The Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 limited cruisers to a displacement of 10,000 tons and an armament of 8-inch (203mm) guns. Naval architects and designers
were faced serious challenges due to these strict limitations. The Regia Marina soon began design studies for cruisers that would adhere to the limitations of the
treaty. To further complicate matters for the Italians, the French Marine Nationale laid down the keel of the first of two
Duquesne class heavy cruisers. This event
prompted the Regia Marina to order two heavy cruisers of its own, based on a design prepared by General Filippo Bonfiglietti in 1923. This design became the

The two ships in the class were named after the redeemed cities of
Trento and Trieste, which were taken back from the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I.
Trento was laid down on February 8, 1925, launched on October 4, 1927 and completed on April 3, 1927. Her sister was completed December 21, 1928.

Their design emphasized high speed at the expense of armor protection, which was significantly reduced, to keep the ships within the Treaty displacement limit. The
armored belt measured only 2.8 inches (70mm) thick. In addition, they were designed with a narrow beam to help them reach high speeds, but reduced their stability.
The ships of the
Trento class measured 646 feet 2 inches (196.96m) long overall and had a beam of 67 feet 7 inches (20.6m) and a draft of 22 feet 4 inches (6.8m).
They had a design displacement that was nominally within the 10,000-long-ton restriction set in place by the Washington Naval Treaty, displacing about 10,400 long
tons and about 13,334 long tons at full load. The power plant consisted of four Parsons steam turbines powered by twelve oil-fired Yarrow boilers, which were
trunked into two funnels amidships. On sea trials,
Trento managed about 35.5 knots on a very light displacement. At full load, her actual top speed was only 31
knots. During refits in early 1940, both ships had funnel caps added to reduce smoke interference with the masts.
As built, Trento was armed with a main battery of eight 8-inch/50 (203mm) guns in four twin turrets arranged in superfiring pairs forward and aft. Anti-aircraft
defense was comprised of sixteen 4-inch/47 (100mm) guns in twin mounts, four 40mm/39 guns in single mounts and four 12.7mm (0.50 in) machine guns.
was also fitted with eight 21-inch (533mm) torpedo tubes in four deck mounted twin launchers. In mid-1931, she entered the drydock in La Spezia for modifications
to her tripod foremast to make it a sturdier five-legged version to reduce vibration in the fire control director. During the refit, the 100mm guns were replaced with
newer versions. In 1937, the two aft-most 100mm guns were removed along with all four 12.7mm machine guns. In their place, eight 1.5-inch/54 (37mm) Breda
M1932 guns and eight 13.2mm Breda M1931 machine guns, all in twin mounts, were installed. In 1942,
Trento received four 20mm/65. Breda M1940 guns in single
Trento carried a pair of IMAM Ro.43 seaplanes for aerial reconnaissance with the hangar located under the forecastle and a fixed catapult was mounted on
the centerline at the bow.
Trento had a crew of 723 officers and enlisted men, which increased to 781 during the war.

Throughout the 1930s,
Trento frequently served as the flagship of the Cruiser Division, alternating with Trieste. From May to October 1929, Trento made a tour of
South America countries and from January to June 1932, she was deployed to protect Italian nationals during the Chinese Civil War.
Trento took part in several fleet
reviews and in March of 1937, she escorted the heavy cruiser
Pola which carried Mussolini on a short tour of Italian Libya, stopping in Benghazi, Tripoli, and Ra's
Lanuf during the trip.

After Italy entered World War II in June 1940,
Trento saw extensive action in the Mediterranean Sea where she frequently tasked with escorting convoys to supply
Italian forces in North Africa as well as interdicting British convoys to Malta. While returning to Italy after escorting a convoy to Libya on July 9, 1940,
Trento, as
flagship of the 3rd Division, and the battleships of the 1st Division encountered a heavily protected British convoy. As the Battle of Calabria unfolded,
engaged British cruisers and was attacked by British aircraft, but emerged undamaged. A large force of Italian aircraft arrived after both fleets had disengaged, and
some Italian pilots accidentally attacked the Italian ships. This friendly-fire incident prompted the Regia Marina to paint red stripes on the forecastles of each ship.
Trento was present in Taranto harbor on the night of November 11-12, 1940, when the British made their daring air raid on the port. During the attack, a single
bomb that failed to explode hit the ship, though it did damage the forward portside 100mm mount. On November 26, 1940,
Trento and other Regia Marina vessels
attempted to intercept a convoy headed to Malta, but reconnaissance reports from Italian aircraft informed Vice Admiral Campioni of the British fleet’s strength and
he ordered his ships to disengage. However, it was too late for
Trento and the other heavy cruisers in consort with her as they already into a gun fight with the
British cruisers in what became the Battle of Cape Spartivento.
HMS Berwick was hit twice before HMS Renown intervened to protect the British ships. This move
prompted Campioni to send in the battleship
Vittorio Veneto to counter the battlecruiser and forced the British flotilla to break off the action.

