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Good kit for a beginner?

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  • Member since
    May, 2017
Good kit for a beginner?
Posted by Roald on Monday, August 28, 2017 1:31 PM

Hello all,

I'm looking for advice on a good kit for a beginner. I have a fair amount of experience building 1/48 and 1/72 aircraft, but I've never built a ship. 

I'm looking for something that fits well and is not overly complicated. I prefer WWII and modern subjects, no sailing vessels. Price wise, I'd like to keep it under $50. 

Any advice?

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Monday, August 28, 2017 2:13 PM

I have the Hobby Boss 1/350 US Arizona.  Haven't got to her yet, but have looked it over.  Detail on par with the old Revell kit, but a lot cleaner.  Price wise can be had for under $50.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, August 28, 2017 2:39 PM

Look at Trumpeter's 1/350 DD537 The Sullivans.

It's a nice kit, you can get it for about $ 35.00. Add another $ 30.00 for PE if you want and you'll have a real gem.

  • Member since
    May, 2017
Posted by Roald on Monday, August 28, 2017 5:29 PM

GMorrison
Look at Trumpeter's 1/350 DD537 The Sullivans.

It's a nice kit, you can get it for about $ 35.00. Add another $ 30.00 for PE if you want and you'll have a real gem.

Would you recommend this kit over the Tamiya Fletcher Class destroyer? In the airplane world Tamiya has a reputation for great fit. Not sure if carries over to ships. 

  • Member since
    September, 2013
Posted by Marcus McBean on Monday, August 28, 2017 5:41 PM

Roald

 

 
GMorrison
Look at Trumpeter's 1/350 DD537 The Sullivans.

It's a nice kit, you can get it for about $ 35.00. Add another $ 30.00 for PE if you want and you'll have a real gem.

Would you recommend this kit over the Tamiya Fletcher Class destroyer? In the airplane world Tamiya has a reputation for great fit. Not sure if carries over to ships. 

I find the fit on Trumpeter and Tamiya to the same.  The older the kit it seems the lesser the fit. A destroyer or escort should be a nice easy build to start with.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by ecotec83 on Monday, August 28, 2017 5:41 PM

If you dont mind working a bit small the tamiya 1/700 waterline series are cheap and build well. Working in the Fletcher class destroyer right now. A bit fiddly with some of the small parts but it and finish is nice and build time is low due to minimal parts.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 6:57 AM

Roald

Would you recommend this kit over the Tamiya Fletcher Class destroyer? In the airplane world Tamiya has a reputation for great fit. Not sure if carries over to ships. 

The Tamiya Fletcher (1:350) is an excellent kit and one of my recommendations for a ship beginner.   Build it as it comes out of the box or add some aftermarket PE,  you will meet (or come close to) the original poster's $50 price target.  The kit is about 25 years old and may be a bit dated compared to Tamiya's more recent Japanese destroyer kits, such as the Yukikase or Kagero.  These won't meet the OP's price point.  But the Fletcher kit still fits well.   About the only knock against the 350 Fletcher is that the 5-inch gunhouses are a bit underscale.

My other recommended 1:350 beginner kit is the Trumpeter USS England destroyer escort.   It also has very good fit and detail.   It meets the OP's pricepoint.

The Trumpeter 1:350 kit of the The Sullivans doesn't make my recommendations.  Numerous problems:  lack of detail or what detail is there is soft,  the non-skid tiles are a raised sidewalk,  the 40mm guns are sticks on boxes,  the 20mm guns are about 10 feet tall.

I don't recommnend a larger subject for a ship NOOB.   They are more expensive (especially when you add PE).  With a large/expensive kit you may be hesitant to work on it lest you screw things up  (no work, no progress, no learning).  There are more repetitive assemblies which make it seem like you are not making progress.  As a NOOB you want to see progress, learn, and move to another project where you can apply the things which you have learned.  Do the battleship second.   

I also do not recommend that you start with a smaller (1:700) kit, especially if you are adding PE.   You want to teach your 15 dancing thumbs how to form the pieces and apply them.   It is easier with a 1:350 piece which is 1/4 inch tall than a 1/8 inch 1:700 part.  Learn how doing it larger, then transfer the muscle memory to the smaller scale.

I also do not recommend a larger scale (1:144/1:200).  There are fewer subjects, they are more expensive as is any aftermarket you may want to add.

