Looking for JSC 1:400 suggestions

Discussion in 'Ship & Watercraft Models' started by mellotronage, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. mellotronage

    mellotronage Member

    Hey, there~

    I've had a bad experience with JSC's DREADNAUGHT kit. However, I am looking to go back and try another JSC kit.....with YOUR help and suggestions. Help me out, please?:roll:

    I'd like to read about your positive experiences with JSC, no matter the subject matter; warships, merchant ships or ocean liners in the 1:400 line.
    I need a good jumping point in order to consider buying from JSC again.
    I've been told that the JSC kits that have the red ribbon atop the front page may be the better of the JSC line of kits- better engineered and without as many headaches.
    Which ones can you folks suggest for me? Thanks!!
  2. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    The Red ribbon series is the more current models, I've built up the Graf Spee, King George V, Hood and the Indy without any major issues. The Card escort carrier had a few minor fit issues with the flight deck support girders but otherwise fit well. The only thing I really hate about the JSC line is their hull method.
  3. Andrew Austin

    Andrew Austin Member

    I can recommend the IJN Yamato - it is a bit difficult in some places (lack of detailed instructions). But the model is very good - printing and fit are all fine. I will be posting some pictures as soon as it is finished (only the rigging left to go!).

  4. JHS

    JHS Member

  5. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    I've enlarged (1:250) and built the USS Helena, Z-32, and USS-Blue without anything severe in the way of fit problems. When I made the enlargements, though, I scrapped their method of framing and drew my own eggcrate framework.
  6. JHS

    JHS Member

    I can understand your changing the internal structure on the HELENA!
  7. Teamski

    Teamski Member

    HMS Dreadnought's framing is pretty complex in itself. Luckily, I have been able to dodge the minefields it presents! There are quite a few simpler ships out there to build. I recommend working with smaller ships along destroyer lines. Their superstructures are easier to build and the hulls are simple. Heck, I bet you will find just about any other ship easier to build, hehehe....

  8. Winky

    Winky New Member

    I've got a few JSC kits. The newer ones with the red ribbon definitely look much better. I will only comment on the ones I have actually built.

    Hood - fairly decent. There are a few errors, but nothing major that can't be fixed. As with all JSC kits there are a few parts that leave you scratching your head as to exactly where and how the part is suppose to go together. This is mainly due to the rather spartan instructions. The hull was the biggest pain where some parts were a bit inaccurate (could be because of my limited skills). The torpedo bulge was a major headache and could have been designed better.

    Mikasa - an easy built that was quite nice overall. Not as many pieces as some of the bigger ships, and ,thus, a much quicker and easier build. Again there was a bit of struggle with the hull where the pieces did not quite fit together properly. Other than that everything else was OK.

    Bismarck. I am only half way done. Everything including the hull seems to fit together well. Again due to the rather sparse instructions and greater number of parts, there are a few instances of where and how do I put this part together.
  9. paulhbell

    paulhbell Guest

    I have a jsc Hms Invincible 1:400 scale. It's not a bad kit, but I would not rave about it. I scaned the sheet's to have a practice build first, as this is the first card model I have bought and I am glad that I did scan it then as It needs some extra work to build it.

    It's on hold at the moment as I have other models on the bench at the moment.
  10. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    Has anyone built the USS North Carolina? I have it, but am hesitant as I'm a complete ship noob. It's not a "red band" one - Nr 12 so it must be pretty old. Am I better off starting ships with something in freebie-land?

  11. JHS

    JHS Member

    My first was a Wilhelmshaven !:250 LEIPZIG, 2nd was a Wilhelmshaven 1:250 LUTZOW---when I was 12 way back in '65. Both came out pretty well. I am not a big fan of JSC. They have fit and accuracy problems galore---at least the old ones. I am contemplating trying to build their brand new 1:400 RENOWN. I would recommend starting out with a good model from a good company, like Wilhelmshaven, because you can be reasonably sure the model will go together as designed! JSC models can be a challenge to even experienced builders.
  12. scharnhorststeel

    scharnhorststeel New Member


    The red ribbon is a good indicator that the kit is a newer one. The only ones I can think of that isn't cad drawn that has a red ribbon is JSC-031 Z-10/T-24 combo and the 1:250 U-35. There are probably others, but most of the 1:400 with ribbons are newer productions.

