Anyways, having gone through FOUR shift changes in the last three weeks (and one more coming up on Monday), the nice people who pay my bills finally gave me a weekend off and the first thing I did was head down to HobbyLandUSA and grab my Chicago. I gotta admit, the um...unusual box art got my attention, but I was slightly rattled by the pic on the side that showed a huge gap between the deck and hull at the fantail. Fear not, it's nothing that can't be fixed. Other than that, first thoughts:
* The molding seems a little soft compared to the parts I have from the early 80s re-release, but I'm guessing that's to be expected from molds nearly 40 years old.
* Noticed for the first time that the forward superstructure really is going to need some work, but we can do that.
* The decal sheet is, on the one hand, beautifully colored and printed, but what's on it is a little unusual - besides the usual hull numbers and ship's name, you get about a dozen signal flags, TWO of the blue flags that fly at a USNs ship's bow (My apologies to my USN brethren, this wing wiper has no idea what those things are actually called) and two representations of the ship's crest. I have the Starfighter Models sheet specifically for the Chicago kit, it's cheap and good and has a lot of neat stuff on it.
*Two '3 inch guns'. Matty's stuff has spoiled me rotten, and another order will be going out soon to Matty's Models, Ordnance Works, and Snooker Ball Factory.
*The SH-2 actually isn't that bad, and lends itself to corrective work quite nicely. One question though - would the Tall Ladies have ever operated SH-3 Sea Kings?
*Save your pennies for the GMM PE set.
*What exactly are the missiles on either side of the forward superstructure? The instructions call them out as Terriers, but they seem awfully small for that...And also, the instructions call out a couple items aft of the Terriers as searchlights, but I think they might be directors of some sort or the other.
However, I need not nitpick, not that I could say that three times quickly. One thing I've learned here is that you can't judge Kits Of A Certain Age by the standards of today, and I am simply glad to see a Tall Lady on the shelves again.
One more thing: I was talking with the HLUSA's manager - an RC fan but very styrene friendly - and he states absolutely that the Revell Essex is going to be on the shelves late this fall...along with the Long Beach! Once he gets a definite date, he'll be taking preorders....and I wonder if I can sneak TWO past Melissa.
PS for Matt - You've probably discussed this, but in regards to the Essex - my understanding is that the kit is like so many of that era and actually depicts no exact ship but is instead a mix of details from several different ships. I would love it if you could elaborate on that a bit!