Ships

Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

RMS Titanic Centenary Anniversary

Published: September 23rd, 2012     
RMS Titanic Centenary Anniversary
Reviewed by: Dave Koukol, IPMS# 46287 and others.
Scale: 1/700
Company: Academy

Tragically one of the most famous ships of all time, the RMS Titanic was heralded as “unsinkable” prior to her fateful maiden voyage in April, 1912.  A floating palace of luxury and nautical innovation, Titanic and her sisters Olympic and Britannic were the pride of the White Star Line.  On April 15, 1912, Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank – taking 1502 souls with her.

Marking the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s historic voyage, Academy has released a newly-tooled 1/700 rendition of the infamous liner, molded in 6 colors under their new feature set known as “MCP” (Multi-Colored Parts).  The MCP are captured in 5 sprues (white, black, brown, tan, orange-yellow), main superstructure (white), and 2-piece waterline hull (hull red and black).  A small decal sheet and instructions round out the box contents.  Detail is crisp and is nicely executed, and Academy includes tons of “fiddly bit” parts like cleats, benches, cranes and arms, ventilator funnels, and the like.

Pirate Ship “Black Swan” Part Three

Published: September 10th, 2012     
Pirate Ship “Black Swan” Part Three
Reviewed by: Chris Smith, IPMS# 39182
Scale: 1/72
Company: Zvezda

Well, the Black Swan has set sail! In the process, I’ve developed a new appreciation for all those shipwrights out there, especially those who build from scratch! But I digress; in this final installment ,we’ll cover steps 37 to 61.

Sino-French Naval War, 1884-1885

Published: September 8th, 2012     
Sino-French Naval War, 1884-1885
Author: Piotr Olender
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: MMP Books

Like many modelers, my knowledge of history is never as complete as I want it to be, and when MMP issued The Sino-French Naval War, I found a great opportunity to learn more about the conflict that occurred in 1884-1885.

For those of you unfamiliar with these actions, during this time colonization was the policy that many countries pursued to expand growth, secure mineral and trade rights, and protect their people and interests. In this case, the French wanted Vietnam also to protect their Catholic Missions.

Piotr Olender has researched the war in depth, including the ships and people involved and also the reasons behind the start of the war. The book starts with a description of the actions leading up to the start of the conflict, including the bombardment of Hue and the vessels involved. The text follows the start of the war, including all the major battles and counter attacks, and has many maps describing the action both at sea and on the many rivers. Finally, the end of the hostilities is covered.

USN 8in/55 Mk9, 10, 11, 13, 14 Gun Barrels

Published: September 4th, 2012     
USN 8in/55 Mk9, 10, 11, 13, 14 Gun Barrels
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Scale: 1/350
Company: Master Model

This set of finely turned stainless steel gun barrels for early U.S. Navy 8” gunned cruisers and carriers is the latest in a long line of superb replacement parts for 1/350 naval vessels. Each of the open-ended barrels is slightly tapered with very finely defined segmentations. The short stubs at the end of the barrel allows for easy insertion into the kit’s turret or blast bag. The accompanying comparison photos show the Master metal barrels next to the 8”gun kit parts from the Trumpeter Saratoga. The Master barrels are noticeably longer and, no doubt, more accurate than the kit parts.

Yamato Super Detail Set

Published: August 28th, 2012     
Yamato Super Detail Set
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Scale: 1/350
Company: Lion Roar

Anyone who’s seen or even heard about the new Tamiya Yamato knows that this is one of the largest, most complex model kits yet to hit the hobby store shelves. So it almost goes without saying that this new super detail set from Lion Roar would be equally large and complex. Using the bulk of this set, or even a portion of it, is not for the faint of heart.

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #44, Summer 2012

Published: August 24th, 2012     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #44, Summer 2012
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci, PhD, IPMS# 33459
Company: Model Art

Model Art No. 44 is devoted to Super Dreadnoughts – battleships from the beginning (HMS Dreadnought in 1907) to the US Navy’s Iowa class (the last operational dreadnought).  As usual, in this issue there is extensive historical information along with kit builds of examples.  The magazine itself is A4 size – somewhat longer and less wide than standard US 8.5 x 11 inches.  There is a centerfold with the full-sized cover art of the Yamato firing a full broadside and Tamiya’s 1/350 Yamato model.

