Joy Yard
1/350 USS Missouri

Reviewed December 2022
by Martin J Quinn

The last battleship ever commissioned by the United States, the USS Missouri (BB-63) is most famous for hosting the Japanese surrender on her decks on September 2, 1945. Prior to this honor, she screened the fast carriers as they supported the landings on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, then brought the war to the shores of Japan, with Missouri herself shelling Japanese factories with her main guns. 

Missouri also served as a bombardment ship during the Korean War.  She was the first battleship to arrive in Korean waters, her firepower supporting the Inchon landings. 

Deactivated in 1955, Missouri sat in reserve until 1984, when she was called to duty once more, as part of the Reagan Administration's build up of the US Navy.  Undergoing modernization, Missouri was upgraded with new, advanced weapons to augment her big guns:  Harpoon ship missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles and Phalanx close in weapons systems (CWIS) Gatling guns.  Recommissioned in May, 1986, she served until March, 1992, when she was decommissioned for the last time.   Some of her highlights during this time include circumnavigating the globe and participating in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.  Low-lights include being used to film a Cher video.  Missouri is now a museum and memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, berthed just ahead of the USS Arizona Memorial, along "Battleship Row". 

For more information on Missouri's history, check out her Wikipedia page, where this history was taken from. 

The Joy Yard USS Missouri

When you order this kit from Dry-Dock Models & Parts, it drops ships directly from China.  My kit came very well packaged, in almost a plastic bubble-wrap cocoon.  Under the cocoon was a layer of cardboard, which wrapped around and further protected the shipping box that contained the actual kit. The box arrived in excellent shape, with no damage. 

The Joy Yard 1/350 USS Missouri comes in what I'd call a "hybrid box".  The box top is traditional cardboard, but the lower portion of the box is made of black, compartmentalized, Styrofoam, with the hull nestled into a form fitting compartment of it's own.   There are also smaller compartments to secure other sprues.   The deck is taped to the hull, to prevent movement, and parts are also stored inside the hull, under the deck. 

The hull, which scales our just about perfectly in length and beam, is molded as one piece. It has pronounced hull plating on it. Not as heavy as the Merit CV-5 class, but still very noticeable.  Unfortunately, the pattern isn't entirely accurate.  The plating on the bottom of the hull should curve upwards, and it does not. I don't think this will matter to most modelers, and other than sanding it off and starting over, I'm not sure what the fix would be anyway.  While the hull looks like an Iowa class hull, as compared to the Anatomy of the Ship Iowa book, I've heard some online comment about the hull accuracy.  So, I consulted John Miano, author of two Iowa-class books.  I shared some of the photos below with him, and these are his comments (in blue), which he allowed me to share:

The tunnel (on the bottom of the hull) is wider forward then narrows aft. That were not the case, it would cause enormous drag because the amount of water that would have to pass through aft would be much greater than that could enter forward. (Note: on the kit, the tunnel does start out wider, then narrows by almost 1/4 inch as it moves aft)

The shaft bossing is way too short. I can't tell if that's because the shafts are too close together or because of the hull form.  The tunnel should be 21' 8 1/8" wide at the shaft bossing/ That would be about 3/4" in 1:350. (Note: the tunnel starts out a little wider than 3/4 and then narrows, as stated above).

The shaft tube extend aft of the end of the twin keel. It should to back a few feet pas where the diagonal lower edge of the twin keel meets the tube. Maybe this is another piece? (Note: it doesn't look like there is another part).

It looks like the shafts are way too short. It looks like the hull widens too much in the area of the shaft tube exit, forcing the exit aft.

The bottom of the hull looks too rounded in the area of the rudders.

It looks like they may have gotten the truncation of the bilge keels from some angle.

Maybe its the picture angle but the bow looks sloped forward when should be vertical. And the bow should be much thinner at the waterline.