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • From: providence ,r.i.
Posted by templar1099 on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 8:24 AM

EdGrune
The Tamiya Fletcher (1:350) is an excellent kit and one of my recommendations for a ship beginner


I'll have to second Mr. Grunes' recomendation.

"le plaisir delicieux et toujours nouveau d'une occupation inutile"

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 8:24 AM

I concur with Ed's comments about the Trumpeter 1/350 USS The Sullivans and about starting with 1/700.  However, I always advise new ship modelers to pick a subject that interests them instead of selecting a smaller ship on which to learn skills.  You are far more likely to finish something you are interested in than something that doesn't satisfy you.  Also, there is little difference in superstructure parts between ship types.  The skills are similar.

Bill Morrison

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:32 AM

Hi;

 All the folks here are going to think I am crazy , Again !

 I would recommend the LINDBERG Coast Guard Cutter . Low parts count and according to a " Coastie " I know is the most accurate of the type . It is larger so it can be easier to build . Now if you insist of a really detailed " Little ship " , I recommend the ARII U.S.S. Oldendorf . At 1/700 it is one of the best looking , AND , I didn't have any trouble with her . Paints up nice and looks real good when done even OOB .

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 10:11 AM

Thanks Roald for bringing this up and thanks guys for the advice. I've thought about trying a ship and wondered about starting with a 1/350th USN or IJN destroyer. You've answered my questions too! 

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." -G.K. Chesterton

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 10:23 AM

I think you'll be pleased. I have the Kagero in the stash. It's a nice model.

If you like older subjects, the Revell Emden is a nice kit. The hull construction is a little tricky, but the results are nice. OOP though.

If you are interested in sailing ships, try the Revell Viking Ship. That is a very accurate rendition of one of the finds, the Gokstad Ship.

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 2:14 PM

Going the other way for a WWII build, Trumpter's 1944 Gato  (US Fleet Boat) is fairly simple and can be had for under $40 most times.  PE availabe for her as well as 3D guns from Shapeways.  Looks good when done, Take a look at the recent sub group build and Plastic Junkie's build. Is right at 24 inches when built.

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Meridian, ID
Posted by modelcrazy on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 3:49 PM

I picked up Trumpeters 1/700 Slava class the other day at Toy Town for a touch over $8. It looks like a nice kit and with an inexpensive PE set from China for another $8, you can't really go wrong.

Most of the modern stuff has a low parts count and are fairly stright forward.

ON THE BENCH

1/25 Monogram 57 Chevy Bel Air
1/144 Trumpeter Kawanishi H6K5-L Mavis

Completing a kit is like cutting the head off a Hydra. Two more replace it in the stash.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 8:21 PM

I'm going to slightly disagree with TB.

Yes, the Lindy CG partol boat is a clean, easy build.  But, rather like the 1/125-sigh "Minesweeper" kit (which is really a good sortof begginer kit) when you are done, you kind of can tell that there really should be a lot more "there" than there is.

Which, sadly, is kind of endemic in Lindy kits, sad to say.  Like the "Blue Devil" destroyer.  Which is a bit like building a plane using half Hurricane and half Spitfire parts.  It's really good for convincing people that just because the kit maker molded it so doesn't make it so Smile

Building simple subjects in larger scales is often a good bit of advice.  Particularly in ship modeling.  One of the ones I used to recommend was the old Monogram 1/48 "Swift" boat.  Built up (reasonably) well with some room for improvement.

So, let me pile onlt the Tamiya Fletcher bandwagon.  It's a good kit with good bones.

Furth, when you build another (it's worth it), you could model USS Bradford or one of her two sisters, which removed the after torpedo mount and Mount 54 and replaced them with a cruiser catapault and a Kingfisher.  Which would also be a great wat yo break (gently) into the dizzying world of AM ship parts.  (Which can seem a bit like buying an FW-190 kit and only using the horizontal stabs and the front canopy and replacing everything else.)

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 10:12 PM

Two suggestions I might add are the Revell Germany 1/350 U-boats, the Type VIIC and Type VIID. They are small, but build up,quick and easy. Very well detailed, and outstanding fit. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 11:59 AM

Again thanks guys!  

GM: I assume you mean the Tamiya Kagerou?

 

If I get around to taking the plunge I'll look into the Tamiya Fletcher or Kagerou. Yes

 

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." -G.K. Chesterton

 

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Nino on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 1:50 PM

As already mentioned, the Tamiya Fletcher (1:350) is an excellent kit. Acurate, detailed, and can be made/converted into many of the 175 Fletcher class DD's from WWII.           ( Anybody try using Trumpeter USS Sullivan Sq bridge to replace the Fletcher Round bridge yet? Is it possible? or better to get Shapeways 3D printed version?)

