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1/700 starter warships

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  • Member since
    June 2019
1/700 starter warships
Posted by RX79-G on Monday, June 10, 2019 11:04 PM

hello! This is my first post so please bear with me.....

 

After months of hesitation to dive in the world of warships, i decided to give a try despite its more time consuming than any scale models that ive been built.... so here are my questions:

 

-before that, live in japan so the choice of kits is no problemo for me......most of the modelers recommended tamiya 1:350 fletcher as a starter friendly build and i agree but that will be my SECOND choice....however, im interested in 1/700 battlecruisers both ijn and the US so the question is, are there any japanese brand when it comes to US cruisers? if none, are IJN cruisers from tamiya, hasegawa and fujimi easy to build and paint? 

 

 

-are photo etch railings really that necessary for my first build? Whenever i read forums regarding to the modelers first build, they always bought PE railings and finding one here in japan is a needle in a haystack...

 

 

 

 

PS: i want to try ships because 2 reasons: world of warships and sabaton :P

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 9:00 AM

I would go along with those who recommend a 1:350 kit to start with.  There are some real differences between ship modeling and things like planes, cars and armor.  Most ship models take considerably longer to build than kits of other genre.  I would also say that 1:700 are harder to build than 1:350 kits because of the very small size.

Tackling a new genre of models and one with very small parts may be too much for a first build.  I know many modelers who have tried a ship model after years of building other genres, and giving up before finishing.  To start with a simpler, larger kit increases the likelihood of success, in my opinion.

Likewise, don't worry about adding PE on your first kit.  I know there are some modelers who have successfully completed a very difficult ship for their first effort, but I think the statistical odds are against this.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 10:04 AM

If you're not adding PE, then by all means go straight to your preferred subject in 1:700 scale.  Newer Fujimi kits are good, as are newer Aoshima.   Older kits were rather crude.  Hasegawa, PitRoad, and Tamiya are all pretty good, but some of the Tamiya kits are reboxes of old PitRoad ans may be sketchy.   PitRoad and Trumpeter of China seem to have a marketing deal in 1:700.  Same plastic in different boxes,  PitRoad has sales priority in the Orient while Trumpeter sells in the West.  I don't do a lot of 1:700 shopping online,  but Hobby Link Japan [hlj.com] seems to have a good selection of various Japanese manufacture plastic ships and aftermarket.

If you are going to add PE, I'll add a bit to Don's response.  Its all about muscle memory.   In 1:700 scale railings are going to be about 3mm (1/8 inch) tall.   In 1:350 the same rail will be 6 or 7 mm (1/4 inch) tall.   For a beginner, the railing is physically larger and you are able to teach your 15 dancing thumbs how to bend it and make it do what you want it to.   Its a learning experience.  With some experience you can move down or up in scale as you please.

Well then if its about size, why not start in 1:200 or 1:144 scale?  Its more economical to start in 1:350.

Well, why start with a small subject if I really want to do a cruiser, battleship, or carrier?    The destroyer is smaller with fewer things to repeatedly build, 5 gunhouses, less than a dozen 20mm guns, etc.   You will see progress.  The model will be completed rather than lanquishing in a box while you feel that you HAVE to do another 20mm gun assembly for that big project.

Lastly, variety.   Fletcher destroyers were painted in many varied and colorful camouflage patterns.   No offense intended,  but most IJN ships were rather a dull monotone gray.   The dazzles of the Fletchers can be eye-catching.

  • Member since
    June 2019
Posted by RX79-G on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 5:25 PM

forgive me if i didnt clarify but the reasons why im interested in 1:700 is because of wide variety of choices, much simpler looking yet elegant when finished IMO and lastly , cheaper and the most important, its a space saver.... im also aware of how difficult is to build a 1:700 but patience and motivation is part of my psyche so thats no problem for me..... and lastly, i have also plans to make historical fiction ww2 dioramas and making warships will be one of them :D

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 11:42 AM

There are also some Dragon kits, either new releases or modified older kits from the likes of Skywave/ Pit Road. I'm surrently building the CL-51 USS Atlanta kit. It has a limited amount of PE in the box. 

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Philadelphia Pa
Posted by Nino on Thursday, June 13, 2019 4:24 AM

RX79-G
hello! This is my first post so please bear with me.....
 After months of hesitation to dive in the world of warships, i decided to give a try despite its more time consuming than any scale models that ive been built.... so here are my questions:
 
-before that, live in japan so the choice of kits is no problem for me......most of the modelers recommended Tamiya 1:350 fletcher as a starter friendly build and i agree but that will be my SECOND choice....however, i'm interested in 1/700 battlecruisers both ijn and the US so the question is, are there any japanese brand when it comes to US cruisers?   if none, are IJN cruisers from Tamiya, Hasegawa and Fujimi easy to build and paint? 
 
 -are photo etch railings really that necessary for my first build? Whenever i read forums regarding to the modelers first build, they always bought PE railings and finding one here in Japan is a needle in a haystack...
 
 
Hail Gundam!   (I like your RX79-G reference.)
 
      1/700 plastic ship kits by the Japanese Original Equipment Manufacturers  are generally straight forward to build provided you have some experience with instructions that are usually just Diagrams for assembly.   Often this is not sufficient as some kits give you options to choose a different time frame or to build a different ship of the same class. Issues like that are what these Forums are for.
 
