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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!

Executive Board Election Online Voting

Published: June 11th, 2015     
Submitted by: IPMS/USA Webmaster

The online voting for the 2015 Executive Board Election is now open at http://voting.ipmsusa3.org.

Biographical information about the Executive Board candidates is online at http://voting.ipmsusa3.org/content/candidate-biographies.

If you have any questions or issues, please read the Voting Instructions and/or send email to webmaster@ipmsusa.org.

F-86 Sabre Dog

Published: July 27th, 2015     
F-86 Sabre Dog
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/32
Company: Kitty Hawk

Permit me to open this review with a personal story. 

My childhood home town of Iowa City had a tiny little airport – the kind that sees maybe six Cessna's visiting in a week.  However, even this tiny airport managed to have a gate guard, in this case an F-86D Sabre Dog donated from the Iowa Air National Guard, mounted on posts.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the best of shape.  At some point in the past it had lost its canopy, which had been replaced by some artlessly shaped acrylic sheet.  Even so, it seemed to a kid like a proud giant, reaching endlessly for a sky it would never touch again.  Honestly, I loved that gate guardian.

U.S.S. Florida SSGN-728

Published: July 21st, 2015     
U.S.S. Florida SSGN-728
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Scale: 1/350
Company: Dragon Models

History

The USS Florida is an Ohio class Submarine. The keel was laid down on July 4, 1976 and was launched on November 14, 1981. Originally the Florida was designated as SSBN-728 and was converted to SSGN-728. This conversion started in July 2003 and the Florida was re-commissioned in July 2006 as SSGN-728. The USS Florida is still serving proudly today.

The Kit

The kit is molded in light gray plastic. Construction on this model is pretty straightforward with only seven steps. Now this doesn't mean that this is a shake and bake kit. This kit was originally released in 2003 as a SSBN. To convert to a SSGN requires some minor surgery. This is all called out in the instructions and the parts are provided.

The biggest issue that I found was where the two hull pieces came together. This required lots of putty and re-scribing the panel lines. Speaking of the panel lines, they varied in depth so the re-scribing helped even things out. This was the most daunting part of this model, but if done correctly it will turn out very nice.

Sherman In The Pacific War 1943-1945

Published: July 20th, 2015     
Sherman In The Pacific War 1943-1945
Author: Raymond Giuliani, Illustrator: Christophe Camilotte
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Histoire and Collections

Raymond Giuliani covers a fairly rare subject, of the use of the Sherman tank in the Pacific.  This book begins in 1943 as the Sherman began replacing the M3 Stuarts in the Pacific as the US island hopped towards Japan.  The good news is that neither had to face any steel Tigers.  Raymond Giuliani traces the trek across the Pacific island by island and also depicts the evolution of the flamethrower tank.  The book includes over 350 photos, 25 color tank profiles, and 23 maps.  There are spelling errors and interesting grammar choices due to the translation from French, but nothing that will hinder your understanding.

The Introduction covers the transition from Stuart to Sherman with Battalion and Company organization charts before launching into the first chapter, Taupota, New Guinea in October 1943.  Each chapter basically consists of a map of the island with company deployments and progression, nice large sharp photos and descriptive text for each of the photos. Christophe Camilotte’s color illustrations highlight the black and white photos and include color ‘scraps’ to show off custom markings.

Scale Aircraft Modelling July 2015

Published: July 20th, 2015     
Scale Aircraft Modelling July 2015
Author: Many
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Scale Aircraft Modelling

Scale Aircraft Modelling's July 2015 issue focuses on some of the classic British era with everything from new kits, scratchbuilds and older kits.

The articles start with  a test shot build of Revell's 1/72 C-54/DC-4 by Andy McCabe. The over 300 parts are assembled into a gorgeous military transport and the kits looks to be a must have.

Rick Greenwood builds Kinetic's 1/48 AMX kit and reports the overall fit of the kit is good but he did sand down the slightly pronounced rivets on the rear of the plane. He also reported a slight color issue with some of the decals but the result is very good.

