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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:35 am 
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As nobody's done a review of this much anticipated kit since it's come out I thought I'd share my impressions of the "Big Mo" and throw in some comparisons, just in case you are considering picking up this monster.

And a monster it is!

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I've only been aboard 1 real battleship in my life (the USS Iowa) so I have a frame of reference for the size of the Missouri. Only now do I realize how small the Arizona was in comparison. Even Hans and Franz would say the Bismarck looks like a girly wimpy man next to the 'Mo.

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So much for that WWII legend! :big_grin:

Anyway, I think I can say with some certainty that the "Big Mo" is now officially the biggest plastic kit offered by a mainstream manufacturer EVER. It even edges out the huge Revell 1/72 Gato in length and certainly in width:

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And just for fun, this little pipsqueak is the Tamiya 1/350 New Jersey.

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I've browsed through the internet chatter over the kit and was put off by some loud complaints over accuracy but I'm happy to report most of them were overblown. Yes, the lower hull contour is off around the propshafts and it's maybe a bit too square near the bottom under turret #1 but after comparing the hull to the multitudes of pics of Iowas in drydock I've gotta say it looks pretty damn close. Only USN naval engineers and hardest of hardcore internet rivet counters are ever even gonna notice it's off. I was surprised to see how much further off the Tamiya kit is... a Trumpeter product is actually more accurate than a Tamiya! What is this world coming to? :lol_pound:

The molded detail is fairly sparse (especially compared with the Bismarck) but that's a good thing for someone like me who likes to go a bit crazy on superdetailing and would just be scraping it all off anyway (again, like the Bismarck :smallsmile:).

Trumpeter's quality control seems to have improved A LOT too; the Bismarck hull was very rough and required a thorough sanding to get the cross-brace bulges and mold marks out but the 'Mo's hull is very clean out of the box. There are no hull plates portrayed which is a minus as they are highly visible on the real thing but I intend to add them. Trumpeter did put all the various scuttle drain holes on the hull above the water though, which should make this one fairly easy to find and place a waterline when painting it. You may have to rent an automotive paint booth to actually do the painting though :wink_3.gif .

The superstructure levels are molded "lego block" style again but this time Trumpeter molded most of the angled bulkheads separately, saving us from "wonky porthole disease" which plagues the Bismarck (and to a lesser extent, the Arizona).

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I'm not entirely convinced the deck is molded in the correct plank pattern but at least Trumpeter made an attempt this time instead of going with the same truly pathetic plank pattern the Arizona and Bismarck had. If you are going to do a WWII Mo, you wouldn't be out of line to just paint them deck blue and call it good; a good faux wooden deck paint job would look good here too (maybe even better than a "stick-on" wood deck due to the annoying effect of the long grain lines across the vast expanses of the maindeck).

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The smaller details are otherwise very crisp and well-molded, though still a bit "generic" looking, which actually works OK for a USN warship with a little aftermarket help and/or judicious tinkering.

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If there is a negative to this kit, it's the guns themselves. The turrets are OK (though the rivet pattern lines are wrong on the main guns!) but the barrels and smaller AA guns are all plastic and somewhat cheapo looking. Mine arrived with several broken Oerlikons on the sprue but I was always planning on replacing them with aftermarket brass so it's not a huge deal to me.

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That said, a builder of moderate skill should be able to build it "out of the box" and find plenty of enjoyment in the process plus get an eye-catching display or RC model. It's not gonna be too much for anybody less than a pagan model god unless you also spring for all of the insane "fiddly bits" that are sure to be put out by the aftermarket. It will be fun to see how many modelers survive building the virtual forest of various types of anti-aircraft guns this ship was fitted with from multiple pieces of tiny PE and brass. I get finger cramps just thinking about it!

Another great feature for OOTB builders is the kit PE... definitely the best photoetch that has ever come in the same box as a kit. Even the railings are already sized correctly like an aftermarket set; and although I'm sure the aftermarket will totally outdo the kit PE (and cost you as much as the original kit, BTW), Kudos to Trumpeter upping the ante here!

All and all, I'd say this is Trumpeter's best kit ever to date. I know we always complain that nobody at Trumpy is listening to us but I think they have this time to some degree. This kit is a vast improvement over their previous 1/200 kits.

Anyway, I'm in the process of moving but I hope to have my model dungeon up and running again towards the end of January. I intend to throw everything I've got at this thing; I'll do a log then. Thanks for looking!

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Current Project: 1/200 Bismarck


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:30 am 
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Having started on the kit together with the Pontos set, i can but agree! It is a lot of money but the result will be worth it. This kit is the non plus ultra at this point in time.

