The South Dakotas were quick-build, wartime construction battleships better but shorter and slower than the North Carolina class -- and MUCH shorter and slower than the later Iowas, although they could keep up with our fast carrier task forces.
South Dakota had only 4 5" secondary gun turrets to a side, while the rest of the class had the customary 5 turrets.
South Dakota went directly to the Pacific and provided antiaircraft protection to the USS Enterprise's carrier task force during the Battle of Santa Cruz, near Guadalcanal, where it was not seriously damaged by a bomb which landed on one of its forward 16" gun turrets. It next participated in the night-time Second Battle of Guadalcanal, where its electrical system and fire control broke down, making it a target for the Japanese battle cruiser Kirishima and the rest of that ship's task force.
By sheer luck, schools of the deadly Japanese 24" Long Lance torpedoes missed both South Dakota and Washington. The latter finally cut loose with its 16" guns and quickly sent Kirishima to the bottom. Having to return Stateside for repairs, it was South Dakota that garnered much of the glory for our victory, nonetheless.
Massachussetts supported our invasion of French North Africa and quickly silenced the Vichy French battleship Jean Bart's one functioning quadruple 15" gun turret at Oran.
All of the class served in the Pacific, primarily as antiaircraft support and shore bombardment.
The American model company Revell has had a 1:720 waterline and full hull kit out of the (Alabama, etc.) class for some time, although the guns are poorly molded -- flattened. Hasegawa has a 1:700 waterline model which is very good in some respects. (I took the Revell model and put the Hasegawa 16" gun turrets and my own more accurate cardstock 5" gun turrets on it and eliminated the middle 5" gun turret, and I have an excellent South Dakota model I have used in many of my naval war games.) And I have (links to my) 1:1200 "2-sided models" of South Dakota and Alabama, Indiana, and Massachussetts. The Alabama branch of the class is also among the Hasbro/Avalon Hill War At Sea Naval Miniatures (game) 1:1800 model warships roster.
And here is the rest of the class with 10 5" gun turrets, thanks to my "image-bashing":
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