Ships

Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

USS Lexington CV-2, Squadron at Sea

Published: April 25th, 2013     
USS Lexington CV-2, Squadron at Sea
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum, IPMS# 26328
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

USS Lexington (CV-2) and her sister USS Saratoga (CV-3) played a critical role in the development of the modern naval aviation and the way the US Navy wields air power. Built on the hulls of battlecruisers cancelled in the 1920s under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty, Lexington and Saratoga were far more different and innovative than the first US aircraft carrier, USS Langley CV-1, and any foreign contemporaries. They were the largest US carriers built until the Midway Class CVB. Both ships were quickly integrated into the battle fleet and participated in every major exercise in the 1930s and early 1940s. It was on these ships that the Navy envisioned, developed, and put in to practice the doctrine and procedures that would define an American way of Naval warfare and lead to victory at sea. Key components of that doctrine included: rapid preparation, launch, assembly, and projection of aerial strike forces while maintaining airspace control around the carrier and the battle group. Other innovations included flight deck duties identified by colored jerseys, aircraft pre-flight inspections, and aircraft handling and spotting.

Imperial Japanese Navy Destroyers 1919-45 (1), Minekaze to Shiratsuyu Classes

Published: April 24th, 2013     
Imperial Japanese Navy Destroyers 1919-45 (1), Minekaze to Shiratsuyu Classes
Author: Mark Stille
Reviewed by: Christopher Martens, IPMS# 48653
Company: Osprey Publishing

Being an avid fan of Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) destroyers, I was eager to get my hands on this book. The Japanese had two major advantages on the US Navy during the early days of WWII: a superbly trained and equipped air arm and their excellently equipped and crewed destroyer flotillas that made themselves utterly terrifying weapons during engagements like the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. The first chapters of the book provide a good summary of Japanese doctrine and how it developed from the naval treaties and influenced design. The meat of the book specifically addresses the early post-WWI designs leading up to the legendary Fubuki-class destroyers and their successors up to the Shiratsuyu class. Finally, the author provides a summary, defining why these magnificent machines utterly failed to make a lasting impression on the results of the Pacific War.

USS Chicago CG-11

Published: April 23rd, 2013     
USS Chicago CG-11
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/700
Company: Cyber-Hobby

This is the second Cyber Hobby ship model that I have been privileged to build as a reviewer (the first being the USS Virginia), and I will say that this was just as enjoyable of a build, representing a cruiser that saw service over five decades.  There were no real complications with the build itself, but know going in that there are several photo etch items to add, and there are many small parts in the kit.  The most challenging part of building this kit for me was the decals that are applied on the deck.  If you have a fondness for the USS Chicago, or want to build a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser, I would highly recommend this kit for you.

USS Indianapolis

Published: April 16th, 2013     
USS Indianapolis
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/350
Company: Academy

Once again, sincere to thanks Akiko at MRC for providing IPMS USA and this fortunate reviewer the opportunity to build and comment on a new kit… This was “a most excellent effort” and we appreciate it.  (And thanks to Steve and Dick for sending the kit my way…hope I did it justice)

This was a kit that I did not expect to do a review on; I was going to spend the cash and just chill on the build until I could collect all the requisite PE sets and all that nonsense, and then have an AMS fit for about a month.  “We can’t have no’ut that!” cried the elves…and when I threw my hat in the ring to review the kit, I was surprised.  My criteria: if nobody else volunteered to do it, I would.  Now, I know ships take a lot more time than a snap kit.  But the USS Indy?  Whoa!  A famous cruiser worthy of the effort.

If you are not aware of the story of the USS Indianapolis, avail yourself of information via the internet and learn of its sad demise and the fate of the crew.  Extremely political in the end.  There is a lot written on it out there; here’s the Wikipedia version:

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #47, Spring 2013 – Special Ship Model Edition

Published: April 5th, 2013     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #47, Spring 2013 – Special Ship Model Edition
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

This is Model Art Magazine’s special quarterly issue that focuses on naval subjects. As with the regular Model Art Magazine, this is printed in Japanese with some English subtitles.

This special ship model edition focuses on the “Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands” and the naval vessels involved from both the U.S. Navy and the IJN.

The issue starts off with a two-page article about IJN anchor chain, clevises, and other fittings found on these vessels. The next eighty three pages are dedicated to the “Battle of the Vera Cruz Islands”. Within this article, they use photos of models, period photographs, line drawings, and color artwork for their illustrations.

Following this is a section called “Only Ships – New Items”. They devote several pages to this with a multitude of black and white photos showing all the new ship models and aftermarket that is coming out on the market.

