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tell me about the good and the bad of 1/350 and 1/700


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Hi all,

I'm a long time modeler, but have just recently been getting into maritime subjects. I'm currently knee deep in some card model ships, but I can already tell that in the long run, these won't be the basis of a collection. They're fun, but I'm not sure I have the patience to really develop that aspect of my modeling. 

 

A few years ago I purchased Revell's 1/144 Snowberry, and while I love the ship, I'm finding the model tedious. So I'm going to make a pass at the two popular scales; 1/350 and 1/700. But before I get too excited about either, I'd like to hear you all tell me what you like and dislike about the scale of your choice. 

 

Right now I'm leaning towards 1/700, as I have a penchant for smaller scale models (1/72 aircraft and armor, 1/48 armor), but having looked at some of the kits out there, the details, such as they are, look a bit clunky. Plus PE railings in 1/700 look like they would be extremely difficult to apply (and don't even tell me to not worry about railings). 1/350 looks like it would have more shelf presence, but I wonder if the tedium of the Snowberry would be present in thse larger kits too? 

Maybe I should just stick to my tanks and airplanes? 

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I quite like scale of 32 feet to 1 inch (1:384).     They are small enough for normal sized houses or flats, and don't require any high degree of patience to build.    This on, the steamer Politician, is shown in a Utube presentation from block of wood to completion.    It took a total of 58 hours to build, spread over a few weeks.   All timed on a stopwatch.   Building costs, virtually nothing.    But being scratchbuilt, it would not be a popular choice for a model, but I was never much good with kits!   https://youtu.be/dbKlh_aa9r4

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Not sure what the basis of your tedium with the Snowberry is, but is it connected with the application of a lot of effort without seeming to get closer to the final shape of the finished ship?

 

I began shipbuilding after a lifetime of aircraft and the thing that appealed most was the philosophy of modular building - you have to make loads of subassemblies which may seem tedious but they all come together near the end and suddenly you have a ship.

 

For that reason I'd recommend a cruiser or destroyer model in 1/350 just to get into that mindset. 1/700 becomes very fiddly as you rightly suspect, especially if you're using a comprehensive photoetch set. On the other hand, if you're already comfortable with small scale detailing, 1/700 might be better for you...as long as you adopt the modular philosophy. 

 

I'm not trying to think for you, but just comparing my own experience with beginning ship modelling.

 

Whatever you decide, I hope it pays off for you in modelling enjoyment! 👍

 

Alan

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6 hours ago, Alan P said:

Not sure what the basis of your tedium with the Snowberry is, but is it connected with the application of a lot of effort without seeming to get closer to the final shape of the finished ship?

 

 

I think it's more to do with being unable to develop an effective assembly and paint sequence. With aircraft and armor, I more or less know how far I can go before needing to paint something. With the snowberry I find myself painting and repainting things, as I just haven't developed a rhythm for it yet. 

 

Its not helping that I keep discovering that the colors aren't as suggested on Revell's instructions. So I've been doing some repaints. 

 

I don't know. It just isn't fun. 

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With ships you can either paint each sub-assembly as you go, or build all of those first then paint - generally I do the latter but that's my own choice. A third approach is paint the model as you build it - a former member here called Phil Reader used that method. Have a nosey over on ModelWarships.com: LINK. Their Work in Progress section has plenty of builds going on that cover the gamut of building styles so that should help you decide on what works for you: LINK.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Mike.:)

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1 hour ago, ShipbuilderMN said:

If it isn't fun, maybe best to just go back to what you do like building!    

I don't want to give up on it just yet. I know that once I develop a knack for it, it probably will be lots of fun. 

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2 hours ago, MikeR said:

With ships you can either paint each sub-assembly as you go, or build all of those first then paint - generally I do the latter but that's my own choice. A third approach is paint the model as you build it - a former member here called Phil Reader used that method. Have a nosey over on ModelWarships.com: LINK. Their Work in Progress section has plenty of builds going on that cover the gamut of building styles so that should help you decide on what works for you: LINK.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Mike.:)

Can you tell me a bit more about your method? 

 

At which point do you paint the sub-assemblies? Im thinking hull, super-structure, turrets. But do you break it down even further than that? Do you add PE after you paint? 

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You've pretty much nailed it for the sub-assemblies, as for the PE it's attach, then paint - I feel it gives a stronger bond between the materials. I work in 1/700 so I don't use PE railing as I personally think it looks overscale at that size, but again that's personal preference.

