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USS Alaska/Guam Barrels 1:350 Master Models Master models continue to build up their range of 1:350 scale armament sets, but they are now increasing the items produced to add other accessories. As usual they are well up to the standard we’ve come to expect from Master Models. [350-099] - This set is for the Trumpeter USS Alaska and USS Guam kits it includes both main, (12”), secondary, (5”). These are all direct replacements for the kit parts, unlike the normal sets in which you just cut off the kit barrels, drill a hole and glue the metal barrels onto the remaining plastic parts, this set also includes resin trunnions. You still need to drill out the resin parts to 1.6mm and 0.9mm respectively, and then you just add to the trunnion mounts within the turrets. For the 40mm and 20mm guns Master already do replacement sets and even complete mounts for these, so are not included in this set. Conclusion This is a nice easy way to give your Alaska/Guam kits that little bit of finesse that makes a nice model look great. The metal barrels are much more to scale than plastic can ever be moulded. Review sample courtesy of Piotr at
USS Alaska CB-1 Hobbyboss 1:350 USS Alaska (CB-1) was the lead ship of the Alaska class of large cruisers which served with the United States Navy during the end of World War II. She was the first of two ships of her class to be completed, followed only by Guam; four other ships were ordered but were not completed before the end of the war. Alaska was the third vessel of the US Navy to be named after what was then the territory of Alaska. She was laid down on 17 December 1941, ten days after the outbreak of war, was launched in August 1943 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, in Camden, New Jersey, and was commissioned in June 1944. She was armed with a main battery of nine 12 in (300 mm) guns in three triple turrets. She was 808 feet 6 inches (246.43 m) long overall and had a beam of 91 ft 1 in (27.76 m) and a draft of 31 ft 10 in (9.70 m). She displaced 29,779 long tons (30,257 t) as designed and up to 34,253 long tons (34,803 t) at full combat load. The ship was powered by four-shaft General Electric geared steam turbines and eight oil-fired Babcock & Wilcox boilers rated at 150,000 shaft horsepower (110,000 kW), generating a top speed of 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph). The ship had a cruising range of 12,000 nautical miles (22,000 km; 14,000 mi) at a speed of 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph). She carried four OS2U Kingfisher or SC Seahawk seaplanes, with a pair of steam catapults mounted amidships. Her shakedown cruise took her to Chesapeake Bay and Trinidad and was followed by a period of yard work. She set off for the Pacific in mid-November 1944, and reached the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on 13 January 1945. She crossed the Pacific to Ulithi with TG 12.2, and at the start of February 1945 she joined TG 58.5, which included the carriers USS Saratoga CV-3 and USS Enterprise CV-6), as part of the carrier screen. She took part in the final stages of the fighting on Iwo Jima, the invasion of Okinawa, and supported the fast carriers during their raids on the Japanese Home Islands and in the East China Sea. She was awarded three battle stars for her World War II service. On 10 February the Alaska sailed as part of TG 58.5. This was the first major carrier strike on the Japanese Home Islands, and was intended to provide cover for the invasion of Iwo Jima. Poor weather prevented the Japanese from attacking the US fleet. The ship was then moved to TG 58.4 to support the invasion of Iwo Jima. Her task force wasn't attacked during the nineteen days the Alaska was based off Iwo Jima. On 14 March the fleet left Ulithi to conduct another raid on the Japanese home islands, this time with the aim of destroying Japanese aircraft before the invasion of Okinawa. The Alaska was still with TG 58.4, which contained the carriers Yorktown (CV-10), Intrepid (CV-11), Independence (CVL-22) and Langley (CVL-27), and once again was part of their anti-aircraft screen. The carriers hit airfields at Usa, Oita and Saeki on 18 March. The Alaska finally got to fire her guns in anger on this day when Japanese aircraft attacked the fleet. Her first target was a Yokosuka P1Y 'Frances', which was targeting the carrier Intrepid, but that was destroyed by a direct hit from the Alaska. This marked the start of a day of kamikaze attacks, but most were shot down by the carrier's fighter aircraft or heavy AA