On March 28, 1941, the Battle of Cape Matapan began. The day prior, a large Italian force sortied to conduct a major sweep toward Crete. Early on the morning of
the 28th,
Vittorio Veneto’s reconnaissance floatplane spotted a British cruiser squadron which 1 hour later Trento and the cruisers of the 3rd Division engaged.
About an hour into the action, the Italian cruisers broke off and turned northwest, hoping to trick the British ships into following them and luring them closer to
Vittorio Veneto. The ruse worked and the battleship opened fire and the Italian cruisers turning about to engage the British cruisers once again. Outmatched, the
British ships reversed course. While both sides were busy maneuvering, British torpedo-bombers from Crete and later
HMS Formidable attacked Trento and the
other ships. Although the air attacks were unsuccessful in terms on inflicting damage, they did succeed in forcing the Italian ships to break off their pursuit and
withdraw. However, later in the day British air attacks did strike torpedo hits on
Vittorio Veneto and the cruiser Pola, immobilizing the cruiser. Trento, along with
Trieste and Bolzano, escaped damage and escorted the damaged battleship to Taranto. Pola and her sisters Zara and Fiume were not so lucky as they were sunk
by British battleships later that night.

Trento moved to La Spezia from Taranto on May 6, 1941 for an extensive overhaul. After work was completed on August 5, 1941 when she resumed convoy
escort duties through the rest of 1941 and into mid-1942. On December 16,
Trento took part in the First Battle of Sirte and then on March 22, 1942 the Second
Battle of Sirte. On June 15, 1942, while steaming as part of a larger force attempting to intercept a British convoy on an Alexandria to Malta run, a Bristol
Beaufighter torpedoed
Trento in the Ionian Sea, causing a serious fire in the forward boiler rooms that forced the ship to stop. Escorting destroyers laid a smoke
screen to hide her and tried to tow her back to port. While this was happening, the submarine
HMS Umbra sent a second torpedo into Trento, which ignited the
forward magazines and causing an explosion which sank the cruiser in a matter of minutes and heavy loss of life.
The Kit - E.V.A., a resin ship model producer from Italy that specializes in Regia Marina subjects, has already produced several kits, but Trento is certainly the
largest so far and it is an exciting and ambitious release. The kit is comprised of resin and photo-etch parts, turned brass main gun barrels and decals and represents
Trento in her final appearance when sunk in 1942.

The one-piece full hull is very well done and rather substantial (it measures a little over 22 inches long) and it captures the sleek lines and profile of this handsome
cruiser. The main deck housings and the 8-inch turret barbettes are integrally cast into the long flush deck. The hull side details include the armor belt, portholes,
access doors and the ship’s name at the stern. The deck details include the catapult track and hangar on the forecastle, along with deck hatches and coamings,
skylights, mooring bitts and bollards and they are all nicely done. Only the quarter deck was wood and the planking is subtly done but it lacks butt ends. There are
numerous slightly raised bases for the secondary and anti-aircraft armament. The hull is very cleanly cast with practically no blemishes or casting voids, which is
quite a feat for such a large chunk of resin. The hull sits atop a substantial casting block will undoubtedly require some filling and sanding smooth along the keels
after it is removed.

The rest of the resin parts are grouped in zip lock bags labeled 1 through 7 and A. The assembly instruction refers to the bag label when identifying a part, so there
is a reason for this besides just being organized. Bag 1 contains the 8-inch/50 (203mm) gun turrets, the shields and barrels for the twin 100mm secondary guns and
a gun director. The 8-inch turrets are well done and require a little clean up along the bottom to remove some excess resin in spots. The 100mm shields are also
good and require a little bit of clean up as well. As you can see, one of the shields was broken during shipping but all the pieces are there and can be put back
together. The 100mm shields and gun director are on a flat casting runner and will need to be carefully removed. The 100mm barrels are good and need a little
cleanup to remove bits of resin.
Bag 2 contains the bridge structure, the funnels and a pair of stands. The bridge has lots of details, like recessed windows, doors, portholes and running lights. The
funnels and large bases are very good with the caps and vent piping. The larger forward funnel has a couple of air bubble voids that need to be filled in. The bridge
and funnels have excess resin along the bottom that needs to be removed and the surfaces sanded down evenly to be flush where attached to the hull deck housings.
The stands are not very attractive for displaying the model and would work better as perhaps a holder during construction.