     The older model kits from the 70's and 80's are cheaper and easier to build as there are less parts, but also less detail and accuracy. The latest new molds of IJN & USN ships are more accurate and also have many very small and well detailed parts. This can make for a great looking model but also offer some difficulty in assembly not to mention the careful technique required in just cutting the tiny delicate parts from the Sprue.
 
 
      I consider painting model ships much different than Cars,
Tanks, and Planes.  Painting will be a whole other topic for discussion.
 
 
My opinion:
     The Japanese OEM's make every single BB, CA, & CL that the IJN had in WW2 and even do many for a specific time period.  Models of US ships by Japanese OEM's are not as numerous. I suggest you also look elsewhere for US ship models rather than just Japanese OEM's.
 
      For US Ships, I think Pit-road, Tamiya, Trumpeter, or Dragon might be the best choice for price and selection. They cover more classes and versions in 1/700. I never recommend Aoshima for USN models. Aoshima and Fujimi 1/700 USN ship molds date from the last century. The same with Hasegawa. Generally their selection of USN models is very poor. In Japan only Pit-Road and Tamiya seem to have a good selection  of USN subjects.

 

 

     Check on this older Thread for discussions on Online buying: 
 
                http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/general_discussion/f/9/t/179441.aspx
 
    Many model ship molds are "shared" by different manufacturers. I'm sure other members will update you with additional info and maybe some ideas on a 1st 1/700 IJN or USN Cruiser or Battleship.
 
(A possible good 1st choice might be an IJN Light Cruiser; low parts count, inexpensive, and easy assembly too.)
 
      Nino
 
P.S.  You do not need to add PE railings.  In theory, at 1/700 scale they would barely be noticeable. However, many of the IJN's Battleships and Cruisers have platforms that would benift from having the plastic parts substituted with PE.  Same with the catapults.  Ditto for USN ships. (And add PE Radar too.)
 

 A few small updates added for clarity on 6/17/19

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, June 13, 2019 12:04 PM

Welcome to the forum!

RX79-G

...forgive me if i didnt clarify but the reasons why im interested in 1:700 is...its a space saver....

As I read those who suggested other scales, I suspected that that might be the reason you were interested in 1/700.  That's a big reason that I build 1/700 scale ships, too.

I disagree that 1/700 is harder to build than other scales.

The brands suggested above are good ones to start with.  I've got a number of kits from the Waterline series, the collaboration among Tamiya, Hasegawa, Aoshima, and Fujimi.  Yes, simple on detail, compared to today's kits, especially compared to kits in larger scale.  But they're good kits to practice your skills.

Do you need photo-etch?  Not necessarily, though it does improve on the molded details, especially for railings and for things like radar antennas.  You could try some, just to get used to working with it, if you want to use PE eventually.

I do get aftermarket aircraft sets to replace the kit aircraft, for my carriers.  Trumpeter puts them out, in clear plastic.  That is such an improvement over using the opaque planes that come with the kits, and when I first saw them, I wondered why no one thought of doing that when I was a kid back in the Seventies.  I put the Trumpeter aircraft on the flight deck, and stick the kit aircraft in the hangar, where they're not that visible.

I hope that helps, and I look forward to seeing your builds!

Best regards,

Brad

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, June 13, 2019 12:06 PM

I should add that Trumpeter's 1/700 Saratoga is a nice kit to start with, too.  Not too complicated, and they provide a nice vacuform base in clear blue plastic.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, June 13, 2019 4:25 PM

Speaking of Trumpeter's 1/700 Sara, Don has just started this thread to share his build of the same kit:

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/p/182216/2069995.aspx#2069995

You might be interested to follow it and see how he tackles the kit.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, June 13, 2019 4:29 PM

And while I'm thinking of other 1/700 kits that are out there today, Hobby Boss' 1/700 USS Arizona (1941) would be a good kit to practice on.  You can find it cheap-I got mine for ten bucks-it's very basic, details are soft, but you can practice on it, and if you mess up, you can feel that you haven't lost a lot on it.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, June 15, 2019 5:23 PM

For 2¢, if you want a "simple" 1/700 kit, you might want to look atHMS Rodney or Nelson (Tamiya, IIRC).  Nice sparse deck layout, and no wide panoply of 20mm guns to fit up

Downside is that you have 9 mainarmament rifles to sand to identical shape (they are very near each other, and even slight differences ware very noticable).  You gave the 12 (IIRC) secondary guns in six turrets, which are also close together.  And, then, there's the larger bugabear--of gettign the RN colours right (we in the modeling community can barely agree on IJN & USN colors).

But, those are good ships, of a good size to work on; reasonably sized for experimenting with "dazzle" camo, if you wish.

Will it be a show stopper?  Dunno--first attempts at things an sometimes not come off as well as a person wants.  Will a hundred or so on aftermarket make the kit better?  Maybe the second kit, but generally not the first.  Just like with other aftermarket stuff.

The suggestion to try out one of the IJN light cruisers above, is also good.  They can "feel" frustrating for having so few parts OOB.  But, there's lots of real estate to work with, which is handy on such a tiny kit.

For a different 2¢, consider chasing down Sywave's Harbor set, which is of Japanese carbor craft, all in waterline format.  Some of the tugs have woodgrain deck moulded in--note that the "planks" work out to around 2-3' wide.  But, the painting and detailing of these small craft can really help hone skills on 1/700 kits.

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