by David J. Salvin
1/700 USS Biddle CG-34 (JAG)
My latest commission brings us the USS Biddle from JAG. This kit is consistent with their excellent detail and workmanship. The kit comes in the trademark tube with resin parts and a good-sized PE fret with a great many parts for each of the ships in the class. Due to the variations across the class in their towers and radar configurations, the kitís instructions spend a great deal of effort to allow the builder to correctly model the radar array and modifications of the particular ship they chose. The only disappointment on this front is while JAG spends a great deal of effort to provide all the parts for each ship in the class, the decal sheet does not contain the names for the rear of the ship. Beyond this minor deficiency, the kit is excellent. Very good molding and details with almost no flashing or overpour. The Instructions are VERY well laid out with a description of each part on the ship and a good pictorial blowup demonstrating the location of each part to be placed - in the case of the upper superstructure, the instructions show the build from multiple angles allowing for better understanding of how to build the complex radar arrays.
As usual, my ONLY criticism of the this (and all Jag kits), is that the resin they use is very difficult to get paint to stick to. I scrubbed the entire hull with a toothbrush and pure acetone then primed it with Vallejo water based primer only to have it sheet right off when I went to tape off for the black boot topping. After a re-wash with acetone to remove all the initial primer coat a coat of Krylon primer finally stuck so as to allow airbrushing with Tamiya acrylics thereafter.
David J. Salvin