Ships

Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

USS Saratoga – Squadron at Sea

Published: March 9th, 2013     
USS Saratoga – Squadron at Sea
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

A new item recently sent to the IPMS-USA for review by the folks at Squadron is the fourth release in their Squadron at Sea series, and this edition covering the USS Saratoga (CV-3).  The book is dedicated to “the crew of the Saratoga – the Ship of Happy Landings – who helped pioneer naval aviation in peacetime, fought valiantly in wartime, and who brought many of the comrades safely home…”  The publication is 160 pages long, and as one would expect from the publishers at Squadron, it is filled with many black-and-white photographs as well as a few color pictures and some color drawings.  Author David Doyle once again does an outstanding job of telling the story of the Saratoga, from her beginnings in New York Shipbuilding in Camden, New Jersey, to her current resting place at the bottom of the Bikini Atoll.  I would highly recommend this book as both a reference and, as well, as a historical telling of the life of the third aircraft carrier of the US Navy.

USS. Skipjack, Nuclear-Powered Fast-Attack Submarine

Published: March 8th, 2013     
USS. Skipjack, Nuclear-Powered Fast-Attack Submarine
Reviewed by: Mike Kellner, IPMS# 30864
Scale: 1/72
Company: Moebius Models

When I received this kit for the review, the box wasn't as big as I’d expected, and upon opening it I also discovered the kit was double-boxed.  There’s a nice colorful outside box of typical smooth cardboard and a second inner box of fine white corrugated board.  The reason for the smaller-than-expected box is that the hull comes in four pieces – top and bottom front half and top and bottom rear half. They were packed very well with a light foam between the pieces, then sealed in a plastic bag. One side of the box states that the model is 40 inches long and the other side says it’s 42 inches long.  I measured the completed model at a little over 42 inches in length.

I really liked the way Moebius handled their instructions. All the parts are named as to what they are, besides having part numbers assigned to them. As a young modeler, this is how I learned lots about the subject I was building.

USS Greeneville, SSN-772

Published: March 3rd, 2013     
USS Greeneville, SSN-772
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/350
Company: Hobby Boss

History Brief

Our subject is a Los Angeles Class submarine, the USS Greeneville, SSN-772. It was named after the city of Greeneville, Tennessee, home of President Andrew Johnson, and is the only US Navy ship to have borne that name. She was ordered on 14 December 1988 with the contract going to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia. Her keel was laid 28 February 1992, she was launched 17 September 1994, and commissioned on 16 February 1996. The Greeneville had a few bumps and mishaps early in her career but is still serving proudly today.

Our model features an ASDS Advance SEAL Delivery System. It is basically a midget submarine that rides piggyback on larger submarines and is primarily used for covert and clandestine operations by the US Navy SEALs.

The Product

Kit consists of over 45 parts on 5 sprues including the hull, and 6 photo etched upgrade parts. It comes in a sturdy box with a one-page instruction sheet, a small decal sheet, and a full color marking & painting plate. Dimensions of completed model: length:313.4mm, beam 29.0mm. All the parts are of high quality and have excellent detailing.

USS Texas – Squadron at Sea

Published: February 25th, 2013     
USS Texas – Squadron at Sea
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Squadron Signal Publications

History

The USS Texas was commissioned 12 March 1914. The USS Texas served in both World Wars and many other conflicts during her service in the United States Navy. Her first call to action was immediately following her commissioning, when she was stationed of the coast of Vera Cruz, Mexico as a show of force.

During World War I, the USS Texas’ main duty was convoy escort. In 1919, there was even a movie shot on the Texas starring Chester Conklin. In 1925, the USS Texas was brought in for modernization. This was completed in 1926. After this time and up to the beginning of World War II, the Texas spent time operating in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

HMS Sheffield Type 43 Destroyer Batch 1

Published: February 12th, 2013     
HMS Sheffield Type 43 Destroyer Batch 1
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Scale: 1/700
Company: Cyber-Hobby

This is a re-boxing of Dragon kit  #7071 that has already been reviewed by Rod Lees. For photos of the kits parts, you can find that review in the Archives section. I will confine myself to sharing my impressions of this kit.

First off, you have to decide what ship you are building, as there are parts for around four different ships and some surgery is required on some kit parts in some instances. None of this is difficult, but you have to decide right from the git go, as the first step in assembly requires a decision. After that, you need to decide whether you're going to do it full hull or waterline. I like to place my ships in their natural environment, so I went for the waterline. Which was just as well, as a quick check of how the lower hull fit led me to believe that there were a few problems in this area – but, as I said, I dodged that bullet. One small note here is that if you do it full hull, the name plate has the molded-in name "Essex," not "Sheffield."

