|The Samek 1:700 scale of the USS Missouri BB-11 shows her 1912 fit with both military masts replaced by cage masts. The three tall, thin funnels with the towering
cage masts preset a very balanced and for a predreadnought, elegant profile. The hull casting is a typical Samek product. Cast in cream colored resin, the hull casting
reflects good detail but misses certain things. The hull detail includes the anchor exits as originally built but lack the very prominent, horse collar, hawse fittings. Look at
the anchor hawse fittings on the postcard used for the title photograph of this review. The photograph on the box top of the kit reflects WWI anchor fittings, in which the
anchors were moved just below the forecastle. The armor belt is spot on, running from just aft of the stern barbette to the bow. Most of the porthole placement on the
hull matches photographs. Most but not all. Photographs show six portholes aft of the first casemate in the highest row of hull side portholes. The model has only five.
The aft portholes arn’t quite grouped as in photographs. Although the model has the two forward drainage scuttles at the bow, the scuttles right above the belt and aft
scuttles are missing. This certainly a minor point, as they can be drilled. For those wishing to get the exact placement of the aft portholes, you’ll have to do a little fill and
drill. The shape of the recessed secondary gun casemates also look spot on, including the rhomboid shape of the openings. The 01 level is part of the hull casting and the
detail matches photographs, including porthole placement and access doors.
Deck detail is plentiful. Deck planking detail is very fine but lacks butt end detail. The 24 boat chocks for eight ship’s boats are suitably thin, exhibiting no shipping
damage. In point of fact there was no damage to the hull casting and no casting voids were present. Skylights have individual circular windows/portholes. Unfortunately I
had neither a plan view of Maine class, nor photographs of the deck taken from the mast tops, so I can’t compare/contrast the placement and shapes of the numerous
deck fittings and details. As far as the fittings, Samek did a very good job. The four anchor windlasses, three forward and one aft, are finely done in an hourglass shape.
On the forecastle, other than the barbette, the largest fitting is just forward of the barbette with a raised position with three skylights and one access panel. There are
seven deck access doors, with doors closed. What especially impressed me about these fittings is the fact that each had a base plate running the perimeter of the raised
coaming. There are five smaller square shaped fittings that do not appear to deck access fittings but whose purpose is unknown to me. There are two deck anchor hawse
openings for the forward anchors on each side of the hull. The rear anchor on each side was carried on an angled washboard, which is present on the hull casting. Seven
twin bollard fittings are present on the forecastle, three on each side and one centerline at the bow. To show the lengths that Samek took to provide fine detail, one only
needs to look at the bollards. In most kits, resin or plastic, bollards appear as vertical posts. Real bollards actually flare outward at the top in order to prevent a cable from
slipping over the top of the fitting. Samek has the flare at the top of the bollard captured. Two cable reels are present at the base of the 01 level. The 01 deck detail
amidship carries on with the plentiful detail. In addition to the 24 boat chocks, there are plenty more fittings on this deck. Each of the three stacks sits upon a square base
with a plate around the perimeter of each position. The base for each cage mast follows the same pattern, except they are circular, rather than square. Both forward and
aft splinter shields/bulkheads are very thin. Other fittings include access fittings, crane bases, skylights and more smaller square fittings. The quarterdeck continues on
with the same type of fittings and even throws in some unique items. Again, there are deck access fittings, skylights, a cable reel, square coamings, more bollards,
barbette, and a J ventilator cowl.
The smaller resin parts come in two general types of castings. Thin decks and tops are on a thin casting wafer, with the rest of the resin parts cast on runners. The wafer
has the two main gun turrets with each turret having crown detail of three sighter cupolas, one for the turret commander and one for each gun captain. Additionally there
two access panels at the rear of each crown. The forward navigation deck with thin bulkheads. The two crane machinery platforms are present but the greatest number
of parts are all of the variations that you place on the cage masts. Initially there were four small searchlight platforms on each mast and those eight platforms are on the
sheet. Latter the arrangement of searchlights was simplified with the four searchlight on mast mounted on a single platform with a smaller hexagon platform located a
level lower. Those parts are also present on the sheet. You also have a choice of tops. The USN started with circular tops with the initial cage masts but quickly
discovered that these too small and cramped. A larger square top was quickly introduced. Some ships carried one of each but generally the square version came to replace
the circular version. The mainmast was more likely to retain the circular tops, as photographs show the foremast top almost always the larger square version, except for
when the cagemasts were initially fitted with circular tops. Samek provides two of each type with overheads.