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General Ship Modeling
Discuss modeling techniques, experiences, and ship modeling in general.
Hosted by Todd Michalak
Best large scale ship model kits?
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 974 posts
Armorama: 923 posts
Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 08:28 AM UTC
Hi All,

I am a modeler who has been building armor and just recently began building aircraft again. I am 61 years old, and built mostly airplanes when I was a child, but have been doing tanks and planes since getting back into the hobby some 10 years ago. I built some sailing ships as a kid, but have not touched a model ship as an adult.

I guess I would be partial to modern ships, probably World War II to current ships. I know that the larger scales are 1/350 and 1/200 for ship models. I'm curious if there are 'best' models in that time frame in and in those scales that would be appropriate for a modeler who hasn't built a ship model with current technology kits. Any thoughts that any of you experience ship builders would recommend? Thanks for your thoughts!
d6mst0
#453
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Texas, United States
Joined: August 28, 2016
KitMaker: 1,650 posts
Armorama: 587 posts
Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 09:18 AM UTC
Curt,

I found that large ships in 1/700 scale the easiest if you don't go overboard with Photo-Etch, just add railings. For 1/350 scale the ship with the least parts or a current release (New Tooling). I am working on a 10 year old Hasagawa kit that has a lot of fit issues. Also working on a HobbyBoss kit released last year and it is going together just wonderfully, no fit issues and the part count is not very high. I have not built anything at the 1/200 level and don't plan on too. If you are looking at a sailing ship start with something small and simple, like only one mast. That will give a good clue on how much work their is in rigging. The class of ship to choose can only be your choice. If you start one, please post progress pictures.

Mark
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 974 posts
Armorama: 923 posts
Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 10:25 AM UTC
Mark,

Thanks for your thoughts!

I have found that with airplanes, in particular (not so much with tanks), that the engineering and fit makes a huge difference in the enjoyment of building one. I waited for many years to begin building airplanes again. When I was a kid, I remember building many 1/32 scale airplanes, and back in those days, I painted them, if at all, with brushes and with the old Testors square bottle glossy enamels. I'm sure that fit didn't matter much to me, and gaps were things that just weren't a concern, or so I'm guessing. Even though the very first kit I got, back in 2009, was an airplane (an Academy 1/48 F-22), and got a bunch of aftermarket photo etch and resin parts, I STILL haven't put it together. I realized that I needed a lot of practice on subjects where the fit was less critical, and so I decided on tanks. I ended up with a HUGE number of tank models, and still think they were a great way to ease myself back into the hobby. I've just begun building 1/48 airplanes, and have finished an Eduard Spitfire Mk. VIII, and have a 1/48 Eduard Tempest Series 2 and Focke Wulf 190 A-4 in progress, finally not so terrified of the need to create perfect seams, either by great fitting parts, or through putty, sanding and rescribing/rivet making, though I still find the latter unnerving.

It would be cool, I'm thinking, that building a ship or two would also be neat. I built a plastic Spanish Galleon when I was 11 or 12, and that model sat on my parent's TV for decades therafter, even though it wasn't very well done. Of course, I made it, and because of that, my folks couldn't part with it for many years. I remember making a paddle riverboat for my grandma one year, and I know I built some warships, too, but I can't recall anything about them. I appreciate your thoughts on the 1/700 scale, and that new tooling may be the right away to go, regarding fitting of parts, That is often the case with airplanes, too, but Tamiya, in airplanes in particular, have the reputation of 'shake and bake' that is, perfect fit with little extra effort. I don't know if that's the case with ships, but your idea about a new tooled HobbyBoss ship is interesting. I'll be doing a lot of thinking!!
Quincannon
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Colorado, United States
Joined: June 22, 2018
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 10:30 AM UTC
Were I just starting out, I would look for something that is as simple as a 1/350 scale ship can be, and that would lead me to the Tamiya USS Fletcher.

It has few flaws when measured against the prototype, which can easily be fixed with 3D parts from Model Monkey, or Black Cat. The fit is excellent. You will need some aftermarket doors and railings, also readily available. The material out there on Fletchers is more than adequate for your reaseach.

Tamiya leaves you hanging a bit, not giving instructions on what to do with the teardrop shaped gun tub and twin 40mm they included in the kit, but with a little research you will discover that it is meant to be mounted on the stern between the depth charge racks of some of the early Fletchers.

The paint job that Tamiya gives their Fletcher is a bugger to duplicate, but there are several others, worn by early Fletchers that you can choose from.

Keep in mind that you can only do a round bridge Fletcher from this kit, and without modification, only a few of the early round bridges.

In my opinion the kit is so basically sound that I think Tamiya missed the boat (pardon the pun) in not taking this model and producing five or six Fletcher versions using the same basic sprues, with add on or subtractions as necessary.

My latest build of this model turned out to be DeHaven (as built before she went to the Pacific)
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 11:13 AM UTC
If you want something LARGE scale, try Revell 1/144 Snowberry corvette, or Fletcher destroyer. They are big, but fairly easy builds, especially if out of the box. There is AM available for both, but even without, build into decent models. Also easy prices!
cabasner
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 11:27 AM UTC
Wow, all good recommendations, guys. Thank you so much!
SpurnWater71
#504
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Florida, United States
Joined: July 06, 2019
KitMaker: 76 posts
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 12:53 PM UTC
Hello Curt,

Suggest you consider a 1/350 pre-dreadnought or WW1 plastic battleship kit. They give you a feel for a larger hull ship kit without going to a WWII large battleship or carrier. They are also less costly than WWII biggies so as you are experimenting with ship modeling you won't have a large sunk cost if ship modeling doesn't turn out to be your thing. If it ends up not to your standards your can always hulk her and use it to experiment with your techniques and scratch building.

The pre-dreadnoughts also have a good variety of the small detail parts but not an overwhelming number of them as compared to WWII BBs, so they give you feel for what the 3-5x or more effort associated with adding the multitude of detail parts found on a WWII BB. There's also a good variety of after market parts too.

Possibilities are many:
- ICM Imperial German Navy Konig class (4 different kits)
- Hobby Boss RN Lord Nelson class (2)
- Hobby Boss MN Danton class (3)
- Trumpeter HMS Dreadnought (3 versions same ship)

While not pre-dreadnoughts, the Konigs would be my first choice: lowest in cost, fairly good quality, closest of the choices to WWII BBs, and good AM available.

Kip
SpurnWater71
#504
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 02:20 PM UTC
Also Trumpeter's Schleswig-Holstein, '08 and '35 versions
McRunty
#491
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 06, 2016
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Posted: Monday, September 30, 2019 - 03:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I'm curious if there are 'best' models in that time frame in and in those scales that would be appropriate for a modeler who hasn't built a ship model with current technology kits. Any thoughts that any of you experience ship builders would recommend? Thanks for your thoughts!



I second the prior comments about the Tamiya 1/350 USS Fletcher as a starter ship. Its pretty cheap, goes together easily and doesn't have 10000 small finicky pieces. You can use as much or as little PE as you want to spruce it up. Its also small so wont take up too much shelf space.
Removed by original poster on 10/01/19 - 13:29:11 (GMT).