The coverage starts with a 14-page pictorial on Zvezda’s 1/350 HMS Dreadnought, the battleship that lended its name to describe the world’s most powerful weapon at that time.  A beautiful kit, with pages of how to build the kit.

Next up is the ultimate Super Dreadnought – Tamiya’s 1/350 IJN Yamato.  20 pages showing details on building the kit (in late 1944 fit).  Again, a beautifully built model.

IJN Katata and Hozu, Chinese River Gunboats

Published: August 19th, 2012     
IJN Katata and Hozu, Chinese River Gunboats
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci, PhD, IPMS# 33459
Scale: 1/700
Company: Aoshima

Bottom Line

A nicely detailed kit of an obscure topic – WW2 Japanese Navy Chinese river gunboats.

History

IJN Katata and Hozu were from the four-ship Seta class, assembled in China in 1923.  They weighed 400 tons and were capable of 16 knots.  During the 1920s and until the Sino-Japanese war, these ships practiced gunboat diplomacy on the major rivers and in ports in China.  They participated in the China Incidents of 1937-1938.  In 1940, their armament was upgraded to two single 3 inch guns and 13.2mm machine guns, later replaced by 25mm mounts.  Main armament was mounted in shields fore and aft, and AA guns were in tubs on the roof and machine guns in windows.  When WW2 started, they changed their livery from traditional gunboat white to typical Japanese Navy grey.  They patrolled rivers in China and occasionally were attacked without results by aircraft in 1943-1944.  Katata was bombed and damaged on December 18, 1944, by USAAF aircraft on the Yangtze River.  She was towed to Shanghai where her armament was removed and she remained immobile until end of hostilities.  She was taken over by the Chinese, but scrapped in 1947.  IJN Hozu had a similar career to Katata.  She was grounded near Anking on the Yangtze River November 26, 1944, and bombed and sunk by Chinese aircraft.

Carrier Deck Equipment

Published: August 14th, 2012     
Carrier Deck Equipment
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/350
Company: Model Rectifier Corporation

The kit subject addresses a generally under-represented set of modern USN aircraft carrier details.  While there is an abundance of aftermarket aircraft available for 1:350 carriers, with the exception of some resin offerings there is very little available for the ubiquitous utility vehicles that populate carrier decks.  This under-representation has been lessened by MRC with the release of a carrier deck equipment kit.

Packaging and Contents

Everything is in a double-blister pack with the interior blister pack designed as a tray to hold the sprues.  For me, this interior pack or tray served well as a corral for very small parts.  Two identical sprues are provided in the kit.  All parts are crisply molded in light gray plastic.  The sprue frames are formed nicely to provide protection for the delicate one-piece fork lift cages.  The assembly instructions and painting guides are part of the cardboard packaging.  No decal sheet is included.

The assembly instructions suggest that it is possible to build 2 of everything but the crash crane.  There are enough parts for the following pieces of deck equipment:

Russian Borei Class K550 “Alexander Nevskiy”

Published: August 10th, 2012     
Russian Borei Class K550 “Alexander Nevskiy”
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/350
Company: Bronco Models

Named after the Russian saint Alexander Nevskiy, the second ballistic submarine in the Borei-class is just now entering service after several delays during her construction, which began when the keel was laid in March of 2004.  Although there were budgetary issues that hampered completion, there are also reports of issues regarding the missiles that were to be carried aboard the new class of submarine that is meant to replace the Delta and Typhoon classes.  Original plans were to arm the submarine with “Bark” missiles, but these were later cancelled and replaced with “Bulava” missiles.  The Alexander Nevskiy is supposed to be very similar to the Yury Dolgoruky, the lead boat in the Borei-class.

Ooma's Tuna Fishing Boat "Ryoufuku-maru #31"

Published: August 4th, 2012     
Ooma's Tuna Fishing Boat "Ryoufuku-maru #31"
Reviewed by: Tom Pope, IPMS# 47261
Scale: 1/64
Company: Aoshima

Introduction

If you're looking to change things up a little from the armor or naval vessels or historical military aircraft kits you've been building, what about a tuna fishing boat for a change of pace?  Aoshima of Japan is offering just such a kit with "Ryoufuku-maru #31".  Tuna fishing is the main industry in the north of the island of Honshu, Japan and Aoshima offers this kit of the boat that makes it all possible.  The boat depicted by this kit is representative of the typical tuna fishing boat this industry is built around.

My thanks go out to Dragon Models USA for providing this Aoshima kit for review and to IPMS USA for letting me review it.

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