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A strange thing is coming over me...


afterburner
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Here's what's happening. On the bench I have a Tamiya 1/48 F4D-1 Skyray that I just painted. It looks good, though I can see a few flaws in my seam work that I just knew that I had fixed. Either way, I'm actually pretty satisfied. I say this as I have been 'back' to modeling for the last year after a hiatus to finish school. Anyways, so I have been an aircraft guy all my life. My first build with my Dad was Monogram's B-29. Ever since then I loved things with wings.

 

Enter the 2009 Nationals. The last Nats I went to was in '05 and I basically gravitated to the planes, ignoring the ships, cars, armor, etc. This year though, I looked at EVERYTHING. The ships though, mystified me and gave me a slap in the face. A BIG one. I left the Nat's wanting a IJN Nagato like a bear needs honey. Same with Trumpeters' Yorktown, and Academy's new Oliver Hazard Perry. I still bought planes- my heart just had a hard time letting go. Now though, I want to trade and sell what I have and move over to ships. The challenge of doing all the photo-etch railing tempts me. I want to experiment with waterline kits and dioramas. I am completely taken.

 

The point of this is to ask- is this normal? Also, if I pursue this new venture, which scale is recommended? There are a phenominal amount of 1/700 scale ships and a decent selection of 1/350. I like WW2 and Modern Era. I am experienced in handling photo-etch but on 1/700 scale it looks like a real challenge. Any thoughts and suggestions much appreciated. My first thought was Tamiya's USS Fletcher, I heard it was a good kit for a beginner?

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Who says you can't do both--or all? I build airplanes, ships, armor, cars, and paint the occasional military miniature....

 

I prefer 1/350 scale for ships, but when you start collecting battleships and aircraft carriers you realize just how big they are/were.

 

My advice? Start with one of the Dragon 1/350 scale Benson/Livermore, Gleaves, or Gearing class destroyer kits. They are all relatively new kits, they have some photoetch, are large enough to work with, yet small enough where you won't need to add a new wing on the house to display them.

 

Squadron has them listed:

 

USS Buchanan, Gleaves Class DD: http://www.squadron.com/ItemDetails.asp?item=DR1021

 

USS Laffey, Benson Class DD: http://www.squadron.com/ItemDetails.asp?item=DR1026

 

USS Livermore, Livermore Class DD: http://www.squadron.com/ItemDetails.asp?item=DR1027

 

USS Gearing, Gearing Class DD: http://www.squadron.com/ItemDetails.asp?item=DR1029

 

If you wanted to go to 1/700 scale, Dragon's Independence-class CVL's and Essex-class CV's are hard to beat, as are some of their destroyer, curiser, and battleship kits.

 

One word of advice--actually, two:

 

1. At first, get a kit that goes together well. Don't fret about absolute accuracy. Build the kit to the best of your abilities, right from the box. Then, build another. One reason I like the Dragon kits is the minimal photoetch--right from the box, you can get the experience of building a ship and working with typical photoetch parts without spending a lot of dough. Next, add more PE stuff--more railings, radars, etc., from the likes of Flagship Models, Nautilus Models, Gold Medal Models, Tom's Modelworks, and White Ensign Models--those guys put out superb aftermarket sets and together cover the range of whatever you could possibly need for the available kits. After you've done a few like that, start working on refining the "little things"--moving gun tubs, changing radar and electronics fits, adding/deleting weapons systems, etc. I will warn you--this is an addiction, and the sweet smell of resin will beckon sooner than later....

 

2. Once you get bitten, you'll find that your outlay (and not necessarily monetary--mostly time) for references will outstrip your outlay for kits by a wide margin. Ships--even sister ships--looked different at different points in time, and you'll find yourself searching for the exact fit of that exact ship at that exact minute in time. I find it fun to research the differences--I'm in the middle of a Dragon 1/700 USS Independence-class Light Carrier that I'm building as the USS Cowpens in late 1944. Right now, I'm trying to verify the number of 20mm tubs, and I've found myself looking at as many photos as I can with a magnifier....

 

I hope this helps. I started to dabble in ships about 10 years ago. In that time, I've built a few but acquired a whole bunch--and not only kits. I've gaines new knowledge, new skills, and even more friends in the hobby.

 

R

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Jonathan,

Dude.....it happens. I broke my teeth on Monograms old workable plane kits. Then I saw the Brummbar and feel in love with anything with tracks. Then I saw Shep Paine's M-51 and have been hooked on the IDF and Middle East War stuff every since. Haven't even looked back at selling all my WWII German Armor. For all the boat questions. you may care to post your quireies in the Ship forum. Probably get lots more anwers over there.

