Very Fire Model
1/350 USS Missouri

Reviewed March 2018
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 (a decision that rankled sailors from other ships).   Prior to this honor, she served screening the fast carriers as they supported the landings on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, then brought the war to the shores of Japan, including 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 Very Fire USS Missouri

The Very Fire 1/350 USS Missouri comes is a very sturdy cardboard box.  On the box top is a handsome painting of Missouri at sea in World War II, in her Measure 22 camouflage.   On the sides of the box are either CAD renderings or photos of the completed, unpainted model.  On the bottom of the box you'll find painting and marking instructions. 

Upon opening the box, the two piece hull is on top of a cardboard insert, which has another large rendering of the completed model.  The ends of the sprue holding the hull halves are secured in the insert to keep it from moving around.   The instruction booklet was laying on top of the hull.  Under the hull is a plastic sleeve holding the three photo-etch frets.   The sleeve is taped to the insert to keep it from moving about.   The sleeve in my sample was torn, and one photo-etch fret was sticking out of it's protective cover.   Fortunately, there was no damage. 

Sprue A consists of the two hull haves.   One side is part A1, the other, A2.  The hull scales out perfectly in length and beam (I used the deck for the latter measurement, since the hull is a two piece affair).  There are raised horizontal "plating" lines molded onto the hull.  They will probably won't be that noticeable under a coat of paint.   On the forefoot you'll find a small protrusion to represent the attachment where the paravane chains run through.   You don't usually see this, unless a modeler adds it.  Nice touch, though you will have to drill it out if you rig the paravane chains.

The bilge keels look good, and there are chocks are molded on to the hull around the deck edge.   My only concern is going to be filling the seam from the hull, especially between the two skegs that hold the inboard propellers. 

Sprue B consists of the three pieces of the main deck.   There is nice planking details, with butt ends.   Not much else is molded to the deck, other than the bitts.  All the vents, guns and splinter shields are separate pieces. 

B1 is the foredeck, with bitts, anchor chaffing plates, planking and bases for the wildcats.  These is also some raised loaming that surrounds hatches (the hatches are separate pieces). 
B2 is the center/amidships deck, with the 01 level molded in, turrets two's barbette and bases for the five inch guns, along with planking detail.
B3 is the quarterdeck, with similar raised loaming found on the foredeck, pedestals for the catapults and the aft 40mm guns tubs all molded to this part. 

These two parts, considered Sprue C, are the 2nd Superstructure deck, and the flag level.  They are attached in the box by thin foam padding, which keeps them together. 

C1 is the larger of the two pieces.  There is planking similar to the main deck, while the bulkheads have nice detail on them:  portholes, vertical ladders, W/T doors and hoses all molded in.
C2 is the upper, and smaller part.   This part has similar bulkhead detail to part C1.   There is no planking detail on the deck near the flag bridge, which is incorrect.   The bridge windows are surprising pedestrian for a newly tooled kit - they don't look much different than the bridges on Fujimi's old 1/700 Iowa class kits. 

There are more superstructure parts on this sprue, as well as the funnel caps and masts.   The detail on the bulkheads is good - piping, vents, etc.  The funnel caps have detail on them.  There are supports/bracing underneath the platforms and bracing on some of the splinter shields.  There is nice detail on the bulkheads for the structure that support the forward funnel.   This is a two part affair, which means more seams to fill.  The part for the navigating bridge has more of the same "old school" style bridge windows.  Frankly, for a brand new kit, this is disappointment, and a bit puzzling.   One bridge level has molded on inclined ladders that look something like the old "Aztec" stairs.  Again - puzzling for a new kit. 
This two part sprue has more bridge parts, the breakwater, the stiffeners for inside the hull, struts and shafts for the outboard props, rudders, two types of props (4 and 5 bladed), splinter shields and some bulkheads.   The rudders have some bolt detail on them, which looks a wee over scale.  The splinter shields look good, though the upper part of the funnel is, again, two parts. 
The gun tub sprue.  Lots of gun tubs here, or shields for gun tubs, along with some additional superstructure parts.   Detail is pretty good, though there are few mold lines that need to be cleaned up on some parts. 
 More gun tubs and lots of bulkheads.   There is bracing detail on the tubs, with supports molded on underneath.   The bulkheads have lots of detail - W/T doors, portholes, piping, ladders and hoses.  The portholes have eyebrows over them. 
There are four sprues that comprise "H", two that hold the five inch gun turrets and associated parts, and two that have the main batter directors, platforms, shields and other small parts.  For the most part, detail is pretty good, though there are few parts with some flash and a sink hole on another part.    The bolt detail on the main batter director is probably a little over scale.   I'm also surprised that the five inch gun turrets are multipart - the sides of these turrets are separate parts that have to be glued on - this will most likely result in more seams for the modeler to fill.
These three large sprues have the main battery turrets, bases, barrels, barbette parts and other smaller parts.    Very Fire has designed this kit so that two of the turrets can be built with lower chambers under the main turret. 

