The kit of the Combrig 1:700 scale USS Chicago is well cast, but the instructions are sketchy in places, particularly regarding the various vent styles and placement, and the mast construction. I relied on photos for a lot of the details. The kit could definitely use a dedicated photo-etch fret for the bow-crest and ladders, but mostly for the two searchlight platform supports that are on the rear upper deck, port and starboard. I wound up using part of two antennas from Tom's IJN carrier set #1. I used Gold Medal's Gold Ultra railing, Atlantic ratlines, White Ensign Models anchor chains and quick firing guns in the fighting top, and Voyager ladders. Rigging was stretched sprue and caenis line, and I painted it with Floquil's reefer White, Depot Buff, Engine Black, and Grimy Black. Overall the kit is nice and presents a great finished product with a little extra work, but I think we've been spoiled by all the excellent recent offerings that include virtually everything you need for a museum quality build right in the box!

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Bob Cicconi