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I purchased a model kit of the U.S.S Arizona to help with the modifications. The model was a little bit smaller than this 1:360 scale R/C toy, but some of the parts proved useful. In the above image, you can see that I used the depth marker decals on the bow of the ship.
I entirely got rid of the HT-3827A in favor of the historically accurate (if not brief) dazzle camouflage. HT-3827A was the particular name for this toy.
A good side shot.
When the Bizmarck left port, the Nazis painted two large Nazi flags on the top of the ship. One on the bow and one on the stern. This was done mostly for PR for the christening event. Soon afterwards the sailors were set to painting over the flags with white to hide them, as two large red flags would be too easy to spot by enemy planes. I've chosen to keep my ship the way she actually went into battle. (it's also easier not having to explain to my 6 year old nephew what swastikas are and to never draw them).
I was fully prepared to rip the silver plastic boats off this toy and throw them away, but was shocked to learn that these speedboat looking things are actually quite accurate! Who would have thought? So I instead took them off, painted them and glued them back on.
It's hard to see, but I ripped off the missile launchers from the center of the ship and replaced them with two airplane launchers from the Arizona kit. I also added two cranes for the boats.
I changed the deck color from dark grey to brown wood. For the upper superstructure, I spray painted the entire thing brown and then carefully painted all the walls grey metal.
The top of the ship comes off so that you can access the battery pack. I've taken the liberty of creating a camera mount for my waterproof GoPro Hero 3 camera. I'm sure this will make the ship impossibly top heavy and unable to turn (at least sharply) but it's a waterproof camera... so we'll have to wait and see.
I'm excited about the camera. The GoPro series seems to be the camera of choice for shows like top gear, and mythbusters when helmet mounted are needed. I can also control the camera with my iphone via wifi that the camera itself creates!