Several years ago, when a 1/350 scale plastic USS Arizona kit was announced, there was some excitement.  However, when the Banner kit was released the response to it was underwhelming.  It clearly influenced by the old box-scale Revell kit and details in some spots sparse or non-existent.  Still it is an affordable kit which has been sold under the Trumpeter, Mini-Hobbies and most recently the Hobby Boss labels and there are plenty of photo-etch sets out there to help overcome the kitís shortcomings.  So with some good modeling skills and good brass you would make a winner of this kit with a bit of work and TLC.   Now some additional help as arrived with the Master Models USS Arizona barrel set.

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This set provides turned brass versions for the battleships main and secondary armament.  That means you get twelve 14Ē/45, ten 5Ē/51 and eight 5Ē/25 barrels that are beautifully scale reproductions of the real things.  As you can see from the photos, they are finer, more accurate and more realistic when compared to the kitís plastic barrels.   The machined brass barrels have slight taper to the muzzle.  In addition the muzzle has been drilled out just enough to make it look a shell will come firing out.  What I find especially helpful is the stem at the bottom end of the barrel which facilitates gluing the brass part in place. When I took the photos of the turrets I used some tape to hold the cross-piece in place rather than gluing it.  The barrels are heavy in comparison to the kitís plastic versions so be aware this going in. 

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So if you wish to build the best possible Banner/Hobby Boss 1/350 Arizona, get good reference material, choose your favorite photo-etch set, pick your paint-scheme (I am not going there, really!) and you must buy yourself the Master Models set to round it out.  This set could of course be used on the Iron Shipwrights 1941 Arizona kit.

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