Reviewed by  Bob Dedmon  (IPMS 17560)
Here is the latest entry to the 1/700 collection of ships representing the U.S.S. Arizona, this one far surpasses all but one of the other entries and this one beats that one (Waveline) in price easily at about ¼ the price of the Waveline kit.  This is a very nice kit but it does generate a few complaints.
As an early shot of an injection molded kit it is very cleanly molded with no flash.  The surface detail is extremely well executed and for the most part the part break down it well thought out.  The kit gives you the choice of injection molded or turned brass barrels for the main guns.  Dragon has engineered the gun mount such that you can arrange the barrels in different positionsÖthe only problem with that is that the guns were mounted on a common slide and were required to be elevated at the same time to the same angle (no big deal).  Dragon provides separate anchor chain instead of molding it to the fore deck.  This will be very welcome to those that just have to install real chain for their ships.  I was pleased and impressed with the manner Dragon constructed the legs for the tripod masts, each leg is separate and keyed for correct location and fit.  The Kingfishers and life boats/gigs are molded in clear plastic, Iím not sure about the boats but Iím pleased and impressed with clear canopies for the planesÖno more black canopies for me!  Another bonus is recommended locations for the rails on the superstructure and masts. 

Now for the complaints and observations.  Just an observation I havenít developed an opinion one-way or the other on this one.  The material chosen for the fighting tops, the aircraft crane and the housings on the side of the funnel appear to be molded in vulcanized rubber.  Itís fairly soft like vinyl but stiffer and much less rigid than styrene or metal.  The details presented in this material appear to be acceptableÖI just donít know.   I would have preferred not to have the locating holes in the top of turret 3 for the catapult but I will survive it.  I understand the need for the separate for and aft deck portions of the main deck but I think splitting the hull fore and aft and use separate structures to stiffen the hull would have better served the kit.  Dry fitting the fore and aft decks leaves noticeable seams along the main deck that need to be worked.  I donít really like the ďpill boxĒ style 5Ē 51 mounts; the shield for these guns was canvas and needed to be removed prior to using the guns.  The catapults, cranes, and yardarms are injection molded in styrene (or rubber as previously noted) and are solid where the lattice areas are represented.  This would/will be better served with photo-etched brass (here comes another Tomís Modelworks set).  The 5Ē 25ís appear to be from the newly reworked Naval Weapons set, I may use them but Iím not sure they are completely correct.  The ship has 3 sets of Aztec stairs that will need to be replaced and the 5Ē 25 shields appear to be a little heavy.  The photo etched appears to be a little heavy but includes items I havenít seen anywhere else.  The set includes a sunburst arrangement for the control area and the rail along the arm on the boat cranes and the bridge between the boom and strong back of the aircraft crane.  It also includes a special made rail for the radar platform.  This and the Tomís Modelworks set will make this a winner.  The .50 caliber machine guns appear to be a little heavy for the scale as well and for the scale effect should be replaced by photo-etched brass.  Another MINOR complaint is the lack of blast bags for the main gunsÖjust make your own (I use tissue and thin white glue for mine). 

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Overall Iíd rate this kit superior to any other injection-molded kit and this kit is a lot cleaner than the Waveline kit.  Iíll keep my Waveline but one of these will eventually become the Pennsylvania (no telling what era).  Overall, with this kit with the Tomís Modelworks photo-etch set youíll have a winner of this important ship from American history. 

Dragon U.S.S. Arizona 1/700  (price about $25.00 U.S.)