Valom's 1/72 Bristol Bombay Mk. I is built by Ernie Lee. This is a mixed media kit with limited run plastic, resin engines and photoetch frets. The finished kit is nice and I love seeing an unusual build.

Tony Grand scratch builds a 1/72 Fairey Delta III. Mr. Grand shows how the fuselage was formed with a side profile and cross sections. Balsa wood was used to form the wings and nose and then entire plane assembled using some spare parts from other kits. The article has a dearth of detail and is worth the price of the magazine.

Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot

Published: July 20th, 2015     
Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/32
Company: Ultracast

For those unfamiliar, Ultracast from Canada does a series of aftermarket parts and pieces for planes but also, makes some beautiful figures and in this case, it is a 1/32 German Luftwaffe Fighter pilot in 1/32nd scale. The kit comes in six parts and is very well sculpted by Mike Good. The kit has two different heads - one with a flying helmet and one with an officers hat. The parts are cast in light tan resin with minimal to no seam line.

I chose to go with the officers hat and mounted the head on a paint stick to hold it. I then added the arms and puttied the seams and mounted that on a painting stick to hold it. The arms seams were filled with Squadron white putty and then smooth with a Q-tip wet with lacquer thinner. I left off the holster for later. Once dry, all the pieces was primed and set aside a day to dry.

McDonnel F3H Demon

Published: July 20th, 2015     
McDonnel F3H Demon
Author: Tony Butler
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Guideline Publications

If you have never have had the chance to review one of Guidelines Warpaint series, here’s a brief description. First they provide a complete and detailed history of the subject including a complete production list of air frames, Squadron which used the plane along with a list of serial numbers and codes and a comprehensive specification list covering the technical aspects of the plane. By this, they have the historians covered. Secondly, they have 1:72nd scale multiple view plans. Also included are detail pictures, pages of superb color camouflage drawings and photography in color and black and white. There is also a list of kits, decal and accessory list. Modelers are covered too.

The Demon book starts with the development jets , No. 58 and 60 that led to the F3H Demon. There are roll out shots and other proposed designs as wells a Data & Airframe table giving measurements and data of all the variants. A good deal of the time discussing development is centered around it engine and lack of power. Another page has overlays of the major variants showing just how much the plane changed throughout its period of use.

PBY-5A Exterior Details

Published: July 20th, 2015     
PBY-5A Exterior Details
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard

Revell’s PBY-5A Catalina has been around for 20 years now and I have seen quite a few built and it looks large and impressive when finished. The kit comes in two styles- the “-5” who has no wheel wells and the “-5A” which does. Eduard has released sets for the PBY-5A which allow improvements to the entire airframe. This set (#48827) addresses exterior details.

The first thing addressed by the photoetched set are the engines which are missing their wiring harnesses. These are well done and easily added but do take some time to get all the wires attached to the cylinders. There is also some grating for the air coolers.

The floats and wing ends get a little more detail with inspection ports on the wings and tie down points on the floats. I am surprised these aren't included in the floats set but that PE fret was packed so there may have been no room.

Avro Lancaster

Published: July 20th, 2015     
Avro Lancaster
Author: Richard Marks
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
Company: Osprey Publishing

This is the 21st volume in Osprey’s “Air Vanguard” series.  A quick look at Osprey’s website shows this is scheduled for an August, 2015 publication date.

The “Air Vanguard” series seems geared to providing an overall view of the subject aircraft’s development, technical specifications, and operational history.  All other titles in this series have been available in various “eReader” formats (at a slightly lower price than the print version), so I imagine upon release that this will be the case for this volume.  A glance at the publishing information in the book shows different ISBN numbers for the PDF/EPub editions, seeming to confirm this fact.

The book is broken down into 4 basic sections:  Design and Development, Technical Specifications, Mark by Mark, and Operational History.  A brief ‘Conclusion’ section wraps things up, and a decent bibliography for further reading is included.

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