|Here are some observations I jotted down while building the Raleigh and the Austin kits from JAG. Both are in 1/700, and are similar kits, so most of the comments on one apply also to the other.|
The casting was beyond wonderful-- dead flat hull bottom, no air bubbles anywhere, limited flash that easily fell away. Both ships feature indented tie-downs on the helo decks; each hole was perfectly round and symmetrical, not likely an easy thing to cast in resin.
While the photo etch masts are perhaps a bit complex for a new builder, the quality of the casting otherwise makes these kits a hassle-free entry into resin. For experienced builders this means less time spent filling holes and sucking down clouds of resin dust.
The instructions are well-done by any standards and especially well-done
considering what passes for "instructions" on some resin kits. The
only part not clear was the mast, with its multiple PE parts. A full-size
three-view drawing of the completed mast would have been very helpful.
|Otherwise, you can build these alongside the instructions just about the same way you would an injection molded kit. While there is always room for more research, you can build these kits straight out the tube (JAG ships ships in tubes not boxes) and enjoy an accurate, clean-looking ship.|
|The decals went on very smoothly. Some newer builders
might have trouble until they realize the carrier film covers the whole
sheet. Just cut each decal out as close to the colored part as you
can and apply as usual.
The photo etch is also easy to work with. The kit comes with some basic railings (you will need more if you want to include railings all around the various decks), the mast, radar's, safety nets and small boats' cradles (the boats are also included).
One issue to watch for is the scale-thin walls on the gun tubs and parts of the superstructure. The resin is truly thin, translucent in fact. It takes a very light hand not to damage anything. All parts arrived undamaged, but I broke off one of the gun tube walls washing the mold release off.
The included vehicles with the Raleigh are very well done, better than the only alternative, scavenged bits from the Skywave aircraft sets. With the Raleigh you get ten 6 x 6 Trucks, eight AAVP-7's, and three deck tractors and a large mobile crane and forklift. The trucks are the only ones I am aware of in 1/700 and the AAVPs have a bit more surface detail on them than the Skywave versions. The Austin includes only the forklift.
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