Man Cave Modeler

Product Reviews
Take it or leave it, the comments here are strictly my opinion,
(and you know what they say about opinions)
I do this for fun and receive no compensation from anyone I might mention on this site.
Just my 2 cents worth

USS Missouri, "Modeler's Edition"
Academy 14223

This is the only full hull version of an Iowa Class Battleship in it's WW2 configuration currently on the market. It's an upgraded version of the 14222 Missouri and includes a small sheet of Photo Etch and a paint mask for all decks.
I prefer to build full hull, I didn't have a 700th Iowa on the shelf or in the stash, and it came with a small PE set for only a few dollars more. When I opened the kit, I realized I should have done a little research.

This is a fast assembly, easy build kit. Many of what would normally be several sub assemblies came as a single piece. The main cabin, the 5" and 40mm quad mounts are all single parts.
When I first looked at it the hull appeared to be a single piece molded in both red and gray. In reality it was three parts separated at the water line. The Lower hull is two parts with the bow section separate from the rest. The fit is a lot tighter than you might see on some of the more advanced kits.
Any detail on the superstructure, portholes, doors hatches etc. are minimal or just difficult to see through the plastic bags.

The Photo Etch contains railings for all decks, ladders, radars and some other smaller parts. The decal set has black stripes for the waterline boot top and markings for the Two SC-1 Seahawks

This kit looks like it might have a lot of potential and I'm considering buying some 16' gun barrels, and maybe an Iowa class PE set for cranes and catapults, but I don't know if that will make up for the lack of detail in other places.

This kit is relatively inexpensive and will be a really good kit for a younger or less experienced modeler who might want to spend the extra 10.00 (list) and try using the Photo Etch and deck masks.
For me, this one will be sitting on the shelf while I decide what to do with it. It might be my first attempt using water gels or will end up being donated to toys for tots


SMS Seydlitz
Hobby Boss 68510

The cover art for this kit shows the ship in an early configuration, with torpedo nets and booms, but inside the box is the late war version of the ship, after the nets and booms were removed.
Kit consists of a two piece hull is split along the keel, 3 piece deck, and 6 large sprues of parts along with a couple bags of loose parts
There is also four sheets of PE brass containing handrails for the decks and both funnels, ladders, stairs and various deck details. The sheet of decals contains the air recognition for the fore and after turrets and the ships bow crest
The plastic parts are well detailed, crisp and clear of flash. Both the main and secondary guns are slide molded with hollowed barrels
The hull is split at the keel and has 5 bulkhead stiffeners. There is no scoring line for waterline display

The kit does not come with a display base

At this time, Aftermarket parts are just starting to come out.

Available Aftermarket Parts:

B&D Barrels
1/350 Brass Barrels for SMS Seydlitz 11/50 Main Guns

EP Models
WD86510 1/350 SMS Seydlitz Wooden Deck
WD86510 1/350 SMS Seydlitz Brass Barrels

Infini Models
535014R1 SMS Seydlitz 1916 Super Detail Set

I'm happy to see hobby boss stepping up and releasing some of these older dreadnaught and predreadnaught type ships
(hint hint... How about some American Predreadnaughts next year HB?)
1/350 scale
Length 623 mm
Beam 91.9 mm

U.S.S. Arkansas, CGN-41
CyberHobby 7124, 1/700 Scale

This second of the Virginia class cruisers to be released by Dragon under the Cyberhobby Brand. The Arkansas is basically a re-release in it's post 1985 configuration with new decals and a couple changes to the Superstructure. The Inside the box you'll find 4 sprues of parts plus the underwater hull, a small sheet of PE , display stand and a set of decals.

The hull comes in two pieces split at the waterline and has the usual faint mold lines that will need to be removed. When Dry-fit, the upper & lower hull section lined up well with no gaps that will need to be filled or sanded. The forward weather deck is separate from the upper hull has molded on Anchor Chain.
The deck, up to the front of the superstructure is molded on to the upper hull section. The aft helipad area includes tie downs.
Sprue "D" contains parts for 2 helicopters but are listed as not used unless you choose to model the ship prior to the addition of Tomahawk Launchers in 1985.


Kit Instruction Sheet

Available Aftermarket Parts:

Flyhawk FH710002
USS Virginia CGN-38 class photo etch upgrade
This set of four photoetched brass sheets for the Dragon/Cyberhobby
USS Virginia & USS Arkansas.

Master Model 700-20
USN 5in/54 Mark 45 barrels (2pcs)

Tom's Modelworks
(generic parts for most modern USN ships)
#753 US Naval Doors
#754 Inclined & Vertical Ladders
#758 Modern 4 & 5 Bar Ship Rails
#759 US Naval Deck Hatches

Just my 2 cents worth

USN CGN-38 Virgina Photo Etch Set
Flyhawk 710002

This set contains upgrade parts for both the Virginia and the Arkansas. There are a number of parts that appear for use if you choose to backdate the ship to it's pre-1985 configuration but the instruction set doesn't reference their use to a specific date or time frame.

In 1985, the Navy installed Cruise Missile Launchers on the fantail taking up a good section of the flight deck and added the CIWS.

I did find the instruction a little confusing compared to the larger 1/350 sets. The placement of railing in the instructions are separate from the area's they cover and didn't notice the location diagram at first.
Another thing I found curious was the absence of replacement platforms for the aft towers.

This set contains 4 sheets of Photo Etch Brass

Sheet A has a larg number of assemblies. Both of the primary radars and parts most of the smaller ones are located here. There are also a pair of 5 bladed props. parts for the CIWS and a set of frames for the harpoon launchers that will need launch tubes (the instruction sheet lists 7mm diameter x 0.8 long but that's probably backwards)

Sheet B contains the aft helo deck with relief etched tie downs &There are a couple of platforms, numerous doors, hatches and ladders on this sheet. The flight deck is not drilled to accept the the Cruise missile launch boxes

Sheet C has the railings, enough to cover the ship. The weather deck railings have netting installed on the lower part.

Sheet D contains props for the helicopters,boat cradles, a couple platforms for the back of the superstructure and several odds & ends I'n not sure of yet.


Just my 2 cents worth

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Last Updated August 3, 2018