The big gun of the US Navy during World War II was the 16” sported by its battleships. The USS South Dakota and her sisters used her main guns with great effect during her time
Designation-16"/45 (40.6 cm) Mark 6 Ship Class Used On -North Carolina and South Dakota classes Date Of Design-1936 Date In Service-1941 Gun Weight-192,310 lbs. (97,231 kg) excluding breech Gun Length,oal-736.0 in (18.694 m) Bore Length-720.0 in (18.288 m) Rifling Length-616.9 in (15.668 m) Chamber Volume-23,195 in3 Rate of Fire-2 rounds per minute
The bore was chromium plated for a distance of 625 inches from the muzzle, this was to increase barrel life. This class of gun could still fire the larger round, 2700 lbs, common to the Iowa class battleship. However it had a significantly shorter range
The box, and what's inside...:
The kit comes in a heavy duty, hinged lid style cardboard box, with a close up picture of the South Dakota’s main gun on the front. Inside, you will find two zip lock bags holding the turrets and barrels. Also inside are the kits instructions for the replacement turrets.
The main turrets are cast together on a single resin sprue. They can be removed quite easily, and with no problem from their casting strip. Each turret features nicely detail rivet pattern along its top as well as a crisp turret ring on its base. On the underside of the turret, minute detials such the escape hatch is cast in the rear bottom portion. There was no sign air bubbles or sink holes on this sample, however there was a small amount of flash. Cleaning these up will be no problem.
The secondary turrets are all on one pour strip. There are ten turrets provided, however only eight are needed for your So Dak. These too have nice detailing, including the entrance hatch on the side, as well as the escape hatch on the top side of the turret. There was some very minor flash near the range finders, and you will need to run the bottoms over some sand paper after you remove them from the casting strip...but neither one of these should again, be no trouble to take care of.
The final resin parts are the bloomer bags for the 16” gun barrels. These again have nice detail to them. You will need to do a little work to get the extra resin material removed,so they fit into the main turrets correctly.
The barrels for the guns are all cast in white metal. The material is fairly soft and easy to work with. The main gun barrels have bloomer bags already cast on them. These too fit into the turrets well after you remove the excess material. The modeler can either use the white metal parts as is, or cut off the barrel and use the resin bloomer bags. There are no mold lines on the main gun barrels, and they even have a part of the muzzle hollowed out. With a little care you should be able to make this a little deeper.
The secondary gun barrels fit right into their spots in the 5” mounts. Both sets of barrels did have some bent pieces, however since the material is soft you can straighten them with ease.
The main gun range finders are also cast in white metal. They do not have much detail and are hollow on the bottom. After removal from their pour sprues they fit right into their spots on the 16” mounts.
The instructions are straight forward and printed on one page.
Overall the details of the replacements are very nice. The white metal barrels will need to be straightened aq bit, so be careful there.
A couple missing features from this kit is the lack of ladders between the barrels on the turrets. Also there are several pictures of the South Dakota class ship having lift rafts mounted on top of the turrets as well as hung on the sides.
Highs: Nice crisp resin castings.Lows: White metal barrels will need some work.Verdict: Good way to upgrade your South Dakota class Battlewagon.
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