Ships

Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

Type IXc U-boat Deck

Published: May 15th, 2014     
Type IXc U-boat Deck
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/72
Company: Nautilus Models

New from Jim Corley and Nautilus Models is a wood replacement deck for Revell's 1/72 Type IXc U-boat. If you have never purchased a Nautilus set of decking, it is actual wood decking (like the U-boats had) that is laser engraved to the correct pattern and with add-ons like resin parts and laser cut vinyl to complete the detailing.

The set has two large thicker sheets of wood which replicate the wood parts of a U-boats main deck. The main deck comes in two pieces. Also on the larger sheets is backing for the seam to brace it and several smaller parts of cut wood. There is also a smaller engraved sheet which includes the conning tower decking which is attached to an adhesive sheet. These also provide the bracing for the gun mounts. There are also engraved parts to replace the wood slats added to the periscope shears and conning tower. There is a vinyl sheet which is engraved and added to the main deck to show raised details. Lastly, there are cast resin hatches and storage lockers which are added for realism. Last but not least, there is an excellent set of instructions detailing how to add and finish the set.

Submarine I-365

Published: May 8th, 2014     
Submarine I-365
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/350
Company: Aoshima

After building the Aoshima rendering of the Imperial Japanese Navy Cruiser Submarine I-16 a couple of years ago, I was interested in reviewing this release of the I-365 Transport Submarine. I took one photo for this review showing the two submarines side by side to show a size comparison of the two. Like the I-16 kit, the I-365 went together well, for the most part, and should not present too many challenges for modelers with some experience in dealing with small parts. The level of detail on the deck is good, but if I were building this for a competition, I would likely invest in a wood laminate deck and possibly photoetched rails.

HMS Belfast

Published: May 7th, 2014     
HMS Belfast
Reviewed by: Christopher Martens, IPMS# 48653
Scale: 1/350
Company: Trumpeter

Many ship modelers have been puzzled as to precisely why this World War 2 era heavy cruiser has never seen plastic. Belfast currently resides in London, permanently berthed as a museum and memorial. Her status as intact leaves a few decisions Trumpeter made with this kit rather puzzling.

This kit comes packaged as many Trumpeter kits these days, with foam protecting styrene particularly vulnerable to damage. I saw no flash and injection points are all well hidden. Molding is extremely crisp, and many details will not need photo etch replacements. The hatches are WWII era British, which is a nice detail. Both her AA and pom poms are good, especially for plastic. The PE set that covers some fine details is also nice, though I wish a manufacturer would include some railings.

"Q" Ship

Published: April 23rd, 2014     
"Q" Ship
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Scale: 1/390
Company: Round 2 Models

The Ship

A lesser-known fact about u-boat attacks is that most came during broad daylight and were conducted with the u-boat's deck gun not at night with a torpedo. The convoy system was yet to be established, so when the u-boats encountered individual unescorted ships rather than waste a torpedo, which they had on board in limited numbers, the u-boat would surface and shell the target with their deck gun. Sometimes the target would surrender, so the u-boat would send over a boarding party to help themselves to whatever they wanted before they told the ship's crew to abandon ship. They then scuttled her using no more valuable ammunition. However, when the target did not surrender or chose to run, the u-boat would just blow them out of the water with the deck gun.

US Cold War Aircraft Carriers

Published: April 22nd, 2014     
US Cold War Aircraft Carriers
Author: Brad Elward, illustrated by Paul Wright
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Company: Osprey Publishing

Thank you very much to the wonderful folks at Osprey Publishing for providing this new publication for review.  Thanks are also due to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me the opportunity to explore a wonderful documentation and fascinating historical description of the earliest super carriers.

On opening the book you will find 48 glossy pages filled with text, 30 color photos, 11 black-and-white photos, 2 black-and-white drawings, and 7 color painting and diagrams.  The softcover binding is 9.75 x 7.25 inches and a little less than a quarter-inch thick, with a color photo of the U.S.S America off the starboard bow.  In 8 chapters, Mr. Elward provides a brief historical introduction explaining the roots of these early super carriers, and focuses on the Forrestal, Kitty Hawk and Enterprise classes.  I appreciate the thorough bibliography and index.    

