If you enjoy inhaling resin dust, sanding off mold plugs, hacking through crappy instruction sheets and filling in air bubbles, or love someone who does, please stop reading now, as none of these apply to the newest JAG kit, the 1/700 Bainbridge.
JAG once again raises the bar for resin ship kits with a truly flawless piece of molding for the main hull and superstructure. My commercial product came out of the tube dead flat, with no pour stub, no bubbles and no defects-I gave it a quick wash in dish detergent to remove mold release agents and was ready to start construction. No face mask needed. JAG also supplies most of the deck fittings as cast metal, which is very easy to clean up with a sharp hobby knife. The few resin parts were relatively flash free and needed only a little work. Unlike the products of some other makers, this kit comes out of its shipping container largely ready to assemble. I have a family and a real job, and very much appreciate the finished nature of a JAG kit.
Construction was challenging (in a good way), but sets this model aside as not one for a beginner. The missiles, for example, have resin bodies, PE fins (four per missile) and need then to be delicately attached to a cast metal launcher arm. This requires some handy work with delicate tweezers and successful gluing of resin, PE and cast parts. Same for the Bainbridge's elaborate masts and radars-there are 30 parts for the foremast right out of the box, and many of us will add PE railings, rigging and other bits, all mixed media and very small and fragile. The pieces all fit well and the PE folds are straightforward right angles, but require a steady hand. JAG recommends on the instructions that you build the masts as separate, mini kits, and only attach them once completed. I followed this advice, temporarily gluing the masts to a small scrap of cardboard for ease of handling and painting, and only gluing them to the superstructure at the very end of construction.
Use the Overhead Plans
Make good use of the 1/700 scale overhead and starboard side plan views JAG provides to accurately place fittings on the ship, such as the radars, Harpoons and the chaff dispensers. Keeping with the higher skill level expected for this kit, no etched markings or indents are provided to place these parts. The upside is no etched markings or indents to file down or fill in.
Bulkhead detail on this ship is among the finest I have seen cast. Though I added a few hatches here and there, I felt no need to replace the molded on ladders, hoses and other details JAG provided. The crispness of the casting will really reward a modeler skillful with his/her washes and highlighting.
With the Bainbridge, JAG has filled another Cold War niche in 1/700 scale, and has done it with a fine kit worthy of more experienced ship modelers. Well done and recommended!