 

I've done two WIP's on BM that were for ships, both in 1/700, one with PE and one without: A Tamiya E Class destroyer built as the HMS Fury and a Pit-Road Skywave Batch I Special Type/Fubuki class destroyer built as the Hatsuyuki. I followed two different paths with regards to assembly, both driven with how the models were to be painted. The Japanese ship had a much simpler paint scheme, particularly when it came to the deck. Typical for the IJN tin cans there's large area of steel decking in the middle with linoleum at the bow and stern - this meant I could assemble the entire ship as a single unit, naturally leaving the gun and torpedo mounts seperate. The Fury had to be tackled differently; in that case all the superstructure and both funnels were kept separate in order to make painting the decks and camouflage scheme easier.

 

I find the best way to tackle the whole process is to look at how the model itself has been designed - how easily can I make sub-assemblies from what the kit gives me to work with? You also have to factor in how the model will be painted - how can I make things easier for me to paint?

 

Here's an image of my model of the HMS Barham before I pinted it:

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In this case the way the Trumpeter kit was designed meant that the turrets, forward superstructure, funnel, the octuple pom-pom positions either side of the funnel and the rear superstructure could be made as sub-assemblies whilst the boats and 4" AA mounts could also be left off to allow the deck to be painted. I actually left the boats attached to the sprues to allow those to be painted more easily although some assembly was needed for the steam launches. An extra wrinkle is to leave the entire armament off and have each individual gun mount as it's own sub-assembly, although I've only done that once with a 1/700 Tamiya Indianapolis. The plethora of AA guns on late WW2 USN ships rather of demands it!

 

Hope that helps,

 

Mike.:)

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37 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Come on then @MikeR - show us Barham with paint on it! Would you believe me if I told you that 99% of what folk buy goes into a black hole never to be seen again? If you've actually built something we'd all love to see it :D

:P

 

Unfortunately I'll have to disappoint - the model was built back in 2014 just as WEM ceased trading so it's painted in the old shades of AP507B and C rather than the modern, accurate, renditions of AP507A and C.

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Compared with the photos I amassed the contrast in the pattern doesn't look too bad considering accurate knowledge of the colours involved weren't known at the time.

 

I'm planning on building the battleline at Cape Matapan so have the Trumpeter 1/700 Valiant and Warspite do to as well. At the moment I'm intending on doing Valiant next as that kit will require minimal alteration and I've more or less deciphered the camo scheme for the period. I just need to draw it up on some suitable plans so I have a hardcopy handy when painting. The Warspite will need more hacking about to back-date it to early '41 from the 1942 version the kit depicts. I just wish Trumpeter had moulded the 20mm gun tubs separately rather than as part of the decks! However I'm not looking forward to trying to replicate that camouflage scheme! I'll be using the new accurate colours and that WEM etch I bought from yourself on both.

 

Mike.:)

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I decided to try both myself.

I have a Trumpeter HMS Exeter in 1/350 and a Flyhawk HMS Kelly in 1/700 on the way in. 

I'll try both and see which I like more. 

Edited by SoftScience
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For years I have sworn by 1/600 as the ideal scale for ship modelling although I strongly suspect that was largely driven by my formative modelling years in that scale in the 1970s.  Large enough that you can get a reasonable amount of detail (especially these days with the amount of PE that is available) but small enough that they don't need half a room to display.  I find 1/700 just that little bit too small.  However, I have recently been converted to 1/350 through a scratch build project of HMS BULOLO.  The larger size means that the level of detail you can get in brings a much greater realism.  But at the end of the day it is personal choice.  There is a much greater choice of maritime subjects in 1/700 than 1/350.

 

The one thing I would say though is regardless of which scale you opt for (at least until you get up into the likes of the 1/72 Flower classes and U Boats), remember that ship models above all other genre of modelling really benefit for the finer detail that you can get with PE. 

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On 7/2/2019 at 1:05 PM, MikeR said:

:P

 

 

I'm planning on building the battleline at Cape Matapan so have the Trumpeter 1/700 Valiant and Warspite do to as well. At the moment I'm intending on doing Valiant next as that kit will require minimal alteration and I've more or less deciphered the camo scheme for the period. I just need to draw it up on some suitable plans so I have a hardcopy handy when painting.

 

Mike.:)

Mike,

 

Sorry to hijack, but can I ask you about the above statement? I too am doing Valiant at Matapan time, but what have you found out about her paint scheme then?   I have a photo of her in 1940 where she is all grey and another that is dated May 41 where she is still all grey.  I have my doubts about the date on this latter photo but I have found nothing to prove it wrong so I am really interested in hearing what you have discovered.

