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USS Chicago CG 11

DML 1/700 USS Chicago CG 11 Kit First Look

By Dave Manter

Date of Review February 2013 Manufacturer DML
Subject USS Chicago CG 11 Scale 1/700
Kit Number 7121 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nice looking model Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $38.95

First Look

USS Chicago CG 11
USS Chicago CG 11
USS Chicago CG 11
USS Chicago CG 11

USS Chicago (CA-136) was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser laid down on July 28th, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She was launched on August 20th, 1944 and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on January 10th, 1945. After serving with distinction during WWII, she was placed out of commission in reserve on June 6th, 1947.

On November 1st, 1958, Chicago was reclassified CG-11 and towed to San Francisco Naval Shipyard to begin a five year conversion to a guided missile cruiser. Begun on July 1st, 1959, the entire superstructure was removed and replaced with new aluminum components, modernized electronic systems and an improved Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS) equipped combat information center. Representative of the new technological focus on guided missiles, Chicago was refitted with Tartar and Talos SAM stowage, loading, launching and guidance systems. Two triple torpedo tubes, an ASROC launcher, two 5 in/38 cal guns and two antisubmarine helicopters rounded out the cruisers' modifications.  

The Dragon USS Chicago kit consists of 292 styrene parts and 44 photo etch detail parts. All of the parts are cleanly cast and have very nice detail. Little flash is present and seam lines are fine. A lot of the delicate features are supplied as both styrene and photo etch. You decide which is right for you. The decal sheet is very well printed. Some key features of the kit are:

  • Radar dishes possess well defined detail
  • Bridge reproduced with slide molded technology
  • AN/SPG-49 Talos illuminators are presented in detail
  • Defined details molded on hull side
  • Masts, radar and antenna parts are represented by photo etched parts
  • True to scale ASROC launcher is presented
  • Talos launchers accurately produced with fine details
  • Tartar launcher with intricate detail
  • Detailed MK 56 gun directors are accurately presented
  • Extremely well detailed parts like workboat
  • Open upper mount and lower mount 5 inch gun realistically reproduced
  • Waterline or full hull version can be built
  • True to scale propellers reproduced

While some of the parts are small, this will make a great addition to Dragons growing line of 1/700 scale warships.

My sincere thanks to DML for this review sample!