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USS Baltimore

Trumpeter 1/700 USS Baltimore CA 68 1943 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2005 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject USS Baltimore CA 68 1943 Scale 1/700
Kit Number 5724 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice Details, Easy Build, Choice of Full Hull or Waterline Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $22.95

First Look

USS Baltimore
USS Baltimore
USS Baltimore

The USS Baltimore was launched in July 1942 and commissioned in April 1943. Designated heavy cruiser CA 68, the Baltimore was the first of her class, with fourteen of her class built.

The USS Baltimore reported to the Pacific Fleet in support of operations against Makin Islands, Kwajalein, Truk, Eniwetok, Marianas, Palau and Ulithi-Woleni, Hollandia, Marcus Island, Wake Island, Saipan, and the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

She returned to the US in July 1944, where she carried President Roosevelt to Pearl Harbor, then on to Alaska. When Baltimore returned to combat in November 1944, she was assigned to 3rd Fleet and participated in operations against Luzon, Formosa, and Okinawa.

In January 1945, the USS Baltimore was transferred to 5th Fleet where she saw the end of the war during operations against Honshu Island, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. During her service in WW2, the USS Baltimore received nine battle stars.

After the war, she served as part of the occupation fleet through February 1946. She was decommissioned in July 1946. When the Korean war put the US Navy back on war-footing, the USS Baltimore was recommissioned in 1951 and assigned to Atlantic operations. In 1955, she returned to Pacific fleet operations before being decommissioned again in May 1956.

Here is a first in 1/700 styrene, Trumpeter's beautifully detailed CA 68 USS Baltimore. According to the specifications, the kit is comprised of 229 parts on eight sprues, plus separate parts for the main deck, upper hull, two lower hull options, stern, aft main deck, and name plate.

With the exception of the two lower hull options molded in hull red styrene, the kit is molded in light gray. You can see by the images that this kit does not lack for detail!

As with every kit in this series, Trumpeter provides you with your choice of full-hull or waterline lower hull. If you opt for the full-hull option, a display stand is included as are the necessary rudder and propulsion parts for under the stern.

Someone more knowledgeable than I could explain why the rear main hull was molded separately, but I suspect that somewhere in the production of the Baltimore class, the stern section was redesigned and this kit is engineered to render more versions of this class.

Construction appears to be straightforward as does painting and finishing this vessel. The instructions indicate that the Baltimore carried Measure 21 camouflage during 1943.

Details include a wide range of deck armament, two stern steam catapults, and a pair of scout aircraft for those catapults.

Interesting that this is one of the first US combat vessels that I can recall that was not produced in 1/350 scale first. In any case, Trumpeter has turned out yet another beautifully detailed ship at a very reasonable price. This kit is definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!