1/700 Corsair Armada USS Chicago CA-229 1943

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The Chicago was launched in 1930 at Mare Island, California. She was the forth unit of the Northampton class of heavy cruiser. The Northampton's were an improvement over the proceeding Pensacola class in terms of stability and sea keeping. They carried their guns in three triple turrets, in what was to become the standard for US heavy cruisers. The Chicago, Houston and Augusta differed from the other ships in that they were equipped with a longer foc'sle to serve as flagships. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941, Chicago was at sea with the Lexington CV-2 and Task Force 12 delivering aircraft to Midway Island. She operated in the South Pacific in support of actions against Lae and Salamaua in New Guinea, and later supported strikes on Tulagi, near Guadalcanal. Chicago returned to Guadalcanal in August 1942 and survived the disastrous Battle of Savo Island with a torpedo in her bow. Temporary repairs were made in Noumea and she returned to Mare Island for a major overhaul and refit. This refit dramatically changed her forward superstructure, but she retained her distinctive high tripod mast. After repairs , Chicago once again returned to the Guadalcanal region where she was hit twice by aerial torpedos in an air attack known as the battle of Rennel Sea. In spite of heroic efforts to save her she was torpedoed again while under tow with four more torpedoes in her side. Chicago sank 20 minutes later January 30th 1943. She received three battle stars for her World War II The hull is well cast and straight measuring a scale 598'. That's only two scale feet (1/32") short of the real thing. The shape closely matched plans for the Northampton class. The rear superstructure is cast on to the hull and the splinter shields are well formed. Deck planking looks good and too scale. The other superstructure parts are cast on a thin resin wafer that is so thin it falls away by touch. Light sanding on a piece of fine sandpaper will easily remove the rest. As with the hull, these parts are well cast and detailed. The armament is first class in this kit. The main guns and turrets are properly shaped and more accurate than those found in the Tamiya Indianapolis kit. Save the extra turret provided for the parts box. The 5" 25 cal guns are the also more accurate than any others available as are the 20 mm photo etch guns. See the separate 20 mm gun review for an in depth look. There are a number of small parts including everything from the ships boats to paravanes and searchlights. Plastic rod is provided for the tripod mast supports. If you are not up to working with photo etch, you can use the cast resin cranes and and other parts. Tom's Modelworks Photo etch set #716 is included in the kit and has parts for the cranes, hanger doors, and many other parts. This set retails for $7.00, so it's inclusion in this kit is a real bonus. Click the image for a closer look at the contents of the Photo etch fret. The instructions are well illustrated and include several views showing the parts locations as well as details showing the foremast and superstructure locations. There are two pages of photo's showing the Chicago during her last refit that will help you detail the ship. The only thing I would like to see added is a good plan and elevation view of the ship. Conclusions: A nice kit with plenty of detail for anyone who has built a resin kit or two. The inclusion of the Tom's Modelworks fret and Corsair Armada's own 20 mm guns are a real plus

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Corsair Armada
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Model Kits
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