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #865, Special Ship Model Edition – IJN Warships Scalemodel Album

Published: April 5th, 2013     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #865, Special Ship Model Edition – IJN Warships Scalemodel Album
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

This is Model Art Magazine’s Imperial Japanese Navy Warships Scalemodel Album. As with the regular Model Art Magazine, this is printed in Japanese with some English subtitles.

This special issue is chock-full of photographs of built scale models. It features ten magnificently built scale models. Some of them are a Yamato in 1/350th, Nagato in 1/350th, and Akagi in 1/350th, as a few examples. Each ship has several pages dedicated to it with a multitude of color photographs for each.

After the main gallery, there is a section devoted to some of the build notes of each model. These are highlighted with black and white photos of the models during their construction.

While the price may seem a little steep for a photo album of built models, if you have an interest in IJN subjects you would find this issue interesting.

I would like to thank Model Art and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this fine magazine.

Replacement British Naval Gunbarrels, 16", 6", and 4.7"

Published: March 24th, 2013     
Replacement British Naval Gunbarrels, 16", 6", and 4.7"
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Scale: 1/700
Company: Master Model

  • 16" - SM-700-033, $7.00 (9 barrels)
  • 6" - SM-700-034, $5.00 (12 barrels)
  • 4.7" - SM-700-035, $4.50 (16 barrels)

Master Models is a company in Poland that must employ elves, incredibly small tool and die makers, and/or people with exceptional eyesight. They make replacement gun barrels for aircraft and ship models out of brass, and some of these are incredibly small and all are exquisitely detailed. The subjects of this review were selected because they would enable a modeler to replace all the main weapon gun barrels on either a 1/700 HMS Nelson or Rodney. The 16" were only used on these ships, but the 6" and 4.7" could also be used on other Royal Navy ships with these weapons. For example, since 16 4.7" barrels come in a packet, you could replace all the main guns on up to 4 destroyers, depending on the class of the ships. Let me be clear, each caliber barrel packet is a separate item and is priced as such. This is NOT a set of all three types of barrels. It was just easier to review all three at once.

Warships of the Ancient World 3000-500BC

Published: March 21st, 2013     
Warships of the Ancient World  3000-500BC
Author: Adrian K. Wood
Reviewed by: Perry Downen, IPMS# 44000
Company: Osprey Publishing

First off, I’d like to thank Osprey Publishing for offering this book up for review and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to do the review.

Many, many books have been written about the great warships of the two World Wars.  The library shelves are full of stories about the great sailing ships as they traded and fought their way across the world’s oceans.  However, not much has been written about the warships of the ancient world.  That's simply because there's not much remaining in the way of artifacts to tell the story and very little remains of the written word of those times.

Adrian K. Wood, in his newly released book Warships of the Ancient World, tries to shed some light on this subject.  He acknowledges the scarcity of verifiable resources and the confusion caused by sources that are thousands of years old.  However, using what’s available, he makes an excellent case for the information he presents in his book.

Battlecruiser – Fast Battleship Haruna – Super Drawings in 3D

Published: March 20th, 2013     
Battlecruiser – Fast Battleship Haruna – Super Drawings in 3D
Author: Waldemar Goralski & Miroslaw Skwiot
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci, PhD, IPMS# 33459
Company: Kagero Publishing

Bottom Line

An ultimate and highly detailed modeler’s guide to building IJN Haruna in late 1944 fit.  Targeted to 1/350 scale, but suitable for all other scales.

Kagero has produced over a dozen books on WW2 warships that use computer graphics in 3D to provide superb detail.  This latest book on the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) battlecruiser/fast battleship Haruna is once again an ultimate resource for knowing what the ship looked like in late 1944.  Other time periods are not depicted.  This book is an ideal companion to 1/350 kits of the Haruna (Fujimi), but is also an ultimate guide to other scales.

USS Saratoga – Squadron at Sea

Published: March 9th, 2013     
USS Saratoga – Squadron at Sea
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

A new item recently sent to the IPMS-USA for review by the folks at Squadron is the fourth release in their Squadron at Sea series, and this edition covering the USS Saratoga (CV-3).  The book is dedicated to “the crew of the Saratoga – the Ship of Happy Landings – who helped pioneer naval aviation in peacetime, fought valiantly in wartime, and who brought many of the comrades safely home…”  The publication is 160 pages long, and as one would expect from the publishers at Squadron, it is filled with many black-and-white photographs as well as a few color pictures and some color drawings.  Author David Doyle once again does an outstanding job of telling the story of the Saratoga, from her beginnings in New York Shipbuilding in Camden, New Jersey, to her current resting place at the bottom of the Bikini Atoll.  I would highly recommend this book as both a reference and, as well, as a historical telling of the life of the third aircraft carrier of the US Navy.

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