gunfire. The Alaska claimed a second victory over a 'Judy'. On 19 March the carriers sent their aircraft against Japanese warships in the Inland Sea. Once again the US fleet came under air attack. The carriers Franklin (CV-13) and Wasp (CV-18) were both hit. The Alaska and her sister ship USS Guam (CB-2) were allocated to a new salvage unit, TU 58.2.9, which was formed to protect the Franklin. The unit contained the two Alaska class ships, the light cruiser Santa Fe (CL-60) and three destroyer divisions. The damaged carrier made for Guam, covered by TU 58.2.9. The other carriers from TG 58.2 provided more distant cover. On the afternoon of 19 March the small fleet was approached by two aircraft. One was identified as a friendly, but the other was a 'Judy', which was able to attack and escape unscathed. The Franklin was also undamaged, but the Alaska suffered her only combat casualty of the war when several men suffered flash burns. The Alaska escorted the Franklin until 22 March, when she was freed to rejoin TG 58.4. Late that day a Japanese submarine was detected close to the group, and it was rammed and sunk on the following morning. The Alaska returned to her position in the anti-aircraft screen while the carriers bombarded Okinawa. In late March the Alaska was ordered to bombard the island of Minami Daito Shima, 160 miles east of Okinawa, while on her way to refuel. She fired 45 12in shells and 352 rounds of 5in anti-aircraft shells at the island on the night of 27-28 March, without any response from the island. TG 58.4 refuelled and then returned to Okinawa to protect the invasion forces. The Alaska supported the invasion of 1 April, and also provided anti-aircraft cover. The Japanese navy attempted to send a suicide sortie of heavy ships to Okinawa, but they were repulsed by carrier aircraft on 7 April. Amongst their victims was the giant battleship Yamato. During April the Alaska covered the fast carriers as they operated against targets on Okinawa and on Kyushu. She claimed one assist and one victory on 11 April and three victories and three assists on 16 April, although on the same day the carrier Intrepid was hit. The Alaska returned to Ulithi to replenish on 14 May, after two months at sea. The 5th Fleet now became the 3rd Fleet, and the Alaska thus became part of TG 38.4. The group now included the carrier Ticonderoga (CV-14) and the battleship Iowa (BB-61). The fleet sailed in late May, and once again the Alaska formed part of the anti-aircraft screen. She also carried out another shore bombardment, this time hitting Okino Daito Shima, close to Minami Daito Shima, on 9 June, when her targets were Japanese radar bases. The Alaska spent the period between 13 June and 13 July resting at San Pedro Bay, Leyte. She was then allocated to the new Task Force 95, the first US surface fleet to enter the East China Sea since the attack on Pearl Harbor. The task force, which also included the Guam, encountered very little resistance during three sweeps into the East China Sea, operating from a base at Buckner Bay on Okinawa. After the Japanese surrender the Alaska formed part of the 7th Fleet's occupation forces. She visited the Yellow Sea and the Gulf of Chihli, before reaching Inchon in Korea on 8 September 1945 to support US troops that were occupying the southern part of Korea. She then moved to Tsingtao a former German possession on the Chinese coast taken by the Japanese early in the First World War. The US Marines occupied the port in October. The Alaska finally left the Far East in November as the start of a 'Magic Carpet' trip back to the United States. She reached Boston on 18 December 1945, where she prepared to be inactivated. She was placed in commission in the reserve on 13 August 1946 and out of commission on 17 February 1947. She was struck off on 1 June 1960 and sold for scrapping later in the year. The Model With so many maritime subjects being released over the last 5 years or so it’s great to see that there are still plenty of new and previously un-kitted subjects around. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would see many of these subjects in any scale, let alone 1:350 then I would have probably said no. But we are living in a golden age of modelling, and no subject can be written off. Thus, we have the USS Alaska, designated as a heavy cruiser, she is more of a battle cruiser with her 12” guns surpassing those of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau which were designated battle cruisers. The kit comes in quite a large box, appropriate, since the hull is just over 700mm long. The artwork depicts the ship at sea, with her light AA guns blazing away. Inside the box there are fourteen sprues, the single piece hull, two deck sections and four separate parts all in grey styrene, two small sprues of clear styrene, four quite large sheets of etched brass and a small decal sheet. The moulding is superb, particularly the hull, (I’d love to see the moulds this parts come out of), which has the smallest of detail on the lower bow, A number of sprues have been given extra protection with foam wrapping, as well as the standard poly bags in which the sprues are contained. There is no sign of flash, warping or other imperfections, with perhaps the exception of one bilge keel which looks slightly strained on its sprue gates. There are quite a few moulding pips though which will increase the time to clean up the parts. Despite its size, it doesn’t look a particularly difficult build, but you will need some experience with using PE as there are some parts that are made entirely of brass. Construction begins with drilling out of certain holes in the two deck sections, before attaching them to the hull. Turning the hull upside down the two bilge keels are attached, followed by the four propeller shafts, A frames, propellers and three piece rudder. With the hull right side up the decks are fitted out with the numerous bitts and cleats, ventilators, windlasses, four piece cable reels and three piece winches. The pair of three piece intake towers are the fitted amidships, whilst a three piece deckhouse is fitted aft, just forward of the stern 40mm gun tubs. There is a similar deck house fitted just aft of the anchor cables, for which there is a length of chain provided, followed by the two, three piece bow anchors, the main breakwater and a pair of 20mm gun tubs abaft the bridge. There are two, two piece catapult towers fitted amidships, while further aft there are more 20mm and 40mm gun tubs attached. Eight carley floats, stacked three high are then glued into position, followed by four AA controller towers and their respective controllers, while on the fo’c’sle another AA controller tub is attached to a small deckhouse, which, in turn is glued between the hawse pipes, and the Jack staff glued in place. Eight sub-assemblies are then built up using a combination of plastic and PE, with the exception of the bow mounted 40mm tub, the rest are ventilators. There are twelve two piece 20mm Oerlikons fitted from bow to abaft the bridge, and there are three float baskets fitted just forward of the breakwater. Aft of the catapult towers, twenty more 20mm Oerlikons and twelve more float baskets are fitted. The bridge structure, which includes B barbette on the lowest level, which is fitted with two more decks and the base of the foremast, with separate ships bell, as well as four triple stacks of carley floats, and two PE boxes fitted one per side of deck 02. Deck 02 is also fitted with a pair of 40mm gun tubs and for ventilators, while deck 03 is fitted with deck 04, which in turn is fitted with the armoured bridge and a deckhouse, followed by deck 05. Two searchlight platforms, with searchlights are fitted, one per side of the lower foremast, while the myriad of observation and controller sights are fitted around the decks and in additional cylindrical towers. All around the superstructure there are PE vertical ladders and some of the smaller railings to be added. On 02 deck the railing include the netting that goes around the two 400 mm tubs on that deck. More sub-assemblies are made up, again using PE and plastic, these being the main radar array, main battery controllers and secondary battery controller stations. The foremast is then assembled with several platforms separated by additional blocks and topped off with a large yardarm, more observation equipment, forward main battery rangefinder and radar array and the main radar platform main search radar array. This section of the tower is then fitted to the base fitted to the bridge earlier, along with a secondary battery controller. The funnel is made up form two halves, with additional parts fitted internally as well as externally, including searchlight platforms, claxon horns, walkway, multi-piece PE funnel cap and railings for the different platforms. It is finished off with the attachment of a large PE mast fore and aft, the foreward one with a navigation radar array, and the aft with a large yardarm. The aft superstructure is made up of two decks and fitted out with more ventilator intakes, PE gas bottles, vertical ladders, deckhouses and two tall controller towers. It is