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In-Box Review
Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
Battlefleet Models 1/350 Scale Waterline Series, Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

This “first look” style review is of resin ship kit manufacturers Battlefleet Models, kit #BFM-35001, Garbage lighter YG15, YG-17, and YG-21 variants. “Where your Auxiliary fleet comes in”. . .the company motto, and company owner/operator Harry Abbot’s goal, which is to provide the shipwright with new and unique ship modeling subjects.

Located in Aurora, Colorado, BFM produces a fine line of 1/700 scale and 1/350 scale full resin ship kits and accessories, all very unique, with very interesting subject matter and variants. Be sure to take a look at the entire product catalog at the official company website by following the link provided, you’re sure to find a very unique collection of kits offered!

the garbage lighter model...

Quite a unique modeling subject, the Garbage Lighter in history was one of those “behind the scene’s” workhorse crafts, one most notable effort was during, and after the Pearl Harbor attack, came to the help and rescue of our damaged fleet and sailors. These simple vessels risked their own life and limb to fight the fires on the burning ships, and to rescue the overboard sailors, along with the other lighters and tugs that were unscathed in the attack, and docked in the harbor. This vessel was originally designed for the simple task of carrying waste and garbage from the base, far out to sea for a safe disposal, but during and after the attack, all hands were needed, no matter how simple the vessel.

Looking Closer. . .

Let’s take a closer look at the kit at hand, which includes seven resin cast kit parts (including the main hull casting), one small fret of photo-etch brass, and a length of fine brass rod used for the various ship masts. The main hull casting was packaged well protected in layers of bubble-wrap packing, while the six other smaller castings and the brass rod were sealed individually in heavy clear plastic bags, well protected for shipping as well. The photo-etch fret was sandwiched between two heavy strips of cardboard, sealed at each end, and arrived 100% intact at my mailbox.

After un-packaging all of the pieces and laying them out on the bench, the first thing that I noticed was the quality of the resin itself. . .smooth, well cast, and free from pits, bubbles, pinholes, and other defects that I’ve come to expect from resin castings. Overall, high quality resin and great molding/casting procedures are apparent here. The detailing is very clean and crisp, no matter how minute, on the main ship hull casting, with well defined side discharge doors along the hull sides, complete with tiny hinge details, and the attached lower superstructure is cast on-deck showing crisp little porthole windows and man-doors. Other deck details such as bollards, bits, and capstan are very well molded and detailed, especially for their minute size. There is also a really cool little deck winch molded on the port bow of the vessel, very nice detail!

Take a look at the close-up shot of the main hull casting; you will see a wafer thin flashing around the waterline circumference of the hull. This flash separated easily and cleanly, with just my thumb and forefinger, leaving a very clean finish. . .may only need a very light sanding before priming (refer to following photos as well for better example).

Included in the kit are six other resin castings, listed as follows:

I. Bridge/upper superstructure assembly, cast on a wafer thin flash as the hull is, with fine window, door, and roofing details.

II. One stack/funnel, cast semi-hollow, accurate to scale.

III. One searchlight, a very delicate casting, with surprising detail for such a tiny part!

IV. One single work/rescue boat, well detailed, cast with an extremely well don tarp, complete with lifelike looking folds and wrinkles.

V. and VI. These two parts go hand-in-hand, one lug cast holding eight tiny valve pedestals, while the other part has all of the tiny hand-wheels that make up the eight drainage valve assemblies that are mounted topside.

The small fret of brass photo-etch railings are done very well, very clean, accurate, and true to scale, and there is also a small length of fine brass rod supplied to cut to length for the various masts and flagpole of the vessel.

Wrapping up the kit is the four page instruction manual, which provides a few good (although black and white) reference shots, two very clear line drawings of the vessel for assembly aids, both top and side view, with various parts of the ship listed diagram style, as well. There is also a full page “General Instruction” sheet provided, with resin kit construction basics, listed and explained.

Final Conclusions

Overall, this full resin kit from Battlefleet Models did not disappoint, and a full build review will follow shortly, so we can compare our latter findings with these early ones! Combining a very unique subject variant, with top notch casting and workmanship, to bring to the ship modeler a fine example of the Garbage Lighter for his next 1/350 scale waterline diorama. Highly recommended from this modelers point of view!

Many thanks goes out to Mr. Harry Abbott of Battlefleet Models for providing this review sample.

Keep Modeling!

Highs: Great details, quality casting, top-notch quality! An overall great resin ship kit!
Lows: The only low of this kit would be that for beginning modelists, the instructions may be a bit vague.
Verdict: Highly recommended!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:350
  Mfg. ID: Kit#BFM-35001
  Suggested Retail: MSRP-$25.00 US
  Related Link: Official BMK Company Website
  PUBLISHED: Apr 01, 2007
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Battlefleet Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright ©2018 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.


Thanks, Skip, I do agree that this is an odd subject, which makes it all the more unique! You don't see many Garbage Lighter kits on the market, for sure! A really fine looking casting, and kit, as well. (side note, isn't the new slide show style photo feature in the "Reviews" fantastic? Thanks Jim S.!!) Keep Modeling! ~Gunny
APR 02, 2007 - 09:30 PM
That's a very nice kit. I also like their 1/700 offerings. Gator
APR 03, 2007 - 11:32 AM
I agree, Gator...the detail and quality of the resin is top-notch...I am planning on a full build feature to make a comparative analysis of findings. ~Gunny
APR 03, 2007 - 09:08 PM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.

What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    Contents of this set
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    Easy removal of the hull film
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    Cleaned Hull
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    Bridge Part
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    Garbage Lighter stack part
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    the ships boat
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    SearchLight part
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    Valve uprights parts
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    Valve hand wheels parts
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    PE fret
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    Reference photo - during December 7th, 1941 in Pearl Harbour
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    Another reference photo
  • Garbage Lighter YG15,YG-17,YG-21
    An excellent example of what can be made using a Garbage Lighter