The Glencoe model for the USS Oregon BB3 is an oddball. The kit is ancient, having originally appeared in the 1950s from ITC (Ideal Toy Corporation). I still remember the first time that I saw the original box art. My mom stopped at a local Piggly Wiggly grocery and next door was some five and dime, which has long since disappeared, as did this particular Piggly Wiggly. In the five and dime store window was this exotic creature, the ITC Oregon. I had never seen the Oregon before and for someone used to Revell and Aurora ship models as the only games in town, as this was even before the first Airfix showed up, the Oregon exerted an incredible appeal. Needless to say, my mom instantly declined by repeated pleas and supplications for her to buy me this apparition of wonder. She must have been particularly heartless that day because she somehow didn't believe my dire prediction that I would die if she didn't get me the Oregon. This was my one and only time of seeing this kit growing up and it left a lingering regret of missed delight. Well, decades latter here comes the Glencoe re-pop of the ITC Oregon in the generous 1:225 scale. The large scale is a carryover from the 1950s when everything, except Aurora, was box scale with the kit designed to fit into a certain size box. This time, I jumped on it and it remains in an unfinished state upstairs. The kit is not without problems, particularly the portrayal of an 01 deck amidship where there should have been the main deck surrounded by a bulkhead.
One thing readily apparent about the design of USS Oregon was the heavy gun armament carried on a limited displacement. With four 13-inch guns in two twin turrets, eight 8-inch guns in four twin turrets and four 6-inch tertiary guns, Oregon is definitely packing the heat. If you have an Glencoe Oregon, you will have noticed the odd but attractive 1:225 scale precludes the use of most aftermarket parts. Now, when it comes to the multitude of big bore guns, and at 1:225 scale they are big, the cavalry has arrived in the form of a multi-gun machined brass barrel set designed specifically for the kit by B & D Barrels. The gangs all here! You get all of these big barrel delights with all necessary brass barrels for 13-inch/35, 8-inch/35, and 6-inch/40 guns. At this scale the open muzzles are impressive but even more impressive is the capture of the reinforcing band design. The USN ability to manufacture large ordnance was still in its infancy so initial designs had multiple reinforcing bands, thicker at the breach. The 13-inch/35 guns have three bands over the gun tube and the 8-inch/35 has only a modest two reinforcing bands over the tube. However, the 6-inch/40 guns provide a glorious excess of reinforcing bands. The ordnance designers must have had some serious doubts about the ability of the barrel to fire the shell without bursting the barrel because there are no less than five different diameter bands wrapped around the barrel.
Bruce Buchner of B & D Barrels has the brass
barrel set for the 1:225 scale Glencoe USS Oregon,
as a very impressive line up of other barrels ready for the modeler.