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Michael Smith
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1/700 Dragon USS Arizona (BB-39) – construction update

November 10, 2018 · in Ships · · 3 · 3.3K

I've had this kit of the Arizona in for longer than I can remember. I started it years ago resigned to handpainting it, and it looked so awful after the first coat on the deck and hull that I gave up. With my airbrushing kits a tad better, I primed the hull to start over, hit the deck with Tamiya tan and the hull and sprue parts with 5-D Dark Gray, and I was off detail painting like a fool.

This will be my first kit using printed parts, beginning with the Pearl Harbor mooring quays. Hopefully eventually my top shelf will eventually become a December 7 " Row".

The biggest addition to the model was the mid-build decision to switch out the kit fighting tops and gun shields for 3D parts. I had been very impressed with the 3-D printed Pearl Harbor mooring quays, and was able to locate 3D printed fighting tops, gun shields, and shields for the quarterdeck 1.1 inch mounts. The tops and shields came in orange plastic (an odd choice) and the difference between them and the kit parts is striking. The photos show the new tops are in front - the kit parts are on the ship and behind. The photo also shows the size of the kits gun shields, which are short, thick, and without vertical bracing. The photos also show the boat deck sanded smooth of the old gun shields, and with the tops and shields painted and ready for installation.

The new big decision was to change the deck color to a warmer shade of deck tan after the model was complete (except for photoetch). What a mess that's been, as shown by the last photo, but in the process I've been learning more about the exact colors to use to detail the ship's boats.

I'll been continuing with the photoetch today, as well as continuing to detail paint to clean up the deck color mess. Once the kit is finished I plan on rigging the awnings as they were on December 7, 1941, as well as the boat booms, and removing the ship's boats and placing them around the mooring quays.

Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

3 responses

  1. Great work, Michael! Great save!

  2. Nice! for me working on such a small scale is daunting.

  3. Coming along nicely!

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