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MS Essex Review


Jaxboat
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Well, here it is :) . Box is surprisingly heavy. Instruction book and plans are extremely well presented. They are the best executed of any I have ever seen from ME. The instruction book in particular is much better printed than Confederacy. Only glitch is the Label on the front of the box indicates the hull has been machine made :huh:  which is an obvious mistake. Looking forward to building this gem. Congrats, Sam! :D  

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Jaxboat B)

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It looks great. Did not have too much time to go through everything, Having a copy of the original plans is a very nice touch. I also like that your plans often reference the instruction book. ME has certainly added three wonderful kits between your's and Chuck's two. Great kits and excellent instructions. Congratulations!

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Jaxboat

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Thanks Jax,

 

Let me know about the castings. If the guns stayed round,  level of detail maintained on the figure head and your opinion of the galleries (especially). 

 

I'm not fishing for compliments, I'm genuinely interested in how everything is received. The three piece gallery assembly was (and still is) a point of conversation between Charles and myself. In presenting them that way I was trying to achieve consistency of appearance for the builder. I felt they were too small to build in place and I didn't just want to layer on blocks of wood and have the builder(s) sand them out. Way to much margin for error.

 

Sam

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OK, Had some time to take pictures of the kit and contents. There are some teething problems :( . For example, the parts list call for three feet of anchor cable and1 yard each of several diameter tan and black thread. Instead the kit contained three feet of the anchor cable but only 1 FOOT each of the smaller diameter threads :huh: . Sam calls out the thread by their metric diameter in the instructions but ME listed them by their english measure diameter on the parts list.

 

All in all the manual is very good as are the drawings. But there are other minor discrepancies that speak of editing issues. There is at least one photo illustration missing except for its vacant framing box.

Laser cutting looks excellent very clean and sharp

 

The castings are very crude although better than Confederacy's. Still there are opportunities for someone making better resin after market versions

(wink, wink, nudge, nudge, no what I mean!! :P  :P;)  ;)  ).

 

The cannon are mostly ok although some are ovoid and some have off center bores :( . One of the two ship's wheels provided was missing most of a spoke apparently from a poor metal pour. Perversely the other wheel part was one of the crisper castings in the kit. Virtually all of the stanchions were warped to some degree. All in all nothing disastrous but their poor quality detract rather than add to the model.

 

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Bottom line:plans, instructions and anything wood seem ok. Castings are poor and not up to the prototype. Wrong thread size shows lack of detailed quality control and planning on the part of ME. Would I buy the kit again?: yes! most definitely.  Despite the problems, It's a good buy at ME's sale price.

 

:10_1_10: I give Essex 4 stars for subject, instructions, kit design,drawings and value, 1 star for castings (that's generous), 1 star for new kit assembly attention to detail (especially the short sheeted thread lengths) and 3 plus stars for laser cutting.

Best

Jaxboat B)

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As advised, I am reposting this here in this thread--

 

I'm still waiting for mine to ship. Has anyone else received notice of some more recent shipments? That said, I would love to hear what others think of the kit.
Bill M.         

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A real problem in having a model kit in such an odd scale, 5/32", is that you will have a hard time finding replacement twelve and six-pounder cannon in 1:76 scale if the kit guns are done poorly, which apparently they are. Had MS designed the Essex kit in the more common 1:64 scale, the same scale as Portia Takakjian's classic Essex plans and booklet, then you could use a commercial set of 1:64 Essex cannon already available.

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All,

 

As with any newly released kit, we had a few missteps on this one that we're working through with Sam (e.g., misprint on label, few pages of instruction manual, etc.). As usual, if you have ANY issues with the contents of your kit, please do not hesitate to contact us - we'll ensure we make it right just like we've always done!

 

Thanks and enjoy the kit!

 

Eric

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To follow up on Eric's post and answer a few questions that I've been receiving. 

 

There are some mistakes and format issues that developed at the printers from my original manuscript of the ESSEX manual. Eric and Model Expo being the company that they are have asked me to immediately address these with the printer which I am doing currently.

 

Eric has also asked me to work with the casting people to address some inconsistencies that are occurring with the castings.

 

Be assured we'll get these cleared up ASAP.

 

Sam

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Torrens,

Go to the Model Expo website and type "Essex" in the search box. It will come up and you can "preorder" it. There is no discount at present and full price is $499, so you might want to wait. I preordered mine in July 2012 when they advertised a preorder price of $299.

It will be a great kit-- it looks like Sam and Model Expo did a bang-up job on it.

Bill M.

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  • 1 month later...

All,

 

Sam and I spoke regarding the Essex - trying to get it straightened out. With regards to corrective parts, as we have done in the past, we will make the parts available free of charge once ready however, folks will need to call in / email / submit a request. We do this because some folks will inevitably take care of the issue on their own. I will publish the item number here (and on other sites) once we're ready to begin taking "orders" on the updated laser cuts - need to let Sam do the review first prior to ensure there is, in fact, an issue.
 
With regards to the manual, you can download the updated .pdf from our website under the documents tab: http://www.modelexpo-online.com/product.asp?ITEMNO=MS2041 - that is most likely the easiest way to do it. Alternatively, you can call in for the new one once printed.
 
Thank you all again for your feedback, we appreciate you!
 
Eric
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