guns to save weight and allow for more light AA gun protection. These small cruisers (6,000 tons) were ideal for acting as Carrier escorts, though they were known at times to go up against surface ships.
This kit has been around for a while, first released by Skywave, now circulating as the DML/Dragon's USS Oakland. If you are planning on building an Atlanta Class CL, this is your kit. Parts are included to build either the early round bridge or the later squared off bridge found on the Oakland and other late versions

The hull on this kit is molded in three pieces with the front deck being molded separately and the lower hull inserting into the bottom of the upper hull. The hull appears to be very close, but deviates slightly in the sheer lines, compared to the plans included in Glen Arnolds  book Atlanta Class Cruisers of WW2.This book is a must have if you are building any ship in this class. The armor belt is too thick and should be sanded almost flat. The superstructure looks good, but will need to have a lot of seems filled to close the gaps.

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A separate lower hull and stand are included for those who don't want to build a waterline version. The nameplate betrays it's heritage as it has the name. Atlanta molded in relief. You will have to sand this off if you choose to build any other ship.
This kit includes two sprues of the old Skywave E-6 weapons set. The 5"38 turrets are a little over scale but still acceptable, but the  gun barrels could pass for Heavy Cruiser main guns. These could be replaced with brass rod or better yet replace the whole set with Loose Cannon's new resin 5"38 turrets. The 20 mm are also a little too thick, but in this small scale a part that size is pushing the envelope of injection molding abilities. I'm still looking for an alternative to these 20 mm guns that still has a 3D appearance.
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Decals are provided for several ships in the class.
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The instructions are well laid out with the parts needed to build the Oakland highlighted, and several Camouflage measures shown for painting reference. A decal sheet is include with hull number to make any ship of this class. With the addition of some of the many photoetch sets available for this class, this will make a great addition to your waterline fleet.