Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Ancient Greek Medusa

Published: May 22nd, 2018     
Ancient Greek Medusa
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/24
Company: Master Box

MasterBox continues to floor me with their bold choices of modeling subjects (especially figures) and this one is no exception. First of a series of figures based on classic Greek mythology, the Medusa here is created in 1/24th(75mm) scale and is a relatively easy build of a truly legendary icon.

Typical of MasterBox figures, there are some discrepancies between the illustration and the sculpture. Unlike most figure manufacturers, MasterBox creates a new figure by first eliciting an illustration. Then the sculptors work on the finished item using the illustration as a guide. In this case, the illustrator created a Medusa that looks something like a sorority girl with a skin condition and a bad hair day. The sculpture, if anything, is actually better, as the features are far more authentically Greek. In fact, the first time I looked at the face she reminded me of the Statue of Liberty, which is itself crafted along the classic Greek standards for feminine beauty.

Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV

Published: May 20th, 2018     
Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV
Reviewed by: Brian R . Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Airfix

History

The original Blenheim bomber evolved from a Bristol light transport development, probably the first aircraft specifically designed as a high-speed executive transport. Labeled the Model 142 "Britain First", the airplane was displayed at the 1935 Hendon display. RAF leaders immediately saw its potential as a light bomber, and after protracted development, it emerged as the Model 142M, a mid-wing, three place twin-engine bomber with a crew of 3. Only two machine guns were installed, and a total of 986 Mk. I's was produced before it was replaced by the Mk. IV model, of which 2703 were built.

Blenheim Mk. 1's replaced Hawker Harts at first and became the standard RAF light bomber. Some were modified as fighters, designated Mk. IF, and these were used, especially as night fighters, until replacement by Beaufighters and Mosquitoes. The Mk. IV featured a longer nose with more room for the navigator and bombardier, and a fighter version of this type was also produced, with four: .30 caliber machines guns in a housing under the bomb bay position.

Submarine Project 613 / Whiskey III

Published: May 20th, 2018     
Submarine Project 613 / Whiskey III
Reviewed by: Dave Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/350
Company: MikroMir

After having published someone else's review on a Mikro Mir 1/350 submarine kit I was intrigued to build one for myself. After a quick review of the available models, I opted for the Whiskey III kit. I can say I'm very happy to have built my first ship model in over 40 years. The Whiskey Class of submarine was conceived in the late 1940's with a design heavily influenced by the Russian analysis of a captured Type XXI U-Boat. During the 1950's approximately 220 - 240 Whiskey class boats were built (Class I through V). Wikipedia reports that by the end of the cold war, all Whiskey class boats have been retired by the Soviet Navy.

T-55 Mod. 1963 Interior Kit, Part 2

Published: May 20th, 2018     
T-55 Mod. 1963 Interior Kit, Part 2
Reviewed by: William O'Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

Introduction

This is part 2 of the review of MiniArt's T-55 Mod. 1963 Interior Kit, including assembly of the turret, tracks, fenders, and the remainder of the kit. Part 1 of this review included the engine, suspension, hull assembly, hull side panels, and rear deck panels.

This kit is one of MiniArt's T-55 variants and follows their earlier series of T-44/54 Russian tank kits. Following their previous versions, this kit is first released with full interior detailing. MiniArt has also announced an IDF Tiran version of the T-55, and a T-55A Late Mod. 1965.

USS Richard B. Russell SSN-687

Published: May 16th, 2018     
USS Richard B. Russell SSN-687
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1:700
Company: OKB Grigorov

"They saved the best for last." The USS Richard B. Russell (SSN-687), named for the Georgia senator who served his state from 1933 to 1971, was the 37th and final boat of the Sturgeon class, and was the ninth long-hull version of the class. Built in the Newport News Shipyard, her keel was laid 19 October 1971; she was launched 12 January 1974, and was commissioned 16 August 1975. She was decommissioned 24 June 1994, and was scrapped through the Ship and Submarine Recycling Program between 1 October 2001 and 3 January 2003. Powered by an S5W reactor, the boat could travel at speeds of 15 knots surfaced, and 25 knots while submerged. The crew complement was 126, and she was armed with four 21-inch torpedo tubes.

A recent addition to the IPMS Review Corps suppliers is OKB Grigorov, which started business in 2003 in the European Union. The kit is a simple affair consisting of a hull, sail, sail planes, outer tabs for the diving planes, propeller tip, and a base that are all cast in gray resin along with a photoetched propeller. Inside the box, the hull was separately wrapped in a foam sheet, and then it and the other contents were enclosed in bubble wrap.