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Roma Kit

Trumpeter 1/700 Battleship RN Roma 1943 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2011 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Battleship RN Roma 1943 Scale 1/700
Kit Number 5777 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $46.95

First Look

Roma Kit
Roma Kit
Roma Kit
Roma Kit
Roma Kit

The Regia Marina Battleship Roma was the third Italian Navy ship to bear the name of that nation's capital. The third Roma was also the fourth in class of the Vittorio Veneto-class battleship. The Roma and her sister Impero were laid down several years after the first two Vittorio Ventos when war in Europe appeared likely and the Regia Marina were concerned that first two in-class and several older battleships would not stand up to the French and British navies.

Roma was commissioned in 1942, but fuel shortages prevented the ship from seing action at sea. Instead, the ships guns were used to augment the air defenses at various Italian cities. After receiving serious damage in mid 1943 from bombing raids, the Roma was repaired and became the flagship of Admiral Carlo Bergamini. Roma, along with two of her sister ships, Vittorio Veneto and Littorio, and an escort of cruisers and destroyers sortied west to engage allied forces approaching Salerno. While the sortie intent was for the benefit of the Germans, the Admiral was actually taking his task force to Malta to surrender.

The Germans saw through the Admiral's story (because Italy had just surrendered) and bombers attacked the ships with Fritz-X bombs to prevent the ships from reaching Malta. Roma was hit twice by these guided bombs and sunk, taking her crew of over 1200 down with her.

Trumpeter has produced the first of this ship class in 1/700 scale and rendered it with the same layout as other subjects in this scale. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on eleven parts trees plus separately provided upper hull and main deck. The lower hull and waterline hull option are both molded in red styrene, the display base is molded in black, while the RE.2000 fighters and RO.43 floatplanes are molded in clear. One fret of photo-etched parts round out the kit.

Layout of this model is simple and straightforward, but the tiny parts that you'd expect in 1/700 scale means that you should have some experience and patience working on this nice project. It would have been easy for Trumpeter to mold many of these decals straight to the main deck, but if you look at the various deck parts, you'll see that they're blank other than the locating holes, which means you'll be adding all of the gear yourself.

The kit has lots of detailing with all of the raft stowage and anti-aircraft guns atop the four six-inch and three 15 inch gun turrets. While the gun barrels on the six-inch guns are fixed, the kit provides options for fixed or elevating guns on each of the three 15 inch gun turrets.

While I'm not an expert in Italian battleships, Trumpeter has done a nice job in rendering the kit so that you'll see other ships in-class coming soon.

In addition to the nicely detailed plastic parts, this kit has one fret of photo-etched details consisting of several structures that can be used in place of the kit's styrene parts.

The kit provides decals for the ship's compliment of aircraft while the ship itself receives a splinter camouflage scheme similar to those worn by US Naval combatants during World War II.

This kit is a beauty as well as a first in this scale. There are lots of details in this small model, so I recommend this kit to more experienced builders that have the patience and tools to trim and place lots of parts.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!