I’ve broken new ground with this miniature ship, in that I have used an after-market photo-etch set from Gold Medal Models and a reference book from Seaforth Publishing’s ShipCraft series to help me make it look closer to “right.” I’ve added some railings and rigging to ships before, as I discussed in an earlier post, but I have never gotten this specific. I’m still not an accuracy fanatic (no slight intended to those who are!), but I no longer seem to be entirely satisfied with just what’s “in the box.”
My main reason for wanting the photo etch enhancements to a kit like this one was my frustration with the unavoidably clunky polystyrene towers around the funnel, primarily. Although I really like my old Kirishima, it definitely has to fudge the steel lattices on the ship on the searchlight towers between the bridge and the first funnel, for instance.
I thought the Gold Medal Models detail parts answered the call nicely for my Ise, which has far more realistic steel work than my older model. The reference book, Japanese Battleships: Fuso and Ise Classes, was very helpful in keeping my version on track as I diverged from the instructions in the original kit. If I wasn’t sure how to integrate the kit parts with the photo etch, or if I needed to know how the rigging should be attached, I could (and did, many times) look back at the numerous original photos, precise line drawings, and scale model examples in the book.
In its detail and accuracy, my new Ise still doesn’t come close to others I have seen, but I am discovering how satisfying it can be to invest the extra time and resources in a model of this size.