Graham

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25 minutes ago, zed said:

Mike,

 

Sorry to hijack, but can I ask you about the above statement? I too am doing Valiant at Matapan time, but what have you found out about her paint scheme then?   I have a photo of her in 1940 where she is all grey and another that is dated May 41 where she is still all grey.  I have my doubts about the date on this latter photo but I have found nothing to prove it wrong so I am really interested in hearing what you have discovered.

Graham

 

Indeed this could be drawn up in Adobe Illustrator. You know, for posterity :)

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7 hours ago, zed said:

Mike,

 

Sorry to hijack, but can I ask you about the above statement? I too am doing Valiant at Matapan time, but what have you found out about her paint scheme then?   I have a photo of her in 1940 where she is all grey and another that is dated May 41 where she is still all grey.  I have my doubts about the date on this latter photo but I have found nothing to prove it wrong so I am really interested in hearing what you have discovered.

Graham

I don't have any specific dating evidence but a two-colour colour disruptive scheme was pretty much de-riguer for the Mediterranean Fleet under Admiral Cunningham. I have a feeling that if Valiant was camouflaged prior to her May '41 Alexandria refit, which might be a better candidate time-wise, then it would have happened either immediately after her arrival in the Med or possibly during repairs for bomb damage she sustained in January '41.

 

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Mike.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

 

Indeed this could be drawn up in Adobe Illustrator. You know, for posterity :)

Sorry, Jamie - I haven't got a clue how to use that! Bit of a luddite, y'see!

 

Mike.:wacko:

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26 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

 

Ah but I do...

Oi, patience! I dont do pressure like this.......:frantic:;) I've made a tentative start on Valiant but I have a Bf 109G and a pair of MiG-21's on the bench at the moment so progress will be veerry slow. I've found that my limit for simultaneous builds is three! Once the '109's out the way I should pick up a bit of speed, when I get round to plotting out the camo I'll let you know.:thumbsup2:

 

As for dates, I knew I'd seen something for Valiant before May - the British Pathé film covering the bombardment of Tripoli on the 21st of April '41: LINK. Frames 4-6 of the stills show a feeting and distant view of Valiant and you can make out the lighter fore part and darker after part of the hull camo scheme.

 

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I'd say order of column to be Warspite, Formidable, Barham then Valiant followed by a destroyer.

 

Mike.

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Looking back at my photos, I have none that show this scheme, but have an April 1940 that has her in a dark scheme with large roundels on A and Y turrets. 

I agree that most likely she was repainted sometime soon after her arrival in Alex in Sept 1940.  

 

In his book, R.A. Burt states "Dark Home Fleet grey until early 1941 when painted up in two-tone grey (507b and 507c or possibly B5). Worn until Christmas 1942." 

 

Given Jamie's recent research I think that the B5 reference is wrong and that they are the new 507b and 507c colours that Jamie has as NARN 22 and 20 respectively.   This would match Warspite nicely.  

 

Burt then states "Unofficial Disruptive scheme painted up in late 1942/early 1943. Repainted Admiralty Disruptive type in May 1943. Repainted Admiralty Standard type in 1945. All grey by end
of 1945."

 

I have plenty of pictures of these schemes, but like you, my Valiant will be as at Matapan.  The only thing this leaves is the exact demarcation lines as your pictures are not quite clear enough to discern.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, zed said:

Given Jamie's recent research I think that the B5 reference is wrong and that they are the new 507b and 507c colours that Jamie has as NARN 22 and 20 respectively.   This would match Warspite nicely.

I agree that Valiant was Home Fleet Grey/507A after her rebuild and that she had 507C added to it after her arrival in the Med. I'm not sure which edition of Burt's book you have, but the endpapers of the 2013 edition has camouflage examples, including the bridge structure of Valiant in the scheme under discussion. There's also a photo in the book of Valiant in that scheme as well, albeit not large. The Shipcraft title on the Queen Elizabeth's also has two side views of Valiant but although decent enough miss some parts of the scheme, primarily the 507A band along the waterline fore and aft.

 

In addition to the images I've posted, I also have these two:

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Not the biggest, but the strong contrast is very helpful!

 

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There is a much larger version of this one available on Reddit: LINK.

 

All of these combined with the plans in the Burt and Shipcraft books should give enough info to reconstruct the pattern with a fair degree of accuracy. That the scheme was more-or-symetrical simplifies things  too!

 

Mike.:)

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Yes I have the 2013 of Burt, not sure why I never noticed that before.  I also have the Shipcraft book, but as I am also making a 1/7/00 1944 version of QE I keep looking for QE pictures and missing  the photos for the 1/350 Valiant.  

 

Thanks for the pictures and the help, nothing holding me back now.

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