Miscellaneous

Reviews of products for scale miscellaneous models.

Osprey - US Soldier vs. Arikakorps Soldier - Tunisia 1943

Published: March 23rd, 2019     
Osprey - US Soldier vs. Arikakorps Soldier - Tunisia 1943
Author: David Campbell
Reviewed by: Michael Reeves, IPMS# 51129
Company: Osprey Publishing

From the Publisher's Website:

Operation Torch, launched on 8 November 1942, landed Anglo-American forces in Vichy-controlled Morocco and Algeria to create a second front against the Axis forces in North Africa, catching Rommel's German and Italian forces in the claws of a giant pincer.

The US Army was powerfully well-armored and equipped, but fresh to wa, and it showed. Organization suffered from a surfeit of peacetime theories and training was insufficient and ill-applied. Despite such failings the US GIs and their commanders learned very quickly, adapting to German tactics and the realities of mechanized warfare. The Axis forces in North Africa were seasoned by years of fighting against increasingly powerful British and Commonwealth forces, and were led by one of the Reich's most capable generals. The German doctrine of mechanized warfare had proved itself time and again, but ever-growing logistical and supply problems were blunting its effectiveness.

From Sidi Bou Zid to El Guettar, this fully illustrated study pits the US Army against the best that the Axis forces in Africa had to offer.

Weapons of the Viking Warrior

Published: March 3rd, 2019     
Weapons of the Viking Warrior
Author: Gareth Williams; Illustrator: Johnny Shumate
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Osprey Publishing

Gareth Williams has been a curator at the British Museum since 1996, with responsibility for British and European coinage, about AD 500 to about 1180. Within this area, he specializes in Anglo-Saxon and Viking coinage. Much of his work focuses on the use of coinage as evidence within broader historical and archaeological studies. Gareth has authored at least fifteen books and led several projects at the British Museum, with a "Viking Voyages" exhibition that recently finished a run from March 2015 through February 2017. He has been actively involved in historical re-enactments. Check him out at the British Museum.

Professional Sprue Cutter - 2175ET

Published: March 2nd, 2019     
Professional Sprue Cutter - 2175ET
Reviewed by: John Noack, IPMS# 23017
Scale: NA
Company: Xuron Corporation

Our good friend and supporter Abby Robey of Xuron supplied several new tools to us for review. Up first is this sprue cutter. Like all of Xuron's tools, this is a finely crafted tool that will deliver years of service if properly used. That means plastic only - the fine cutting edges are shaped to deliver a near-flush cut on soft plastic - use them on metal and you'll damage that edge.

I did a test cut on a standard sprue runner from the Eduard Spitfire I'm reviewing - take a look at the results in photo 3. Even on a relatively thick piece of styrene, the tool delivers a near-perpendicular cut through the runner. Moving on to "normal" usage, I removed one of the horizontal stabilizers from its tree - note (photo 4) that the resulting cut is almost perfectly flush. Cleaning up parts is my least favorite part of building; these cutters will reduce the magnitude of that tedious task. Highly recommended!

Thanks go out to Abby at Xuron for the opportunity to review this tool.

Professional Sprue Cutter - TK3600

Published: March 2nd, 2019     
Professional Sprue Cutter - TK3600
Reviewed by: John Noack, IPMS# 23017
Scale: NA
Company: Xuron Corporation

Here's the second review of some new tools from our friends at Xuron up in Saco, ME.

The Photo-Etch Tool Kit consists of three discrete tools:

  • Model 9180ET Professional Photo-Etch Scissor
  • Model 450 Tweezer Nose Pliers
  • Model 575 Micro Bending Pliers

I'm currently working on an Eduard Spitfire in 1/72 scale with some incredibly tiny p/e parts, several of which have found their way to carpet heaven. Using the tweezer pliers to hold parts, and the extremely sharp scissors to cut them, I've eliminated the problem. Figure X shows the results of cutting the cockpit armor plate part off the p/e fret - almost no cleanup required. A couple of swipes with a sanding stick while holding the part with the tweezer nose pliers and I am done.

Highly recommended as an alternative to hours spent under the workbench searching for bits of brass! Thanks go out to Abby at Xuron for the opportunity to review this tool set

Smolensk 1943: The Red Army’s Relentless Advance

Published: March 2nd, 2019     
Smolensk 1943: The Red Army’s Relentless Advance
Author: Author: Robert Forczyk Illustrator: Adam Hook
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Company: Osprey Publishing

Osprey's Campaign series of books is a well-established line covering some of the more famous campaigns in military history. The series started 29 years ago with the Normandy landings and with this installment, Smolensk 1943 being one of their latest releases.

As the battles around Kursk were winding down, Joseph Stalin began setting his sights on the next largest German army on the Soviet's Western front the German Heeresgruppe Mitte (Army Group Center). Operation Suvorov would launch the Soviet Western Front and Kalinin Front armies against the numerically inferior German forces concentrated around the city of Smolensk. The Soviet forces consisted of over 1.2 million soldiers, outnumbering the Germans by a ratio of nearly 3:1, but the Germans had held the area for nearly two years prior to the Soviet offensive and were able to prepare strong defensive positions that Soviet reconnaissance and planning had not accounted for at the time of the attack. The Soviet offensive launched at the start of August of 1943, but ultimate Soviet victory was not achieved until early October costing both sides huge losses of men and materiel.