Dietrich

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:03 pm 
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Off topic, thanks for the teaser snapshot on what I consider the most complex 1/72 gato build I have seen... I was following that on the CASF board.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:25 pm 
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krgf15 wrote:
Off topic, thanks for the teaser snapshot on what I consider the most complex 1/72 gato build I have seen... I was following that on the CASF board.


Don't worry, I'll finish it too... I promise!

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Current Project: 1/200 Bismarck


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:10 am 
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Jason,

I thank you for your candid assessment of the Trumpy MISSOURI kit. I tend to agree with most of your comments. Only the lunatic fringe will worry about the hull curvature's minor discrepancies - when compared with all IOWA class models marketed today I think we could agree there are NO 100%ers out there.

This kit is by far the best one produced to date and with the supplemental add-on sets will make a very nice model indeed. You may want to peruse my review of the Pontos Detail Up Set w/o deck that is under the main Reviews forum.

I'm also of the belief that there is a "connection" between Pontos and Trumpeter - why else would the kit hull have holes and stamped lines/forms specifically there for 3rd party PE when the kit itself does not contain those parts? There's more going on here than meets the eye :scratch:

Once finished, I think anyone would be happy with the end product - something that will definitely brighten up your breakfast table :rolf_3:

Hank

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HMS III
Mocksville, NC
BB62 vet 68-69

Builder's yard:
USS PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) Late '40 1:200
USS STODDARD (DD-566) 66-68 1:144
Finished:
USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62) 67-69 1:200
USN Sloop/Ship PEACOCK (1813) 1:48
ROYAL CAROLINE (1748) 1:47
AVS (1768) 1:48


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:54 pm 
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I don't have the kit, nor will I ever, since I thank Trumpeteer's big "MO" for being the kit that turned me over to 1/350 scale forever (and I feel very grateful to Trumpeteer for that). Even so I feel a few comments are in order:

-The banana shape is worse than the Bismarck, since on the Bismarck at least it has some basis in fact!

-The planking detail looks seemingly softer than on the Bismarck (but it could just be the photos). Here is the Bismarck deck planking in two separate photos:

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Missouri:

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The Bismarck definitely doesn't look inferior...

This hardly matters anyway, since most will use a wood deck...

-Overall, the superstructure detail still looks inferior to the Bismarck. Bismarck again here:

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Missouri:
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I'll make a comparison here to what has been available in the Nichimo destroyer kits in the 1970s: In every respects the 40 year old kits are at least equal to the Bismarck, and superior to the Missouri:

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The Kagero's turret details puts to shame the Chinese kits:

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Here the Kagero's deck pattern looks overscale, but is in fact accurate...:

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Really nice boat detail...:

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Correct side-to-side convex deck appearance (both Kagero and Akizuki), very much unlike any of the more recent 1/200 Trumpeteer kits, and quite noticeable at this large scale:

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Extreme sharpness of hull features, even if unfortunately no hull plating is offered...:

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Amazing bow sharpness:

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Of note is that Nichimo's excellent I-19 sub does have detailed raised plating detail, the only hull plating I am aware of in injection plastic in the scale (it looks in every way comparable to the recent I-400 by Tamiya in 1/350):

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When these new 1/200 kits rise to the quality level of 40 years ago, then I might come back... For now Hasegawa kits in 1/350 are really very nice...

Gaston


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:26 pm 
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Gaston,

Well, I'm still trying to figure out what all this "banana" talk is about. As yet, I haven't found anything distorted about this kit. The design of the IOWA class is unique in it's bow area and probably for a kit manufacturer, difficult to say the least, to replicate in miniature. This unique bow "flexs" while underway and I've watched the rest of the ship "twist" in opposite direction to what the bow was doing while standing at the forward most point in the bow facing aft in moderate Pacific seas.

As for the details in molding, I've had the MISSOURI/NEW JERSEY kits from Revell, Life-Like, Tamiya, Hasegawa, Fugi, and now Trumpeter. The details in this one are the best I've seen. And the PE detail set from Pontos will make up most, if not all details lacking in the kit. I've noticed these things thru the years (I started building plastic kits in 1953 - beat that!!!) and that's where scratch building comes into its own. The kit manufacturers are only going to go so far - $$$ rules!!! It's up to the modeler after that.

Just my humble opinion,

Hank

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HMS III
Mocksville, NC
BB62 vet 68-69

Builder's yard:
USS PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) Late '40 1:200
USS STODDARD (DD-566) 66-68 1:144
Finished:
USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62) 67-69 1:200
USN Sloop/Ship PEACOCK (1813) 1:48
ROYAL CAROLINE (1748) 1:47
AVS (1768) 1:48


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:42 am 
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Hello Hank.

Does the kit match this drawing? I have yet to hear anyone's definite opinion about this drawing:

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Assuming the kit matches this drawing, then that is the source of the problem...

One poster in another thread confirmed that his vertical measurements of this drawing, blown up to 1/200, matches very closely the Trumpeteer 1/200 hull...

