highly anticipated 1:700th USS Texas
is finally here, and it was worth the wait. Rather than state my conclusion at the end of
the review, Ill cut right to the chase: Sameks USS Texas is both highly
detailed and expertly cast. If youre a ship modeler partial to 1:700th
scale capital ships, buy this kit. It will bring a smile to your face. Its that
Laid down 17 April 1911 at Newport News, Va., the USS Texas (Battleship No. 35) was
launched 18 May 1912, and commissioned 12 March 1914. Her first action was as part of the
force at Veracruz that seized the customs house in retaliation for the celebrated
"Tampico Incident" in April 1914.
The 6 April 1917 US declaration of war found Texas riding at anchor in the mouth of the
York River with the other Atlantic Fleet battleships. She remained in the Virginia
Capes-Hampton Roads vicinity until mid-August both conducting exercises and training naval
armed-guard gun crews for service on board merchant ships. She conducted these activities,
as well as yard visits until Mid-January 1918, when she began preparations for service
with the British Grand Fleet. She departed New York on 30 January, arriving at Scapa Flow
11 February. She became part of the 6th Battle Squadron of Britain's Grand
Fleet, with which she served until the armistice on 11 Nov 1918. Thereafter she escorted
the German High Seas Fleet into Scapa Flow for internment on 21 Nov 1918, after which the
USS Texas returned to the USA.
Authorized: June 24, 1910;
Laid down: April 17, 1911;
Launched May 18, 1912;
Commissioned: March 12, 1914 Recommissioned in Texas Navy: April 21, 1948
Length: 573 feet (175 m); Beam: 95.5 feet (29 m)(1914), 106 feet (1945)
Draught: 28.5 feet (8.7 m); Displacement: 27,000
tons (1914); 30,350 tons (1945) standard
Guns: Ten 14 inch/45
cal; twenty-one 5"/51 cal; four 21 inch submerged
torpedo tubes (1914)
inch/45 cal; six 5"/51 cal; ten 3"/50 cal; forty 40mm; fortyfour 20mm (1945)
Armor: Belt 10-12
inches; CT 12 inch; turrets 14" face
Machinery: 2 shaft 4
cylinder vertical triple expansion engines.
The United States Navy had used turbines for the preceding Arkansas and Utah class
Builders of turbines in the US refused to adopt Navy Department standards and the USN
the older triple expansion engines for TEXAS, NEW YORK and OKLAHOMA of the following class
to show that the Navy would have turbines built to their specifications or else they
wouldn't use turbines.
NEVADA sister of
OKLAHOMA did use turbines as turbine manufacturers finally
saw things the Navy way.
(From Steelnavy.com Photo Tour of USS Texas at
San Jacinto, Texas)
Quarterdeck detail: Samek 1:700th USS Texas
Subsequent to WWI, Texas was reconstructed in accordance with the Washington Treaty of
1922. Blisters were added, tripods replaced cage masts, and she converted from coal to oil
fired boilers. Texas served with both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets through the 1920's
and 1930's. In 1937, she was sent to the Atlantic and became the flagship of the Training
Detachment, and later flagship of the Atlantic Squadron. The outbreak of WW2 led to her
assignment as part of the "Neutrality Patrol", and upon the US declaration of
war she became part of the Atlantic escort force.
The Texas served as a bombardment ship during Operation "Torch" in November
1942, after which she resumed Atlantic escort duty. She was then assigned to Operation
"Neptune" and the Normandy invasion. She served off Omaha Beach, bombarding
Pointe du Hoc on D-Day, and later assisted in the capture of Cherbourg. It was off
Cherbourg that she was first damaged. A 280mm shell ricocheted off her conning tower, and
a 240mm shell lodged in her bow without exploding. After quick repairs at Plymouth, she
sailed to Southern France as a part of Operation "Anvil-Dragoon", then returned
to the US in September 1944 for refit and reassignment to the Pacific.
USS Texas participated in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa in her now familiar role
of shore bombardment and fire support. Late in May, Texas withdrew to the Philippines,
where she remained until the Japanese surrender. She returned to the United States 15 Oct
1945, and made two more trips bringing American troops home. In June 1946, she was moved
to Baltimore, Md., and placed in reserve. The state of Texas acquired her as a memorial in
1948, and she now resides at the San Jacinto battlefield, the only remaining
The kit arrived in a stiff cardboard box, securely packed and intact. There have been
reports of breakage in early examples, but castings in my sample were intact. The resin
hull was affixed to the box bottom and its bow embedded in a stryrofoam insert. This
effectively immobilized this exquisite casting as well as protecting it from being crushed
while in transit. There are six bags of small parts cast in a light tan resin, a waterline
hull in gray resin, one photoetch fret, a small set of decals with draft marks and hull
numbers, and five pages of instructions. The instructions consist of a cover page with
statistical info, a plan view of the ship broken down by superstructure levels, a
camouflage sheet with a drawing of Texas in Ms. 31a-8b, and two pages of illustrated
assembly instructions. The first page deals with major assemblies, and the second contains
more detailed drawings for cranes, AA guns, catapults, aircraft, et al. The plans are easy
to follow, and with one exception, complete. Most of the resin parts are cast in one
piece, flat-sided molds, embedded in a paper-thin carrier. Youll need to gently
flat-sand these parts to separate them from the film. If you want to detail the underside
of the superstructure levels (not necessary in this scale), use .020"x.020"
square plastic stock (not included). Its worth noting that the resin cast tripod
legs are attached on their side to a resin block. These legs are nevertheless perfectly
round, and will clean up easily. All of the mast locations are indicated on the bridge
parts. Youll know youve done enough flat-sanding when daylight shines through
these locator holes.
Small Resin Parts
Samll Resin Parts
All Resin Parts
The hull casting is 9.640" long (244.87 mm) and 1.786" wide (45.38 mm).
Published dimensions of 565 ft at the waterline and 106.25 ft wide equate to 9.685"
long by 1.821" wide in 1/700th scale. This is less than a 1% error, which
is extremely accurate. The kit depicts Texas after her September 1944 refit. I compared
the kit to the excellent Warship
Pictorial #4 - USS Texas, by Classic Warship Publishing, and every detail was
right. All of the parts scale correctly to the plans, and nearly all details are included.
Indeed, the kit is dense with detail and should make for a very busy
finished model. Accuracy fanatics may wish to make the following minor
corrections: remove the shields from the 40mm quad; and increase the height of the rear
portion of the 20mm splinter shield located just forward of the No. 4 barbette (one of the
unnumbered parts). The shield should be higher in the rear and lower in front of the gun.
Finally, the crane assembly drawing has one unnumbered part, which I believe is the crane
base. You'll need to place the smaller tub-capped part in the larger tub-capped part.
Sameks USS Texas is an expertly cast, thoroughly accurate kit. There are few if
any corrections needed and construction should be trouble free. Its definitely worth
the purchase price, and will make an excellent addition to any collection. It should be
noted that the kit does not include photo-etched railing, so factor this into your budget.
Regardless, this is an outstanding 1/700th kit that I highly recommended.
Steelnavy.com Photo Tour of USS Texas at San Jacinto, Texas
Warship Pictorial #4 - USS
Texas, by Classic Warship Publishing
Ship's Data #6 USS Texas, Leeward Publications
Battleship Texas website: http://users3.ev1.net/~cfmoore/