PT-109

Published: January 30th, 2013     
PT-109
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/35
Company: Italeri

If you were male, young, and interested in ships in the early 1960’s, you know all about President John F. Kennedy and his crew with the PT-109.  The movie PT-109 was released in June, 1963, right before President Kennedy was assassinated.  Read about it on the net… those of us of a certain age already know the story!  It’s also a great book to read…and Revell released a 1/72nd scale model of the boat at that time.  It’s still available from the Revell catalog; an unending legacy.

Now, step up into big scale.  Huge is a great moniker.  Italeri’s PT-109 is the logical follow-on use of their previously released Elco PT-596.  In 1/35nd scale, this is an absolutely massive model.  Many in the R/C community have modified the basic kit with good results; as an electric-powered model, it’s impressive to watch.  But that’s not why we’re here, is it?

HMS Dreadnought – 1907

Published: January 29th, 2013     
HMS Dreadnought – 1907
Reviewed by: Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/350
Company: Trumpeter

History Brief

May, 1905 – HMS Dreadnought approved for construction. Entered into service December, 1907, and served as the flagship of the British Royal Navy’s Home Fleet until 1912. March, 18, 1916, during the First World War, the HMS Dreadnought sank the German submarine U-29 in the North Sea. By 1918, the Dreadnought was assigned patrol duty of the Thames estuary. She was then transferred to the Reserve in 1919 and finally demolished in 1921.

The Product

Kit features 2-piece full hull, internal strengthening bulkheads, separately molded bilge keel, engraved deck plank texture, finely molded fittings, well detailed ships boats, hollow tip main battery gun barrels, 12pdr rapid fire guns, filigree masts and yardarms, display stand with nameplates, metal chains, and plenty of photo-etch parts. Includes 4-view color painting guide and decals representing jack, ensign and stern name lettering.

IJN Submarine I-20

Published: January 26th, 2013     
IJN Submarine I-20
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Scale: 1/350
Company: Aoshima

The I-20 was a Type C-1 Class submarine, which was based on the Junsen-type, developed from the Type KD6.  The C-1 Class was designed to carry the Ko-Hoteki midget submarine or Kaiten suicide torpedo.  All 5 of the boats in this class took part in the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.  All of them launched midget submarines near the harbor entrance and they were never expected to return to the mother ship.

The kit was released for the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.  There are examples of the midget submarines at the Naval Submarine School, Groton, Connecticut. While I was in Submarine School I was able to walk around them and take some pictures. In the end, the I-29 was finally

sunk by the USS Ellet in late August of 1943.

The kit comes with a really nice 16-page instruction booklet which leads you through the assembly process.  The steps are pretty logical, and the assembly is well represented by pictures.

USS Ingersoll vs Delta III SSBN

Published: January 22nd, 2013     
USS Ingersoll vs Delta III SSBN
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Scale: 1/700
Company: Cyber-Hobby

History

The USS Ingersoll was Spruance-class destroyer commissioned in April, 1980. During her short career, the Ingersoll was involved in a collision with a Pakistani oil tanker in the Straits of Malacca. Even though the Ingersoll was one of the newest ships in class, it was one of the first decommissioned. The Ingersoll was sunk as a target in July, 2003.

The Delta III class Russian submarine was first commissioned in December, 1976. There were a total of fourteen produced. As of 2008, six Delta IIIs were active. The model in the box seems to be just a generic representation of the Delta III submarine verse a specific vessel.

The Kits

The Ingersoll kit appears to have been a combination of kits that Dragon had produced. Included in the kit were a USS Ticonderoga plate and several deck options that were not used.

USS New York LPD-21

Published: January 9th, 2013     
USS New York LPD-21
Reviewed by: Rick Bellanger, IPMS# 35220
Scale: 1/350
Company: Gallery Models

At the IPMS Nationals this summer I had the opportunity to see the latest and greatest of Gallery Models/MRC's products.   I was given the opportunity and pleasure of being allowed to do the review of this kit provided by MRC/Gallery Models and IPMS/USA.

History

The USS New York, LPD 21, is the fifth ship in the San Antonio-class of amphibious transport dock vessels and the seventh ship to bear the name New York. The San Antonio-class brings together a number of modern technologies as well as the functionality performed by several different classes of amphibious assault vessels previously built. The key features of the San Antonio-class include a hull and superstructure design that reduces radar cross-section, a large flight deck on the stern, and the ability to have a wet well deck to allow for LCACs, LCUs, and other craft to enter, dock, and depart the interior of the ship. A rear ramp and door are built into the stern to enclose the well deck while underway, and be able to open to provide access to the well deck.

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