    The newer owns come with English instructions to (You can see the little Union Jack Icon in the top right had corner of those.)

    The difference between the old kits and the newer ones is night and day.

    I agree that the hull structure of JSC kits can be a nightmare, but it's there attempt to give you torsional rigidity and dimensional stability. The frustration and confusion are just an added bonuses ;-)

    Ones I would recommend include:

    If you're into Liners or Commercial Ships...

    JSC-021 Mauretania
    - can be built as 1 of 4 versions including a Hospital and Dazzle pattern Troopship.) Make sure you get the newer ribboned one. The old one is prehistoric and doesn't have these options.

    JSC-085 Elbe Highway
    - Looks challenging and builds into a very unique subject. It also comes with railings printed on clear acetate.

    JSC-081 Basto III
    - It's a ferry, a simple build, colourful, dirt cheap... need I say more?

    If you like Big Guns...

    JSC-072 Gneisenau
    - This kit builds TWO complete versions. It's a bargain.

    JSC-079 Yamato
    - Award winning in it's year. A lot of parts. The Main Turrets are models in themselves.

    JSC-028 Bismarck
    - Hey, it's Bismarck... Yamato and Bismarck are uncommon subjects (lol). It's simpler than Yamato by far, but still makes a striking kit for a 1:400. Make sure you get the newer one (comes with U-556 too.) Turret tops are yellow, so if your in the grey-turret-top camp, you will have to make your own.

    JSC-052 Bolzano
    - It's a dazzle painted Italian CA. That's about as sexy as it gets :)


    JSC-076 Zuiho
    - You want colourful? You get colourful. Lots of parts though, so it won't be a quick build. A lot of bang for the buck.

    Nothing wrong with the newer Graf Zeppelin or Shinano either (note that Shinano has about 1.5 million parts...)

    Haven't seen first-hand, but I have them in order...

    JSC-090 Willift Eagle
    - Unique and full-hulled (a first in the 1:400 JSC's I believe).

    JSC-091 Renown
    - This looks to be a real winner.

    Drop me a note if there's a particular kit you are curious about. I might be able to give you a quick "first glance" review of it.
  13. mellotronage

    mellotronage Member

    Thanks for weighing in, guys! FYI, I did take the JSC plunge again- with the Edmund Fitzgerald kit.
    The kit looks to be less complicated than many of the other in the JSC line, so I thought that it may be a good reintro for me.
    I've also ordered Schreiber's 1:400 Titanic and Niew Amsterdam, having been pleased with their Vaterland kit.
    She's now about 90% finished, I've just added the 30 some lifeboats. The masts and rigging are next on deck...
  14. JHS

    JHS Member

    Good luck!
  15. 57townsman

    57townsman Member

    Hey scharnhorststeel,

    Do you have any comments about the Grossdeutchland? It looks like a large kit and difficult to build.

  16. scharnhorststeel

    scharnhorststeel New Member

    JSC-075 GroBDeutschland

    I like it! It's big and brawny (basically a Bismarck on Steroids. ;) )

    I have a thing for never-builts, and the JSC H-39 is good one. It's a bit simpler than Yamato as it has slightly less detail (hey it was never completed so details are sketchy I guess.) However, a little less detail than the JSC Yamato still means quite enough for a 1:400 card model.

    The disruptive pattern is done in pastel shades that looks more in scale than their Tirpitz. That gives a better scale effect.

    The hull structure is a bit involved but not impossible. It uses the triangular keel for rigidity. As a larger kit, the waterline outline is defined by a base plate so that will eliminate the need to create your own (or risk getting that wavy curtain look to the hull.)

    Here's a construction report with a good jpg of the hull structure:


    The bow deck edges are rounded and that is replicated in thinner paper. This looks to be a the challenging part to get just right. The 40cm main guns are also printed on the thinner stock (as in Yamato.)

