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WW 2 Iowa Class Battleship
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Missouri is one of the best known US Navy warships of all time. One of four Iowa Class fast battleships she was one of the most powerful battleships of all time. Her 9 16" 50 cal guns fired 2700 lbs armor piercing rounds out to a range of about 21 miles. While they were slightly smaller than those of the Japanese Yamato class they were more accurate and were backed up by state of the art fire control radar. The Missouri was a sleek warship with the speed and range to keep pace with the Aircraft Carriers then roaming the Pacific. She was a floating anti aircraft battery with of 10 twin 5 inch 38 cal twin dual purpose gun mounts, 16 40 mm quad, and 49 20 mm anti aircraft guns these ships were an effective defense to any air attack. The dreaded Kamikaze was not much of a threat to her, in fact the the one that was able to penetrate her anti aircraft ring did only superficial damage to the ship, never even slowing her down.

The Missouri entered service in 1944 and missed out on much of the heavy action during the war. But she was there in the end, being chosen as the place where the formal surrender ceremonies were signed ending the war. The Missouri was later modernized and went on to fight in several later wars. She was finally deactivated and now serves as a floating museum next to the remains of the sunken Arizona. Together they symbolize the Alpha and the Omega of World War Two.

Tamiya has picked the 1944-45 Missouri as their next major contribution to the 1/700 Waterline Fleet. Like their previous Indianapolis kit, this is not just a retool of an older kit. It is a brand new kit with very little in common with the previous Fujimi Iowa class kit. The kit borrows much of the design of Tamiya's larger 1/350 kit, but is more than just a scaled down version of an older tool. The hull is split into two halves with a three piece deck. The deck planking is very well done and the surface detail is well executed. Splinter shields are thin, though a little short due to the limitations of injection molding. The one objection I have to this kit is the inclusion of the dreaded Aztec stairs! These are supposed to be included ladders but as is often the case the drawings get incorrectly interpreted to be solid stairways.
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The superstructure parts include a fair amount of surface detailing including molded on ladders and conduit plumbing. The two funnels even have some of the best molded on grill guards I have ever seen on a plastic kit. A separate sprue with several bridge parts is included that looks specific to the Missouri. This is a good sign and leads me to believe that Tamiya will follow up with the other members of this class soon. The way the bridge is molded will allow for the modeler to easily open up the windows.

The two weapons sprues included have some really nice main gun turrets, and a lot of really fine weapons. The quad 40's and 20 mm guns are delicately molded. A couple of Kingfisher and Sea hawk float planes are included so you can do a 44 or 45 version of the Missouri. There are even a few extra parts to help build up your spare parts bin.

Like other waterline kits this one has the waterline hull insert with metal weights and even delrin plastic turret bushings to allow the guns to rotate freely.

The instructions are two long pages of history and step by step exploded views showing all phases of the construction. They are clear and easy to follow with painting keys throughout. 
A decal sheet includes the ships name and hull number as well as aircraft markings. A separate flag sheet contains some nice flags on a thin paper sheet.
A B-size full color painting guide is included with plan and elevation views showing the Missouri in her as commissioned in her Ms-32 camouflage scheme and the Ms 22 paint scheme she wore at the surrender signing. Aircraft markings are also shown. 


This is the best WW2 Iowa Class Battleship on the market, with a little work this ship could be a real show stopper. Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for the review sample. You can find the USS Missouri item # TAM31613 listed for $21.90 US and the entire Tamiya line on their website with online ordering capability and speedy delivery.