Review: VeryFire 1/350 USS Cleveland


This kit is currently available at HLI for $130.00 including shipping. 

USS Cleveland was the first of a class of twenty-seven 10,000-ton light cruisers. She was commissioned in June 1942 and in November of that year participated in the North African invasion. Cleveland was then transferred to the South Pacific war zone, arriving in time to participate in the air-sea Battle of Rennell Island in late January 1943.

Following the end of the Guadalcanal Campaign, Cleveland took part in operations in the Central Solomons. On 6 March 1943, she helped sink the Japanese destroyers Minegumo and Murasame in a night action off Kolombangara. She used her guns to bombard the enemy ashore during the invasion of New Georgia in June and July, and played a similar role in landings on the Treasury Islands in late October 1943 and on Bougainville in November. When the Japanese sent a cruiser-destroyer force to attack U.S. forces off Bougainville on 2 November, Cleveland helped defeat them in the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay. She also participated in operations to seize islands in the Bismarcks during the first months of 1944.

In June-August 1944, Cleveland provided anti-aircraft gunfire and bombardment support during the campaign that conquered Saipan, Guam and Tinian, in the Mariana Islands, and in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. She again shelled Japanese shore positions during the Palaus invasion in September. Overhauled in the U.S. in late 1944, Cleveland returned to the Western Pacific in February 1945 and subsequently took part in the capture of Corregidor, in Manila Bay, and other amphibious operations in the Philippines. During June and July, she supported landings on Borneo. Her final combat duties included anti-shipping sweeps in the East China Sea.

Following Japan’s surrender, Cleveland participated in the recovery of Allied prisoners of war and other occupation missions before returning to the United States in the last part of 1945. The next year, she conducted training cruises out of Newport, Rhode Island. USS Cleveland was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in February 1946 and remained there until sold for scrapping in February 1960.

There’s not been much done in 1/350 of USS Cleveland before. All I’m seeing are a couple of other Cleveland class ships in resin from Iron Shipwrights in the 90s. A detail set for the Cleveland is coming soon.

The box is a standard top opening box but it’s sturdier than most boxes and seems to be made of thin corrugated cardboard. Things inside the box are bagged in polythene, not the usual plastic. Everything is well protected and nothing can move around inside the box and overall the packaging is excellent.

The box contains:

  • 24 sprues of varying sizes holding 980 parts approx
  • 5 larger parts
  • 1 PE sheet holding 77 parts approx
  • 1 small decal sheet
  • 1 anchor chain

The instructions are in a booklet of 20 pages of full-size black and white text and images plus a glossy colour sheet with the painting guide. The build is in 54 ‘steps’ over 16 of the pages. Each ‘step’ is an area of each page with a box around it as the ‘steps’ are not numbered. The cover is a general introduction and has a little history of the ship and pages 2 and 3 are sprue layouts and explanations of the symbols used in the build to indicate options, PE bends etc. I’m not going to go through each step of the build as there are so many, but the general progress of the build is:

  • Hull halves together, various holes drilled and propellors and shafts added
  • Main & secondary turret assemblies together and several small parts assembled.
  • Range finders assembled along with aircraft, catapult and cranes.
  • Turret mounts, deck vents and other small parts added to the main deck.
  • The lower deck of the main superstructure built and railings added.
  • Fwd top decks of the main superstructure assembled along with railings and PE.
  • Main funnel and aft top decks of the main superstructure assembled along with railings and PE.
  • Main superstructure assemblies joined together.
  • Last PE details added.

The paints are called out in Mr. Hobby, Victoriam, by name and there are also colour swatches. The colour chart covers the ship’s boats and decal placement too.

The decals sheet looks to be good quality with a minimal backing sheet.

This kit is currently available at HLI for $130.00 including shipping.

Overall it’s an impressive kit and I’m hearing good things about it on social media from people building the kit. There are almost 1000 parts in the box which means the level of detail is going to be quite high.


Paul Tosney – Editor
HobbyLink International
Hoblylink International Shop
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