Ships

Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

U-Boat Type IIB 1943

Published: November 2nd, 2013     
U-Boat Type IIB 1943
Reviewed by: Chad Richmond, IPMS# 10346
Scale: 1/144
Company: ICM

The Type IIB U-Boat was used throughout World War II as a coastal patrol boat, and only twenty were made. Since it could not operate very far from its home port and carried very little armament, it was used to train new crews and prepare new Kapitans for their commands.  Surprisingly, most of the Type IIB losses were from the Kapitan scuttling the boat.  The first Type IIB was launched on June 29, 1935.  It was interesting doing research on the boats that are referred to on the instruction sheet and finding out that markings and specific details of many of the U-boats are not readily available, and in some cases are best guesses.

When I first saw this kit, I got excited because of the 1/144th scale.  What a great scale for submarines, especially WWII era.  I was still excited when I opened the box and saw how simple everything looked.  The more I looked at it, however, the more it looked familiar.  Alas, it is the same kit as the Revell of Germany kit in a different box with different instructions and a different decal sheet.  The decal sheet was very disappointing because it was badly out of register.

USS Alabama, Squadron at Sea

Published: October 28th, 2013     
USS Alabama, Squadron at Sea
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

The Squadron at Sea titles cover specific ships by using photos of the vessel and its equipment from the very beginning of its life all the way through the end of its career. These titles are written about both civilian and military vessels, while the On Deck series is devoted solely to warships.

The USS Alabama is a South Dakota-class battleship, and construction was begun in February, 1940. The build took over two years until commissioning. Even though the Alabama took part in some of the most famous battles of the Pacific during the war, she only lost five crewman and none to enemy action. After the war, Alabama was mothballed until 1964 when she was moved to her present home in Mobile Bay as a museum.

David Doyle does an excellent job covering this vessel. The photo documentation in this book should be commended. There are photos of the keel laying, launch, commissioning, shakedown cruise, in action, mothballed, and then as a museum. There are also several color drawings and some excellent line drawings.

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #877, 1/700th Scale Ship Model Database 2

Published: October 11th, 2013     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #877, 1/700th Scale Ship Model Database 2
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

This is one of Model Art Modeling Magazine’s special editions. The text is mainly in Japanese with some English subtitles.  One plus about these magazines is the high quality of the photographs and the models that are used.

Are you a fan of 1/700th scale IJN waterline models? Are you looking for that one particular kit? Well, you may be in luck with this special issue released by Model Art Magazine.

This covers the rest of the ships not covered in the first issue. The ships in this issue are: Aircraft Carriers built between 1919 - 1930, Aircraft Carriers built between 1934 - 1944, Auxiliary Aircraft Carriers, Heavy Cruisers, Destroyers built between 1919 - 1927, Destroyers regulated by naval treaty, Destroyers built after 1936, and Submarines. One additional section is dedicated to photo etch for these vessels. There is one additional article about an IJN Captain. The text is all in Japanese, but there are some nice period photos, I believe, of the "Ise" and some hand-drawn drawings that I believe the gentleman may have done during the war.

Schnellboot in Action

Published: September 27th, 2013     
Schnellboot in Action
Author: David L. Krakow
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

The German Kriegsmarine developed the Schnellboot (or S-boot) as a weapon of war to be used by elite sailors. As a testament of their skillfully trained men and excellent design, the S-boot flotillas were able to deliver offensive actions as late as April, 1945.

This book is devoted to the description of the main characteristics and features of the following classes: S-1, S-2, S-7, S-14, S-18, S-26, S-30, S-38, S-100, S-151, and the LS class, which was a “midget” S-boot used mainly from auxiliary cruisers. For each class, there are line drawings and pictures (most of them in half-page size, very clear and sharp) illustrating the characteristics of each class.

There are sections dedicated to the power plant, offensive and defensive armament, radar and radio systems, and camouflage, but these sections are brief when compared with the previous sections devoted to describe each class. Despite being shorter sections, they do cover the topic at hand with acceptable detail.

USS Indianapolis

Published: September 12th, 2013     
USS Indianapolis
Reviewed by: Christopher Martens, IPMS# 48653
Scale: 1/350
Company: Trumpeter

History Brief

The USS Indianapolis is a ship potentially more famous for her loss than her life. On July 30, 1945, after delivering components for the first atomic bomb, the Indianapolis was hit by two torpedoes from the HIJMS I-58. Her loss was not discovered before August 2nd, after many of her survivors met grisly ends at the hands of the elements and constant shark attacks.

The Portland-class cruiser was launched in 1931 in the post-Washington Naval Treaty world. Envisioned as an improvement on the Northampton class, the Portlands featured a lower tripod forward mast and improved protection. The Indianapolis had a busy wartime career, earning ten battle stars for her service. She also saw extensive modification through her life, losing much of her upper works to the torch to make room for additional AA guns.

HMAS Collins "Collins Class Submarine"

Published: August 14th, 2013     
HMAS Collins "Collins Class Submarine"
Reviewed by: Tom Pope, IPMS# 47261
Scale: 1/350
Company: Showcase Models Australia

Introduction

Showcase Models Australia is a relative newcomer as a model distributor in Australia (founded in 2011, according to their Facebook page) and has recently branched out into manufacturing their own kits.  In May 2013, the production of the Collins Class subs was completed and the kit made it to the Showcase Models showroom and subsequently, other retailers and distributors.

A big Thank You goes to Dragon Models USA for providing this review sample to IPMS/USA.

HMS Warspite, 1915 – complete build

Published: July 14th, 2013     
HMS Warspite, 1915 – complete build
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Scale: 1/700
Company: Trumpeter

A while back, I did an in-the-box review of this kit (click on the link above) that provided the basic info on what's in the box, etc., but I've now completed the model and thought I'd share that information as well.

Out of the box, this looks like a really nice kit and it falls into two categories that interest me, World War I and British ships, so I wanted to build it as well as I could. In addition, I wanted to try out one of those wooden veneer decks that so enhance the appearance of a finished model, and while a kit of this quality can make an impressive model right out of the box, I wanted to add the basic PE railings to finish it off. Conveniently, I was able to obtain both the PE railings and wood veneer deck from the company Artwox.

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #871 – 1/700th Scale Ship Model Database 1

Published: July 6th, 2013     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #871 – 1/700th Scale Ship Model Database 1
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

This is one of Model Art Modeling Magazine’s special editions. The text is mainly in Japanese with some English subtitles throughout.  One benefit to these magazines is the high quality of the photographs and the models that are used.

This special issue covers 1/700th scale ships of the IJN, almost all of which are waterline versions.

The first article is about Tamiya and their Water Line Series. They use several pictures of the actual models, brochures that came in the kits, period photos, and even a nice picture of Mr. Tamiya himself.

Next is another short article that features some beautifully built models. Unfortunately, due to the text being Japanese, I cannot say for sure what the article is about.

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #48, Summer 2013 – Special Ship Model Edition

Published: July 2nd, 2013     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #48, Summer 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 "Fleet Defenders.” They use examples from both World War II and modern-day, with a high focus on the IJN and the JMSDF.

The issue starts off with a section called “Only Ships – New Items.” They devote three pages to this with a multitude of color photos showing all the new ship models and aftermarket that is coming out on the market.

Model Art dedicates just over 100 of the following pages to covering the "Fleet Defenders." It covers the IJN and JMSDF with the exception of including the USS San Diego (CL-53) Light Cruiser. The article uses models, actual photographs, and line drawings. The photographs used are a mixture of period black and white and color modern ones. There is also a very comprehensive detail photo section of some of the modern JMSDF fleet.

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.