Where to start in ship modelling?

Junkie

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I've been watching Guido's fantastic videos and want to try a ship model and seascape.

I like the idea of 1/350. Modelling an aircraft carrier has always interested me. I'd like to be able to weather it a bit...meaning I don't need to model an old beaten up ship nor a brand new and shiny one. Something middle ground.

I'm not sure where to start as far as kits. Any recommendations?
 

Papermodder

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Hi Scott.
Aircraft Carrier models run the gauntlet from real soft on detail to extreme. So one has to select their model according to how detail averse you are. Are you willing for example to assemble and paint 200 microscale aircraft.
For a first time ship model to build, ( hopefully Guido will step in here ), a modern warship may be a good choice, as there can be a liitle less on the fine detail and will give you a good feel on model ship construction techniques.
Also when learning the water effects of the base, if one were to screw up and wreck a model one had spent 4 plus months building could really sour one's interest in ship models.
Myself I love ship modeling and am getting itchy feet to build another. I can get totally lost into the detail and loose all sense of time, but I'm a little crazy that way.

Jim
 

Junkie

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Appreciate the comments. I hear you on the carrier and all the aircraft. True.

I do love to build though, really do enjoy that. I'm willing to take on a detailed kit. Prefer too really. I bounce genres alot and doubt I'll build 3 ships a year....

Lucky if I build one kit a year, period.

Perhaps a cool battleship would be the better start though. There are certainly some very cool options.

To be continued...
 

Papermodder

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That looks like a cool build Scott, and there are AM upgrades available for it too.

Jim
 

Junkie

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It does Jim. Really caught my eye.

Just browsed...lots of cool Tamiya kits, with PE, out there.

We have a good amount of SMA ship modellers; I'm sure this will get interesting.
 

Elm City Hobbies

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Also comes down to how much space you want to give up for it.

1/350 is cool, but something like a Nimitz, or Enterprise (modern) carrier is huge at 1/350. The flip side is that if you thought the aircraft was small at 1/350, they are half the size at 1/700.

Lord knows I have enough ships in my stash to out boat the Canadian Navy, don't build nearly enough of them. Most are 1/700, but a few key 1/350 in there.

Then of course you can go whole hog, and get into the 1/200 ships, Arizona, Bismarck, Hornet, Missouri, with the Hood due out later this year.
 

Quaralane

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I'd listen to Scott's warnings here.
That, and you may not want to tackle something huge for a first run
 

Tailor

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Hi, guys!
First of all a heartfelt "Thank you" to Scott for
a. sitting through all them videos and not collapsing while doing it
and
b. finding them good after all.
Can I have the number of your shrink? ;D

Even before you start reading, please excuse that this will be turning into a speech. It's a passion-driven thing; I can't help it!

Form what I read, you plan to go on an all-out build. You have seen that even with 3-4 hours at the bench almost daily I (as an experienced ship modeller) managed to build a cruiser-sized boat within the span of 3 months and one week, without even touching the base or rigg that thing. OK, I am a slow modeller, but I dare say, if you go for a quality build you may be able to shave off 10-15% of that time at max.

A fleet carrier (e.g. short hull Essex or Lexington Class) has twice as many parts and is about twice the size for the ship anlone. A good carrier model usually lives by its airwing on deck: That means you have anything between 30 and 60 planes on deck. Each one of them comprising of 15-20 parts (counting PE and decals included). That means on the top end the airwing alone has twice as many parts as my Graf Spee, PE included! If you go with a jeep carrier (USS Independence/Princeton) you can get away with a cruiser sized ship and a much smaller airwing. This would be the maximum I'd recommend for first all-out ship build for a top motivated modeller.

A WWII battleship -preferrably Tamiya(engineering, fit, etc.) is a big undertaking but in the same range as a jeep carrier. A modernised USS New Jersey might a be the best choice as you won't have to put down almost 150 AA guns. There is good PE available for these, too

WWII cruisers are great modelling subjects due to the multi-role concept of the ship class: You have plenty of surface and AA-guns, torpedo tubes and even scouting planes. By construction this class tends to be a bit more complicated, but offers more visual interest at the same time. Cruisers would be in about the range of the Graf Spee that I built.

WWII destroyers are the perfect starter kits into the world of ship modelling. Destroyers offer the most interesting real-life stories to keep an interesting background. By size and parts count they are moderate, meaning with all the PE and figures and stuff they are hardly ever reach 800 parts in total. The shelf space they take up isn't excessive, even with a good base. The ships were ridden hard in wartime so you have the full span of weathering possibilities and you have very attractive camo schemes. There is a great range of kits available and a good supply of PE to go along.

Now, I have - on purpose- not touched the topic of historical accuracy of the kits in the market, because that would be opening a whole new can of worms and I think this should be disregarded for a first ambitioned build. As in almost every kit of every genre there are accuary problems with more or less easy fixes. Some very nice looking kits are outright crap in a box, if accuracy is an issue. This can spoil a lot of fun, if you venture too deep into that rabbit hole, so best disregard it.

OK, enough food for thought for starters?
I am here all week! ;D

Ahoi, you landlubbers!

Guido
 

Junkie

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A lot to think about...thanks very much for the feedback.

I certainly don't want to take on more than I can complete yet I do want to try a detailed build.


Space isn't a concern really. Bit my bit I'm added shelving to my office to display my finished models. I have a 29' wall that is still empty. Clients enjoy looking at the finished builds...

I have some work to take care of as far as researching which kit...I'll be back.
 

Elm City Hobbies

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Could start out with something smaller, like a 1/350 Destroyer, just got a restock of the Trumpeter HMCS Huron.

Not as many parts (of course that also depends on if you go with an AM parts), doesn't take up much room and wouldn't be a long drawn out build. Decent kit to get your "feet wet" with, and best part of all....it's Canadian!
 

Junkie

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Could be a good choice for sure.

Been looking into kits.

The USS North Carolina (Trumpeter) really catches my eye. Love that it has big guns and some seaplanes at the rear. Pretty cool looking.
 

JohnSimmons

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Go for it! I'd love to take on a BIG boat but I'm happy with my 1/35 one ;) Tons of weathering to do Scott, rust marks, salt streaks etc you'd kill it!
 

Tailor

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Scott-
I'll take another look at the kit this weekend.
The Showboat was the first BB issued by Trumpeter... and we know that trumpeter has produced a number of duds over time. Let me get back to you..
Cheers,
Guido
 

Tailor

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OK- the kit still looks pretty nice in the box to me. Of course perfection is hardly ever acchieved. Reading up on a few dedicated reviews of folks, who have built that kit gives the following overall rating:
The verdicts for this kit range from borderline OK to abysmal. Of course the latter is from a modelling historian (I perfer that term to "rivet counter"). The biggest problem seems to be that there are some pretty serious (Trumpeter typical) fit issues. It's said that a any good modeller can solve these satisfactorily, but these seem to be so face-palm stupid, that modelling fun has a hard time to develop.
With a good add on kit the model does look like the USS NC to everyone, but the specialist of the subject.
I can give you a link to a laundry list for the kit, but that will probably dead-stop you in your interest for the kit.

Your call!
 

Tailor

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Aye!
How about IJN Mikasa or Any one of the Tamiya kits? At least here you'll be safe concerning kit quality.
 

Junkie

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Going to check those out for sure. Thank you.

We know Tamiya is solid, some Trumpeter buut what about Hasegawa?
 

Tailor

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Hasegawa's ships are soundly engineerd and offer very good detail.
There is a good supply of aftermarket stuff, too.
Biggest problem is the same as with Tamiya kits: Price tag.
 

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