Trumpeter 1/200 USS Missouri

KIT #: TRP03705
PRICE: $475.00 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Donald Zhou
NOTES:  A big HUGE kit! Almost 54 inches long

HISTORY

Sorry, Iím not going to do a history of this ship. Safe to say, there are countless books, online sites, including the one here (http://www.ussmissouri.org/) or here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Missouri_(BB-63) that can do a better job than I can. Besides, Iím also sure a certain reviewer who is all about histories of various ships and planes can also do a better than I could.

However, there a few interesting tidbits though. For example, during the surrendering ceremony, they bought a nice, expensive wood teak desk from England specifically for the ceremony. A few days before it happened, a practice took place. It was only then they found out the desk was too small. There just wasnít enough time to order a bigger one and have it sent in so on the big day, they simply grabbed a desk from the mess hall, with a coffee stained table cloth for the big event. Afterwards, the desk was sent below for its original purpose. It was only as lunch was about to be served on the desk when the captain and the rest remembered the desk is now a big part of history and have retrieved, carefully preserved for historical sake.

THE KIT

I actually have this kit for over a month now. I preordered it in September when I first heard about it. At first, I wasnít even interested because itís just too darn big. Almost 54 inches long when fully assembled! That is almost two feet longer than my son is tall! But the history of this ship broke me down and I paid $340 for mine. Yes, you can find it cheaper online elsewhere but you also have to pay the shipping and handling charge (The price I paid have shipping and handling charge included already) and as can be imagined, shipping and handling charge can be a bundle with something that weighs 15 pounds and have a 47 inches long box.

Upon opening the casket size box, oneís breath is taken away by the huge single piece hull. Now, unlike the Bismarck kit (TR03702), the hull is divided into three pieces since the upward curving bow of this ship meant a single complete hull is impossible so the bow, along with a good portion of the hull (what I like to call the ďheadpiece) is divided in two. This mean there will be some seams to cure after you glued it into the massive 47 inch single piece hull. Other than that, the rest of the sprues are packed into boxes labeled A, B, C, and D, with D only containing the two monstrous deck pieces. And HOO BOY are there A Lot of sprues! Discounting the two superstructures (Held in the upside down hull), the deck pieces and duplicate sprues, there are still 13 sprues left, hence why only a sample is shown as there is no way to get all of them in a single frame. Along with that, there are also 11 (ELEVEN) frets of photo-etch, containing everything from the radars, ladders and all the railings for the ship. Overall, 1547 plastic parts are included. I didnít count them but I donít doubt them, what with having to assemble 56 (FIFTY-SIX) 20mm Oerlikon cannons alone here!

Instructions are proto-typical Trumpeter. There are 56 steps on 44 pages with mostly detailed and blown up black and white drawings. Itís highly suggested that one go through the instructions with a fine tooth comb first. Even with 56 steps, many parts of the instructions contain way too many small pieces with arrows colliding with each other on the way down to the ship below. Also, Trumpeter seems to be adamant that you assemble everything first, than as an afterthought 3,4,5 or 6 steps later, have you try to bend a railing and then glue it onto the pieces without knocking off plenty of others and feed the carpet monster. A single small decal sheet with the some flags, the shipís number and the shipís name is also included. Painting instructions are included on one color sheet. The ship is only offered in her 1945 surrendering scheme so if one want to do her in her earlier war service or post WW II years, then research is needed.

CONCLUSIONS

Trumpeter has hit another one out of the ball park here, at least from this previewer! Now, to borrow a famous phrase from a certain historian reviewer here, that certain place that shall not be named have already started, mainly by taking pictures of the model over the net, compare them with the real ship pictures taken over the years and then screaming ďOhh wah! The ship hull is a complete failure and cannot be build!ĒÖ.Now, take it from me, I took the ship to my local IPMS chapter, where a guy who loves to build navy subjects and one look at the hull, he said the ship is actually better than the 1/350 Tamiya offering! That my friend, is more than good enough for me! Now, to batten down the hatches, flood the torpedo tubes and try and go on through with this project!

 P.S. Trumpeter have its own aftermarket set (TRP06631) and Pontos have already released a massive complete aftermarket resin, brass photo-etch and wood (deck, comes in both teak and blue colors) set. However, Pontos set is expensive at $269 minimum and no doubt, other aftermarket companies will soon jump aboard too so some patience is needed.

 

Preview sample courtesy of my own hard hit pocket books.

Donald Zhou

January 2014

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