Dragon 1/700
USS Arizona BB-39

Pearl Harbor Special Edition
W/ Japanese Type 97 Kate
Reviewed by Timothy Dike February 2012
The USS Arizona was one of two Pennsylvania  class battleships built during the first world war. She was modernized between the wars and was at her berth when war came to the United States on December 7th 1941. She will always be remembered for the tremendous loss of life that occurred when she was hit by a Japanese bomb that detonated her forward magazine. The Arizona sank immediately and to this day lies on the bottom of Pearl Harbor, a permanent memorial for those who gave their lives in defense of their country.

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Dragon upgraded their Arizona kit to include a couple of  new Nakajima B5N1 "Kate" torpedo bombers. The majority of the parts are the same as in the Premium Edition Arizona kit released in 2006. It is currently the best 1/700 Arizona kit on the market in terms of accuracy and detail. Decals and instructions are updated for this new release. 

Dragon writes:

Premium Edition kits strike an optimum balance between technology and value for the money, often with the reuse and revival of existing Dragon Models. New technology is added to create new molds and more accurate parts, and these elements are combined to produce a greatly improved kit. Premium Edition kits are complete in every sense and offer modellers a chance to extend their families of model vehicles.
BONUS Kate Type 97 Bomber (x2)
Two Nakajima B5N1 "Kate" torpedo bombers molded in clear styrene. The detail is very good and includes separate landing gear, propeller, and torpedo. 
The hull on this kit is molded as a waterline kit with a separate lower hull. It is the best kit as far as capturing the shape of the Arizona's hull. The bow and hull sides look very much like the drawings I have. The lower hull looks equally accurate. The decks have nice planking molded on, however there are those dreaded Aztec stairs that modelers complain about. Click images
to enlarge
the main sprue includes waterline hull bottom, and the bow and stern deck inserts. The first thing that I noticed was that the anchor ways are molded clean without any molded on chain. This is a real plus, especially when you notice the separate capstands and real chain. The decks have some nice planking molded on and the splinter shields are not bad for this scale.
 The various superstructure levels are well molded with bracing molded on the undersides where appropriate. Slide mold technology is utilized to allow for port holes to be molded open on the 2nd deck.
The catapults and fighting top trusses are now molded in plastic and are not bad. But would have been excellent candidates for photo etch replacements.
SPRUE B (x 2)
This sprue contains most of the secondary weapons and fittings. The 5" 25 cal. anti aircraft guns are better than any other plastic ones available in this scale. There are even some 50 cal. machine guns that are a little thick, but still pretty good considering this small scale. 
The ships boats and float planes are included on this sprue. The detail is pretty good and the Kingfishers are molded with recessed panel lines. 
The bridge and crane parts are now molded in injection molded plastic and the detail is very good.
The main gun turrets are molded in plastic with some very nice surface details. Locating holes for the catapult are now included on turret #3. The real plus are the twelve 14" CNC machined gun barrels that can be used to replace the plastic ones. These are very nice and include drilled out centers. 
The guns are designed to allow for individual elevation, but be advised that the Pennsylvania class has all three guns on the same elevation track and they were elevated together.
A couple of photoetch frets are included that will allow you to replace some of the molded details. What isn't replaced is enhanced by the extra photo etch parts. 
Railings and boarding ladders will add a nice touch to the ship. A length of chain is also included for that realistic effect. 
The second fret included a stern crane and pulley details. New propellers are also supplied for the Kingfishers. There are also two boat cranes included that are not be used on this kit. Perhaps these are for a future late war Pennsylvania, "the world wonders".
The decals by Cartograf include the ships name and aircraft markings. These are nicely registered and pretty sharp. These are new decals for this kit and they include the markings for the Kate. It should be noted that the flag now has the correct 48 stars. 
The instructions are a six page booklet showing the assembly in a step by step process that is easy to follow. Very thorough and well illustrated. Photo etch locations are noted in color. The last page shows the ship in the MS-1 Camouflage. These have been updated from previous versions. 
This Dragon kit is the best Arizona in this scale to date. The upgraded tooling and new parts make it an even better value than before. I am pleased to see that Dragon is paying attention to what modelers are saying about their kits. They listened to the concerns of modelers and took a good kit and made it even better. You will definitely want this ship in your battleship row! Now you can have an accurate Kate, the  aircraft credited with sinking her for your collection. 

This is kit #DRA7127 available now on Dragon USA's website for 32.95 US.