Thursday, March 19, 2015

Resin Kit Review: Cozmo Heavy Industries 1:2500 Constellation Class

NOTE:  You can click on most pictures to get a larger view of them.

I'd like to jump back into looking at the resin kits that I have built.  The next one I want to review is a brand spanking new one from Cozmo Heavy Industries.  I say it is brand new because he just recently got done retooling a master when his friendly dog decided to eat the last master.


I am speaking of his 1:2500 scale Constellation kit.

C.H.I.'s eBay Advertisement

Normally I would not have bought this kit.  I typically only build models to fill gaps in my collection with ships that I can't buy already built and painted, like Eaglemoss, Hallmark and Hot Wheels.  I follow Jay, who owns and operates C.H.I. over at his FaceBook page and was entertained by his buildup of this ship.  So, I figured I'd give it a go.

The kit comes with a total of 20 pieces and includes a nice looking stand base.  The ship also comes with some decals to help accent your build.  The final ship measure in at around 11cm when completed.

USS Gettysburg (NCC-3890)
Constellation Class

1:2500 Cozmo Heavy Industries Kit

 
 
 
 
DeepSpace Pat's Paint Scheme

The kit comes with oodles of greebles which allows you to customize your ship with various subtle differences.


The primary hull required very little clean-up as far as the excess resin goes.  As you can see, the greebles come on a sheet, however, the excess resin is very thin and easy to trim with a pair of scissors and an exacto knife.

Incidentally, when cutting out your parts, don't make my mistake and throw these parts away.


They are not excess sprue, but rather potential greebles for the underside of your ship.  I ended up digging through my trash to find these.

The nacelles proved to be a challenge when it came to trimming them.

The area where the supports connect to the nacelles is very thin and I ended up accidentally snapping off a nacelle on each assembly.  One broke while I was washing the kit and the other assembly snapped while I was trimming off the sprue.


I ended up fixing the issue by supergluing the nacelles back on.  I then filled the weak part on the "underside" of each assembly in with a tiny bit of putty.

When I refer to the "underside" of the assembly, I am referring to the side that faces in towards the ship and faces the opposing nacelle.  The "underside" has the notch that will fit into the support pylons.

I spoke with Jay about this problem and he had this to say, "Yeah, that is going to be a weak spot.  When I made that joint stronger, it didn't look right.  I am going to mold a few this weekend and will check the mold to see if there is something that can be done."  So as you can see, he is aware of the problem and trying to rectify it.

If you are getting this kit, my recommendation is to double check the joints before you wash or trim the assembly.  Hold the part up to a light and if the light is bleeding through, dabble some superglue into the seam on the "top" side and fill in the seam on the "bottom" side with some sculpting putty.

Other than the nacelle issue, this kit is super easy to assemble.  Jay has put a lot of thought into how the pieces connect to each other.  Normally, when working with resin kits, you need to be super patient and hold parts in place for a minute while the super glue sets.  With the notches that Jay has molded into the kit, I only needed to add the glue, place the part and it held by itself.  It turned out to be one of my more enjoyable resin kit builds.

The stand base that comes with the kit does not come with a rod.  If you are new to my reviews, be sure to check out the link to my DIY article on making a rod.  I also cover Jay stance on stands in the section of my article about the garage kit maker.

Conclusion

Overall, this is a great kit.  The molding is crisp and the greebles are nicely detailed.  

At this point in my review, I always like to give my opinion on whether this would be a good kit for a first time modeler or first time resin kit builder.  I have to be honest, I am really on the fence here. 

Given the ease of building this kit, thanks to the notches, I would actually say that a first timer could have a go with this kit with minimal issues.  HOWEVER, the issues I had with the thin resin along the nacelles became a bit of a challenge that I'm not sure a first timer would be able to handle without some frustration.  Given that Jay is aware of the issue and working on trying to fix it, chances are you won't have the same problem I did, however, there still is that chance.  I will leave the final call up to you the reader.  If you are new to the hobby, but think that you can handle that potential issue, then by all means, get the kit.  If you are an experienced builder, then by all means get the kit.  Even with the issue, this kit is still worth the money and you will end up with a cool looking version of a Constellation.

I hope you found this article as useful and informative as I did while writing it.  Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or suggestions below.

So, for now, "Live Long & Prosper!"

Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:

Helpful Hint Articles




NOTE: If you are new to my reviews, then please read on.  This section talks about the garage kit maker that made this kit as well as a little about why I'm writing this review.  If you are one of my regular readers, then feel free to skip the rest of this article as it is a word for word repeat of stuff from previous articles.

Kit Maker Information

Jay who runs Cozmo Heavy Industries sells all of his kits via eBay.  He changes out what ships are for sale every Saturday evening so it is best to check in once a week to see what he has for sale.

Jay also maintains a FaceBook page where he likes to share his work in progress on future kit releases.  I really like this approach as I'm a big fan of behind the scenes stuff.

Lastly, Jay does have a website, but it is more of an informational page about the business and he has hinted on FaceBook that he may be closing down that site.

I find Jay to be a very approachable garage kit maker.  He has a regular day job and uses the business to not only allow him to make new ships for himself but to also help fund his love for the hobby.  If you have ever followed Jay's work, you will know that he hand makes all of his kits from pre-existing parts, and he hand crafts all the other pieces for the ship.  This allows him to produce all sorts of unique model kits.  He loves to talk about the hobby and has lots of good advice about the hobby if you ever ask him for it.  He will usually answer any questions you send to him within a day or two.

C.H.I.'s eBay Seller Profile: CLICK HERE
C.H.I.'s FaceBook Page: CLICK HERE
C.H.I.'s Website: CLICK HERE

When I interviewed Jay about his business, he says that a lot of his kits were designed and made over 20 years ago so he is unsure now just how long it took to make most of them which is why I don't have a lot of behind the scenes information about the kits like in my other reviews.

Jay recently shared on his FaceBook page about his stance on stands.  In it he wrote, "Everybody does theirs different. I use .055" piano wire and not everybody has that size drill bit. Plus, that tiny wire would put a hole in the bag and get lost. I have also seen people use clear rod, or use the base as a badge to apply to a larger stand."  So there you go.  And as I've said in other articles, I have yet to see a resin kit that comes with a rod.

DISCLAIMER SECTION

I consider myself an intermediate model maker.  I'm pretty good with assembling kits these days  and OK on the painting side of things.  I ultimately end up with ships that look good enough to me to display in my collection.  I've found that there are all sorts of neat ships out there that no one has made a pre-built or pre-painted model of, so, in an effort to expand my ship collection I've turned to building them myself, either by kitbashing or purchasing ready made resin model kits.

There are several smaller garage kit makers out there that produce some very good kits.  I've actually developed a good relationship with a couple of them and volunteered some of my time to write up reviews about the kits I've purchased from them.  I have already warned them that I intend to be pretty objective, not pull any punches, and these reviews are going to be written from the point of view of an intermediate model builder.  If this means that I warn away a first time builder from a particular kit, then they will need to be OK with that approach.


Lastly, due to the nature of resin casting, not every kit is going to be the same.  Excess resin and air pockets are a part of the game when you get into this sort of model building.  The kit that I got and built may be slightly different than your kit as far as minor quality issues.  I will still point out flaws with my kit as those flaws could lead into a lesson of some sort for either you the reader or the kit maker themselves.

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