A little help/advice with the selection of a ship kit, please

Hello everyone,
A bit of background. Like a number of you I started building plastic model kits when just a youngster. Did a bit of everything, cars, planes, tanks and ships. Continued building in to my twenties and then fell away from the hobby. Got back in to building maybe twenty or so years ago. Did various subjects, mostly cars and planes. Eventually moved to mostly armor. Around 95% or better being WW II tanks. Still have an interest in different subjects. Lately I have an interest in doing a ship. Even having modeled for a number of years I would classify my skills as intermediate. Around a 4 to 6 on a scale of 10. A few weeks ago I bought the old Revell U.S.S. Arizona kit in 1/426 scale along with 2 1/720 carriers. I wanted to do something cheap to get my feet wet and get a feel for ships. Back when a kid it was, buy a kit, take it home and within the hour it was done. I’d like to do something in 1/350, perhaps an aircraft carrier or battleship. I am a Tamiya kind of guy, that is, easy to build with good fit. I would build out of the box with no after market. My question for the folks here is any suggestions for kits in 1/350 that are easy to build with good fit? A carrier could be WW II or something modern (U.S. for the modern) or a WW II battleship or possibly a cruiser. I’ve been trying to research some kits and some of interest would be the Trumpeter carriers WW II or modern. A Tamiya battleship or the Enterprise also appear appealing. I know that 1/350 are going to be more expensive but need something a little larger as I found out that the 1/720 are a bit too hard on these old eyes and my fingers aren’t as nimble as they used to be. Again looking for something that would be an easy build with good fit. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks & God Bless,
Joe :+1:t2: :+1:t2:

Hi Joe,

Welcome aboard - it is great to see another convert to the floaty side! Even though the kit dates back to the 1950s, the Revell Arizona is actually a fine “get your feet wet” choice for getting into ships - did that build go well?

For something a little more ambitious a 1/350 Tamiya battleship would be a good choice. You will find that these more recent kits are easier builds than the Arizona; all of them score well for ease of build and parts fit; Bismarck/Tirpitz, King George V/Prince of Wales, Yamato/Musashi, and Missouri/New Jersey are all quite good kits. Selecting among these I’d recommend doing whichever is more appealing to you historically. As for detail quality and ease of assembly I’d say Yamato/Musashi and Missouri/New Jersey would have the edge, but really any of them would be a good building experience.

Have fun!


Hello Tim,
Thank you for your response and advice. Not sure I would describe myself as a convert to the “floaty side” just yet. As I stated, I do like the Tamiya kits that I have built in the past. Very enjoyable builds.
I haven’t finished the Arizona kit yet. The main (bigger mast) is proving to be a bit of a challenge and a little frustrating so when I feel frustrated I set it aside for a bit.
The Tamiya kits you mentioned are of interest especially the Missouri and Yamato.
I read some reviews on the Tamiya Enterprise and it doesn’t get the accolades that the modern Trumpeter kits do (Nimitz, Kitty Hawk, Constellation). Do you have any opinions/advice on these? I would really like to do a modern carrier along with a WW II battleship or cruiser. Any experience with the Trumpeter WW II American carriers or Tamiya WW II Japanese carriers?
Again I thank you for you time and help.
God Bless You,
Joe :+1:t2: :+1:t2:

I haven’t finished the Arizona kit yet. The main (bigger mast) is proving to be a bit of a challenge and a little frustrating so when I feel frustrated I set it aside for a bit.

Yes, I too had no end of trouble getting that mainmast assembly to fit when I built the Revell Arizona - fit issues are the norm with these “classic” kits, I’m afraid! Keep at it though; that old Arizona makes for a handsome model once finished.

As for your query about modern aircraft carrier kits, I don’t do a lot of modern subjects and so will defer to others with more knowledge of them…

Not WW2 and not a 'carrier" as such but I have built the Trumpeter 1/350 USS Iwo Jima LHD 7. Combines the best of a carrier deck, hanger deck AND a well deck with amphibious assault boats. Kit went together really well. I added some extra PE but you can get away without it no problem as the kit comes with a good selection. In general, Trumpeter kits are pretty good.

