I had always wanted to build Tamiya’s 1:350 scale USS Missouri and had a very good experience building their Enterprise a few years ago as a 80th birthday gift for the father of one of my Naval Academy Classmates. In that case, I had a very short window to complete the ship and had to forgo any level of real detail, including using photo-etch. One of my good friends and fellow naval history buff had also talked about having a quality model of the Missouri for his den, so I decided to build one for him as a gift and take the time to put in as much detail as I could. I started the model two years ago, then got busy with work and a lot of travel, and only got to work on it sporadically. My friend had subsequently moved to New Mexico so I had more time to complete the model, as I would not be able to bring it to him until he built his new house. I decided to build the Missouri in its post war haze gray scheme and to use both sets of Gold Medal Model’s photo-etch to add the most details I could. I found the Tamiya kit excellent as expected and got of lot of help from Mike Ashley’s book, which featured Missouri pictures details. The GMM photo-etch really was worth the amount of time needed to get it done right. For example, the complete 40mm quad gun tubs with thin splinter shields, ammo racks and back rails completely change the look from just using the kit parts only. I took on the SC-1 scout planes as a challenge and had a couple of repainting tries to get the best scale look I could although I did not get the canopy framing exactly correct. I also am a big believer in using white glue for almost all the photo-etch attaching, especially the railings, as you avoid the touch up painting needed from shiny dried superglue.
The completed Missouri is at its temporary berth in my den until this fall when I will pack her up very carefully and drive to New Mexico to bring my friend his very delayed gift.