One plating observation for scientific purposes. On the ships, the plating around where the struts attach to the hull is doubled. At the overlap, one doubling plate goes on the inside and another goes on the outside to make this area flush on both sides. They kind of have that on the lower strut palm but it is lacking on the upper. If you look at how you would fit a strut there, you can see the need for such doubling.

They do have keel going up the stern correctly. 

All in all, the hull form is generally better than what I have seen in the past. It includes the docking keel. The twin keels are more integral to the hull form than what I have generally seen (Tamiya, Trumpeter). 

Not perfect by any means.

I've included John's comments here for the sake of accuracy - thank you John for sharing!  In the end, there probably isn't much you can do about it, and the hull looks like an Iowa class hull.  I think most modelers will be content with what is here.

This sprue contains the one piece main deck (yay! - no 3 piece deck!), along with smaller parts molded into the open space in the center.  The deck has very nice planking details, with both butt ends and margin planking.  There are 20 and 40mm gun shields, most with bracing molded in, molded to the deck.  There is also fine texture on the anchor chaffing plates.  The other parts included as part of this sprue are bulkheads, parts for the rudders and gun tubs.   The rudders and the bulkheads have very nice surface detail - especially the bulkheads.  Along with the gun tubs integrally molded to the deck, there was a separate, extra set of gun tubs included. 

A few separate sprues (ala Flyhawk) constitute Sprue B .  The largest part is the first superstructure deck, which has some gun tubs and bulkheads molded into the "empty" spaces, as with Sprue A.  This part has the same nice planking detail as before, with butt ends and margin planking.  There is lots of nicely done detail on the bulkheads.  I noticed all the doors are open, and will be dressed up with parts from the extensive photo-etch set.  The gun tubs are well done, with bracing on the shields as found earlier.   The second "sprue" contains a pair of 40mm gun tubs.

Here you'll find the second superstructure deck, more bulkheads and part of the navigating bridge.  Details are all very crisp and well defined.  I especially liked the grills on the exhaust vents and the piping on the bulkheads.  This is some of the best detail I've ever seen on any 350th scale ship model. 

More multi-part sprues with additional superstructure levels, the conning tower and part of the tower superstructure.  Same terrific details are found on these parts. 

This the largest sprue in the kit.  It has the flag bridge level, which has really terrific molded on raised teak wood grating. There is also the parts for the forward and aft funnels, more parts for the tower superstructure, props, struts and shafts and lots of small tubs. Details are universally nicely molded. 

 Here we have the parts that justified Mighty Mo's existence:  the 16inch turrets and associated parts, include barrels, blast bags, rangefinders, etc.   Everything you need to construct Missouri's turrets is here, and all the parts have nice detail.  Even though the kit includes turned brass replacement barrels, the plastic gun barrels are pretty nice, with open muzzles. I was also impressed by the blast bags.  A photo of the Tamiya 16in turrets is posed, for comparison, next to the Joy Yard part, in a photo below.

There are parts for the funnel caps, ships boats, davits, cable reels, and the ships seaplanes.  The seaplanes are multi-part affairs, and even come with some engine cylinder detail, visible through the cowl.  The panel lines on these are probably a little too deep, but will most likely look find under a coat of paint. 

These five sprues contain the 5 inch secondary gun houses (2 each per sprue), the Mk 37 directors, rafts - with and without netting - 20mm ready ammo boxes and more.  The rafts are the finest injection molded versions I've seen in this scale - they are almost as nice some of the 3D printed ones I've seen. The detail on the 5in gun houses and the Mk 37 directors is also well done. 

On these sprues are all the plastic parts you'll need for the ships 40mm guns.  Other parts are supplied in photo-etch.  There are very detailed multi-part weapons., with great detail. 

These sprues contain parts for the 20mm guns.  As with the 40mm, these are multi-part weapons, and they are also very nicely done. The guns themselves really look the part, and aren't blocky and don't have over scale barrels, like some other manufacturers.  The gun shields are included on the photo-etch set. 

