I just thought I'd post my first impressions of my new TI Nautilus kit here for anyone interested.
First off, let me say that I was a little dissapointed in the delivery time. My kit was ordered way back in December, and just hit my doorstep April 1st. That's about a three and a half month wait. I kept in touch with Lee throughout the course of the 3 months, and after numerous push-backs on delivery date, finally got confirmation of shipment last Saturday.
That said, I'll get onto the kit.
The model arrived very well packaged in a sturdy cardboard shipping box, held firmly in place by form-fitting foam packaging material. All of the parts fit nicely inside the hull halves, which were banded tightly together by elastic bands to help avoid warpage.
The kit is done in white resin, and the hull halves and wheelhouse are primed in grey spraypaint. There are a few air bubbles, easily taken care of with a little filler. Some rivets exibited air bubbles at the tops, but primer and paint should camoflouge them easily. There appears to be slight warpage of the wheelhouse that heating and spreading will need to fix.
Detail pieces are all resin, which would be far nicer in white metal, but should still be allright. The wheelhouse is fully detailed with interior walls, ships wheel, dive levers, etc...
The deck is done in a separate piece that must be cut out and individually fit to the hull. There are details cast into the upper hull that would show up if you cut out the grating on the deck and replaced it with stainless screen or equivalent (which I am planning to do).
Lee has done the hull plating in a very creative way, overlapping the plates as they would have in the 1800's. This makes for an interesting "scaled" appearance for the sub. He has intentionally modelled in popped rivets and dented plates, again as how late 1800 construction would look.
All in all, I'm very happy with the kit. I have plans to convert it to full RC operation after my 1/32 Nautilus is in the water. I have also owned the Sci-Fi Matters Nautilus, and I personally like the character that the TI Nautilus offers better than the stark "just off the assembly line" look of the Sci-Fi kit.
As Lee is home-based and does each kit one-off, the quality is not perfect, but is easily cleaned up. For the price, I think the kit is worth the dollars. Add to that his exceptional 4 page blueprint set, and you get a very nice package for your dollar.
If anyone has any questions, just e-mail me and I'll be happy to talk to you about it.