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Welcome to the IPMS/USA Product Reviews site!

Introduction: The primary organization of the IPMS/USA Review website is by IPMS/USA National Contest Class. Within each Class there are sub-menus by kits, decals, books, etc. The Miscellaneous Class is for items that are not class specific or that cross two or more classes.

IPMS/USA Members: We encourage you to submit reviews, both here and to the Journal. To volunteer for membership in the IPMS/USA "Reviewers Corps" and submit your own reviews, please read the Guidelines For Submitting Product Reviews.

Manufacturers, Publishers, and other Industry members: IPMS/USA is pleased to offer your company the opportunity for product reviews. All product reviews are performed by IPMS/USA members, and are posted in the publicly-accessible section of our website. With very few exceptions, we perform full build reviews of new kit releases, aftermarket products, and supplies. If you would care to provide product samples for review, please contact David Morrissette, IPMS/USA 1st VP.

Welcome to your new IPMS/USA Product Reviews page!

Deperdussin 1911

Published: October 23rd, 2014     
Deperdussin 1911
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/48
Company: Round 2 Models

Background

Armand Deperdussin made a living as a silk broker but with the help of his technical advisor and designer Louis Bechereau, he built a number of interesting aircraft including the subject of this kit. The 1911 Deperdussin shared some similarities with its contempories such as a monoplane layout with conventional control surfaces except for wing warping in lieu of ailerons, its very shallow fuselage section characterized the Deperdussin. The pilot looked more like he was sitting on top of the aircraft then in it. This particular example was powered by a 50 HP Gnome Omega rotary engine.  The really cool thing about this aircraft is that a real example survives in the Shuttleworth collection in England and numerous utube videos show it in flight.

M61 Vulcan 20mm Rotary Cannon

Published: October 23rd, 2014     
M61 Vulcan 20mm Rotary Cannon
Reviewed by: Mark Aldrich, IPMS# 39295
Scale: 1/35
Company: Master Model

At the end of WWII, The United States Army began to consider new directions for future Military Aircraft guns. The higher speeds of jet powered aircraft meant that achieving an effective number of hits would be extremely difficult without a much higher volume of fire. While captured German designs (principally the Mauser MG 213C) showed the potential of the single-barrel revolver cannon, the practical rate of fire of such a design was still limited by ammunition feed and barrel wear concerns. The Army wanted something better, combining extremely high rate of fire with exceptional reliability.

In response to this requirement, the Armament Division of General Electric resurrected an old idea: the multi-barrel Gatling gun. The original Gatling gun had fallen out of favor because of the need for an external power source to rotate the barrel assembly, but the new generation of turbojet-powered fighters offered sufficient electric power to operate the gun, and the electric operation offered reliability superior to a gas powered weapon.

The British Army Since 2000

Published: October 23rd, 2014     
The British Army Since 2000
Author: James Tanner
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Company: Osprey Publishing

This is a brief, yet very complete, book on the 21st Century evolution and current status of the organization of the British Army. Through five chapters and an introduction the author deals with the changing demands on the British Army and it's evolving structure to meet those demands as well as the changes in the traditional British regimental system. One chapter deals with actual operations and the last one concerns itself with the uniforms. Other equipment such as weapons and vehicles are only dealt with through the captions of the rather small (most measuring only around 3"X3") photos. Ten traditional Osprey full page color plates of uniforms are there as well as explanations of the drawings and one interesting color plate shows all the current badges of the new regiments of the British Army. Its interesting to see them all in one place. A short section at the end of the book on further reading points those interested in the topic to books on regimental badges, MOD updates and the web site for the British Army.

Russian ZiS-30 Self-Propelled Anti-tank Gun

Published: October 23rd, 2014     
Russian ZiS-30 Self-Propelled Anti-tank Gun
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: Mirror Models Ltd.

This is a new one to me; a Russian subject produced by an Irish company and manufactured by a Chinese company.  Corporate politics are beyond me.

In any case, what we’re dealing with here is a conversion of the ubiquitous and trusty little World War 2 Komsomolets artillery tractor into a tank hunter, mounting a hugely oversize 57mm gun.  Apparently only about 100 of these were made and used in the defense of Moscow.  I’ve always been a big fan of little tanks, and this one certainly fits the bill.  Never having made a model from Mirror Models, I was interested in the challenge and wanted to see what this was made of. 

