Matchbox 1/700 USS San Diego Light Cruiser

The San Diego was an early war Atlanta Class Cruiser. There have been a number of Inquires about the difference in this kit and the other similar kits circulating on the market, so we've decided to show you the difference between the two. The Matchbox kit is still available and has been re-boxed by Revell as the USS San Juan. The other kit is the original Skywave/Pitroad Atlanta, and the re-released DML/Dragon USS Oakland that we reviewed in August. But that's where the similarities end. This kit suffers from a lack of detail, and the molding is rather thick. I originally built this kit before the release of the Skywave kit, and at the time it didn't compare too well with the other kits on the market at the time. It is however relatively inexpensive and might be a good kit to introduce a first time modeler to.
The 5"/38cal gun turrets are over scale and should be replaced by those included in the Skywave E9 weapons set or Loose Cannon's Twin 5" set. You might as well replace the 40 mm guns as well as they are barely recognizable as molded. In fact the Skywave set should be used extensively to replace all the weapons and fittings, right down to the life rafts. 
The hull is four piece affair with port and starboard sides attaching together and a top deck fitting into it. There is a bottom insert that completes the assembly. This kit captures the spirit of the Atlanta Class in size and shape. I found that the thickness of the splinter' shields were to be very distracting and they should be replaced where possible. Even the walls on the superstructure are a little too thick for my taste.
The instructions are pretty well done and do a good job of illustration the assembly process. Combined with the simplicity of this kit, and this kit can probably be built out of the box in an evening, unless you decide to start replacing parts.
In conclusion, this would make a great kit to give to a young modeler to build their first ship, or even to practice your photo etch techniques on. But the amount of work it needs to bring it up to par, make the Skywave or DML/Dragon kit a better choice.