    Here's another construction report with some jpgs of the bow structure:


    You get a choice of secondary armament. Either a combination of 15cm and 10.5cm as on the other capital ships, or, you can build GroBdeutschland with 12.8cm dual purpose secondaries.

    The only thing I think is missing is a second subject. I guess since the kit is so large, there's no need to include another kit. I would have been nice to include some Luftwaffe 1946 aircraft just for kicks!

    Anyways, it's a worthy kit and not as many parts as say Shinano. Just remember to clear out enough shelf space for it. :)
  17. chapuzas100

    chapuzas100 Member

    Hello Mellotronage.
    At the moment I am mounting the escort carrier USS Card.
    By my experience I recommend that you began with easy models (In the www.jsc.pl page you can see difficulty level)
    Also I advise to you that before sticking the inner part of the helmet, review its length with respect to the outer pieces.
    This adjustment is very important and some times the pieces are superposed and they are not well.
    I hope you understand my commentaries. A greeting
  18. 57townsman

    57townsman Member

    Thanks for your insightful comments and links to the build threads. After seeing all this I think I will order a copy :)

    Thanks again
  19. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

    Thanks for the write up and pointer to the kartonbau forum about the Grossdeutchland Project H39.
    Your description and the forum pics were enough to make me buy this kit.
    I think I bought the last copy from papermodelstore as it's not there any more, since my order.
    I also bought Scipione Africano. I bought it on looks alone as I really like the paint job on the cover pic.
    Do you know anything about this one?

    Again, thanks for all the great information.

  20. scharnhorststeel

    scharnhorststeel New Member

    JSC 059 Scipione Africano and Antonio Pigafetta

    Your welcome :)
    This site is fantastic and I'm glad I can add to it.

    You'll be happy with project H39. JSC 072 Gneisenau built as the "modernized" 3 x twin 38cm version will make a great companion to GroBDeutschland (and you still get another Gneisenau to build out of that kit too.)

    Hobbyfactory still has some GroBDeutschland's in stock (at only $14.49 US too.) Gneisenau is there too for about a buck more.

    Scipione Africano
    The artwork is enticing. You have a sharp Eye and you need that as well as an equally sharp X-Acto.

    On the good side
    Scipione is one of the finely detailed kits of the newer JSC offerings. Some of the parts are minute and should add to the overall appeal of the build. The DD that accompanies Scipione is a gem too. The turrets on it are open in the back (i.e. they are only splinter shielded) and have the base and gun cradle included.

    As with all the newer "red banner" kits, the print is digital and quite fine. I find it especially so with JSC 053 Bolzano and this kit. The colours look very good and in scale. Hopefully JSC 029 Muzio Attendolo will get a similar re-rendering soon.

    You will like the way the ship's boats are done. Instead of the usual "slice of melon" solid representation, you get an internal floor as well as a separate deck (which you cut out the sections between the seat planks.) Then again, I figure that most ship boats were tarped over in service anyways, so one could do fashion a tarp out of paper to hide the "solidness" of the more primitive style.

    Some very minor gripes (very minor)
    The really small bits require a pretty tiny radius (check out the depth charges and capstans.) Rolling may be a challenge on the card that it is printed on. One could scan-and-reprint onto thinner stock, use a bit of steam, etc...

    Being a smaller vessel, JSC doesn't provide a waterline horizontal plate. Personally, I find that all kits should have this defined since even small spans between formers tend to scallop. Your brain/eye will pick this up and take away from the illusion of a 1:400 vessel.

    There is no keel beam as the sides of the hull are used to provide rigidity. I would spend a little time and build a proper base plate (and perhaps even a box girder keel for torsional stability)

    One of the finer kits in the JSC 1:400 line-up. Small bits could be a bit of a challenge (but the well worth the effort.) Doesn't have a waterline horizontal plate.

    Well worth it.

    Hey JSC, how about a Littorio or a re-rendered Conte di Cavour?

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