There is testimony from three Arizona survivors, Clare Hetrick, Lauren Bruner, and Lonnie Cook, who spoke specifically about Arizona's color. Their testimony generally agrees. Survivors do not agree on red turret tops. Ship's crew survivors generally don't remember seeing red on turret tops. That's not to say they weren't red, just that survivors don't remember them being red. Aviation division crew survivors (Kingfisher pilots and observers) say turret tops were indeed red. Documentation and photos of other ships taken during the attack seems to support the aircrews' assertion that yes, indeed, turret 1, 2 and 4 tops were brightly painted red for aerial recognition. There remains some uncertainty among researchers whether Turret 1 had a red top at the time of the ship's destruction or not. Photos of other ships during the attack show their turret 1 painted with the appropriate identification color.
As posted on Britmodeller.com 8 October 2017 (click here). Below is the text from that post for your consideration.
"I'm blessed to have served as the National Secretary of the USS Arizona's survivors' association over the past 10 years until we officially disbanded last December during the 75th anniversary observances. I've had the privilege of knowing over two dozen of her survivors and former crew, almost all of whom are now gone. There are 5 survivors still alive as of today [8 October 2017].
"I can tell you that this matter will probably never be settled completely to most people's satisfaction. I can also tell you that ALL of the survivors I have asked recall they worked on painting her a lighter shade of blue-gray than the dark gray (Ms-1) while she was drydocked in November 1941 while she underwent repairs from her October collision with the Oklahoma. The extent of the painting varies from survivor to survivor, some claiming the whole ship was done, others claiming they only had time to do the hull and main turrets (the latter actually does seem to agree with many photos). I finally pressed once more last December, and Lauren Bruner gave a weary look and said "Boy, if I had a nickel for every time they put a paint brush in my hand...."
"I had gone back and forth between the Ms 1 camp and the Sea Blue camp with great frustration and have finally come down in the latter camp, for the reason that they all remember actually applying the paint, even if they don't agree on the exact extent of coverage. I am also finally agreeing with Lauren Bruner that the job was probably incomplete, awaiting the painting of the superstructure, since the mainmast in the wreckage photos look like the Ms 1 jobs on the other ships.
"Some other details they have mentioned:
-Clare Hetrick told me "They brought it up in 5-gallon buckets in cargo nets; they even had us mess cooks out there painting. They passed it down in pails."
-Lauren Bruner told me it was a translucent color, which took many coats to cover the dark gray; definitely not a fun job for them!
-Lonnie Cook told me he had to finish his area before he could go on leave; apparently it was a deck area. They were in a hurry to go ashore, so they poured it out and spread it around with mops. The next morning when the area was cleaned/hosed off, a lot of the paint was still not dry since it was so uneven (from the mops) and washed away...and they received a ROYAL chewing-out."
[This tends to indicate that if the survivors' memories are correct, at the time of her destruction, it is possible that Arizona had a sea blue 5S hull and turrets, 5D gray superstructure and funnel, and 5L masts and tops.]
Andrew D continues, "In the end, no matter how you paint it, someone will act like a jerk and tell you you're wrong, when the truth is that we will probably never be 100% certain of the exact appearance.
"Well, pretty much her entire career she was in light gray, until June 1941 when she got the Ms 1 treatment with 5D dark gray. During this time she sometimes had the number 39 on turret 2.
"The red turret tops is another question...some suggest from photos she had them toward the end of the light gray, but the survivors who remembered the red tops say she got them at the very end, along with the lighter blue-gray. Which leads to another problem, that while photos seem to conclusively prove the colored turret-tops, most of the Arizona's men don't remember them at all...but all 3 men from the aviation division (now deceased) insisted to me that they were there. Makes sense when you consider they were done for the scout planes' sake, to more easily identify which ship is yours. Arizona operated with Oklahoma and Nevada, and while it's easy to tell Arizona from the other two if you're looking carefully at well-focused photos, it's not so easy from the air, especially with weather, turbulence and substandard lighting conditions. Don Stratton and Lauren Bruner insist there were no red-tops, and that they were high up in the foremast for their station and could have seen. Oh, well....you're safe leaving them off for the 1930's.
"If you're doing Revell's ship as a 1930's, and you want to do it accurately, there are some changes to make; simplest is to leave off the "bird bath" gun station atop the mainmast; this was installed in January 1941. Other issues are removing the two box-like antiaircraft fire control directors atop the bridge area (one port, one starboard) and part of the associated decking. Also checking references for where to place the searchlights (funnel vs mainmast), though I *think* they're already correct for the 30's. Also remove the "splinter shields" from around the eight antiaircraft guns on the boat deck, and the two round gun tubs from the fantail; they were late additions."
As others have stated, it's your model. Paint it however you please.