Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

Satisfaction of Captain Henry Morgan

Published: December 15th, 2015     
Satisfaction of Captain Henry Morgan
Reviewed by: Ron Verburg, IPMS# 45660
Scale: 1/130
Company: Round 2 Models


Sir Harry Morgan was a British privateer, buccaneer, and admiral of the Royal Navy. He made himself famous during activities in the Caribbean, primarily raiding Spanish settlements, and was considered a pirate only to the Spanish, whom he was lawfully attacking. He earned a reputation as one of the most notorious and successful privateers in history, and one of the most ruthless among those active along the Spanish Main.

In 1670 Captain Henry Morgan amassed the largest fleet ever seen in the Caribbean and set his sights on Panama City, then the richest city in the Western hemisphere. En route, his flagship, Satisfaction, and four other ships ran aground on the Lajas Reef at the base of Fort San Lorenzo, guarding the mouth of the Chagres River, the sole waterway leading to Panama City. Despite the setback, Morgan and his men secured the fort, sailed up the Chagres, and ultimately took Panama City by hacking their way through dense rainforest. The sunken wrecks have just recently been found and are in the process of being excavated.

Kagero Destroyer

Published: December 3rd, 2015     
Kagero Destroyer
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/350
Company: Tamiya

Thanks ahead of time to Tamiya USA for providing IPMS USA this review kit, and thanks also to the reviewer corps leadership for sending it to me to build and review!

This kit was originally released by Tamiya back in 2006 as the “Yukikaze”, which was the only survivor of the Japanese Kagero-class “A” of Destroyers in World war II. This new release of the kit is the lead ship Kagero itself. Kagero definied in English translates to “Mirage” or “Heat haze”. The net has a lot on it; I just found it interesting to read the history.

Tamiya has, to my mind, an excellent sales process. The kit box captures your attention; a professionally-painted rendering of the actual ship in action, side-view diagrams of the craft, pictures of the assembled model with or without full hull, photographs of the metal parts, and a feeling that “you really want to buy this model” ensues. It works…

Russian Battleship Tsesarevich 1917 Armament

Published: November 22nd, 2015     
Russian Battleship Tsesarevich 1917 Armament
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1/350
Company: Master Model

Tsesarevich (Russian: Цесаревич) was a pre-dreadnought battleship of the Imperial Russian Navy, built in France at the end of the 19th century. The ship's design formed the basis of the Russian-built Borodino-class battleships. After repairs were made following the Russian-Japanese war, most of the small-caliber guns (47mm and 37mm) were removed. Tsesarevich was not very active during the early part of World War I and her sailors joined the general mutiny of the Baltic Fleet in early 1917.

This Master Model set provides you with 20 barrels: Four machined aluminum 305mm/40 (12”) barrels; twelve machined brass 152mm/45 (6”) barrels; two 47mm (1.85”) Hotchkiss Gun barrels; and two 37mm (1.5”) Hotchkiss gun barrels and a single page instruction sheet. As you can see in the comparison photo below, the improvements are most noticeable in the muzzle ring of the twelve 152mm barrels due to the limitations of injection plastic molding.

Shinkai 6500 Manned Research Submersible

Published: November 21st, 2015     
Shinkai 6500 Manned Research Submersible
Reviewed by: John Noack, IPMS# 23017
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

First launched in 1991, the SHINKAI 6500 is a manned submersible that can dive to depths of 6,500 meters (20,000 feet). Operated by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Shinkai has completed over 1300 deep dives in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans, as well as the Sea of Japan.

In 2012, the vessel underwent a major upgrade, including conversion from a single aft prop to two thrusters and the addition of one more horizontal thruster for maneuverability.  Hasegawa offers the kit with two build options to reflect the original and upgraded version of the submersible. To clarify the build process and the differences, the instruction sheet includes complete build sequences for each version. It's worth taking the time to go through the instructions – particularly since other sub-options are offered within each build – to end up with the configuration you've chosen.