Cyber-Hobby 1/700 USS Virginia CGN-38
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
June 2013
The USS Arkansas CGN-41 was a Virginia class cruiser, commissioned on  Oct. 18, 1980 at Newport News, Virginia. Designed during the Cold War, these sleek nuclear-powered guided missile cruisers could perform a variety of roles. They could serve as flagships for smaller ships or provide AAW or ASW protection for Carrier Battle Groups. 

Arkansas did her shakedown training in the West Indies. With refresher training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Later she served as escort for Nimitz CVN-68 before returning to Norfolk for preparation for deployment to the Mediterranean as part of the 6th Fleet. She operated off Beirut in December 82 and in the Gulf of Sidra off Libya frequently crossing the "line of death" declared by the then Libyan dictator. Arkansas again sailed off Lebanon before returning home to Norfolk via Gibraltar. 

Arkansas was transferred to the Pacific operating out of her new base of operations at Alameda, California. In late 83 early 84, she spent time at Bremerton, Washington undergoing repairs. On her way to Pearl Harbor, Arkansas participated in  Operation RIMPAC 84. From there it was on to Subic Bay in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and later the Indian Ocean. Arkansas operated around the Persian Gulf during the Iran Iraq war before heading home. 

Early in 85 Arkansas sailed into Bremerton for a four month upgrade, receiving her new Tomahawk cruise missiles and the Phalanx close-in air defense system. She patrolled the waters of the Middle East  before returning to Libya to take part in operations with Enterprise CVN-65 and Truxtun CGN-35 in retaliation for that countries terrorist activities against the US. 

Arkansas decommissioned on July 7th, 1998 and was disposed of the following year at the Nuclear-Powered Ships Recycling Program at Puget sound in Washington.

Cyber-Hobby, a part of the Dragon Models empire, has released a second member of  the Virginia class Guided Missile Cruisers. This kit is essentially a reboxing of the Virginia kit with new decals box art and instructions. Many of the image come from that original Virginia review. This kit is based on the post 1985 build of this ship, but can be modified to represent the ship at any point in her career.

The upper hull is included on this sprue and is appears to have the correct shape and profile. The stern features recessed tie down sockets. The bow insert has molded on anchor chain with bits and chocks where appropriate. Some of the superstructure parts are also on this sprue and they feature nice surface detailing.  Click images
to enlarge
This is an all new weapons sprue with the tomahawk launchers and the missile rails with separate missiles to attach to them. New gun mounts and other details are well done. I don't care much for the plastic radar antenna, but there is a much nicer photo etch one included if you want to use it. 
This sprue features a nicely done bridge assembly slide molded to eliminate seams and give you full detail on four sides. The mast is a little on the thick side but not objectionable. Molding is really nice overall. 
This is the standard US Navy weapons sprue with parts found on typical warships. It has a variety of weapons, fittings, and even the SH-60 helo. Most of these parts are not needed, but are great to save for other projects. 
The lower hull is molded as one piece with the bilge keels and sonar dome. The fit with the upper hull is pretty good and appears to line up very nicely. The lines of the hull could be better as the keel should be flush with the bottom and the stern should slope up more. 
The base for this kit has been designed based on how most modelers like to display their ships in full hull mode. The stands which resemble lamp finales are even slide molded so they have no seams to fill and sand. Hole locations are provided so all you have to do is open them up with a knife or drill. 
A simple photo etch fret is included with the optional radar antenna assembly. inclined ladders and a radio antenna for the bow. 
The decals are specific to the Arkansas with warning circles and helo deck markings all sharp and well registered. There are also draft markings, battle E's and flags. 
The instructions are six pages with lots of subassembly views that are easy to follow. The last page features a painting guide showing decal placement. 

Another nice kit from Cyber-Hobby. Easy to build and with room for superdetailing, this kit provides an affordable high detail version of the Arkansas for those who need escorts for their modern fleets. 

These kits should be in stock at local stores. You should be able to get one soon. Look for them on the shelves of your favorite hobby shop or get it direct from Dragon USA or CyberHobby for 34.95