|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 positions…the 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, I’m not sure about the boats but
I’m pleased and impressed with clear canopies for the planes…no 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 haven’t 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. It’s fairly soft like vinyl but stiffer and much less rigid than styrene or metal. The details presented in this material appear to be acceptable…I just don’t 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 don’t really like the “pill box” style 5” 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 Tom’s Modelworks set). The 5” 25’s appear to be from the newly reworked Naval Weapons set, I may use them but I’m not sure they are completely correct. The ship has 3 sets of Aztec stairs that will need to be replaced and the 5” 25 shields appear to be a little heavy. The photo etched appears to be a little heavy but includes items I haven’t 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 Tom’s 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 guns…just make your own (I use tissue and thin white glue for mine).
|Overall I’d rate this kit superior to any other injection-molded
kit and this kit is a lot cleaner than the Waveline kit. I’ll keep
my Waveline but one of these will eventually become the Pennsylvania (no
telling what era). Overall, with this kit with the Tom’s Modelworks
photo-etch set you’ll have a winner of this important ship from American
Dragon U.S.S. Arizona 1/700 (price about $25.00 U.S.)