Bag 3 has a variety of upper decks, platforms, housings for the foremast, gun and director tubs and some Carley floats. These parts all come on casting wafers. The
details on the parts themselves are well done and the casting is generally good with voids in some of the parts that need to be filled in. The problem is that the wafers
are really thick and will require a lot of work to remove the parts from them and to sand down the bottoms to thin them out.

Bag 4 contains a pair of motor launches, four boats and the parts for RO-43 float plane. The parts look good and need to be removed from casting runners. The float
plane parts include the fuselage, upper and lower wings, rear stabilizers and main float. Please note that the bottoms of the boats have storage cradles cast into them
so don’t remove them accidentally.
Bag 5 has some more gun directors and housings for the masts, bases for the 37mm anti-aircraft guns, propeller struts, propeller hubs and the paravane chain
attachment point that is fitted on the keel at the bow. Again, the details on the parts themselves are well done and the casting is generally good with some voids that
need filling and general clean up required. The downside is that the parts are embedded in those thick casting wafers that complicate removal of the parts and will
need work to remove the unwanted resin on the bottom. In addition, the bulkhead on one of the mast housings was broken into several small pieces during shipping.
They all appear to be there, so I can put it back together again.

Bag 6 contains large fire control director atop the foremast and a bunch of small parts like capstans, searchlights and their bases, 12.7mm guns and their bases,
cable reels, vents, bridge details, ammunition lockers and some small deck housing. The small parts are adequate but a cable reel and a searchlight not fully formed.
Again, the parts need to be removed from somewhat thick wafers.

Bag 7 has many mast parts along with the range finder optic arms, the paravane bodies and a small gun mount. The mast parts are broken down into sections in an
attempt to recreate the rather complex arrangement for the five-legged foremast, with sections in between the decks and housings. While it looks a bit convoluted,
there is some logic to this approach and it saves time trying to cut down plastic rod into many sections.
Bag A has the 37mm twin gun barrels, anchors, boat davits, some small deck fittings and the barrel for mount in Bag 7. These parts require a lot of cleanup and I really
wish the davits were not cast in a thick wafer, as I am dreading having to remove them without breakage.

The photo-etch brass fret provides several lengths of pre-measured railings, inclined and vertical ladders, bilge keels, rudder, propellers, funnel cap grills, various
platform towers, perforated gussets, 100mm gun breech details, mooring chocks and other small detail parts. An optional set of brass lettering is included to replace the
cast in ships name at the stern as well as a nameplate for a display stand. The brass is nicely done with some good relief etching and part numbers etched into the fret
for easier identification. A set of brass barrels, produced by B&D Barrels for this kit, are provided and they look really nice. A length of brass wire and plastic rod are
also provided. The small decal sheet contains the marking for the float plane and two flags.

The eight-page instruction booklet that is provided comes in the same format as previous E.V.A. releases. The cover page has a brief history of the ship and the
specifications at the bottom. The following pages have a series of assembly illustrations that cover specific sections of the model as well as certain sub-assemblies. The
last page has a painting guide with the camouflage scheme worn at the time of her loss with suggested color references for Lifecolor paints. The painting guide also
addresses the RO-43 plane along with decal placement. While the instructions have some good assembly illustrations, it would have been better if it was printed on
larger paper. The eight-pages are really two A4 sized sheets of paper printed double-sided and folded in half. Some of the illustrations would have been better if they
were larger, especially the camo scheme at the end, which is really too small. If not larger paper, perhaps an additional sheet or two would have allowed for some of the
illustrations to be printed larger and have them spread across more pages.
Felix Bustelo
Despite some issues, E.V.A.’s kit of Trento is very welcome and it is great not only to have another Regia Marina ship, but to see this sleek cruiser available in 1:350
scale. Overall the casting is improving with each release, but there are still some issues with the smaller parts and the amount of excess resin and thick casting wafers
which makes for a lot of work that could be avoided. With some work this will build into a striking model, big and beautiful in her camouflage scheme. E.V.A. kits are
currently available only through eBay. My thanks to Claudio at E.V.A. for the review sample.