any major problems in building these kits? I'm not a detailer
and am looking for a space saving way to have the kits in my
collection. Besides old eyes dealing with small parts, anything I
should consider before buying? Was looking at the Hasegawa line.
thx - Craig
While you're correct about "old eyes... small parts...", most of the
1/700 kits aren't difficult at all to build. And Hasegawa is as good a
line as most. About the only "bad" line is the old Fujimi line.
The level of detail is entirely up to you. You can purchase all kinds
of photo etch materials for them or you can build straight from the
box. Either way, you'll have some very nice models to add to your
collection - and the level of sophistication will be your decision.
I've got about seventy or seventy-five of them done. It makes for a
nice collection - in a small display space.
Just some interesting historical information...
I recently read Shunsaku Tamiya's book "Master Modeler: Creating the
Tamiya Style". This is a fascinating oral history of the company by
Tamiya produced wooden ship kits right after World War II. Tamiya,
Hasegawa, Fujimi, and Aoshima were all located in Shizuoka for a good
reason, it was a big lumber town where wood for producing models was
readily available. The local model manufacturers formed an industry
association which met regularly to discuss the business. Toward the
late '60s, the companies were looking for ways to expand their product
lines. On an overseas visit, Mr. Tamiya spotted a series of small
scale metal ship models in a hobby shop window that he thought were
really cool because you could see the relative size of each ship.
Tamiya always had a passion for ships and wanted his company to start
producing a line of constant scale ship models. He suggested to the
industry association that Tamiya, Hasegawa, Fujimi, and Aoshima jointly
produce a line of 1/700 scale ships and cooridnate their efforts so
they wouldn't produce duplicate subjects. The companies all agreed to
produce unique ship model classes in order to offer customers the
maxiumum variety of ships. The ship classes for the first batch of
kits were "drawn out of a hat" and thus began the 1/700 scale plastic
ship line. I always wondered why all the 1/700 ship kits from these
manufacturers had the same "look and feel".
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading this book! It is not a comprehensive
history of Tamiya, but a very personal oral account of Mr. Tamiya's
experiences with the company. There are really interesting tidbits of
history about things like the 1/700 scale ship line, and about the time
the company bought a Porsche so they could disassemble it to make a
really accurate model (the mechanic they hired to reassemble it was NOT
a happy person!). Another interesting story is about Tamiya's first
visit to the Aberdeen Museum in freezing weather where he ruined a suit
crawling under tanks to take photos. The really striking thread
throughout the book is Mr. Tamiya's obsessive passion for modeling.
This really started me thinking about modeling in different terms (and
also got me buying more Tamiya kits).
READ THIS BOOK!
I tried my first 1/700 scale ship last year-- the Aoshima Bismarck. I
didn't find out until after I had started it how inaccurate it was- it is
not a kit I'd recommend or build again. I did buy a Tom's PE set for it--I
used most of the parts, but found the firecontrol radars and such to be very
difficult to assemble.
If and when I do another 1/700 scale ship, the only PE I'll use will be
railings. They weren't that hard to install, and really made the whole model
look better than it was, detail-wise.