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In-Box Review
1350
USS ALASKA, CB1
Kit review of the Hobby Boss 1/350 Scale USS Alaska, CB1
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by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]

MIKE ASHEY PRODUCTIONS
PRESENTS


Hobby Boss is affiliated with Trumpeter, however the engineering and the parts in this kit are a
departure from how Trumpeter usually does their ship kits. This kit has a 1 piece hull, a 2 piece deck, a
40 page well illustrated instruction book, a color sheet, 15 sprues of parts, 2 clear Seahawk float planes,
4 brass photo etch sheets, anchor chain and the typical Trumpeter kit stand.
The sprues are well packaged and sealed in clear bags as well as the deck sections and the hull. There
are 2 Sprue Js and 6 Sprue Ks. The 6 Sprue Ks are packaged in twos and wrapped in protective foam
sheeting. The photo etch is approximately .006 inch brass and each sheet is sealed on both sides with
clear plastic sheet to prevent tarnishing. My kit had a warped side keel however the plastic is thin
enough so that as it is attached to the hull the warp can be corrected.
This kit review is not an in box review as I have removed all the main superstructure parts and taped
them together, which allowed me to check the fit of part halves and how sub-assemblies fit together with
each other. The pictures and captions also have tips on working with some of the assembled
superstructure parts. All the 12 inch turrets were damaged at their bases where the tree attachment points
are, but there is an easy fix for this, which is presented in this review. I recommend that you remove
both the 12 inch and 5/38 turrets from the 6 sprue Ks until you are ready to assembly them.

KIT NOTES

The level of surface detail on the parts is excellent.
The 40mm bases are in 2 levels, upper and lower, which allows the assembled part to sit at the correct height above the deck splinted shield. However the guns splinter shields are a bit to thick.
The 40mm bases and the gun size and appearance are a departure from previous Trumpeter kit designs.
The 20mm guns appearance and level of detail are better than previous Trumpeter kits.
The 5/38 turrets are 1 piece with small detail parts added. Here again this is a departure from previous Trumpeter turrets.
The MK-37 radars are well detailed.
The anchors are 3 pieces with a separate stem which allows you to properly position the anchors against the hull.
The anchor locations on the hull and the chain locations on the deck are opened up.
The life rafts are a bit shallow in depth, but nicely detailed.
There are multiple rope reels and each one consists of 4 parts. There are also slight indentations in the deck for positioning.
The wood deck detail is superb.
There are binocular stands and photo etch arm restsnice touch!
The photo etch railings are designed to be an exact fit, however I did not remove them to check the fit.
The photo etch sheets have multi-layer etching.
The photo etch parts that need to be folded have good fold lines or fold tabs.
The 40 page instruction booklet has beautiful 3-D drawings of each stage of assembly and they are well detailed.
There are some very tiny parts that will be difficult to handle just like the Dragon smart kit 1/350 scale ships.
This kit has a high parts count, however the separate parts, the level of surface detail and the design engineering that went into this kit are excellent. Clearly the designers of this kit wanted to achieve a high level of detail so that when completed the kit has a museum quality appearance. I believe they out did themselves! The instruction booklet is 40 pages and details both plastic and photo etch assemblies. Here are 3 examples of the level of 3-D drawing detail which is typical of each page of the instruction booklet. A color sheet depicting the ships colors is also included. These color sheets are standard for Hobby Boss and Trumpeter kits.

The superstructure parts are very well cast thanks to slide molding. These parts are a departure from other
Trumpeter kits where superstructure sections are 3 sides and a top. Shown are sprues A, B, C and the small bags of parts are labeled D parts. The injection molding on sprue E is perfect except for the slightly warped side keel. This part is thin enough so that you can attach one end, and straighten out the warp as you work your way down the side of the hull attaching the keel.

Superstructure parts are typically left and right sides while deck layers have a lot of molded on detail. This is sprue F. Also, the smoke stack is hollow and the inside area has a lot of added details so paint the inside area flat black. The smoke stack alone has approximately 49 parts and is almost a model onto itself. Sprue G has a lot of the 40mm gun tubs. This is side 1 of sprue J. There are two of these supplied in the kit. Note the tiny parts. Looking at sprue K there are 6 of these supplied in the kit. Also, the left and right ends had turrets attached, which I cut off because the 12 inch turret bases were damaged. The anchor chain is located in the same bag as the display base. The bag of superstructure parts are the D parts. The decals are nicely done.

The Alaskas hull is one piece, which is another departure from the typical Trumpeter kits where the hull is split at the water line. The deck is in two sections and the seam is in a good location that requires minimal work on the seam and some minor re-scribing of the deck detail. The display base is a typical Trumpeter design.

