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Welcome to the IPMS/USA 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 Reviews page!

U.S.S. Excelsior

Published: May 25th, 2017     
U.S.S. Excelsior
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1:1000
Company: Round 2 Models

The U.S.S. Excelsior has been a Star Trek favorite for quite some time now - one of the most elegant designs ever made for the Star Trek universe. I didn't notice this at first, but the designer was strongly influenced by the 1930s Art Deco Streamline Modern style, which features rounded shapes with straight fluting - quite a retro look when you stop and think about it. I remember a friend of mine, upon first seeing the Excelsior in detail, quipped "This model isn't so much a spaceship as a fashion statement." When you look at the extensive use of piping and other fine details, it's hard not to see his point.

AMT released a model of this lovely ship quite some time ago - almost 20 years, if recollection does not betray me. As a hard-core Star Trek fan and modeler I built this kit when it first came out, and still have it in my collection today.

However, Round 2 has really done this model justice on their re-release, updating and refining the parts to give the modeler the basis for a really stunning rendition of this iconic ship. A quick review of the redesigned parts reveal:

Convair Class VF Convoy Fighter: The Original Proposal for the XFY-1 Pogo

Published: May 25th, 2017     
Convair Class VF Convoy Fighter: The Original Proposal for the XFY-1 Pogo
Author: Jared A Zichek
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Retromechanix

This book covers the proposal in 1950 that lead to the XFY-1 Pogo, the Convair Class VF Convoy Fighter! This called for an aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing from ship and shore to protect ships in a convoy from enemy aircraft. The Convair design was one of a total of five that the Navy received.

The book is logically laid out beginning with an introduction to explain the history of the concept, and then goes directly into the Convair proposal. Cutaway drawings showing the aircraft internals, the seat adjustment for takeoff and landing, general description and so on are provided.

The many technical drawings show armament, engine layout, assembly breakdown. In addition there is discussion for a proposal to the US Army for an observation version of this aircraft for that service. This was ultimately rejected. Color drawings of this can be found on the back cover. The book concludes with discussion and drawings of the Gamby Vertigo plane of 1933, an early VTOL tailsitter aircraft design.

Lancaster

Published: May 24th, 2017     
Lancaster
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
Company: Osprey Publishing

This book is a condensed history of the Avro Lancaster. What would come to be the mainstay of Bomber Command has its lineage traced from the beginnings of the failed Manchester design into the most famous of Britain's WWII bombers.

The book is broken down into five chapters plus an introduction. The chronology section lasts three pages and lists all important dates from the Air Ministry specification of July 1936 that lead to the Lancaster's development through to the 1956 retirement of the Lanc and the 1963 retirement of its follow-on the Lincoln.

The design and development chapter begins not just with the Manchester but also discusses how the development of long range bombers had been held back since the Handley Page Heyford in favor of medium ranged twins. This section takes you through how its life started slowly and disappointingly with the Manchester to being a legend for the RAF.

F-4J Phantom II & F/A-18F Super Hornet "Jolly Rogers" (2 kits) Limited Edition

Published: May 24th, 2017     
F-4J Phantom II & F/A-18F Super Hornet "Jolly Rogers" (2 kits) Limited Edition
Reviewed by: Dave and Camden Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa USA

Background

Of all of the US Naval Aviation fighter squadrons, VFA-103 has one of the most recognizable color and markings schemes since the Vietnam War. Nicknamed "The Jolly Rogers, " the squadron boldly sports black and gold unit markings featuring the legendary "Jolly Roger" skull and crossbones. "The Jolly Rogers" were formed in 1944 as VF-17, and saw action under numerous squadron designations throughout their history. From the Vietnam War era through 1995, VF-84 claimed the "The Jolly Rogers" moniker. Upon VF-84's inactivation in 1995, VFA-103 took up the "Jolly Rogers" mantle to keep a rich Navy tradition alive.

Represented in this 2-kit set are 2 legendary aircraft originally conceived by McDonnel Douglas -- the F-4J Phantom II and the F/A-18F Super Hornet. The F-4J was the Navy's primary fighter-bomber during the Vietnam and into the mid-1970's until replaced by the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. Ironically, the F-14's replacement was the F/A-18 Super Hornet, which has seen ongoing operations in the Global War on Terror.

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