This is a build of the YS Masterpieces 1/350 scale USS OREGON. Most resin kits are rated on several categories and this kit is an overall OUTSTANDING in every category, hull casting, small resin parts, photo etch, and instructions. I had no problems with any of the assembly. Most of the changes that I made were to present the ship to my liking, i.e., cutting off the hull at the waterline and adding the fore and aft awnings, their supports and a few other very tiny details, such as the little punched plastic disks to represent the pulleys on the anchor cranes. At first I thought the etched rails were a bit too heavy but after painting and installation, I think they look just fine. The instruction booklet is in a class by itself, showing where very part goes (well, except for one part, more on that later). I have several disagreements with the presented color schemes but what I have to say would not make sense if you didn't have the book in front of you. 

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This is one of those kits that reveals how well it is done, the more as you work on it. The casting is fantastic, mine had a few pin holes along the keel which would be no problem and the casting stub has already been removed for you. The rest shows no bubbles at all and the amount of detail almost has to be seen through a magnifier. This is the most detailed and accurate kit of a ship of this period that I have ever seen. I think the toughest part for most modelers will be the boat beams. They are curved on the ends and have an "I" beam cross section. The kit beams are built up of three etched brass pieces each, a shaped web and a top and a bottom flange. They build into very accurate representations of the real thing but I think they will give some people trouble. The instruction book suggestion to work on masking tape, works well. The "rails" under the forward part of the boat deck are lettered wrong in the illustration but it's no problem to find the right ones on the parts layout. There are two extra doors, which I used on the inside of the hammock berthings and there's an extra wheel which I used on top of the pilothouse. There are some extra inclined ladders and an accommodation ladder, which I did not use. 

The parts that I cold not find referenced in the instructions are two little davits and in my opinion these are the davits that raise and lower the accommodation ladders. I did not trust myself to be able to accurately attach the pilothouse supports as shown in the instruction book. I added them after the boat deck was glued in place. I substituted brass rods for the mast, the two flagstaffs, and the anchor arms, which should have a 90 degree bend in them, not straight as shown. I also substituted real chain for the etched brass chain. It's interesting to note that in all the old photos I can find, the anchor chains are black but that portion of chain on the outside, from the hawser hole to the anchor, is painted white. When I sprayed my brass I included some extra 1/350 scale rail because I though there was not enough in the kit. I was wrong, there is plenty of rail of each type to do the job with a little extra. 

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For the most part you could use the assembly sequence of the instruction book. I deviated for two reasons. I jump around and build a bunch of subassemblies so I can paint all of them in one session, and I installed the rails before the davits as they would have been in the way. I added the accommodation last for the same reason. I am normally a scratch-builder but do like to occasionally pick up a kit that interests me.

In my opinion, this is one of the best kits I have ever seen for detail, accuracy, and instructions and I hope there are many more coming from this maker. (Click to see the YS Master Pieces web page.)  

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