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In-Box Review
“Open Lighter, (non-self propelled) YC 728, YC 829”
Battlefleet Models 1/350 Scale Waterline Series, “Open Lighter, (non-self propelled) YC 728, YC 829”

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

In this “inbox style” review, we’ll take a closer examination at resin kit manufacturer Battlefleet Models, 1/350 scale, full resin kit, #BFM 35002, “Open Lighter, YC 728, YC 729”.

The non-self propelled open lighter, or un-powered barge, from before WWII to the present time, were typically in use in most harbors, dockside or shipside, waiting to be put to use in materials moving. Being a non motorized vessel, the lighters rely on tugs or other powered vessels to be pulled or pushed to their destinations. Some lighters are still in use along many major waterways, such as the Mississippi River.

YC 728 Specifications

Delivery Date: 07/02/1941
Award Date: 12/10/1940
Age (since delivery) (At time of disposal): 61.3 years
Keel Date: 05/16/1941
Launch Date: 06/30/1941
Age (since launch) (At time of disposal) 61.4 years
Stricken Date: 12/11/2000

Overall Length: 110 ft
Waterline Length: 110 ft
Extreme Beam: 35 ft
Waterline Beam: 34 ft
Maximum Navigational Draft: 8 ft
Draft Limit: 6 ft
Light Displacement: 120 tons
Full Displacement: 590 tons
Dead Weight: 470 tons
Hull Material: Steel hull, steel superstructure.

YC 829 Specifications

Delivery Date: 12/01/1942
Award Date: 03/01/1942
Age (since delivery) (At time of disposal): 55.3 years
Keel Date: 09/24/1942
Launch Date: 12/01/1942
Age (since launch)(At time of disposal) 55.3 years
Stricken Date: 10/09/1997

Overall Length: 110 ft
Waterline Length: 110 ft
Extreme Beam: 35 ft
Waterline Beam: 34 ft
Maximum Navigational Draft: 8 ft
Draft Limit: 6 ft
Light Displacement: 120 tons
Full Displacement: 590 tons
Dead Weight: 470 tons
Hull Material: Steel hull, steel superstructure.

The Kit, a little closer...

This is the second kit of the “lighter” variant in this scale that I’ve had the opportunity to examine from Battlefleet, and this one is just as unique as the first! A no-nonsense kit, it consists of two resin cast hull assemblies, each one superbly cast with well detailed wood-grain decking, and finely molded bits, as well as open chocks, and these at this scale, are amazingly clean.

The two hulls in the kit are cast with a very thin “wafer flash” all around the circumference of the vessels waterline, which separates very easily and cleanly with just your fingers, leaving only a slight amount of final cleanup needed for this kit-part. Close examination of the casting shows a clean surface, no holes, pits, or nasty air-bubbles to touch up...nice!

In addition to the twin hulls in the kit, there are two more cast sheets, each one holding an assortment (8, to be exact), of barge barricades (movable walls). Each separate section is cast with detailed reinforcement angles evenly spaced along the exterior of each for supreme accuracy. There are six separate straight wall sections, of varying lengths, and two separate corner sections, on each cast sheet provided, giving enough to outfit the two separate lighters. I call this a “cast sheet” as the walls are molded on a wafer thin sheet of resin, which again, can be cut away easily with an x-acto around the circumference. The molding of these wall sections is clear, clean, and top notch.

Each separate kit part comes packaged in a separate sealed plastic bag, then wrapped securely in bubble-wrap for shipment...arrived at my front door in perfect condition!
I really like the “feel” of Battlefleet Models resin; it’s smooth and clean, very dense feeling, yet still light in weight. It trims and sands easily and cleanly as well. Not too brittle, with just enough “give” to it. . .very comfortable to work with, overall.
A three page instruction sheet is shipped with the kit, although the only real assembly of any kit parts is the barricade placement, in which there are two examples given, a good, top view schematic for vessel YC 728, and an alternate placement for YC 829. No paint color references are given here, mates, so you’re going to have to do the research on this matter, although there are a couple of good black and white photos for general reference provided. The manufacturer does provide a web-link for other reference shots and info, and there are some dazzling color photos of completed models on the official company website. A “general instructions” sheet wraps up the writing, with basic resin building tips and techniques.

Highs: Great detail,clean, crisp molding, unique and versatile subject matter
Lows: A bit vague on the instructions for beginning resin kit builders, no specified paint color scheme
Verdict: Overall, another unique and interesting resin kit from Battlefleet Models, to brighten up and add more realism to your next 1/350 scale dock diorama, for sure! The design of the vessel is a general one, so the subject will fit nicely into many different
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:350
  Mfg. ID: Kit# BFM 35002
  Suggested Retail: $20.00 US (set of two)
  Related Link: Official Company Website
  PUBLISHED: Apr 13, 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 ©2020 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 ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Ok. I've got to ask. Why do they call a barge a "lighter?"
MAY 07, 2007 - 05:54 PM
Gator, Ask and ye shall receive Acronym Definition YC Prototype Cargo (US military aircraft designation) YC Open Lighter (Non Self-Propelled) YC Yacht Club YC Yale College YC Yamhill-Carlton YC Yankee Clipper (amusement park ride) YC Yellow Card (soccer) YC Yellowcard (band) YC YiffChat (website) YC Yoshi's Cookie (video game) YC You're Crazy (Guns N' Roses song) YC Young Coders YC Young Company (Creative Marketing Communications, Laguna Beach, CA) YC Youth for Christ YC Yuba City (city in Northern California) "lighterage" (lighter) Definition: (DOD) A small craft designed to transport cargo or personnel from ship to shore. Lighterage includes amphibians, landing craft, discharge lighters, causeways, and barges. light•er•age(ltr-j) n. Nautical 1. Transportation of goods on a lighter. 2. The fee charged for lightering. light•er 2(ltr) n. A large flatbottom barge, especially one used to deliver or unload goods to or from a cargo ship or transport goods over short distances. tr.v. light•ered, light•er•ing, light•ers To convey (cargo) in a lighter. LOL! I've wondered and never asked.......
MAY 07, 2007 - 06:29 PM
"Everything you always wanted to know about Lighters, but were afraid to ask"!... Thanks Frank! ~Gunny
MAY 07, 2007 - 06:54 PM
Ahh, it's a nautical term. Thanks Frank. You know, I've grown up and lived next to a port, ship channel and good size river and have never heard the term lighter before, except in Zippo or Bic. That fancy smancy thing ain't nuttin' but an overgrown river barge.
MAY 07, 2007 - 09:12 PM
I have had this on my want list for awhile. Kriegsmarine Flak Lighter. This thing was a monster as barges go. LINK I will be ordering this in the very near future.
MAY 07, 2007 - 11:27 PM
That's an awesome kit Frank. Can't wait to see that one come together.
MAY 08, 2007 - 05:00 AM

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