This product is the result of collaboration among three hobby producers. It is important to emphasize that the photographs represent a preview of only some of the components of this product. One of the largest components is not even shown. A true multi-media product, components will come in at least four different mediums. The name, Wonder Boys Consortium, reflects the diversity of the contributors to this project, who not only hail from different sections of the USA but also from outside of the US.
Wonder Boys have taken a risk with this product by selecting an obscure design to model. Not many modelers could be expected to recognize something as foreign as this design. In talking with one of the developers, it was stated that the product might appeal to a handful of modelers who might have seen the old forgotten film of Bridges at Toko-Ri. To pin success of a commercial venture on a bit of neglected celluloid a half a century old may seem like financial folly but the Wonder Boys believe they may be able to tap a small niche market. However, only time will tell if this is just self-delusion and wishful thinking.
One of the oddest parts is a multi-ribbed enclosed escalator, which will be found on the starboard side of the model. Now there may not be much of a market for warship kits with escalator parts but Wonder Boys felt like they had to include it in the parts mix as they insist the original subject did have this exotic feature. Although you may take this claim with a grain of salt, Wonder Boys hope that you will not dismiss their effort just because it comes with an escalator housing. With enough research, it may be possible to unearth a photograph, which may prove this unlikely piece of equipment was actually fitted to the ship.
What the photographs do show are some of the superstructure components, hull components, fittings and equipment for the model. Also included are sections of the dry-fitting of some of the superstructure parts, trial attachment of parts and a sample of the instructions, which will accompany the product. As can be seen the main superstructure parts comprise various levels of the superstructure, as well as large blocks of superstructure.
There is a very numerous selection of various hull-mounted sponsons, platforms and galleries included with this product. Almost all of these architectural features will have an assortment of fittings and equipment attached to their decks to add interesting detail to the finished product. Many of these structures have an extensive support structure found underneath the sponson or platform.
There are plenty of smaller parts and only a fraction of them are seen in these photographs. This Wonder Boy Consortium product is one of those rare creations where ground, air and water transportation vehicles are included in the same kit. Obviously from the photographs there are some smaller boats that form equipment for the ship, wheeled vehicles of a couple of types and an early form of helicopter included in the parts manifest. This gamut of transportation forms may also exert some small appeal to some more venturesome modelers. The subject has no really large bore guns but there are some 5-inch and 3-inch guns, which may satisfy the gun club. Science Club members may like the various radar and electronic gadgets found with this subject.
The nine photographs of the test assembly do not reflect the final appearance of this hobby product. They are merely a test attachment of some of the product parts, done to gage an approximation of the appearance of the final product. They are included to provide the modeler a glimpse or smidgen of a clue that could be used to narrow down the mystery of the subject matter of this product. Not all major parts that will come in the final product are shown in these photographs.
Likewise, the four photographs from the instructions do not show the entire set of instructions, which will accompany this product. They are merely illustrative of the product that the hobbyist will receive.
This Wonder Boys Consortium hobby product is not ready for sale as of yet. However, two of the contributors to this joint effort have told me independently that it may see the light of day by May 2006. This target date is totally contingent if the creeks donít rise and they donít get distracted by watching the Simpsons, as apparently one of the members of the Consortium patterns his life after his role model, Homer Simpson.