I always say a good feet wetter from Tamiya is their 1/350 USS Fletcher. Its smaller than a BB so you can build it up quicker and its much cheaper too and it looks great even without aftermarket.

I am not sure I would recommend a Tamiya USS Enterprise CVN-65 or New Jersey/Missouri for you just yet. In my opinion they need a lot of aftermarket to get looking good (I have built the Missouri and I have the Enterprise in my stash). Not saying dont get them, just wait to see if some of the smaller, cheaper ships “float your boat :rofl:” so to speak before forking over all that cash.

Hello Tim & McRunty,
Tim - Not happy to hear that you had trouble with the main mast but I guess as the old saying goes, “Misery loves company.” Or possible I could put it this way, I’m glad it isn’t me, as seems to be the case so often. That is one thing about armor modeling, If there is an issue with the fit most of the time it can be hidden with weathering. You mentioned the Tamiya Yamato kit, were there not two issues of that kit? I was thinking there was a second one that was updated and rather fancy compared to the first release.

McRunty - I understand what you are saying about the Fletcher. The thing for me is smaller kits. These old eyes and fingers can add a level of challenge to an otherwise simple/easy kit. I have two 1/720 carriers and they are around 18 inches in length which I guess would be about the same length as the Fletcher. There are a number of small parts which are taking a bit of the enjoyment/pleasure out of trying to build them. I don’t use aftermarket because of my skill level and they are usually very small parts. I am content to build out of the box and am happy doing my best and knowing my work will not reach the level of so many I have seen on the various boards. Any suggestions on a nice “in between” kit? I thought I saw somewhere that Revell had an 1/500 something scale kit of the Missouri.
Thanks to the both of you. Your assistance/suggestions are very helpful.
God Bless You Both,
Joe :+1:t2: :+1:t2:

Joe, you mention that your eyes/figures would struggle with the Tamiya Fletcher but you need to bear in mind those fittings on the Fletcher are still that same size on a battleship as they are the same scale, it’s just the ship overall which is bigger with more of those small fittings. A 20mm on the Fletcher is the exact same size on the Missouri.

Hello Littorio,
Man, I just love dealing with smart people, they make life so much easier. As obvious as what you stated is, it never entered my mind. Well, it could have but there is so much space up there it could easily get lost. Boy, do I feel like a real idiot :blush: :roll_eyes:. I do appreciate you pointing that out. You are a good man stamping out ignorance wherever you find it. :clap:t2: :clap:t2:
Thanks & God Bless You,
Joe :+1:t2: :+1:t2:

I will be honest, I only build in 1/350 scale so have no knowledge about kits in other scales.

If you are not interested in aftermarket then there is nothing wrong with the Tamiya 1945 era Missouri. Just watch out for the deck as its a 3 part construction and is slightly too short so will leave a gap.

If you want to build one of the battlewagons I would suggest HMS Prince of Wales or King George V. They are slightly newer kits so have a bit more detail IMO than Missouri or New Jersey and they go together well. I built Prince of Wales in 2006 in maybe 2 days and had no issues at all with fit. (Said HMS Prince of Wales later suffered a similar fate as her namesake as she was sunk in my swimming pool :smiley: )

Another recommendation is how do you feel about submarines? Low parts count, easy to put together and honestly look really good when they are done.

These guys have like 20 parts and are weekend builds.

Hi McRunty,
I’d like to build something U.S. or Japanese. If it doesn’t fall into one of those two categories it would probably be one of the German ships. I want to keep the build to something WW II unless I go with a modern carrier. A submarine might be interesting. How long would a WW II era sub be in inches? Saddened to hear about your Prince of Wales. Were you able to raise it?
God Bless You,
Joe :+1:t2: :+1:t2:

Depends on the sub. I have only built 1 WW2 sub which was a german Type VII. I think its around 7 inches long.

Hello McRunty,
Thanks for the information. I appreciate it.
God Bless You,