Reviews of scale model kits.

HMS M1 Submarine

Published: June 16th, 2019     
HMS M1 Submarine
Reviewed by: John Noack, IPMS# 23017
Scale: 1/700
Company: OKB Grigorov

HMS Submarine M.1 was an innovative but ill-fated attempt to overcome the poor performance and high per-shot cost of contemporary torpedoes. The unique solution was to add a 12-inch Mark IX gun, initially intended for battleship use. The gun was to be fired at a flat trajectory on the surface, or even at periscope depth (!) through use of a simple bead gunsight. 3 of the 4 M-class vessels that were ordered were actually completed, but operational results were poor at best. To reload, the sub had to surface, and it has been reported that the Royal Navy was reluctant to risk the possibility of German replication of this concept. M1, the first in the class, did not see wartime service, and sadly was lost in a collision with a Swedish transport vessel in 1925, and was discovered again in 1999, reported in a BBC television documentary airing the next year.

Yokosuka MXY7 OHKA Model 22

Published: June 16th, 2019     
Yokosuka MXY7 OHKA Model 22
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun

Brengun has released a few different kits of the Ohka and in several scales. This is the latest which is the Model 22 and in 1/72 scale. This was a purpose built rocket powered Kamikaze attack aircraft. It was used against allied ships towards the end of world war two.

In the box is:

  • 1 light grey sprues
  • 1 clear sprue
  • 1 decal sheet
  • 11 x resin parts
  • 1 instruction booklet

The sprue is well molded with very little flash and great detail. The resin parts are to allow you to make the three aircraft wooden stands used to support the aircraft ready for fitting to the carrier aircraft.


First is the construction of the cockpit the one half of the fuselage which is well detailed for the scale. I did add some more detail to the instrument panel as it needs some to give it more realism.

The next stage is the addition of weight in the nose, which I do feel was not required when mounting on the provided wooden stands. The fuselage joins need a little filing and you need to be careful lining it up correctly.

Lois & Co. Monowheel Mk.I

Published: June 13th, 2019     
Lois & Co. Monowheel Mk.I
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1:35
Company: Weird Armies Reign (WAR)

Monowheel Background (from the instructions)

Lois & Co. was a British industrial combine, a group of businesses manufacturing military and sporting bicycles, motorcycles, iron castings, machine tools, and hard chrome process. It was founded by Spencer Lois, who had a passion for new innovative ideas, in the city of Birmingham.

Motor bicycles were added to bicycle products in 1910. The Lois & Co. Monowheel Mk.I was exhibited at the 1913 Olympia Show, London for the 1914 season. In November 1916 Lois & Co. launched their first military monowheel after a big contract with the British Ministry of Armaments.

The British Army version was armed with a Lewis machine gun mounted on a side swing arm. The ability of the monowheel to overcome trenches along with its high-speed performance and great firepower made it very popular with troops. Hundreds of monowheels were given to the French army (who mounted the FM Chauchat), ANZAC and Greek army as military aid. Several monowheels were captured by the Imperial German Army and Ottoman Army who rearmed it with the MG 08/15.

English Electric Lightning F1/F1A/F2/F3

Published: June 10th, 2019     
English Electric Lightning F1/F1A/F2/F3
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Airfix

Thanks first off to Hornby/Airfix for sending IPMS/USA this kit, and keeping the brand alive! If you have not built one of the new Airfix kits, you need to get over to the store and buy one, or several. HELP KEEP THEM IN BUSINESS, as Airfix has many economical and fantastic kits. Kudos to John and Phil to providing it to me to review.

Airfix's re-release of their venerable 1/48 English Electric Lightning kit is a welcome return of an old friend, not one of their newest molds. When originally released in 1997, the kit was considered ground-breaking with "state-of-the-art" molding technology. The parts fit was lauded as best available, with detail impeccable for the time. This kit and the Spitfire Mk 22/24 and Seafire FR46 were the "new Airfix" in the late 1990's for a short time, but this kit was one of the best at the time.

The Lightning F-1/1A was first out the door, with its small fuel tank on the belly. This kit was rapidly followed by the F-6 with a totally new fuselage with large underbelly tank and over-wing tanks as optional parts, including gun panels for the lower fuselage tank area for the few fitted with that setup.

Aero Commander 560

Published: June 9th, 2019     
Aero Commander 560
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/72
Company: Croco Models

The Aero Commander line of medium twin-engine aircraft began with the Model 520 first flown in 1948. Designer Ted Smith used design cues from his work on the A-26 Invader in formulating the Aero Commanders layout. Known for stable handling characteristics and seating capacity, the Aero Commander proved its utility in service. The 560 series introduced more powerful engines and a swept vertical tail. In its later variants, the Commander would gain PT-6 turboprop power. Notable firsts for the type include the U S Air Force purchasing some designated L-26 or U-4 to carry President Eisenhower, the first medium twin authorized to carry the POTUS. Perhaps the most famous Aero Commanders were flown by the legendary Bob Hoover. His routine included full aerobatic maneuvers with two engines, one engine, and no engines!