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Good learner kit

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  • Member since
    February 2020
  • From: Olympia WA, USA
Good learner kit
Posted by nwmodeler on Saturday, March 14, 2020 1:14 PM

Greetings, recently retired and wish to enjoy adult ship modeling after childhood models of 65 years ago.  Patient and detailed orientation in personality.  Interest is in 1/350 scale US Navy vessels in WWII fit with goal of getting to higher levels of "pe" and "detail up" offerings.  Seeking advice on a good "learning" kit offering reasonable challenges to develop needed skills for  future quality builds.  In advance, thank you for your guidance.  Lee

Tags: Learner kit
  • Member since
    July 2010
  • From: Tempe AZ
Posted by docidle on Saturday, March 14, 2020 1:35 PM


Welcome aboard. Like you and a great number of us, I started building again after a 40 year sabbatical. You'll find that we're mostly harmless around here.

In my opinion, the Tamiya 1/350 USS Fletcher is an excellent starter kit. Great fits, well engineered and fairly simple. PE wise, you can go with Gold Medal, Eduard, Tom's and a newcomer Five Star.

Gold Star is a great choice for beginners as it is fairly sturdy. Eduard is a good second choice because I like their instructions the best and it hold up well. Tom's and Five Star can be on the delicate side so not a great choice for beginners.

Trying to teach your fingers how to finesse tiny peices of metal is a learning experience in itself! But once you get good at it, PE can add so much to the look of a ship model.

I hope this helps a bit,





  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, March 14, 2020 1:40 PM


You are so right to ask the question.

In my view, given several parameters you list; both Trumpeter and Tamiya make a very nice Fletcher class destroyer. I don't think either comes with photo etched brass. At a minimum you'd want a set of railings, but that's true for either kit.

Trumpeter also makes a really nice Buckley class destroyer escort, USS England.

My copy came with the basic photo etch. Everything you need to complete the model is in the box except paint. And the paint scheme is attractive but straightforward- blue.

Both classes of ship are attractive, a great place to get started.


Modeling is an excuse to buy books


  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Saturday, March 14, 2020 2:59 PM

I've never done the 1/350 Fletchers, but I heartily second Bill's recommendation of the Trumpeter USS England. It's a beauty of a kit on its own, and a perfect starter or return-to-the-hobby kit with clean lines and manageable detail without sacrificing a satisfying level of complexity. I think you'd enjoy it.



 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: brisbane australia
Posted by surfsup on Sunday, March 15, 2020 4:17 AM

Tamiya Fletcher or the Trump England are great choices. You cannot go wrong with either of them.....Cheers Mark

If i was your wife, i'd poison your tea! If Iwas your husband, I would drink it! WINSTON CHURCHILL

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:18 PM

Hi There!

     I have to go along with Bill here. But, for heavens sake if you get the England, Please don't make the mistake I did. Sea Blue Hull and Upperworks with Deck Blue Decks makes this poor, beautifully detailed and details added, little ship, just disappear !

 I have had to finally put her in a Model Car case, high on the bookshelves. Everyone kept trying to sink her with an aerial Coffee Cup or Teaglass Bomb! Plus, I forgot( Beginner's Mistake) to tone the paint for the scale, My Bad !


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