Blue Ridge Models 1/700
USS Arizona BB-72
Proposed Arsenal Ship

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
October 2014
Proposed by the US Navy in 1996, An arsenal ship is a concept for a floating missile platform intended to have as many as five hundred vertical launch bays for mid-sized missiles, most likely cruise missiles.

Some concept artwork of the Arsenal Ship was produced, some images bearing the number "72," possibly hinting at an intent to classify the arsenal ships as a battleship, since the last battleship ordered (but never built) was USS Louisiana (BB-71) of the Montana Class.

Blue Ridge Models has turned this concept into a reality in 700 scale. Based on the original concepts this kit has been named in honor of the USS Arizona BB-39. 

The hull with included superstructure are cast waterline style. The battleship hull is long and sleek with a stealthy sloping superstructure. Bridge windows and radar arrays are cast on the surface. On the deck are a multitude of vertical launch hatches for the "arsenal" of missiles. The stern has a flight deck and elevator cast on. My sample was waterline only, however an optional lower hull is available. 
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The main gun turret is also stealthy with sharp sloping sides. A CNC machined brass gun barrel is included with a hollowed out tip. Two anchors are also included. 
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RIM-116 (x 2)
The RIM-116 comes from Orange Hobby in their Blue Series. Two packages are included with two each of the launchers. These are finely detailed with separate yokes allowing them to be posed at any angle. A small photo etch fret provides the base and front and rear panels. 
The Phalanx is a two piece assembly with a separate base and gun pod. These can be assembled and posed just like the real ones. Two types of gun barrel braces are provided in photo etch. 
A fret of FStar's relief etched safety netting is included for use around the flight deck. Tom's Modelworks Modern 4 and 5 bar railings is included so you can add railing around the deck. Ladders and 2 and 3 bar railings are also included on the fret. There should be plenty of left overs for other projects. 
Two clear plastic helo's are included.  Landing gear and rotors are separate. One set of rotors is folded and one deployed. 
The decals come from Starfighter and are sharp, clear and well registered. Warning circles, hull numbers, and a variety of warning stripes are provided giving you a number of options for markings. 
The instructions are seven page total with a nice reprint of the box art photo showing the proposed ship with the USS Arizona BB-39 ghosted in behind her. Computer generated renderings show some how the ship could have looked if it has been built. Instructions for the Orange Hobby and Tom's Modelworks parts are also included. 
WHIF, what if this ship had been built? It certainly would have been a formidable platform to deliver a never-ending barrage of missiles to a target. This is a kit you can have some fun with. Use your imagination and come up with your own version of the Arsenal Ship. Everything you need to get started is right here. 
This is kit # BRM70014  1/700 Blue Ridge Models USS Arizona BB-72 Arsenal Ship available only from Freetime Hobbies for $135