BB-61 USS Iowa 1984
Pit-Road 1/700 USS Iowa
Modernized Battleship
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Iowa Class Battleship was the last of the big gun ships. Eclipsed by the Aircraft Carriers these fighting ships nevertheless served in a valuable role. The Iowa and her sisters spent much of their time during World War Two escorting the Aircraft Carriers or bombarding beach heads. Mothballed after the war, the Iowa was brought back to participate in the Korean War. After that it was back to storage, where she stayed until being reactivated as part of the envisioned 600 ship fleet of the Regan era. This model represents the Iowa as she re-entered service in 1984, with new Harpoon and Tomahawk launchers taking over were 20 mm and 40 mm guns had been.

In a cooperative effort Pit-Road long known for it's highly detailed ships has teamed up with the larger machining and molding capabilities of Trumpeter to produce all four of the Modernized Iowa Class ships.

The hull is well molded and has those nice clean lines of the Iowa Class. The deck planking is much finer than on earlier models. Detail is pretty good on the horizontal surfaces but lacking on the verticals. The inclined stairways have been incorrectly molded as the dreaded Aztec stairs. These will be somewhat difficult to remove for the purist. 
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Separate bow and stern inserts are provided and these have plenty of sharp deck detailing. The stern appears to match that of the New Jersey and not the Iowa. On the real Iowa the deck planking appears to end in a line even with the rear turret. Some re-scribing might be needed to correct this. The superstructure parts are well molded and  have nice surface detailing that is not overdone.
The main guns are the best I've seen in plastic and have all kinds of surface detailing. This will look great with a light wash on the finished model. A sprue insert is used to add the Iowa distinct bridge and superstructure parts as well as a nameplate.
The molding on the weapons sprue (2 included) is very fine and detailed considering how small this items are in 700 scale. The Tomahawk launcher can be build in the open or closed position and even include the Tomahawks. Harpoon Launchers and Twin 5" and other details are crisp and sharp. An SH-60 with folded and open rotors are also included.
The mast details are very fine and usable. Some can be replaced by some of the photo etch sets out there such as the Gold Medal Modern BB set designed for this kit.
This is a special version of the Iowa and it includes a full lower hull instead of a waterline insert.
Decals are provided for the helo deck markings and hull numbers. Flags and salad bar makings are also included.
A stand is included for displaying your ship.
The instructions are very extensive and have a multitude of assembly views to guide you through the building process.
A B-size full color painting guide is included with plan and elevation views showing decal and deck markings. Even the Tomahawk cruiser missile is included on the sheet
Another source of research information on this ship is the Pictorial Histories Publication on the USS Iowa Warship Data #3.


While this kit is not perfect is is certainly a great place to start for a modern Iowa Class ship. The NNT Iowa is a little more detailed but doesn't compare to this one in the price. Right now Hobby Link Japan has this kit on special for $21.68 US. That's about 35% off of it's list price. Thanks to Hobby Link Japan for the review sample. You can find this ship and the entire Pit-Road line on their website with online ordering capability and speedy delivery.