Review by Felix Bustelo
OK. How many times have you built this kit when you were a kid? I must have built it at least three times, each a gluey mess as only an 8-year-old can make and then destroy it after an attack by my Aurora Japanese Zero (that little nugget probably met its fate in one of my recreations of Midway). Ah, the naivety of youth! My point is that the Revell USS Arizona is truly a classic kit. It has been around for what seems an eternity. Yet looking at it know, through the eyes of an adult with some modeling experience, it is actually a really nice kit. This is somewhat of a surprise considering that kits of this vintage were thought of as toys and that thousands of these Arizonas met similar fates as my early renditions did in mock Pearl Harbors!
The kit represents that Arizona after her early 1941 refit, when such items as the gun tub splinter shields and the "birdbath" gun tub atop the aft fighting top where added. But, the Vought 03U Corsair biplanes included with the kit were on the ship from 1931 through 1935. While cool, there are inaccurate for the 1941 version, which had OS2U Kingfishers (anybody knows where I can get Kingfishers in or near this scale, please drop me a line). This kit has a good amount of detail and according to some of my reference photos, is pretty accurate. Of course, as with all kits of this vintage, there are some things that could have been done better. First off, the kit has the infamous Revell "molded railings," which are actually thin walls of plastic with railings faintly etched into them. These must be removed if you attempt to add photoetch railings. Certain parts, like the ship's cranes, yardarms and catapults, are a bit clunky and should be substituted with photoetched replacements.
Considering the age of this model and the sheer volume produced over time, the molding of my kit is extraordinarily crisp, with practically no sink holes or ejection marks. Dry fitting some of the major parts show that some filling and sanding will be required, but that is something that is typical of any of these kits.
Overall, this kit is one of the better "classic" injection-molded kits issued. Use the Gold Medal Models USS Arizona Detail Set on this kit and you can make a real show winner. Just don't blow it up with a firecracker when you are done!
For another opinion check out the In the Box review by Timothy Dike