Saturday, February 26

In -Boxed: 1/700th scale Charlestown Navy Yard Dry 1 & USS DD-742 Frank Knox 1944 from Takom

Takom's teaming up with Snowman Model has already provided us with a few interesting releases. Today Clayton Ockerby looks at the latest of these, the 1/700th scale Charlestown Navy Yard Dry 1 & USS DD-742 Frank Knox 1944 that not only gives us the ship, but the dry dock for a full diorama scene as well. See what's inside the box and what he thinks of the kit in his review...
In-Boxed: Charlestown Navy Yard Dry 1 & USS DD-742 Frank Knox 1944
From Takom
1/700th scale
Kit No #7058
Price: $38 from Hobbylink Japan
Product Link on the Takom Website
After previously stating my intention to focus on 35th scale armour, only to be tripped up by a beautiful 72nd scale Takom Leopard, I now find myself looking through the box of a 1/700 ship. Clearly, I am heading in the opposite direction from what I was planning…but that is the beauty of this hobby isn’t it? Something catches your eye and kick starts the imagination. The process of thinking about what you would do and how you would go about it. Well, that is exactly what happened to me with this kit. A lovely small-scale ship with a dry-dock to pose it with? A diorama is a box that fits sensibly in the display cabinet. Perfect I thought! 

...And so, the merry-go-round begins.

Many of you will have read about the release here at The Modelling News toward the end of last year. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t. CLICK HERE. Takom further extended its reach into the World of Naval modelling with a couple of Gearing Class vessels. One of the kits ( USS DD-743 Southerland 1945) includes a 1/72 Gun Mount in the box, and the other, the one I am looking at includes the dry dock set up.

The box art is lovely, and always offers that hint of inspiration to get you started on the build. This release is a pairing with Snowman Model and Takom. After a little research I found Snowman Model describe themselves as – ‘… a fan-made-for-fan plastic/resin model company located in Hong Kong. Focused on super-detailed warships.’
After a little more research, it looks as though the ship kit was released initially in 2018 under the Snowman Model brand and this new pairing with Takom sees the addition of the dry dock section.

With the lid off the box, we get a glimpse into the pieces. There are nine sprues containing 233 parts (to my count) plus the waterline and hull pieces, the main structure and the bridge pieces are supplied as separate parts. There is also a couple of photo-etch sheets, a decal sheet and a small set of pre-cut masks for the crane house.
The instruction booklet is small at 120mm wide x 210mm deep and mirrors the box art. There are 6 steps in the assembly of the ship and only 3 for the assembly of the dry dock.
Don’t be fooled by the low number of steps however as each stage contains a large number of fine assemblies. Most of which include some form of photo-etch.
The dry dock assembly is a little more simplified however there is a number of etch pieces, particularly on the crane that are extremely fine, so care will be required when building and painting.
The kit comes with 2 marking options. The first being for – DD 742 Frank Knox 1944
The second for – DD-743 Southerland 1945. I did however notice that the numbering on the drawings both have the 743 printed… so I am thinking that is a mistake. The way the schemes have been presented is also a little confusing, so it would pay to do a little research on these ships prior to starting the build process.
A basic overview of the dry dock and suggested colours is also included.
The ship’s hull comes in two pieces. One could be used for a waterline version and the other when connected gives you the full hull shape. As you can see the 1/700 scale is tiny. The overall length of the part is around 160mm long.
The centre structure and bridge are supplied as single foundation pieces.
The detail on the parts is very fine and quite stunning for something so small.
Being such a small-scale subject there are numerous small parts that will be required for the build. Removing these pieces from the sprues will require a good pair of sprue cutters and a steady hand to clean them up. A close-up view of the two-piece smokestacks sees the lovely detail carried over to the pieces on the sprues.
The rear of the deck and the propellers. The propeller pieces do look a very chunky but given the minuscule size of the part it is understandable.
Excellent detail in a lot of the small pieces. Better make sure the optivisor in on hand for this one.
The lifeboat and torpedo tubes.
The turrets will require some cleanup, but the moulding is lovely. Whilst the bolts look to be overscale to my eye, I have no doubt once there is paint and washes on the model it will help bring the model to life.
The bulk of the dry dock comes on the one sprue and looks to offer a simplistic build but still offers nice details and texture.

The crane assembly and various greeblies for the dry dock.
The decal set includes markings for the deck section of the ship as well as the numbering for the hull. The tread plate decals will add an interesting textural look to the finished model. The masking sheet for the crane on the dock is also shown here. I’m not sure how helpful that will actually be.
Finally, the 2 sheets of photo etch that come with the kit. If I am being completely honest, I must confess I found these a little intimidating. The parts are very fine and will require a great deal of skill and patience to manage. Something I’m not sure this 35th scale armour modeller is up for…
A rendering of the model certainly teases the sense and gives us a glimpse at what could be with this kit. The ship looks so impressive in the dry dock, doesn’t it!
I made the mistake of underestimating this model when it first arrived on my doorstep. I figured a 1/700 scale ship would be a quick build and find its way to the display case reasonably quickly. After looking at the parts, the instruction sheet as well as the 2 sheets of etch I quickly changed my tune and gave this kit the respect it deserves.

I know Flyhawk has been kicking some goals with their 1/700 scale ship range and I have seen some beautiful results from their releases. I can see no reason why this kit isn’t going to present just as beautifully. The detail in the pieces is fine and precise and the addition of the complex etch is going to give the kit the finesse to really create a stunning model if you have the skillset to pull it off.

I really like what I am seeing from this kit. It’s a real winner and will no doubt build into an impressive display piece.

Clayton Ockerby
Thanks to Takom for sending this kit to Clayton to build and review for us. You can see more about Takom's kits on their website or on their Facebook page