 The Trumpeter Destroyer Escort USS England has been mentioned in other previous posts as being a good starting kit and is inexpensive for a 1/350 First try.

    I also recommed 1/350 Submarine kits as a good break from the slightly more tedious surface ship builds. Anything cheap will do. An LA class like the Los Angles or Greenville  or maybe an HMS Astute. There are 3 Astute kits- all the same mould:  An "Easy-Model" pre-built and painted kit, a Trumpeter kit pre-painted only, and a HobbyBoss kit you build and paint. The trumpeter Kit is a good choice if you want to  practice glueing and don't want to paint. However, I suggest the HobbyBoss kit. Fit is pretty good, comes with some PE and can be fun to mask and paint the Hull, Deck and side-mounted sonar arrays.

     Nino.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 5:55 PM

Well , Capn Mac ;

   I always recommend the " LINDY " "Coasty " kit because the Coasties Themselves at Coast Guard station " Rio Vista " approved of it . There was a consensus from Command on down  , that it matched the Cape  Gerardeiau Which was there temporarily .

 You are right about the Minsweeper though . That's why all mine become Oceanic Research Vessels . The only " LINDY " part used is the hull ! When I was growing up I understood that these ships were wood anyway !

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 6:34 PM

TB - suspect some were wood hulled, as were some sub chasers, for 2 main reasons....one being not setting of magnetic influence mines and the steel was needed for other hulls, ie. DD's, CA and CL's, BB's and CV and CVL's

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Thursday, August 31, 2017 7:11 AM

I built my first ship kit when I was 6 years old, the old 1/570 Revell Bismarck.  I had so much fun and learned so much that I went on to build every battleship I could.  Smaller ships did not interest me at that time.  That is why I still advocate that one should start with one's interests and grow from there.

Ship models might have grown more complex since the early 1960's, but, basically, they are not so complex that beginners cannot accomplish the task.  Indeed, I have started my own grandsons (when they were age 6) on battleships, focusing first on the old Revell, Arii, Airfix, and the 1/400 Heller line.  They are doing fine.

Bill

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, August 31, 2017 1:00 PM

Yes, the older Revell and Airfix kits are ideal for novice modelers. I'm sure many have cut their teeth on the Revell Arizona or PT-109...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Thursday, August 31, 2017 1:16 PM

stikpusher

Yes, the older Revell and Airfix kits are ideal for novice modelers. I'm sure many have cut their teeth on the Revell Arizona or PT-109...

... and how many prospective ship modelers were forever turned off by the 1:720 Revell Arizona with its 3 piece hull  (left, right, and bottom).   I was never able to master that kit.   It wouldn't even float in the creek long enough to be destroyed by firecrackers

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Thursday, August 31, 2017 1:48 PM

I enjoyed the Revell 1/720 line as a kid.  I remember being thrilled that they had released the Prinz Eugen, which I had thought would never be packaged after Pyro quit producing their 1/1200 kit.  Granted, I see those kits for what they were/are by today's standards, but they were terrific at 10!

Bill

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, August 31, 2017 1:57 PM

EdGrune

 ...and how many prospective ship modelers were forever turned off by the 1:720 Revell Arizona with its 3 piece hull  (left, right, and bottom).   ...

Hi,

The smaller kit msy have had its issues, but I think that the larger (1/426 scale) Arizona, was and still is s great kit for its price though.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, August 31, 2017 2:43 PM

On the shelf in every Michaels I've ever been in.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, August 31, 2017 5:20 PM

And Hobby Lobby... that "big" Arizona kit is how old now and still going strong?!

The 1/720 Prinz Eugen was the second model I ever got. Of course my dad built most if not all of it with me. Then I glopped on Testors dark green... don't as why, I was 5... 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, August 31, 2017 6:14 PM

Revell Missouri, man.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, August 31, 2017 6:41 PM

They have stacks of the Revell Iowa in the gift shop on USS Iowa

I think they use this boxing, as I remember the yellow trim last time I was there...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, August 31, 2017 6:58 PM

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Revell-picture-fleet-uss-iowa-new-in-plastic-/182624121217

John Steel. We've discussed him before on this forum. He was a combat artist in the USMC, then a technical illustrator for North American.

His box for the T2 San Juan Capistrano was my all time favorite.

Enough hijacking though.

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