Discussion in 'First Impressions Kit Reviews' started by Jim Krauzlis, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Sep 26, 2005
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    Hello, all!:)

    Well, I just received from Ralf at Lighthouse Model Art this latest offering from JSC. First, the delivery was quick (thank you Ralf!) and with his usual excellent packaging. Second, my first impression of this new model is, well, it's best summed up by using my daughter's favorite Junie B. Jones expression:
    "Wowie, Wow, Wow!"

    Model Subject: Car Carrier ELBE HIGHWAY

    Scale: 1:400, waterline hull model

    Publisher: JSC "Mikroflota" line

    Purchased from: Lighthouse Model Art

    This kit contains: Eight (8) sheets of parts, one (1) long sheet of printed water, two (2) sheets of clear plastic "railings", eight (8) pages of instructions, and six (6) pages of illustrations and photos to assist in assembly.

    This is a nice portrayal of a modern day commercial ship commonly referred to as a "car carrier." The subject is a recent addition to the Ray Car Carrier fleet, built at the Gdynia SA shipyard, the vessel having been launched on July 16, 2005 and Christened on September 20 (my birthday, by coincidence). It's also one of the latest additions to JSC's "Mikroflota" series, being in the scale of 1:400. This might be considered a bit small by some, but I feel it's a nice scale to build a large collection of ship models in. It's a waterline model, as are all their offerings in this series, but this particular kit provides the added bonus of having parts to construct a pier for use in building a diorama of the ship at berth working cargo! I know there are a few kits offered by JSC that provide parts for a diorama, but this is the first I can recall where they provide parts for a berth, inclusive of a long sheet with pre-printed water for use in making up the harbor scene.

    Folks, I have to say with their recent kit offerings I continue to be impressed with the quality of the JSC kits, and this issue certainly continues in that trend. This is a wonderfully designed kit, quite similar to another great kit they produced last year, the Queen Mary II, and they continue to delight with fine graphics. And, as with the Queen Mary II, they provide clear plastic sheets upon which they have printed the ship's railings...this is a nice touch, and something I now seen a few times with this publisher, so I hope it is indicative of something they will continue to do more frequently with their kits. While I am not sure if I will actually use them when I finally get around to building this kit, it's still nice to have the option to try them rather than having to make rails from scratch or adding etched rails from a secondary source.

    The instructions are in three languages (Polish, English and German), and JSC continues their recent trend of providing vastly improved illustrations to help in the building process...they also have included a few detail photos of selected parts of the actual ship which I imagine is meant to help the modeler to provide additional details to the build. I'm sure those who have bought and even built the JSC line in the past recall the sometimes sparse illustrations provided in the earlier kits...I like the way they are going with the better illustrations.

    JSC also provide patterns for a rather large number of automobiles no doubt to be used as part of the diorama, although for the life of me I can't figure out why they insist in having them printed on the outside back cover (except for the one possible explanation I could think of, which is to utilize the glossy external treatment of the cover to provide a glossy finish for the automobiles); I would prefer they be included in one of the internal templates to avoid the possibility of the cover (and the auto templates) being marred in some fashion before the cars are built, but I'm just be nitpicking on what is clearly an outstanding new kit.

    I am very pleased with the overall quality of this kit, based upon my first impression. I hope to be able to supplement this review with a build thread at some point in the near future, but time will tell.


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