USS Carronade

Published: September 15th, 2014     
Product Image
Box Top
Reviewed by: Ron Bell - IPMS# 12907
Scale: 1/168
Company: Round 2 Models
Price: $21.99
Product / Stock #: HL 403
Product provided by: Round 2 Models

The Ship

The USS Carronade was commissioned in 1955 and was designed to provide close in fire support for amphibious landings. Her 5" gun was the same weapon mounted on US destroyers and had proved itself in close in support over and over during WW II and its eight 5.5" automatic rocket launchers could fire 30 rockets a minute, meaning 240 rockets could be on their way to some unlucky target within one minute. Because of her cruiser type bow and potentially heavy firepower, she was often called a "bobtailed cruiser" due to her superstructure being so far aft. As a matter of fact, one release of this kit was titled Bobtail Cruiser and not USS Carronade.

After a couple of west coast tours and one cruise to the orient, the Carronade was de-commissioned in 1960 and placed in reserve. When the Brown Water Navy of the Vietnam War needed some heavier fire support, the Carronade was re-commissioned in 1965 and served with several other fire support ships in Inshore Fire Support Division 93. Again decommissioned in 1969, she was sold for scrap in 1974.

The Kit

Consisting of approximately 140 some odd parts, this offering of the Carronade is molded in medium grey plastic. Originally designed to be motorized, there are actually more parts than that, but about a dozen or so of them are not used as they are left over from that configuration. One good thing about this is that the hull is molded in one piece to keep it water tight, so there is no pesky keel seam on the bottom as can be a problem on larger ship kits. One minor thing is there is a round hole in the deck just forward and to port of the 5" turret for the now non-existent switch but this is easily hidden with a piece of plastic of some sort.

Given the age of this kit, there is surprising little flash, however, almost every part has a mold seam on it that needs to be removed. The main deck is in one piece and fits on top of the one-piece hull, not into it as in some kits. That means any seam is easy to take care of. The main superstructure is done as one large sub-assembly and fits over an opening in the deck just over where the batteries and motor use to go. This was no doubt for easy access to that area. The deckhouse itself has several layers with each higher one fitting in an inset on top of the deck below it. This makes for some rather large seams in awkward places and putty and shims are required to smooth them out.

The single biggest problem is that a long time ago, Lindberg molded in raised lines to simulate the plates used in construction. These are all over the ship and are WAY out of scale and, in some locations, inappropriate. They are easy to remove with sanding sticks/paper and/or riffler files, but as they are all over the ship it gets pretty tedious. Also, you have to spend extra time to make sure the surface is now smooth. Finer grits of sanding sticks/paper and a liberal coat of a good primer do the trick.

This ship's armament consisted of eight Mk 105 automatic 5.5 inch rocket launchers, one 5 " gun and two twin 40 mm AA guns. At around 170th scale, a six-foot tall man would be around 0.4 inches tall. If you look at the picture comparing the 40mm with a rocket launcher, you can see that one of the two is out of scale and I suspect the 40mm is too large as from photos the rocket launchers are about 5-6 feet tall and these measure out pretty close to scale. All the weapons could use some detailing. I worked on the 40mms a bit, but didn't tackle the launchers or 5" mount. Enough was enough for a review.

Finally there is a small decal sheet with the ship's number, "1", on it, a spool of thread for rigging and a sheet of flags. To accommodate the period in which the Carronade served, there are three versions of the American flag provided, 48, 49, and 50 stars.

The Build

A big part of this project was the clean up of the mold seams. Other than that and the seams on the superstructure, it went together pretty well. I decided to dress her up a little bit and I cut off the molded-in railings on the superstructure and replaced them with some PE railings I had left over from another project. The kit supplies around 44 little individual stanchions to glue to the edge of the main deck and some thread to use as the actual railing. For me, this was a recipe for hassle, frustration and disaster, so I used some more of my left over PE railings instead. I also substituted some generic mesh for the radar antennae and I dressed up the paint job. The kit calls for an all over grey with the normal red hull and black boot line. In some photos I saw, there were dark grey non-slip walkways around the ship, so I added these for visual appeal. I also drilled out the portholes.The thread provided is too thick to be anywhere near scale for rigging. I used it for the ship's boats, butsubstituted stretched spru for the mainmast rigging.

If you are an avid ship modeler, I think the larger scale of this model would allow you to take this on as a real detailing project and add ladders, gangways, detail the weapons and add all the fiddly stuff that adorns the walls of the superstructure. Not meant to be up to the current standards of ship kits, this model is still a fun build, could be a challenging detailing project and is the only kit of this ship that I know of.

I want to thank IPMS/USA for the chance to take on this project and Round 2 Models for supplying the kit for review.

  • Parts
    Parts
  • Instructions
    Instructions
  • Decals, including 3 flags
    Decals, including 3 flags
  • Plate Detail which is all over the ship
    Plate Detail which is all over the ship
  • Molded in Railings and Ladder
    Molded in Railings and Ladder
  • Scale difference between weapons
    Scale difference between weapons
  • Finished Ship
    Finished Ship
  • Forward 5.5" & 40mm
    Forward 5.5" & 40mm
  • Mainmast & Radars
    Mainmast & Radars
  • Painted on non-slip walkways
    Painted on non-slip walkways
  • Aft 40 mm
    Aft 40 mm
  • Main Deckhouse & Ship's Boat
    Main Deckhouse & Ship's Boat
  • There were large seams in the middle of the decks.
    There were large seams in the middle of the decks.

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