"This inbox review is of Dragon Models Limited, 1/700 Scale, USS Spruance DD-963 "Premium Edition" kit."
The USS Spruance was the lead ship of the Spruance class destroyer line. She was commissioned in 1975 and decommissioned in 2005. In 2006 the ship was used as a test target for aircraft launched harpoon missiles and sunk.
During her service time she received two major overhauls and sailed everywhere from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and the Persian gulf.
The box is nice with a lift off lid and is just the right size that you can fit everything back in without any problems.
On the front of the box they show a picture of the Spruance sailing past what appears to be the golden gate bridge as the six blue angle F18s fly overhead.
It's relatively nice box art but a bit strange considering that she ship was rarely around the west coast.
One side of the box shows pictures of the built but unpainted model with all its PE parts showing off the detail in the kit. I find these are always a nice touch and help give you an idea of what's in the kit.
The other side of the box shows a picture of the PE sheet and the decal sheet included in the kit.
The box itself is wrapped in clear plastic. Inside the box each of the three sprues are sealed in their on plastic bags to keep them from rubbing together and being damaged. However I did notice two of the bags had the common 1/4 inch air holes in them which are a good way of losing any small parts that do break lose.
The PE sheet and a decal sheet is each in their own separate bags as well which are then attached to a piece of thin cardboard. This whole package is then sealed in a bag.
All together I find the packaging to be very well done and none of the parts in my kit appears to have come lose or been damaged in any way.
Instructions are like most dragon kits. They are a single sheet of paper folded over its self a few times to fit in the box. On one side they include a color guide, a paint guild, a picture of all the sprue and a 15 steps top build the kit and the small amount of writing is in six languages.
The 15 steps look to be easy to follow but only show construction of the kit with the PE parts. Th only place their plastic counterparts appear is on the sprue pictures and no mention is made of their optional use.
Also the kit gives no advice or tips for bending or glueing the PE which I believe would be useful to any modelers that never used this stuff before. Especially when it comes to the railings.
However the instructions are well detailed and should be easy to follow for most modelers.
The ship parts come in the familiar gray plastic used by Dragon and look well molded. They have almost no flashing and I was unable to find any pin marks in noticeable locations.
The parts are well detailed and some of them are relatively small. A few of the attachment points on the smallest of pieces look like they could be problematic and care should be taken when removing them but over all everything looks well done.
The photo etched parts are well made and I see no damage in any of them but the attachment points appear relatively large on the railings and could prove to be troublesome to anyone not experienced with PE.
The decals are well printed and clear with a lot of fine detail.
The kit is very well done and provides parts for either a water line model or a full hull version. It also has parts for the VLS to update the ship if you wish but this is not included in the instructions.