The SOC Seagull was single-engine scout/observation biplane aircraft built by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation for the United States Navy. The SOC-3 variant was
powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1340-22 engine and had an interchangeable undercarriage. The seaplane configuration had a large single float beneath the fuselage and
two smaller floats on the lower wings. They were launched from a catapult and recovered using a crane after a sea landing. The wings folded back against the fuselage
for storage aboard ship. The SOC-3 was a common sight on battleships and cruisers. The carrier or shore based versions had a fixed wheeled landing gear instead of
the floats. A total of 83 SOC-3 airframes were built by Curtiss and 64 built by the Naval Aircraft Factory as the SON-1.

So you bit the bullet and went for the Trumpeter 1:200 scale
USS Arizona. Now that you have it, you wish to back date the model to a late 1930s fit. To accomplish
this you need some Seagulls and the kit comes with Kingfishers. What are you to do?  Well you can pick up this set from Admiralty Model Works, that’s what you can
do. Admiralty Model Works recently released a set of 1:200 scale resin SOC-3 Seagulls specifically for the Trumpeter kit. This set provides resin and photo-etch parts
and decals to build three Seagulls, which is what
USS Arizona and her sister USS Pennsylvania carried at the time.
Each aircraft is comprised of a resin fuselage, upper and lower wings, rear elevator wings, engine cowling and propeller boss. The details are well done with some
recessed panels on the fuselage and good fabric and ribbing representation on the wings and control surfaces. The engine also has adequate detail for this scale. The
windshield and canopies are done in clear resin and you have the option for either an open or closed canopy. The clear resin is more translucent than crystal clear but it
will do the job. However, the cockpit and gunner’s position is hollowed out in the fuselage and basically empty so if you choose an open canopy this will be more
apparent. Perhaps having some seats or something to fill this area in maybe too much to ask in this scale but if have an option for an open canopy some optional parts
in photo-etch or resin would have been nice to have. What is a welcome feature is a jig to hold and properly space the upper wing so that you can add the photo-etch
struts. Another small part provided is an aircraft cradle which is 3D printed.

The photo-etch provides the struts for the wings and floats and the propellers. The brass is well done and cleanly etched. The decal sheet provides accurate markings
for the three Seagulls that were assigned to Arizona and Pennsylvania. The decals appear to be well done with good color registration and detail. The assembly
instructions come printed in color on a single double-sided sheet of paper. The first page has basic specifications for the Seagull, a numbered key for the resin parts and
the first set of assembly diagrams. The flipside of the page has the rest of the assembly illustrations and detailed painting and decal placement guide with generic color
references, meaning they are not specific to a paint brand or line. The instructions are logically laid out and clear.
Overall this is a very good set that will help a modeler to back date the 1:200 scale Arizona kit or convert it to a Pennsylvania for the same time period. My thanks to
Admiralty Models for the review sample.
Felix Bustelo
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