Montcalm’s Crushing Blow: French and Indian Raids Along New York’s Oswego River 1756

Published: October 22nd, 2014     
Montcalm’s Crushing Blow: French and Indian Raids Along New York’s Oswego River 1756
Author: René Chartrand; Illustrators: Peter Dennis Mark Stacey
Reviewed by: Al LaFleche, IPMS# 30337
Company: Osprey Publishing

Background

The French and Indian War as the Seven Years War is known in the United States has gotten short shrift. Having grown up in a bi-cultural setting, French-Canadian and American, this period was barely, if ever, mentioned. Even in my college years, there was little said of this war. Most of us are only familiar with this period through THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. PBS did do a good documentary on the F&IW a few years back called THE WAR THAT MADE AMERICA and this is a good primer on the war and its impact.

It was not a war for cities, but one for territory along the frontier of Canada/New France and the British colonies along the east coast. That frontier ran through central New York State and out to Fort Duquesne (now Pittsburgh.) The French allied themselves with the native populations and their fur trappers adopted many of the ways of the Indians which would serve the Military well. The British generally were not as open to alliances with the people they encountered in North America.

Luftwaffe JG73 Operation Sniper 2003, Mig-29-12

Published: October 21st, 2014     
Luftwaffe JG73 Operation Sniper 2003, Mig-29-12
Reviewed by: Matt Quiroz, IPMS# 42772
Scale: 1/48
Company: Great Wall Hobby

I need to preface this review by saying I had a major setback towards the end of this build. All of the in progress pictures I had been taking were deleted on my computer somehow. I was able to recover some of them, but not all. I did my best to capture what I thought was important during the build. Hopefully the review will still be of use even without those photos’s I lost.

Pz.kpfw. 35 (t)

Published: October 21st, 2014     
Pz.kpfw. 35 (t)
Reviewed by: Ben Guenther, IPMS# 20101
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models

The Pz.Kpfw. 35(t) was one of two light tanks seized by the German army when Germany occupied Czechoslovakia in 1938-39.  Both light tanks were used to flesh out three German Panzer Divisions and were a very important element in the invasions of Poland (1939), France & the low countries (1940) and Russia in 1941.

The Czech firm Skoda was one of the leading producers of munitions, field guns and tanks in the 1930's. Their design of a light tank for the Czech army was the Lt Vz 35, which weighed 10.5 tons, had a 37mm main gun along with a 7.92mm MG in the turret and another 7.92mm MG in the front hull.  It was the equivalent of the German Panzer III.  When Germany took the Czech tanks they repainted them and changed their name to the Pz.Kpfw.35(t), the “t” being German for Czechoslovakia.  The production line was never restarted and by early 1942 the few remaining tanks, with no spare parts, were withdrawn from service.

USS Zumwalt DDG-1000

Published: October 21st, 2014     
USS Zumwalt DDG-1000
Reviewed by: Steve Zajac, IPMS# 34937
Scale: 1/700
Company: Dragon Models

The US Navy’s pending new guided-missile destroyer class looks like something entirely out of a science fiction movie. Known as the Zumwalt class (Admiral Elmo Zumwalt was the youngest officer ever to serve as Chief of Naval Operations, and he led the USN during the time of the Vietnam War), it features a wave-piercing hull and sleek form to reduce its radar cross-section. The first-of-class USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) was launched in October 2013 and she’s expected to reach initial operating capability in 2016 at a cost of about $1.4 billion. Only three 14,654-ton Zumwalt-class destroyers will be built by General Dynamics. With a crew of 142, USS Zumwalt will reach speeds of 30.3 knots. Her armament includes 20 MK 57 VLS missile modules, two 155mm guns and two Mk 46 30mm cannons, plus she will carry two SH-60 helicopters and three MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).  Author's note: the Zumwalt reminds me of the CSS Virginia ironclad.

A3D-2 Skywarrior Big Ed Photo Etch and Mask Set - Part 3

Published: October 21st, 2014     
A3D-2 Skywarrior Big Ed Photo Etch and Mask Set - Part 3
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Once again, thanks up front to Eduard for sending us this set; It’s been a great upgrade, (as you will be able to see) and a worthy investment.   Thanks also to IPMS USA leadership for entrusting such a massive endeavor to my feeble skills…

Here’s the final two sets for the build!

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