My next project is converting the tamiya 1/350 scale New Jersey into What would have been the ultimate WW II Battleship the USS Montana. I noticed that it has been done before in the May 1992 issue of Finescale modeler which is sold out. I wonder if you fine gentlemen have access to and could scan it for me I would be grateful.
I believe you can also call them and ask for a specific article to be printed/mailed to you when back-issues are out of print. They may charge a small feee. I can't remember whether I read this in the magazine or on their website, but it's likely the former as I can't find any info on finescale.com or kalmbach.com (and I don't have any mags in front of me at the moment).
Pre-release price is $350, list $450. now figure two Tamiya kits that list at retail for $70 each, two PE sets that run $40 each (unless you go for GMM's ultra sets then add another $60 to get two of those), $25 at least for sheet stock and putty.........so far the minimum for a "conversion" is $245, make it $305 with the ultra PE......we haven't even added plans yet. So YMW's price gets you ready to build resin, white metal fittings and PE with prefit railings....what's your time and sanity worth?
This also doesn't address the fact that Montana was designed to use 5"
54 cal. secondaries vs. the Iowa class's 5" 38 cal. secondaries and Tamiya does not inclue the proposed quad 20mm mounts Montana was to have either. I forget if Montana's main battery was different. And yes, you do need two Tamiya kits just for the hull of Montana, let aone for all the AA mounts.
I think partly tradition, partly it's better for some parts and partly economics. For some parts like props, davits, booms and such white metal is better than resin from a durability standpoint. Most main and secondary battery barrels for 1/350 ships also cast better in white metal as far as reject rate applies. White metal is also sufficient for ship's boats, peloruses, torpedo directors, most gun directors, sighting hoods for large turrets, anchors, rudders, prop shaft supports, ready storage lockers, intermediate AA mounts, searchlights, small mast platforms, etc. The molds for white metal also last a bit longer than for resin so it is more economical. There are also usually PE fine detail parts where needed on boats, cranes, directors and AA mounts and you'd need the PE on resin parts too.
L'Arsenal does make some absolutely gorgeous intermediate AA with PE and some amazing secondary open mounts oout of resin. I still want white metal props, davits, booms and prop shat supports. I also prefer white metal barrels for turretted main and secondary batteries. I prefer resin guntubs and torpedo tube mounts though. I also never use kit parts for masts or yards since rigging tension really requires you to make brass rod or stainless tube structures that are soldered together. I also usually replace prop shafts with brass rod or tube if it's not already part of the kit.