Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

HMS Campbeltown

Published: April 22nd, 2011     
HMS Campbeltown
Reviewed by: Paul Helfrich, IPMS# 44577
Scale: 1/240
Company: Revell, Inc.

HMS Campbeltown was originally the Wickes-class destroyer USS Buchanan, DD-131. She was commissioned in 1919 and transferred to the UK as part of the "Destroyers for Bases" deal between the US and Britain in 1940. In exchange for 50 aging "four-piper" destroyers like the Buchanan/Campbeltown (obsolete for fleet duties, but still useful as convoy escorts) for the Royal and Royal Canadian navies, the US got basing rights in the Caribbean and Newfoundland.

HMS Campbeltown is one of the most well-known of the traded ships, as she was famously expended as a floating bomb in the "Operation Chariot" raid by British commandos on the St. Nazaire docks in March of 1942. The purpose of the raid - and it succeeded - was to deny the use of the St. Nazaire dry dock to heavy German units such as the battleship Tirpitz.

Revell's 1/240 four-piper destroyer kit has been around since the 1960s and has been issued many times as the USS Ward, the USS Buchanan, and the HMS Campbeltown. 

United Air Lines DC-4

Published: April 22nd, 2011     
United Air Lines DC-4
Reviewed by: Perry Downen, IPMS# 44000
Scale: 1/144
Company: Minicraft Model Kits

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Minicraft Model Kits for providing this kit to IPMS/USA and to them for allowing me to review it.

In the mid-1930s United Airlines decided they needed a larger plane than the DC-3s they were using. They contacted Douglas Aircraft to develop such a plane. Douglas designed and built a large aircraft they called the DC-4E (E for experimental). It flew for the first time on June 7, 1938. More than twice the size of the DC-3 (138 ft. wingspan and 97 ft. long) the cabin had a wide pressurized cross-section, a tricycle landing gear, and triple vertical stabilizers similar to the Lockheed Constellation. With its four Wright R-1820 engines developing 1450 hp each, it could potentially fly nonstop from Chicago to San Francisco.

Testing and operations projections showed the DC-4E to be costly to build and complex to maintain. In general it was not economically attractive. United and Douglas revisited the requirements and came up with a revised design that was smaller, simpler and used the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp R-2000's.

'58 Thunderbird Convertible 2' N 1

Published: April 21st, 2011     
'58 Thunderbird Convertible 2' N 1
Reviewed by: Walt Fink, IPMS# 2447
Scale: 1/24
Company: Revell, Inc.

Monogram's venerable '58 Thunderbird kit---first released in 1964---has been updated and re-packaged under the "Car Show" banner, meaning it can be built stock or with extra customizing parts in the kit---including a double-bubble clear top of really heroic proportions. Molded in white plastic, the kit has just a couple of fit issues, but is generally an easy build, and despite its age, can hold its own with today's releases.

Since I grew up "back in the day" with these classic cars, I opted to build the kit stock. I had some questions with the instructions' colors for the engine components, so eventually consulted a website for "Squarebird" enthusiasts (www.tbirdranch.com) and though there was a bit of conflicting info there too, I decided to paint mine per the website's Concours table for '58 Thunderbirds---Ford light engine blue block with black valve covers. (Great site, by the way.)

"Vampirella"

Published: April 20th, 2011     
"Vampirella"
Reviewed by: Don Barry, IPMS# 46771
Scale: 1/13
Company: Moebius Models

Cleanly cast in pinkish-tan styrene the kit consists of 16 pieces, including 2 sets of arms and 2 sets of legs, a base textured in wood grain and cobblestone, and an ornamental bat. The fit is fairly good, and the parts snap together firmly, leaving the arms free to move if desired. I glued everything solidly together for this review.

deHavilland DH-60G Gypsy Moth

Published: April 20th, 2011     
deHavilland DH-60G Gypsy Moth
Reviewed by: Keenan Chittester, IPMS# 37021
Scale: 1/48
Company: AModel

First of all, thanks to Amodel and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to build this kit. I received the kit from fellow IPMS Phoenix club member Brian Baker. It had been sent to him for review, but since he only builds 1/72 aircraft he offered it to me to build. The reason that he received it in the first place is that fact that the instructions state that the kit is 1/72 scale. However, the box and kit number indicate that it is indeed 1/48. Since I prefer 1/48 aircraft, I agreed to give it a go.