Corsair Armada 1/700 USS Phoenix

Brooklyn Class Light Cruiser
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Corsair Armada USS Phoenix represents an early war fit of the Brooklyn Class light cruiser. These cruisers are unique in their main gun armament arrangement, with three of the five turrets located up front. There were seven ships in this class and two in the St. Louis class that was a modification of this class. Those ships are the Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Savannah, Nashville, Phoenix, Boise, and Honolulu. This kit can be used to model either the Phoenix or Honolulu early in the war up to early 1943. Both ship received refits that dramatically altered their superstructure and changed considerably in appearance after that.. This kit could be altered to represent the other ships in this class during their early years, but would have to have some changes to make them accurate.
The hull casting was very clean, there was no sign of air bubbles and all the splinter shields were intact. The hull includes cast in portholes, and hatches. Deck detail is quite nice and the hull is pretty straight. The aircraft hanger is molded in the open position allowing some enterprising modeler to get out his Dremel and detail this end of the ship. 
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The superstructure parts are very nice, the resin over pour is very thin and can be removed with light sanding. A resin searchlight tower is includes just in case you want to build this kit out of the box, but I highly recommend the brass replacement in the Tom's ModelWorks #719 set.
The main guns are nicely shaped with the only complaint being the rather large casting gate on the rear that must be sanded off. The barrels are all molded separately. The 5" 25 cal secondary guns are the most accurate available in any 1/700 kit that I know of. These are also available separately if you would like to upgrade your other kits. The light 1.1  inch anti aircraft guns are nicely molded as well.

When this kit was first introduced the 20 mm guns were copies of the Skywave guns as in the old kit I have. According to Mike Czibovic of Corsair Armada Productions, Current production kits of the Phoenix also include an interim version of the 1.1" quads. It is currently a two-piece resin assembly as opposed to the one-piece ones in the original kit. Upgrades will be included in all production as they are developed.

The new 20 mm guns are a resin and photo etched brass combination that should work out pretty well. The base is resin and the shield, pivot point and attachment point are to be folded up in a "U" shape. The PE gun and barrels are a little 2 dimensional, but they are the best made 1/700 guns available.
Rafts, Boats, davits, and all the miscellaneous parts are all there. This is a very complete kit, plastic rod is even included for the mast though I prefer to use brass. It would like to see all resin manufactures included these extra items. The catapults and cranes are as good as it gets in resin, but I suspect that most modelers will use the ones in the photo etch sets instead.
The instructions are first rate, and very thorough. The include 3 dimensional views that show how the parts fit together. The alignment of the superstructure is noted in some elevation views that will prove to be helpful when attaching the upper bridge area to the lower hull casting. There is also some nice photographs of the flying bridge to help you get this part of the kit right. A parts page shows the outline of all the parts included in the kit as well.
Overall this is a great kit that captures the look of the Phoenix and Honolulu Light Cruisers. It is in my opinion one of the best 1/700 resin kits on the market today. This kit lists for $59.00, and can be found at Pacific Front Hobbies, Colpar Hobbies, and Brookhurst Hobbies.