Hobby Boss 1/700 USS Arizona
KIT #: 83401
PRICE: $12.00  MSRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: John Doerr
NOTES: Very basic kit, torpedo blisters exaggerated, scaled down Banner kit


The Arizona is the iconic symbol of the US entry into world war II and a commitment by the American military to never be caught by surprise again

The Arizona was commissioned in 1916.  She was modernized in 1929 with new tripod masts, and  new boilers and turbines and torpedo blisters.  The 5/51 cal. casement guns were raised one deck higher and reduced in number to 12.  An improved antiaircraft suite of  ten  5'/25 cal. Guns was added while retaining four of the original 3/50 cal. guns.  At the time of the attack these four guns had been removed but not yet replaced with the quad 1.1 machine guns

Today the USS Arizona remains in commission and on duty carrying the entombed remains of  1.177 of her crew as the result of the magazine explosion after being penetrated by a Japanese armor piercing bomb on December 7, 1941.  During the war much of the structure still above water was removed for safety reasons and most of the guns we removed as a war time contingency, the hull remains as it was the day she sank.


The kit is molded in light gray and the parts break down is very much like the Banner 1/350 kit.  It features raised detail.  There five trees and separate hulls, above the water line and a full hull below.  The A tree contains the superstructure, masts and assorted small parts  There is no B and two C trees.  On first inspection the parts look OK, but not Dragon quality but then the cost is less than half of the Dragon kit.  The preview of the Dragon Pennsylvania, http://modelingmadness.com/scotts/misc/ships/dragon/7041.htm,  will give you some idea of the differences between the two.  On close examination the torpedo blisters are highly exaggerated, giving a balloon like appearance, and the shelf formed by the armor plate would scale out to around five feet thick. 

The instructions are of the standard international, pictograph type.  They are printed a single fold out sheet.  Also included is a set of color profiles.  They show it in an modified Measure 1 (Ms 1) scheme.  Ms 1 consisted of dark gray 5D, on all vertical surfaces up to the top of the stacks(s), with light gray 5L on all vertical surfaces higher than the top of stacks.  Copies of orders issued by Admiral Kimmel, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, have been located that state sea blue, 5S, should be substituted for the 5D.  The instructions give navy blue, 5N.   Whether the change had been carried out is still a matter of controversy.  Unpublished B&W photos show the 5D to be extremely dark appearing almost black, very similar to Tamiya German Grey paint. (Though John didn't mention it, the decals are off register, but thanks to the small size, this may not be an issue. Ed)


This is a good kit for beginners.  There are too many obvious discrepancies that may be impossible to correct for everyone else.  While the Dragon kit costs more than twice as much, it has none of the faults. 






 David Aiken: Personal Communication


June 2010

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