USS Montana BB-67
by Imre Somogyi

1/700 USS Montana BB-67 (IHP)

Unfortunately this 1/700 IHP waterline is a real craftsman kit, that is in a plain version it is good to get an approximate feeling of a never-were ship by glueing together the bare parts.

On the other hand I decided to super-detail the kit on the level of an average 1/350 size kit.

What was clear from the beginning that I want the 1945 version in Ms.22 scheme, like the ship had joined the Pacific Fleet just a few month before the end of the war.

For this I choose the concept of Alan Raven (found in Norman Friedman’s US Battleships: An Illustrated Design History). To refine the details I referred to the USS Missouri Floating DD Plan due to the similarity in miniscule things and because the very same plan of the Montana class from FDD wasn’t really a big help.

I started with the hull of course, which had only one advantage, the nicely engraved main deck’s teak planks; on the other hand many details, such as anchor hawse pipes, stiffeners, wave-brakers, bollards and chocks found their way into the right place.

The ventilation trunks and all the openings in the superstructure base/on the deck had to be replaced as well. Railings were made of 0.3 mm copper wire and lycra. The shields for Oerlikons and Boforses were also made of copper wire and aluminum sheets.

Unfortunately the original 16” main gun turrets were completely out of shape in the original kit, so these and the 5” turrets, funnels, bridge as well as the two Seahawk floatplanes had to be borrowed from a 1/700 Tamiya Missouri kit, of course in extensively upgraded form.

The masts are completely scratch-built: mainly from copper wire and aluminum sheets again.

I tried to recreate the cluttered feeling of the superstructure side panels, with all the bars, ventilation ports and windows. The base structures for the Mk 37 directors besides the first funnel are my creations as well as the main directors and their bridge level. Naturally I used some PE; radars, Oerlikons, hatches, ladders, derricks, catapults (that is the most beautiful IMHO) came from the GMM set, the railings and main shields for Boforses are from the WEM kit. Things weren’t simplified with these unfortunately: GMM’s large boat cranes proved to be a bit short so, I had to extend these and I made their vertical parts as well.

Bofors platforms were made of styrene, the railing of the superstructure parts are from GMM etch.

The major part of the rigging is made by getting apart a damyl fibre, the smaller part, the standing rigging is from 0.05 cm wire.

I painted the ship’s MS 22 with WEM colors (haze gray, deck blue, navy blue).

It took me approximately 2 years to finish the model, so it is no small wonder there weren’t so many kits of this ship in finished condition around the internet....

Imre Somogyi