Ships

Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

USS Maryland 1941

Published: June 26th, 2013     
USS Maryland 1941
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci, PhD, IPMS# 33459
Scale: 1/700
Company: Trumpeter

Finally, a long-awaited need is met! – an injection-molded 1/700 styrene plastic kit of the USS Maryland at Pearl Harbor (December 1941), in correct appearance.  A good value, an easy build, and a fine-looking model with some photo etch.

HMS Montrose Type 23 Frigate

Published: June 22nd, 2013     
HMS Montrose Type 23 Frigate
Reviewed by: Mark A Dice, IPMS# 31326
Scale: 1/350
Company: Trumpeter

Background

The British Royal Navy has a long and proud tradition of Frigates in its history, dating back to the 1740’s. Smaller than a ship of the line, they were the workhorse of the British Royal Navy during the age of sail, combining a long range and the ability to operate independently, and performing a wide variety of missions more economically than the larger ships of the line.

In the modern British Royal Navy, the Frigate performs many of the same missions. Primarily designed as an anti-submarine warfare ship, they also perform convoy escort and independent patrols, hunting pirates and protecting sea lanes for merchantmen.

Manned Research Submersible SHINKAI 6500 (Upgraded Thruster Version 2012)

Published: June 6th, 2013     
Manned Research Submersible SHINKAI 6500 (Upgraded Thruster Version 2012)
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

In their third release of the Science World series of kits, Hasegawa has reproduced the Japanese manned research submersible Shinkai 6500 in 1/72 scale with upgraded thrusters that were added in 2012.  The company previously released the original version of the submersible as SW01 (54001), and parts for that version are contained in this box as well.  The kit builds up nicely, with many of the items fitting snugly enough that you might almost consider not applying glue.  With the exception of just a few small parts, model builders of any age can complete a very respectable looking model from this kit, and more experienced builders should enjoy the level of detail provided by Hasegawa.

USS Gato Submarine

Published: May 6th, 2013     
 USS Gato Submarine
Reviewed by: Jack Kennedy, IPMS# 12511
Scale: 1/200
Company: Riich Models

Ships are not something I normally model but I jumped at the chance to review this submarine. It is by a new company from Hong Kong and if this kit is a sample of things to come, I am surely looking forward to their future releases.

To begin with, I was thinking 1/700  or 1/350 scale when I asked to review this kit. It is in 1/200 scale and is rather long, 19 inches to be exact. The packaging is in a large sturdy box and the parts are molded in light grey plastic on 5 sprues. There is one sprue of clear parts for the OS2U-3 Kingfisher and two in black for the base.

Overall the construction is very simple. The lower hull is in two pieces and the upper hull is in three. The sub may be built as either waterline or full hull. I chose to build it as a full hull on a base. If one is to build it showing the torpedoes in a firing position there are several parts for the torpedo tubes with a couple of fine torpedoes with photo etched props. If one models the torpedo tubes closed, eliminate parts D34, D35, D23, P7 and P8 and use parts D29 and D33.

HMS Warspite, 1915

Published: May 4th, 2013     
HMS Warspite, 1915
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Scale: 1/700
Company: Trumpeter

The HMS Warspite was one of the Queen Elizabeth class dreadnaughts launched during the First World War. These were the state of the art battleships of the time and the general soundness of their design shows in the fact that the last of them was not disposed of until the 1950's! They went through many refits that changed their appearance quite a bit over the years. The WWII Warspite has been modeled several times in several scales, most recently in the newly popular 1/350, but never in her WWI fit. The Trumpeter kit is of her appearance when she was launched, thus she joins a very small group of injection kits of WWI ships and I believe the only one as she was during that war. As I build ship models very slowly, this will be a two-part review. This first will be an in the box review and the second will be an actual build. Now, let's open the box and see what we have.

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.