Waveline 1/700 USS Neosho

Cimarron Class Fleet Oiler
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Neosho was a Cimarron Class Fleet Oiler (MC type T3-S2-A1) commissioned, 7 August 1939. Arriving in Pearl Harbor one day before the Japanese attack she was moored behind the USS California on that fateful day. Thanks to an alert Captain and crew she was able to get underway and into the other side of the harbor where the attack was less intense. Neosho's gunners claimed one Japanese plane downed during the attack. For the next several months she accompanied the fleet carriers such as the Yorktown on several raids during the early part of 1942. Luck ran out for her when she was mistaken for a carrier by Japanese aircraft at the battle of Coral Sea on 7 May 1942. She was badly damaged by the air attack in a attack that also claimed her escort the Destroyer USS Sims. The Neosho took 7 direct hits and a suicide crash by one of the attacking planes while claiming three enemy shot down. Although damage control parties managed to keep her afloat for several day she had to be sunk by gunfire from the USS Henley.

Neosho received 2 battle stars for World War II service.

Maritime Commission type T3-S2-A1
Displacement 7,470 t.(lt)
24,830 t.(fl)
Length 553'
Beam 75'
Draft 32' 4"
Speed 18kts
Complement 304;
Armament four 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts, four twin 40 mm gun mounts, four twin 20 mm gun mounts
Capacity 146,000 barrels
Propulsion, geared turbines, twin screws. 30,400 hp. 
The hull is very well cast in the typical Waveline style. Deck detail is sharp and there are no defects or blemishes. 
The superstructure parts are also well cast. Waveline uses the two part mold so instead of parts being mounted on a resin wafer that must be sanded away, you instead have feeder sprues much like typical injection molded kits. The superstructure parts have locating pins making it easier to properly align the parts.
A Pit-road/Skywave Japanese weapons sprue includes mast details and other miscellaneous parts and plenty of spare parts for other projects.
The open 5 in 38 cal gun mounts are provided in cast metal along with the anchors and gun barrels. 
These parts are very crisp for metal castings and have a minimum of flash.

Sheet plastic is provided for the walkways and cutoff length can be found in the instructions sheet.

The instructions are fairly well illustrated with the front and back of one sheet. The text is in Japanese so some of the notes are a mystery to me. The illustrations are pretty straight forward but could use a few more detail views to help clarify the assembly.
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There is no photo etch with this kit, but Loose Cannon offers a T2 tanker PE set that will provide you with plenty of details. Gold Medal Models and Tom's Modelworks also offer sets for the railing and other parts. Refer to the Navsource.org AO-23 page for some close up photo's to help with the detailing.

This is an important ship class and it is good to see Waveline tackle this subject. This kit sells for $75.00 a little steep for some modelers. But this is the only kit available of a T-3 type tanker, that I am aware of. It is also the last piece of the puzzle for someone wanting to do a Pearl Harbor Battleline.

My kit came from Pacific Front Hobbies, check out their other Waveline kits on their website now with online ordering.

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