Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

Japanese Battleship IJN Kongo Retake

Published: September 5th, 2015     
Japanese Battleship IJN Kongo Retake
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Scale: 1/350
Company: Aoshima

The Ship

The Kongo class of battlecruisers was Japan’s attempt to acquire or build their first super-dreadnaughts. Designed by the British, the Kongo herself was launched from the Vickers shipyard in 1912, the last major vessel of the Japanese Navy built in a foreign yard. She underwent major reconstructions from 1929-1931 and again from 1935-1938, the last time so much so that she was reclassified as a fast battleship. During the Pacific War, she participated in early South Seas operations off Malaya and the Philippines.  Her class’s high speed made them ideal carrier escorts, and Kongo served that function during the IJN’s Indian Ocean carrier sweep, the Midway operation and the action off Santa Cruz. Detached to the Solomons with her sister Haruna, Kongo earned the everlasting wrath of the Marines on Guadalcanal during the night of November 13, 1942, shelling Henderson Field for an hour with her 14” rifles in a nightmare that became known in Marine lore simply as “The Bombardment”.

German Z-32 Destroyer

Published: August 20th, 2015     
German Z-32 Destroyer
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1:350
Company: Dragon Models

Dragon continues to expand its “Modern Sea Power” Series, this time with the introduction of the 1/350 Zerstorer Class 1936A, with a twin 150 mm turrets.

Upon opening the box you find 18 sprues, plus two small photoetch frets and decals. There is a total of over 550 parts on this kit.

The parts are finely molded, with virtually no flash anywhere. I’ve only was able to spot a bit of flash in one sprue, around the propellers. Slide mold technology was used extensively in the kit minimizing seams and allowing multiple pieces (bridge, hull) to be molded in a single piece. It should be noted it the hull is packed with a small protector to protect the sharp bow from being damaged.

There are a total of 18 steps in the instructions, although a few of them have sub-steps. The instructions walk you through as many sub-assemblies as possible: weaponry, mast (including radar, lookout position, searchlight), superstructure and bridge, smokestack, and finally to assemble the hull and main decks. The final steps are about putting all these sub-assemblies together.

Model Art Modeling Magazine No. 55, 2015 Spring Battle of Leyte Gulf Series - Vessel Model Special

Published: August 9th, 2015     
Model Art Modeling Magazine No. 55, 2015 Spring Battle of Leyte Gulf Series - Vessel Model Special
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.

The feature article in the Spring 2015 Vessel Model Special covers the battle of Leyte Gulf / battle of Surigao Strait / Nishimura's fleet. The article is comprised of models of the vessels that were involved. Some the models are shown as full build features and others are static color photos. Included are line drawings of some of these vessels.There are several period black and white photos included along with maps of the battle area.

Japanese Navy Ship Equipment Set E

Published: August 5th, 2015     
Japanese Navy Ship Equipment Set E
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 40089
Scale: 1/350
Company: Hasegawa

The Japanese Agano-class of light cruisers had a total of 4 ships on its class: Agano, Noshiro, Yahagi and Sakaw. These ships were lightly armored command vessels that operated for destroyer and submarine squadrons.

Hasegawa has released a detail set for its Agano Class in 1/350. This set includes

  • Type-41 twin 15 cm guns (x2)
  • Type-41 twin 15 cm guns with rangefinder (x2)
  • Type-98 twin 8cm hi-angle turret

The Agano class boxing includes the standard Type-41 and Type-98, what is added is the rangefinder and some details parts for the standard turrets to model the Yahagi and Sakawa.

The overall surface detail is excellent –as you expect from Hasegawa- and the molds are completely free of flash. The cannon holes need to be drilled, but that is to be expected of plastic parts.

This detail set is a welcome addition as it allows the base Agano kit to be converted to other ships of the same class.

Recommended to modelers of all levels.

I would like to thank Hasegawa USA and IPMS/USA for the review sample.

Tirpitz Photoetch Set

Published: August 2nd, 2015