Reviews of scale model kits.

IJN Battleship Nagato 1941 "Outbreak of War"

Published: January 4th, 2011     
IJN Battleship Nagato 1941 "Outbreak of War"
Reviewed by: Tom Pope, IPMS# 47261
Scale: 1/500
Company: Fujimi


In 1941, the IJN battleship Nagato(already 21 years old and 5 years after her last major re-fit) was the flagship of the Combined Japanese Fleet, flying the flag of Admiral Yamamoto. On 2 December 1941, Nagato transmitted "Niitakayama nobore 1208" to the fleet, which translated into "Climb Mount Niitaka on 12/08" (12/07 Hawaii time).

In mid-2010, Fujimi released a 1/500 scale rendition of Nagato, as she appeared in 1941, at the 'Outbreak of War'.

First, many thanks to Fujimi for providing this kit for review. This kit is well thought-out, engineered and designed and features excellent detail and fit for a 1/500 scale kit.

In the Box

Inside the box are 21 sprues of gray, black and clear individually bagged parts, a 9 1/4" x 14 3/8" instruction booklet, decals, a metallic nameplate label, a length of anchor chain and a 1:1 size, 5-view color chart for reference.

Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 Refit

Published: January 4th, 2011     
Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 Refit
Reviewed by: Dave Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Scale: 1/1000
Company: Polar Lights


It's hard for some of us to believe it's been nearly a half-century since Star Trek's debut in 1964.  Over the decades, the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701, has arguably become the most recognizable, esteemed, and influential vessel in intergalactic travel -- so influential that even the first NASA Space Shuttle bore her name as the result of a massive write-in campaign from Star Trek fans in the mid-1970's.

Her incarnations have been many, starting with the original "made for TV" Constitution-Class NCC-1701 in 1964, "refitted" in 1979 for Star Trek the Motion Picture, carbon-copied as NCC-1701-A in a sequel, then finally being outright up-classed in the form of the  Excelsior-Class NCC-1701-B in Star Trek - Generations in 1994.  Other Starfleet vessels bearing the Enterprise moniker have followed, and proceeded, but the "Refit" version from the 1980's movies is the subject this offering under the Polar Lights brand from Round2 Models.

The "Mongoose" 75 Plymouth Duster NHRA Funny Car

Published: January 4th, 2011     
The "Mongoose" 75 Plymouth Duster NHRA Funny Car
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/25
Company: Revell, Inc.


"The Mongoose" is a name that conjures up a lot of memories for me. I remember the Hot Wheels renditions of the "The Snake" and "The Mongoose" as any Hot Wheels collector worth their salt had those cars in their case. What I didn't realize at the time was the marketing savvy behind those shiny little toys cars. As it turns out, Tom McEwen, the driver of "The Mongoose," was a master of promoting drag racing and one of the key figures in developing sponsorships that although common today, were a novel idea in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Toms racing career would span 40 years and while he didn't accrue the winning record of his nemesis Don Prudomme, the rivalry Tom created with the Snake and the Mongoose has become the stuff of drag racing legend.

The Kit

Italian Regia Marina Motor Torpedo Boat M.A.S. 568 4a serie

Published: January 3rd, 2011     
Italian Regia Marina Motor Torpedo Boat M.A.S. 568 4a serie
Reviewed by: Rick Bellanger, IPMS# 35220
Scale: 1/35
Company: Italeri

Please read the in box review (published earlier) for the history and a parts break down of this interesting kit.

The kit goes together without any problems. I followed the construction sequence as recommended with the following exceptions. I left the clear glazing (windows) off until final assembly. This made painting the bridge and deck house area a lot easier and I also left the life rings off until final detail due to them being an orange color and hard to paint with them installed.

I decided to do the MAS 563 version because of the colorful paint scheme. I followed the recommended painting instructions and guide. Model Masters paint was used almost exclusively. Light Ghost was used for the majority of the hull and fittings and Gunship grey for the deck. I painted the aerial recognition stripes on the bow before adding any deck detail.

The model was a dream to build. I used NO putty of filler. All the parts went together very nice and all seams were sanded smooth with very little effort, especially on the torpedoes which are always a problem.

Fiat CR 42CN/J11 Falco

Published: December 31st, 2010     
Fiat CR 42CN/J11 Falco
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/72
Company: Pavla Models

The Aircraft

When the Germans were bringing out the Bf-109, the British had the Hurricane and were bringing out the Spitfire, and the USA had the P-40 and P-39, Fiat introduced the last biplane fixed gear fighter produced in any large numbers. Although the Falco was pretty much outclassed in speed, it was structurally very strong and highly maneuverable. It remained in service through 1944.

The CR 42 remained in production through 1942, and participated in the Battle of Britain. They were used by the Luftwaffe on the Eastern Front and by Italy as night fighters, even though they had no radar or radio. While I'm still doing some research, apparently a Gladiator and CR 42 were in combat in December of 1940, probably the last biplane dogfight.