If that is true, then that, in my opinion, is very, very bad news.

Gaston


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:30 am 
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Gaston,

Your depicted drawing is one from the Booklet of General Plans - I've got a .pdf of that series also. I take it you find this drawing inaccurate? On what do you base this inaccuracy (if that's what you're alluding to)?

If the model's measurements match the drawing (or close to it) why would this be a problem?

I've never said that the hull was 100% correct - in fact, I've posted earlier that I thought there was some underside inaccuracy regarding the areas on both sides of the after quarters as they fare down to the keel where the outboard screw shafts are located.

Sorry, but I'm scratching my head at your latest reply. I may have to compare this drawing with similar drawings of the ship drafted in mid-60's (NEW JERSEY) and see if there are any hull differences. Then again, I have to consider whether this is a real problem worth my time & effort.

Hank

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HMS III
Mocksville, NC
BB62 vet 68-69

Builder's yard:
USS PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) Late '40 1:200
USS STODDARD (DD-566) 66-68 1:144
Finished:
USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62) 67-69 1:200
USN Sloop/Ship PEACOCK (1813) 1:48
ROYAL CAROLINE (1748) 1:47
AVS (1768) 1:48


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:50 pm 
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The drawing fails to depict the curve pitch change in front of turret A. That pretty much elliminates it as any kind of serious modelling reference for outlines...

This is just a GA drawing, and no manufacturer or institution will ever tell you their own GA drawings has anything to do with what the real product actually looks like, and it certainly doesn't in this case.

GA drawings are just that: General Arrangement drawings. They show the disposition and spatial relationship of various general elements. I'll say it again: They have absolutely nothing to do with what the ship actually looks like. This is true of all GA drawings, and this is natural because GA drawings are of little or no use during the fabrication of components (and they are not even used for planning the general layout, unless they have dimensions printed on them: This drawing doesn't). They may be used as maps to find your way around, or for public relations and encyclopedias. That's it. It is not their purpose to replicate the precise outline of the ship. This is true for all hand-drawn GA drawings, no matter what the subject is.

I will add the caveat that this of course applies only to hand-made drawings: Today in the computer age, a direct proportional relationship can exist between the representation of the parts and how they assemble to create the whole, but that obviously doesn't apply to WWII drawings.

Gaston


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:35 pm 
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Very good assessment of the drawing in question. Perhaps a sheer elevation of the builder's plans compared to the model hull might be a better comparison.

I've found in facilities engineering that the GA drawings are also useless when laying out HVAC, piping, or other parts of buildings relying on actual dimensions for proper placement. GAs tend to be produced early in the project and seldom follow the "as built" conditions of the construction. Could be the case here, as well; I'm not disputing that.

As for the model's hull and it's correctness - well, if I find the time to dig out some further engineering construction drawings of the IOWAs, I may try to determine how near to or far off this hull is to the actual ship.

Just for clarity - Turrets are 1, 2, and 3 from forward to aft. Letters are not used.

Hank

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HMS III
Mocksville, NC
BB62 vet 68-69

Builder's yard:
USS PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) Late '40 1:200
USS STODDARD (DD-566) 66-68 1:144
Finished:
USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62) 67-69 1:200
USN Sloop/Ship PEACOCK (1813) 1:48
ROYAL CAROLINE (1748) 1:47
AVS (1768) 1:48


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:49 am 
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BB62vet wrote:
Very good assessment of the drawing in question. Perhaps a sheer elevation of the builder's plans compared to the model hull might be a better comparison.

Hank


Thanks Hank.

Yes, some printed elevation numbers would definitely settle the issue. Hard to argue with a printed number on a plan...

Sadly, the availability of those types of plans seems a bit hit and miss. They probably still exist for most things, even of WWII vintage, but they seem among the harder to dig out from wherever they are... With lines and numbers all over them, they are not attractive for publishing purposes, so they are often buried somewhere...

I've called the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum once to get some specific data, and they wanted to charge a lot to produce copies of a whole slew of things I didn't need in one big package... Otherwise they would not do a thing...

It seems incredible to me that kit makers do not start with drawings with actual printed dimensions, before investing a lot of money into moulds... I don't know how hard they look for them, or how hard some are to find... I hope we get the final answer on this, as to me it simply doesn't look right, although it could be fixable.

All the best,

Gaston


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:19 am 
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The IOWAs, if memory serves correctly (or there about) had somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-45 TONS of blueprints, so there were lots of drawings from which those ships were built.

I know that Long Beach Naval Shipyard had their working drawings for the 1981-82 refurbishment of NEW JERSEY in hand, (and later MISSOURI also) whether they are in anyway available to the public is anyone's guess. I would think that the various museum organizations would have available for maintenance purposes drawings specific to that ship, but once again, how available are they and so forth. There are working copies that are kept on board along with the ship's operational manuals and instructions. I believe these are usually kept in the Damage Control Office of the ship's Engineering Dept. It would stand to reason that these were part of the permanent ship's records and remained on board.

