Dragon 1/700
USS Arizona BB-39

Premium Edition
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
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.

When Dragon first released this kit a few years ago, it was easily the best Arizona kit in 1/700 scale to date. See the review by Bob Dedmon. It did have a few flaws, in that some of the parts were molded out of a soft vinyl material. While rich in detail, this rubbery material was difficult to work with. The new upgraded version not only fixes those flaws, but also adds another photo etch set to replace the stern crane and pulleys in this Premium Edition Kit 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.
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 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. But they still have the incorrect pedestal style mount. 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. The flags are pretty nice, although there should be 48 stars on the flags. You would need a magnifying glass to notice that though.
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. 
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!