 

 

Mark

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I say go with what motivates you. I mainly build aircraft too but lately find myself motivated toward F-1 racing cars. I've really got to be into the project to finish it. As for selling your other kits, I'd say wait. Doing something outside the norm is just what you need to push through a rough spot on your normal projects.

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Jonathan, you have become a bipolar modeler once you become smitten by a second class of kits. Add a few more classes and you become a generalist. Build a bit of everything to really see how you can combine vehicles, aircraft, and figures (for example) into dioramas. The enjoyment in the hobby just seems to grow as you expand your interests and skill set.

 

Welcome into the bigger adventure!

 

Ed

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It's simple Jonathon, you came away INSPIRED! It's your hobby, so go in any direction you want. THAT'S one of the great things about the IPMS Nats, you come home wanting build anything and everything! Cheers!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I've never been one to limit myself to just one genre...like Ralph, I've built cars, aircraft, (some) armor, figures, anything-goes...I'm all over in different scales, too. Does have one extra benefit...at the Atlanta Model Expo (Region 3 Contest), I won six trophies...in six different categories.

 

Built a few OOB ships when I was in early high school, but never really got the bug for them...yet.

 

Like I've heard it said, "Build what you like, how you like it, and have fun..." Enjoy!

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Yep - I've been there too!

I always seem to find something that I "must have" which really interests me. I usually end up buying some more stuff that sits around on the shelf. I find that I am drawn to all of the new 1/350 IJN stuff that is on the market now. Thankfully all of that stuff is a little out of my price range for the moment so I am not too tempted for long! :blush:

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Hehehe- this is great input! In fact I just ordered Dragon's USS Livermore so I'm looking forward to the build. Also looking forward to finishing this Skyray. I have been working on it off an on for about 6 months. It will be my first completed build in a year. Lot's of stops and starts on other kits. Once I got my mind around the fact that it's ok to 'mess up' I felt better. I'm guessing this happens to other modelers as well.

 

In any case, it's going to be fun trying a little something different. The Nationals was a major motivator! Thanks for the input everyone!

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I've never been one to limit myself to just one genre...like Ralph, I've built cars, aircraft, (some) armor, figures, anything-goes...I'm all over in different scales, too. Does have one extra benefit...at the Atlanta Model Expo (Region 3 Contest), I won six trophies...in six different categories.

 

I like the phrase "Iron Modeler" to describe multi-class builders. I've seen some "Iron Modeler" contests done in the vein of the cooking show--complete with "secret ingredient" (kit) to be basically kitbashed, but I don't think that translates well into model building. Now, how about an Iron Modeler contest where everyone builds the same kit in an hour? THAT would be a blast....although who would we get to portray Chairman Kaga and Chefs Sakai, Morimoto, Kenichi, Kobe, Michiba, Ishanabe, and Nakamura? Not to mention we'd need a Fukui-san and our workbench reporter, Ohta. Oh, and someone to play the part of Hattori-san....

 

We used to have a Pentathlon award at some of our contests--the builder had to build five models from different classes. The best collection took the award.

 

Ralph

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Hehehe- this is great input! In fact I just ordered Dragon's USS Livermore so I'm looking forward to the build. Also looking forward to finishing this Skyray. I have been working on it off an on for about 6 months. It will be my first completed build in a year. Lot's of stops and starts on other kits. Once I got my mind around the fact that it's ok to 'mess up' I felt better. I'm guessing this happens to other modelers as well.

 

In any case, it's going to be fun trying a little something different. The Nationals was a major motivator! Thanks for the input everyone!

 

Good choice--the Livermore is on my short list, too. That's one that I haven't bought yet in any media...unlike the Gleaves class, where I have at least two resin kits (Blue Water Navy, IIRC) and the Dragon kit! The same goes for Buckley-class kits, I have two iterations of the Commanders Series/Iron Shipwright kits and the Trumpeter USS England. I guess I'm set for those....

 

Messing up is part of learning--I like to tell people that there isn't a lot you can mess up on a model that you can't fix easily.....

 

Ralph

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I like the phrase "Iron Modeler" to describe multi-class builders. I've seen some "Iron Modeler" contests done in the vein of the cooking show--complete with "secret ingredient" (kit) to be basically kitbashed, but I don't think that translates well into model building. Now, how about an Iron Modeler contest where everyone builds the same kit in an hour? THAT would be a blast....

Ralph

Geeeeez, Ralph...that would be the death of me! It takes me an hour just to open the box and unfold the instructions!!! :blush::blush::blush:

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Geeeeez, Ralph...that would be the death of me! It takes me an hour just to open the box and unfold the instructions!!! :blush::blush::blush:

 

Yeah, I'm the same way! I could spend an hour looking at the decal sheet. It would be a real fun challenge to give it a shot. It takes me an hour just to get going. I have to clean up the model desk so I can get it dirty again...

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