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CA 36

Trumpeter 1/700 USS Minneapolis CA 36 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2008 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject USS Minneapolis CA 36 Scale 1/700
Kit Number 5744 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice details, choice of full hull or waterline Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $36.95

First Look

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The USS Minneapolis was one of the seven New Orleans class heavy cruisers that were designed with incremental improvements over the previous Northampton class. These heavy cruisers were all developments that resulted in the 10,000 ton displacement limits set forth by the 1921 Washington Naval Treaty.

USS Minneapolis was laid down in 1931, launched in 1933, and commissioned in 1934. This cruiser operated in both the Atlantic and Pacific in the years leading up to World War II. During the attack on Pearl Harbor, the USS Minneapolis was 20 miles away conducting early morning gunnery practice and spent the next several weeks on patrol before joining a carrier task force bound for the Gilbert Islands.

The cruiser served with distinction throughout the war, with its only real close call during the Battle of Tassaforonga in November 1942 when the Minneapolis attacked a Japanese task force attempting to reinforce Guadalcanal. While the Minneapolis struck severe blows in the opening rounds of the battle, Japanese destroyers were able to put two torpedoes on the cruiser, one that destroyed the bow and the other in her port side fire room. Only superior seamanship and damage control kept the cruiser from sinking, and after temporary repairs were made in Tulagi, the Minneapolis was able to limp back to Mare Island for repairs. Minneapolis was back in the war by August 1943 and participated in nearly every major engagement to the end of the war.

Trumpeter has released the next installment styrene kit of this class in 1/700 scale and it follows nicely with the other releases in this series. Molded in light gray and red styrene, this kit is presented on nine sprues of gray styrene, plus upper hull which is separately molded. The usual two red styrene parts are present to provide the modeler with their choice of full-hull or waterline presentation. One additional sprue molded in clear styrene is included for the ship's compiment of two SOC Seagulls.

Assembly appears to be very straightforward with the two main deck sections being mounted onto the upper hull. The fore and aft 8-inch gun turrets are nicely rendered complete with liferaft stowage atop the turrets.

Six of the kit's eight 5-inch gun mounts are installed amidships inside the armored shields premolded on the main deck. The remaining two 5-inch guns are mounted up with the number two 8-inch gun turret.

The kit comes complete with a wide array of vent stacks, winches, cargo bay hatches, and lots of superstructure detail. The lifeboats, deck armament, and cargo cranes are also provided.

The ship's cranes and catapults are not bad as molded in styrene, though I suspect the AMS modeler will want to get these done in photo-etch as well as fill in the missing visual detail of railings.

The ship was painted in Measure 21 which translates to the hull is Navy Blue and the decks are Deck Blue.

It is great to see Trumpeter continuing down the roster of naval combatants in their releases, including many of the lesser-known support vessels. This release adds a US heavy cruiser to the line-up already released which also includes a variety of aircraft carrier classes, battleships, destroyers, destroyer escorts, and more. Add that to the growing roster of Soviet and Royal Navy subjects, and this is a great time to be a 1/700 scale modeler!

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!

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