USS Nebraska BB14 was one of six ships of the Virginia class. Authorized by Congress in 1899 she entered service in 1907. Her Main armament consisted of 4 x 12inand 8 x8in twin turrets. Two of the 8in turrets, similar to the earlier Kearsage class, where mounted on theroof of the 12in turrets.
Even when she entered service she was rendered obsolete by HMS Dreadnought of the Royal Navy.
USS Nebraska took part in the 1908 ‘Great White Fleet Cruise’. Therafter she served in Mexico in 1914 and 1916. During WW 1 she was used as a training ship and escort to Convoy. At the end of the war she transported many US soldiers back home.
When the USA joined WW1 the Allies, especially the British had lost vast tonnage to German U-boats, in consequence the Americans experimented with some very innovative dazzle camouflage patterns in an attempt to protect their ships.
As a result of the Washington Treaty she was broken up in 1923. Two of her sisterships were expended as targets for bombing practice.
I used the ISW 1/350 kit of the USS New Jersey. The gun barrels were made for me by BMK from Germany. *I was excited as I unwrapped the kit, which was cleanly cast and well detailed. There were some big bubbles on the underwater part of the hull-which did not unduly concern me as I was displaying the ship in waterline format. Many of the small parts appeared to be common to other ISW Pre-dreadnought kits, which required extensive clean-up and were in part replaced from the spares box. Unfortunately the cowl vents had oval openings, whereas the real ship had round openings. I made new masters and had replacements cast by a friend.
I was happier with the PE parts, especially the cagemasts, which I further modified in an attempt to try to represent the hourglass shape.
Of the Virginia class I had only come across images of USS New Jersey and USS Nebraska in a camouflage scheme. I was particularly enthused by the geometric pattern carried by Nebraska, and the decision was taken to build her. Black and white photos were inconclusive as to colours and I was unable to establish the exact colours- so the colours are my interpretation.
In conclusion I had a lot of fun building Nebraska. Despite lacking some information a striking model resulted. I have noticed an increased casting quality by some of the newer ISW releases, and I am eagerly looking forward to some RN releases… HMS Agincourt or HMS Monmouth being particularly exciting!
I would like to extend my thanks to Bobby Cicconi, Burkhardt Masch, Stefan Labich, Georg Buchner, Othmar Hellinger, Jim Baumann as well as my ever patient wife!