Listed on the Pontos Instruction sheet #1 are references they used - they got one of the names incorrect, Robert Samuel should have been Robert Sumrall (IOWA Class Battleships: Their Design...Equipment). I don't have the Trumpeter kit with me so I can't say as to whether or not they list their references - I don't recall seeing any, but I could be mistaken. Generally speaking, kit manufacturers don't list their information sources.

Hank

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HMS III
Mocksville, NC
BB62 vet 68-69

Builder's yard:
USS PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) Late '40 1:200
USS STODDARD (DD-566) 66-68 1:144
Finished:
USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62) 67-69 1:200
USN Sloop/Ship PEACOCK (1813) 1:48
ROYAL CAROLINE (1748) 1:47
AVS (1768) 1:48


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:11 pm 
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It will be interesting to see what different approaches are taken with regards to hull
Acting for those so inclined. Enough photos exist to get it more or less correct, though I have not as yet seen a hull plating plan sheet as yet. Not an easy thing to do correctly in scale, many plating efforts tend to be over scale and a bit cartoonish. Though several of the class have riveted gussets mid ships, even up close any riveting is nearly invisible.

Cheers. Tom


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:50 pm 
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Tom wrote:

Quote:
Though several of the class have riveted gussets mid ships, even up close any riveting is nearly invisible


This is one of the reasons I don't think they need to be shown. It's very similar with all the trenail detail on some of the POF wooden sailing vessels - while it looks beautiful, in reality it would be hard to see the trenails, esp. in the hull planking, maybe more visible with the deck trenails.

I'm sort of waiting to see how some others handle the hull issues and then decide how (and if) I may address the situation.

Hank

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HMS III
Mocksville, NC
BB62 vet 68-69

Builder's yard:
USS PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) Late '40 1:200
USS STODDARD (DD-566) 66-68 1:144
Finished:
USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62) 67-69 1:200
USN Sloop/Ship PEACOCK (1813) 1:48
ROYAL CAROLINE (1748) 1:47
AVS (1768) 1:48


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:56 pm 
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I'm still not 100% decided but I am thinking I am gonna waterline mine and plate the upper hull with styrene "plates" and butt straps...

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Current Project: 1/200 Bismarck


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:59 pm 
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Many will be waiting with baited breath to see how some of the hull plating comes out....

Cheers. Tom


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:10 pm 
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If one closely examines the HNSA general arrangement profiles the deck line is level from about frame 64 to 180, which would more or less correspond to the actual ship. That is the area between the # 1&2 turrets and the old movie projection house on the fantail. Easy enough to see if this is the case on the model with some calipers.

Cheers. Tom


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Jason - Ditto what Tom said re. the plating, etc. I may scribe the upper two rows of horizontal plating up forward with a divider point or backside of an Xacto knife, but nothing deep. Just enough to be denoted after spray painting the hull.

Tom - Kudos on the Movie Projection Booth!!! Not many people are aware of that little bit of IOWA Class Trivia.

It's a shame that for the price we've paid for this kit that it isn't 100% correct - I find that the fault of Trumpeter and either their incompetency to produce a correctly shaped hull (design/production) or their bean counters who probably pulled the plug on any further R&D on the model.

I may try to compare the body plan in the Floating Drydock MISSOURI Plan Book with their sheer plans by frame #'s. By masking off the model hull with frame #'s, I could then make paper dolls at body plan stations per the body plan and compare to the hull and see where and how much the hull is off. That would then establish a base line for reconstruction (or not).

Something else I just noticed about the picture of MISSOURI on the box top of the kit - The hull of the ship is riding too high out of the water. Almost as if the artist was painting it from the ship as it is moored in Pearl Harbor. And that is NOT how the ship in commission would sit in the water.

Hank

_________________
HMS III
Mocksville, NC
BB62 vet 68-69

Builder's yard:
USS PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) Late '40 1:200
USS STODDARD (DD-566) 66-68 1:144
Finished:
USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62) 67-69 1:200
USN Sloop/Ship PEACOCK (1813) 1:48
ROYAL CAROLINE (1748) 1:47
AVS (1768) 1:48


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:29 pm 
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Gaston I thought the banana issue was settled almost 2 months ago. Peel the thing, eat it and let it go. The Iowa's have a slight up-swept stern. My Floating Drydock plans confirm it. Or are you now going to say those plans are bogus and inaccurate too? And now let hear you pump up Nichimo 1/200 models again that are of ships that no one even cares to build. Lets not forget that the 1/200 Yamato they made is an overpriced toy joke.


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