Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

German Commerce Raiders 1914-18

Published: December 27th, 2015     
German Commerce Raiders 1914-18
Author: Ryan K. Noppen; Illustrated by Paul Wright
Reviewed by: Jeff Leiby, IPMS# 30249
Company: Osprey Publishing

This is the story of Germany's commerce raiders of World War I which were the surface ships that were supposed to starve the British Isles of the vast cargoes of vital resources being shipped from the furthest reaches of the Empire. To that end pre-war German naval strategists allocated a number of cruisers and armed, fast ocean liners, as well as a complex and globe-spanning supply network to support them This was known as the Etappe network. This book, drawing on technical illustrations and the author's exhaustive research, explains the often overlooked role that the commerce raiders played in World War I. Whilst exploring the design and development of the ships, it also describes their operational history, how they tied up a disproportionate amount of the British fleet on lengthy pursuits, and how certain raiders such as the SMS Emden were able to wreak havoc across the oceans.

R.M.S Titanic

Published: December 16th, 2015     
R.M.S Titanic
Reviewed by: Marc Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Scale: 1/1000
Company: Academy

Academy, the prolific Korean kit maker, continues to appeal to a broad spectrum of model makers. Kits that are easy to assemble have always been an entry point for modeling. Academy continues this trend with this very easy to assemble kit of the Titanic. There’s no need to retell that story here. The Titanic has been the subject of many kits, so here’s another one to add to your Titanic collection.

The Kit

The seven sprues have specific ‘Titanic’ colors, so they don’t require paint. The pieces are well molded, with a just a small amount of flash, something that a new modeler would more than likely not be too concerned about. The hull pieces are packaged separately with seven additional sprues of parts, including a small sprue of gold plated parts (the anchors and three props). Rather than water slide decals, the kit includes a small sheet of stickers.

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.