To this point in my modeling career, this is my masterpiece. This is Digital Navy's USS Arizona in 1/100 scale. This is a paper model kit that is designed to 1/250 scale, but I had the inspiration to increase zoom to 250% and make the model similar in size to the 1/96 version that currently resides at the Arizona Memorial Museum. There are abundant tourist photos on the internet of that model, so I had more than enough reference material to help with my build. About the model... The main structure of the hull is made up of several spines and frames and are made from 2 mm frame matting material. The skins of the hull and superstructure, and most parts are the printed parts (24lb high quality color paper) laminated to 90 lb cardstock. About 90% of the model is paper or card. The mast legs are styrene plastic tube wrapped with paper, the handrails and scratch built from styrene round, main and secondary gun barrels are formed with aluminum tube and wrapped in paper, and some of the detail elements (sailors, draped hoses, signal lights and rafts) are white metal castings.

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I added the red fields to the turret tops since the model was not printed with these on the parts. The OS2U Kingfisher floatplanes are not the ones included with the kit. The Digital Navy birds didn't hold up too well with this much up-scale, so I used Fiddler's Green Kingfishers. The FG birds were painted in a late-war color scheme, so I had to do a pre-war color scheme on the parts by means of digital re-color. So the planes themselves were a time-consuming part of the project. Both re-color and building them took many hours. In all, I have about 17 months or 600 hours of labor in the Ariz ona . It was a very rewarding and fun effort, but at the same time very draining and challenging. The total costs for materials on the project I estimate to be somewhere around $550. In summary, it's a jaw-dropping exhibit in my personal office. I get hours of enjoyment looking at it and showing it to guests. More importantly the Arizona will be a family heirloom that I will pass down to my kids and grandkids long after I'm gone.

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Mark Taylor

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