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(Scanned from Jane's Battleships of the 20th Century)
Vittorio Veneto
Littorio Class
WW2  Italian Battleship

Regia Marina 1:700 Waterline Resin Kit

Reviewed by Rob Mackie

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Vittorio Veneto (IWM)

Italian battleships are among the most attractive capital ships ever built, and the 46,000 ton ships of the Littorio class (Littorio, Roma, Vittorio Veneto, and Impero) are perhaps the most beautiful of the lot. With their striking splinter paint schemes, clean lines and distinctively elevated after turret, these ships demand the full treatment.  And now we have it with the Regia Marina Vittorio Veneto.  I thought I had seen the ultimate 1/700 kit when I reviewed the Hi-Mold Nagato a few weeks back. I anticipated a letdown after Nagato, but I spoke too soon.  The Vittorio Veneto is superb in every respect.

The flawless hull, over 13" long, is covered with exquisite detail.  Take a look at the close-up photos below.  Vents, anchor chains, davits (boat davits fold against the hull on Littorio class ships), hose reels, bollards - you name it, it's there.  The armour belt is very sharp, and the many barbettes - three large ones for the 15" main guns and twelve smaller versions for the 3.5" secondary armament, are cast integral with the hull. The quarterdeck wood planking (all other decks are steel) has a very convincing "in-scale" appearance.  With the exception of one casting sprue, the hull requires no clean-up whatsoever.   You could not ask for a better example of the resin caster's art.

VitVen15.jpg (4672 bytes)VitVen6.jpg (2312 bytes)The 15" and 6" guns are awesome, the best gun casting I've ever seen in 1:700 scale.  The exquisite main gun barrels are machined from brass stock, the same approach taken by Hi-Mold with their Nagato.  The barrels on the 6" triple turrets are cast integral with the turret.  They are impressively thin and ram-rod straight. The AA guns need a bit of clean-up but are otherwise excellent.   The truly compulsive among you may want to substitute brass for the 3.5" barrels but this is hardly essential.

All other small parts are good to excellent.  Remove the paper thin resin film and cleanup is over.  There is neither white metal nor etched brass in this kit. Regia Marina takes the "resin purist" route and eschews all white metal casting.  You will want to at least add brass railing.  Use Tom's Modelworks Set #704 3-bar railing or the Gold Medal Models equivalent.  And by all means fabricate the simple masts from brass rod (not included).  The kit-supplied resin versions will inevitably warp.  Use them as templates for your brass replacements, an easy and worthwhile step even for the beginner.

Littorio class battleships were large, 788' long and 108' in the beam. This makes for a large model as 1:700 kits go. The Regia Marina kit is over 13" long.  But construction should not be difficult.  The impressively complete hull casting simplifies things considerably.  The instructions are in Italian but include a large, clear exploded view which is worth 10,000 words.  There are 1/700 profile and plan views, four paint schemes, and paint-mixing formulas using Humbrol  colours. Applying the splinter paint scheme will be the biggest challenge in modeling Vittorio Veneto. See Jim Gordon's Battleship Roma construction article elsewhere on the Warship site for a suggested approach.  If you need additional references, see my review of the outstanding Regia Marina: Italian Battleships of World War Two.   This Squadron-format 74 page book is an excellent value at $10 US and I am told that it is now back in print.

In my opinion Regia Marina is now among the best of the 1:700 producers.   Their quality is on a par with Waveline, Hi-Mold and Doc Modell.  See my recent Attilio Regolo review for another of Regia Marina's superb releases. The Vittorio Veneto, $86 US from Pacific Front, is not cheap but it is worth every penny. This kit screams "Build me!" from the moment one opens the box. Ship modeling is pure pleasure when models are this good.

Click thumbnail to view full size pics

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Armour Belt
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3 Hull Views
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Small Parts
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Small Parts

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