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Pit Road 1/700 scale USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)

Kit: No. M13
Scale: 1/700
Manufacturer: Pit Road/SkyWave, available from International Hobby Supply, 8839 Shirley Ave., Northridge, CA 91324, 818-886-0423
Price: $36.98
Comments: Injection molded, 110 parts, decals.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers incorporate the latest electronics, weapon systems, and advanced design that reduces the ship's radar signature. The kit is molded in light gray plastic with most of the weapons molded on SkyWave's generic modern weapons sprue, so 73 parts are left when you're done. An SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter is included, as are two U.S. Army helicopters, a CH-47 Chinook, and an AH-1F Cobra.

The instructions, in Japanese and English, feature color notes. Decals provide markings for three ships in the class: Arleigh Burke, Barry (DDG-52), and John Paul Jones (DDG-53).

There were no major problems assembling the Burke, but depressions along both sides of the hull needed to be filled. Before attaching small parts in step 4, I painted and decaled all the subassemblies. I used Pit Road naval colors and Polly Scale acrylics.

I had trouble applying the helicopter pad marking decal - it got hung up on the raised details. I recommend applying Microscale's Liquid Decal Film to the entire decal, then trimming closely around the outside of the image area. This will keep the decal's shape and make positioning it easier. Solvaset didn't help the decals much, so you may want to apply them into a puddle of Future floor polish or dilute white glue to help prevent silvering.

The model measures 81/2" long, which is to scale with the dimensions in Jane's Fighting Ships 1994. After 15 hours, my Burke joined the rest of my 1/700 scale armada. While it is not a difficult kit to build, beginners may fumble with the tiny parts and that helo pad decal.

- David E. Ligman

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