I am considering building a 1/350 Tamiya "Prince of Wales" or "George V" using either Pontos PE or the Eduard Big ED PE kit. I am wondering which PE kits are the easiest to use. I have read that the kit is a bit ordinary without PE. Is there any reason the "Prince of Wales" seems to be more popular than "George V". I have a limited experience with fine PE work building 1/32 Tamiya planes such as the mosquito etc. My next question is that in the past I have always improvised with the bending of PE and I now intend to purchase a proper tool. I have been looking at the RP Toolz 13cm Photoetch Bending Tool or the Trumpeter 59MM Photo Etched Parts Bender (Medium). I do realise that this will not be a 5 minute build. My Mosquito took me 4 months and had 104 steps.
Welcome to the "Salty Side" of the hobby!
The Tamiya POW/KGV kit is one of their older 1/350 kits (1980's) but is a great kit quality wise, albeit in need of PE to bring it up to today's standard of detail.
I started my build of the KGV
a few years back and just recently got back to her after taking 2.5 years off
I think the POW is more popular than the KGV because of it being sunk together with the Repulse by the Japanese. Although one would think the KGV should have the greater share of fame, given her involvement in leaving Bismarck a flaming wreck!
I've used both WEM and Eduard PE on my build, but am envious of the Pontos kit, given all the extras it includes. I wanted KGV at 1941 so I had to use the POW kit and modify certain areas to get an accurate representation of her. Even then it's been a case of scrounging around for certain things like UP launchers. The Pontos kit provide all these things.
So it depends what you're really after: What time frame you'll be building to and which ship? Answers to these questions will help you decide which kit and which PE to purchase. The small shop
make what's called a HOLD N FOLD
It's revolutionized my PE bending and I could not imagine building a ship without it!