The Seahawk float planes are nicely cast but the surface detail is hard to see because of the clear plastic.
Once they are primed it will be easier to work with these parts. Sprue J is packaged very well. There is foam wrapped around two sprues and the turrets hang outside the protective wrapping. The forward deck has the chain holes in the deck opened up as well as the anchor openings at the bow.

All the 12 inch turrets were damaged in my kit. The plastic is very thin at the base of the turret and it fractured at the tree attachment point locations. Since the damaged area is flush with the turret base the simple fix is the carefully cut off the damaged area. The turret underside has the same curve as the thin top half. The turret on the left has been modified. The Alaska 20mm guns are the best I have seen for any Hobby Boss/Trumpeter kit. In the picture with thee 20mm guns, the 20mm on the left is from the Alaska Kit. The one in the center is from the Trumpeter North Carolina and the one of the right is from the Tamiya Missouri. The tree attachment point on the twin 5/38 turrets are in a great location and the Alaska 5/38 turrets are well detailed.

The Alaska 5/38 turrets are one piece, which is a vast improvement over Trumpeter turrets from their battleship kits, which have 3 separate sides. The turret in the middle of the supplied picture is from the Tamiya Missouri. The painted turret is from Voyager models and it is a resin turret with turned brass barrels. The Alaska Turrets are better detailed and have approximately 11 parts.

The twin 40mm gun bases are 2 parts and when assembled sit at the correct height above the deck splinter shields. There is a tree attachment point on each barrel so you will have to be very careful when removing these parts.
The splinter shields on the 40mms is way too thick. The center 40mm is from a Trumpeter Essex class carrier and the painted one has Gold Medal Models photo etch details. The tree attachment points on the 12 inch barrels have to be cut off carefully and then scraped smooth. Use a Flex-I-File to restore the round shape of the barrel.
The surface detail on the Mk-37 radar bases is nicely done. There are 12 parts for each MK-37.

I have provided a side by side comparison in hull lengths between the Hobby Boss Alaska and the Tamiya Missouri. The main deck superstructure platforms for the 40mm guns on the port side will need some tweaking and there is a gap between the superstructure parts on the 02 level which does not look right. To prevent the deck seams from cracking glue a lip to the underside to strengthen the seam. There is a slight gap on the port side which can be filled with evergreen .010 inch thick plastic strip. Then carefully re-scribe the seam.

The deck seam on the starboard side is very tight and will just need a tiny bead of super glue. I have provided a photo of the forward lower superstructure assembly section recommendations. There are also two tiny tabs on the inside area where the arrow is that need to be removed so that the vertical superstructure section will slide into place. I have also included a picture of the forward superstructure mid and upper level assembly section recommendations. These recommendations will make it easier to paint them prior to attaching the photo etch railings and attaching the sub-assemblies together. The long seam on the left of the aft superstructure lower level will be hard to fix. A better way is to hide the seam with some Evergreen .030 inch half round. The seam on the right can easily be filled and scraped /sanded smooth.

Please stop by the Mike Ashey Productions website to view a .pdf version of Mike's review of the Hobby Boss USS ALASKA, CB1...and more!

MIKE ASHEY
PRODUCTIONS



Model Shipwrights would like to thank Mike Ashey for providing us with his review of this kit!
SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent surface detail, one piece hull, excellent fit, two piece deck split in small location, and complete multi-layer photo etch including exact fit railings.
Lows: 12 inch turret bases damaged, but easily fixed, high parts count, but results are museum quality and some very small parts that will be hard to attach.
Verdict: 99.9 percent. Due to the tape up construction of the main superstructure parts which noted excellent fit and tight fit between sub-assemblies. Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
99%
  Scale: 1:350
  Mfg. ID: 86513
  Suggested Retail:  -
  Related Link: Mike Ashey Productions
  PUBLISHED: Jun 07, 2017
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 95.45%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.89%

About Todd Michalak (TRM5150)
FROM: MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...

Copyright 2017 text by Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.


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Comments

No disrespect to Mike at all, but do you have access to plans of Alaska's hull, including faired lines and transverse sections?
JUN 07, 2017 - 05:36 PM
Beautiful kit. I just wish it didn't rely so heavily on PE.
JUN 08, 2017 - 02:15 AM
Now that is a very elegant vessel. Might be tempted to delve deeper into the USN. Cheers Si
JUN 08, 2017 - 06:26 AM
Thanks for the review. I just received this kit and your review will be most helpful during the build.
JUN 08, 2017 - 09:32 AM
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