These sprues come molded together.  Sprue UD contains parts for the searchlights;, while Sprue UE has various small bridge equipment, like the pelorus, compass and parts for the lookouts. 

These are the same parts as on Sprue UD above, but they are molded in a smoke colored clear plastic. 

The kit comes with turned brass barrels for both the main and secondary armament.  Both the 16" and 5" barrels look good. 

The kit comes with anchor chain, already blackened, in a small plastic bag. It's a little too shiny for my taste.  You may want to try and either paint it or blacken it further before using. 

There is a very extensive photo-etch set included with the model - 10 frets in all.  These are all packaged separately (with the brass barrels).  Each sheet is individully wrapped in plastic, secured to a piece of cardboard, and protected in its box by foam inserts.  The PE is relief etched, and includes railings, W/T doors, inclined ladders, vertical ladders, cranes, radars, floater net baskets, yardarms, platforms and netting for some of the rafts.  The distinctive squared off bridge face is included as photo-etch.  Also included are two tools to help you properly mark the upper and lower edges of the boot topping, which I think is a brilliant idea.  The PE frets all look terrific, but there are some tiny, tiny parts to be found here.  With so many tiny parts, you may want to appease the carpet monster with a sacrifice, in advance of commencing this build. 

There is one small set of decals included.  The sheet has two different sized US flags, a jack, hull numbers and names for all four ships in the class, draught markings and markings for the seaplanes.  The hull numbers and ships names come in both black and white.  Joy Yard has already announced a 1/350 kit of Wisconsin

There is  an extensive set of pre-cut deck and horizontal surface masks provided.  The material is akin to paper, something similar to Tamiya masking tape.  This is a great feature, and should help speed up masking and painting. 

There is no display base included with the kit.   
The instructions are 20 pages, in booklet form, on high quality glossy paper.  Along with photos of the real ship, the instructions are a mix of drawings and photographs, with the photos mainly showing where the photo-etc is placed on the model.   These should be more than adequate to build this model.  Below is a sampling of the instructions. 

The painting guide is a separate sheet, and shows the Missouri in her Ms22 camouflage.  Oddly enough, while this guide shows Missouri in Ms22, all the photos of the actual ship in the instruction booklet only show her in her Ms 32/22D camouflage pattern. 
On the front page of the instruction booklet, it gives a copyright date of 2018 for this kit, which puts it into same vintage as the Very Fire 1/350 Missouri.  Even though this kit of the Missouri dates from the same time frame - but only now seems to be readily available for modelers outside of Asia - it is light years ahead of the Very Fire's effort, and worlds beyond Tamiya's circa 1985 Mighty Mo.  The level of detail on this kit is some of the finest I've ever seen.  In particular, the bulkhead details - especially the grills for the vents - and the life rafts really stand out, though I did spot a few areas with some minor flash. While there may be some inaccuracies with the hull, I don't think most modelers will either know, or care.  It certainly looks the part, comparing it to the AOTS Iowa, and comes with everything you need right in the box.  While it is on the pricey side, it should build into a stunning model.  I'd also like to add that, with all the parts and photo-etch packed into this kit, it's not for a beginner. JoyYard has already announced a 1/350 USS Wisconsin model.  Here's hoping a round-bridge USS New Jersey is in the pipeline!

This is Joy Yard Model's kit number JY35000X, 1/350 USS Missouri.  The package I reviewed includes the Master Package Super Detailing set (JA35001), the Wooden Deck (JA35002X) set - one separate decks:  one in teak and one stained blue, along with three packages of Ultra-Flex metal wire.  Those upgrades parts will be the subject of a separate review.  This package retails for $653.00, and is available from Dry-Dock Models & Parts  (who I'd like to thank for this review sample) for $489.99.  Highly Recommended! 

This is an in-box review of the kit contents only.  Your mileage may vary once you start building.