also fitted with the small AA controllers, and four 20mm Oerlikons. The funnel assembly is the glued to the foreward end of the superstructure, while a main battery rangefinder and radar assembly is fitted to eh tallest of the two towers, while the shorte one mounts a secondary battery controller. The bridge assembly and aft superstructure assembly are then glued to their respective positions on the deck and the four PE inclined ladders are folded and glued into place. Near the aft end of the aft superstructure there are two deckhouses, each fitted with two 400mm gun tubs, each fitted with more PE gas bottles, vent intakes and support columns. Just forward of these is a separate deckhouse which will mount the ships cranes.. Each quad 40mm Bofors mount is made from five parts, and there are fourteen of them to be assembled. Each one is then glued into one their gun tub. The two catapults the ship carried are made almost entirely of PE. Each catapult consists of eleven parts. When assembled they are fitted to their towers amidships. The two cranes are also mostly PE and consist of fourteen parts. These are fitted to their respective positions just aft of the catapults. The crane mounts and separate 40mm gun tubs are fitted with netting, rather than railings. The secondary armament consists of six twin 5” turrets. Each turret is made from ten parts, and once assembled fitted into their positions. The main turrets of three 12” guns are each made from eighteen plastic and twe3lve PE parts. Again, once assembled their are fitted into their respective mounts. Lastly the two Seahawk aircraft are assembled from seven clear parts and, once painted, glued to the catapults. The finishing touch is to add the ships main deck railings, and the build is complete. Just mount the model on the stand and add the name plate, which is also provided. Decals The small decal sheet provides the ships number for the bow, national markings for the aircraft and a pair of Jacks and Ensigns, in two different styles. They are well printed and look to have pretty good opacity. Conclusion I’ve always liked the Alsakas and never thought I would see one released in my favourite scale. But Hobbyboss have done it again and released something we never thought we’d see. From the limited resources I actually have, or more to the point, could find in my library, the kit looks to be pretty accurate, although I’m not sure about the bow, which does have a very odd step in the stem that I can’t see in any diagrams or pictures. If it is wrong then it is easily rectified with some filler. Other than that it really does look like a great kit. Review sample courtesy of
Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies posted a topic in Sovereign HobbiesWe have Very Fire Model's latest detail-up set available on pre-order now: USS Alaska CB-1 in 1/350 scale for £185 https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/collections/1-350/products/vf350006-very-fire-model-1-350-uss-alaska-cb-1
Hey guys, I just got the Alaska through the mail this morning and knew I had to share her. Its my first hobbyboss kit and it looks phenomenally well made. Its an entirely new tooling for 2017. Noone I contacted in the UK knew of a release time or date so I imported mine from Germany for £80. Full set of pics I have here She's pretty darn large, sitting at around 70x8 cm. The hull is a single piece with some really nice detailing added to it. In the box you get 5 sprues and one bag of superstructure parts. Two sprues of little detailing bits (propellers, lifeboats etc). Six sprues of main and secondary guns. One of funnels and AA posts. A pretty solid looking stand. Two sprues of clear pieces for some aircraft. Four photoetch frets with railings, ladders, fire directors, radar masts and more. A two part deck and some chain. Detailing is fantastic through ought and I'm very impressed with the deck; Photoetch doesnt look too fiddly to handle. There arent any particularly small pieces and all the ones that need bending look well scored; Instructions are usual Academy style with steps being very clear and pretty sparse. Although they go upto step 50 I expect someone like dragon would have it condensed into 15. Colours are given for a range of manufacturers which is nice to see nowadays. The kit looks brilliant, only slight complaint is no metal prop shafts that I can see and the medium sized AA/secondary battery could ahve done with some metal barrels. The main battery is pretty fine since it looks nice and easy to drill out, but the smaller guns are a little small for that in my view.