Academy 1/700 USS Missouri BB 63 Kit Build Review
|Date of Review||October 2016||Manufacturer||Academy|
|Subject||USS Missouri BB 63||Scale||1/700|
|Kit Number||14222||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice details||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$35.00|
For a look at this kit out of the box, look here.
I've built a number of Academy's snap-tite kits as well as their multi-color plastic (MCP) kits, but I've never tackled one of their naval snap kits before. How hard could it be? Remind me never to assume a snap kit is targeted for a beginner audience. With as many tiny parts that make up this kit, it is not a beginner's kit. Let's take a look...
In the opening stages of the project, the hull and main deck assemblies snapped together just fine, though the front of the lower (red) hull is molded separately and it required glue to get it to stay firmly against the rest of the lower hull. The propellers are nicely molded and given that the outboard propellers are four-bladed and the inboards are five-bladed, plus the portside propellers rotate in opposite directions from the starboard side, the kit provides four completely different props. Unfortunately one or more blades came loose as I removed the propellers from the sprue tree and required repairs with liquid cement.
It isn't long however before you start to install the multitude of 20mm Oerlikon gun mounts all over the model. These parts are so tiny that I needed tweezers to install each one and because they were designed to be 'snap-fit', the first guns were either launched off the model onto the floor or crushed in place. Fortunately Academy provides an ample supply of spares so I quickly figured out how to assemble this model. I spent time with each part to remove any sprue tab remnants, then applied a dab of liquid cement to the hole where the gun was to be installed. Using tweezers to insert the gun, the liquid cement allowed the gun to slip into place and remain there permanently. This technique worked equally well with the other tiny parts including life rafts and spot lights.
The well-illustrated instructions walk you through the process in a logical order which also helps avoid collateral damage of tiny parts should you attempt to add something out of order. As you can see in the photos, the model looks pretty good without paint though you're missing some nice details that would be brought out with painting and washes.
I looked at the decal sheet as well as the sticker sheet provided in the kit. Academy made the classic mistake of providing the modern 50-star US flags and pennants instead of the 48-star flag from WWII. These were discarded though I did use the name sticker for the display base. It would have been nice if Academy provided one in English and one in Korean rather than printing both on the same display sticker. They did the same on the equivalent decal as well.
I will say that this was an interesting project which I had to finish just to see how it goes together. While it isn't a child's snap kit, it isn't difficult to assemble if you have good tweezers to hold the tiny parts and good files to clean those parts before installation. Like any model, the more care you take in cleaning up each part, the better the model will fit. I didn't have any issues with parts not fitting despite the layers of assemblies that go into this model, but that was because I abandoned the snap approach and used liquid cement with helps 'lubricate' the parts during assembly before they bond together.
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!