Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

The SBS in World War II

Published: April 30th, 2016     
Author: Gavin Mortimer
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Company: Osprey Publishing

I have never heard much about the British Special Boat Service and was pleased to hear of this book as it tells of the SBS exploits that were never really told fully before.

The book tells the story of the SBS from its conception from within the Special Air Service (SAS) in 1942 through to the end of World War II when it was disbanded. The story covers the missions and history of the unit, its men and the major impact they had on the war in and around the Mediterranean. Like the SAS the SBS were very highly trained and ruthless. They were experts in Guerilla warfare and exploiting the Germans weaknesses and local country side whenever they could.

The SBS used hit and run tactics on German airbases and installation in and around the Mediterranean to help reduce the forces available to attack the Allies as they fought in North Africa and Italy. They were used intensively in actions on the Greek islands to hinder the German war effort.

The book is very well written and tells the story with passion and gives detailed accounts of the missions and of this small band of highly trained soldiers.

IJN Akagi Aircraft Carrier Full Hull Limited Edition and Super Detail Set

Published: April 22nd, 2016     
IJN Akagi Aircraft Carrier Full Hull Limited Edition and Super Detail Set
Reviewed by: Jim Coatney, IPMS# 46815
Scale: 1/700
Company: Hasegawa

The Akagi is arguably the best known of Imperial Japan's aircraft carriers. Like the American carriers Saratoga and Lexington, she was laid down as a battle cruiser, and then converted to carrier as a consequence of the Washington Naval Treaty. Commissioned in 1922, Akagi was Japan's second aircraft carrier (after the diminutive Hosho). Initially built with three separate flight decks, Akagi was updated in the 1930s to handle larger and heavier aircraft. Gone were the three separate decks in favor of a single flight deck running the length of the ship, together with an island structure added to the port side.

HMS X-craft Submarine Photoetch Set

Published: April 17th, 2016     
HMS X-craft Submarine Photoetch Set
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/35
Company: Eduard

Merit quietly issued a 1/35 X-craft submarine and once I got my hands on it, I was impressed with both the molding and size of the kit. Still, there was some room for add-ons and improvements and Eduard has issued a photoetch sheet to help address some of the issues.

Eduard's sheet is composed of a single sheet with 30 superb parts. The sheet addresses the hatches on the top of the ship by replacing 6 individual parts and adding detail and texture. A little removal of the hinges and these go on smoothly. There are slight folds on four of the parts but this is easy to accomplish with a new #11 blade.

Next, the kit propeller is undersized and Eduard uses the kit hub but has you wrap three individual blades around a dowel and add them to the hub. This takes a little patience but the result is a larger and more accurate prop.

U.S.S. Lake Erie CG-70

Published: April 6th, 2016     
U.S.S. Lake Erie CG-70
Reviewed by: Ron Verburg, IPMS# 45660
Scale: 1/700
Company: Dragon Models


USS Lake Erie (CG-70) is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser of the United States Navy, named after the U.S. Navy's decisive victory in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. She is the first U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned in Hawaii. The USS Lake Erie is a baseline 4 Ticonderoga class ship, with integrated AN/UYK-43/44 computers (in place of UYK-7 and UYK-20) and superset computer programs originally developed for the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. The Lake Erie also has an improved UYS-20 data display system and various decision aids, as well as the SQS-53C sonar and the SQR-19 sonar data processor.


The kit is produced by Dragon Models, a well-known company who is known for producing quality mid-range priced model kits. The box art work in outstanding and shows the USS Lake Erie at sea launching a guided missile from the stern launchers. The kit can be built only as the USS Lake Erie. This kit belongs to Dragons 1/700 Scale Modern Sea Power Series Premium Edition series.

Table Top Navy - Zuikaku and Yamato

Published: April 5th, 2016     
Table Top Navy - Zuikaku and Yamato
Reviewed by: Len Pilhofer, IPMS# 49932
Company: Round 2 Models

Round Two revival of the Lindberg Line of table top ships offers an opportunity along a couple of different fronts. The first of these, and this is mentioned on the box, is the in-expensive way for table-top gamers to get their hands on a couple of ships that they might not be able to get their hands on. The kits are easy to build with minimal parts and while many-a-modeler will probably turn their nose up at such a prospect (as many do with Lindberg) these are perfect for handling and moving around a large map without too much worry of breakage.

Another, more accessible avenue for these kits is for many of our more seasoned modelers to introduce modeling to our youth - whether they be our own family or youth at an organized event - in a cheap and quick manner. I also think it goes without saying that many of our seasoned modelers in IPMS had once tackled a Lindberg kit in thei