The main turrets are slide molded, and the detail on them is excellent, with molded on ladders and rivets.  While the blast bags are nice, the barrels are molded with solid muzzles.   There are a few parts on this sprue that I couldn't match up on the instructions, which may indicate that additional versions of the ship, in her modernized appearance, are coming. 

These six sprues are the weapons sprues.  Here you'll find the 40mm gun bases and barrels (the shields are photo-etch), the 20mm (again, the shields are photo-etch), anchors, vents, directors, rafts and other small parts, like searchlights.  The bases for the 40mm are nice (and one piece, sans sheilds), the 40mm gun barrels and 20mm guns look pretty good for plastic.   The rafts have detail inside, as do the ships boats, which have planked decks. 
The two Seahawk spotter seaplanes are on these sprues - one on each.   There is engraved panel lines and photo-etch cockpit canopies!
The kit comes with anchor chain, already blackened, in a small plastic bag. 
There are three photo-etch frets - marked M, N and P - included with the kit, in a small separate plastic envelope.   There is enough photo-etch for the whole model, including railings. 

Fret M is mostly railing.  The lengths of railing are pre-measured for a corresponding place on the model.  There are no long runs of railing, which makes installation easier.
Fret N has the catapults, funnel platforms and railings, Mk 4 radar and parts, and the main battery director radar.  Some parts show relief etching.
Fret P has inclined ladders, the crane, shields for both the 40mm and 20mm guns, the SK radar dish and braces, and some smaller parts.  The SK radar looks odd - almost like a colander for washing vegetables instead of  the actual radar.  You may want to dip into your extras, or spares box, for a replacement.

There is no display base included with the kit.   
There is one small decal sheet included with the model.   On it you'll find hull numbers and names for all four Iowa-class ships, a US flag, the naval jack, draft marks and markings for the aircraft.  Decals are a bit thick and the hull numbers look on the small size. 
The instructions are 36 pages, in booklet form.  While they are easy to follow, Very Fire would have you tackle each third of the deck as separate assemblies, and not have you attach the decks (with parts and photo-etch attached) to the hull until the next to last step - right before the main deck railings are added.   Since modelers never follow instructions anyway, this may not be a problem. 
The painting and marking instructions are on the bottom of the box.   They show the Missouri in both her Measure 22 and Measure 32, Design 22D patterns.  Unfortunately, they show both sides of the Measure 32 pattern as the same.  The pattern show was only worn on the starboard side, while the port side had a different design.  That correct pattern for the port side can be found here
Thirty-plus years after the release of the venerable Tamiya 1/350 Missouri in 1985, we finally have a newly tooled World War Two Missouri.   Very Fire's Missouri isn't perfect, but it is a nicely molded model, with good detail, that looks good in the box.   I'm not an expert on the Iowa-class, but the kit certainly looks the part.   It includes everything you need to build the "Mighty Mo" right from the box, and should build into a really nice replica of this famous battlewagon when completed. 

This is Very Fire Model's kit number VF350903, the 1/350 USS Missouri.   The model retails for $199.99, and is available from FreeTime Hobbies - who I'd like to thank for this review sample - for $159.99.  Recommended.

This is an in-box review of the kit contents only.  Your mileage may vary once you start snipping and gluing parts together. We welcome your input and comments in the review section of the forum especially if you can share details about fit, ease of assembly and accuracy. Click the logo on the right to join in the discussion.