Originally commissioned in 1946 as an Oregon-class heavy cruiser, USS Albany (CA-123) was converted to the world’s first guided missile cruiser between 1958 and 1962 and redesignated CG-10. She served in various roles until her decommissioning in 1980, when she was sold for scrap.
CyberHobby’s 1/700 rendition of CA-10 is a beauty! Seven sprues of exquisitely molded gray styrene, plus the 2-piece waterline hull and stand base greet the modeler upon initial opening of the box. To sweeten the deal, CyberHobby tosses in a fret of well-executed PE detail for superstructure railings, search radar, and other delicate items. A small, well-printed, but jam-packed, decal sheet round things out.
Design of the kit is impeccable. Most seams are well-engineered and are masked by natural steps in surface detail or just mate cleanly and require minimal filling. Being an aircraft modeler by habit, I decided to employ Aaron Skinner’s Essential Skills for Scale Modelers to get the ship-modeling mojo going, and CyberHobby’s Albany went “by the book.” Breakdown of the parts makes pre-painting superstructure horizontal and vertical surfaces a breeze. Some of the fiddly bits require clean-up of mold parting line ridges, but it’s easily accomplished without detaching the parts prior to painting.
Once all of the hull, superstructure, and fiddly bits were painted, assembly just flowed smoothly. No errors or omissions were detected in the kit instructions, either – which is sometimes an issue with Dragon kits. Each superstructure element built up cleanly, including the excellent PE, with bend points in precisely the right places. The only glitch was the PE for the aft lifeboat raft racks was a tad too deep, and was jettisoned in lieu of the heavier plastic ones.
Prior to integration of all the subsassemblies, decals went down over spots of gloss finish without a fuss, and were topcoated with flat to blend in with the surrounding areas.
All said, this kit was a real joy to build, and a nice diversion from aircraft modeling. I highly recommend it to ship modelers of all skill levels and to modelers of other subject matter looking to broaden their horizons with a trouble-free, well-engineered build.
Many thanks to Dragon USA and IPMS/USA for the review sample.