Type 214 Class Submarine

Published: April 6th, 2014     
Type 214 Class Submarine
Reviewed by: Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/350
Company: Wolfpack Design

Thank you to the great folks at Model Rectifier (MRC) for providing this review kit.   I appreciate your hard work bringing new products to the scale modeling community.  Wolfpack Designs continues to bring forth a wealth of innovative aftermarket products and new kits.  I am deeply appreciative of the IPMS Reviewer Corps crew.  Their untiring efforts are often overlooked, but those efforts are critical to the success of the program.

The Type 214 class submarine is a German export version that is popular with many countries.  This kit fills a nice spot in my 1:350 submarine collection, providing a nice contrast with the Typhoon and Ohio examples.  A retired submarine officer told me that this particular class can have a very interesting tactical role in force projection, one worth reading about.

U.S.S. Long Beach CGN-9 1980

Published: April 4th, 2014     
U.S.S. Long Beach CGN-9 1980
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/700
Company: Cyber-Hobby

This is the third Cyber-Hobby ship model that I have been privileged to build for a review (the others being the USS Chicago and the USS Virginia), and I will say that this was the most challenging of the three.  There were a couple of complications due to my choice of building the full hull version, and there were some challenges obtaining a few of the necessary small parts.  Still, the kit builds up into a very nice representation of the USS Long Beach (CGN-9), and I would recommend it to those wanting to add this fine ship to their collection. 

USS Indianapolis (1945) Armament

Published: March 23rd, 2014     
USS Indianapolis (1945) Armament
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Scale: 1/350
Company: Master Model

This set of finely turned stainless steel and brass gun barrels for is designed for the new Academy USS Indianapolis kit. It does not include a styrene turret face, as is included in the set designed for the Trumpeter kit, but could undoubtedly be used to augment the Trumpeter San Francisco class cruisers as well.

Each of the 8” barrels are slightly tapered with very finely defined segmentations. The short stubs at the end of the barrel allows for easy insertion into the kit’s turret face. Although the barrel openings are not as pronounced as compared to other Master barrel sets (or the kit’s barrels), these barrels are noticeably longer, more even and, no doubt, more accurate than the kit parts. A couple of my kit’s barrel ends were noticeably uneven. That’s not an issue with the Master barrels. 

The 5” brass barrels are also nicely tapered and noticeably slimmer that the kit parts. They, too, have very slightly opened ends, as compared to the kit’s solid barrels.

Soviet Aircraft Carrier Baku

Published: February 26th, 2014     
Soviet Aircraft Carrier Baku
Reviewed by: Tom Pope, IPMS# 47261
Scale: 1/700
Company: Hobby Boss

Introduction

A quick search of the internet finds the Baku was a Kiev-class aircraft carrier of the Russian Navy.  Her keel was laid down in 1978 in Ukraine, she was launched in 1982, and commissioned in December 1987.  The ship was actually renamed Admiral Gorshkov after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the paint scheme and markings for this kit are more in line with those of the Adm. Gorshkov era.  Plagued by difficulties since a boiler room explosion in 1994, she was offered for sale and 1996 and eventually sold to the Indian Navy in 2004.  The Baku is an assault carrier, somewhat comparable to the newer USS Wasp class amphibious assault carriers of the U.S.  Navy.  The Baku generally sailed with 6 × twin SS-N-12 Sandbox surface-to- surface missile launchers (12 missiles), 24 × 8-cell SA-N-9 vertical surface-to-air missile launchers (192 missiles), 2 × 100 mm guns, 8 × AK-630 30 mm Close-In Weapon System guns, 10 × 533 mm torpedo tubes and 2 × RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers.  This 1/700th scale kit from Hobby Boss is a fine representation of that ship and many of those weapon systems.

U.S.S. Boxer - LHD-4

Published: February 26th, 2014     
U.S.S. Boxer - LHD-4
Reviewed by: Tom Pope, IPMS# 47261
Scale: 1/700
Company: Hobby Boss

Introduction

The USS Boxer, LHD-4, is the fourth of the Wasp class amphibious assault ship line. She entered service in 1995 and spent several years deployed to the Western Pacific.  After 9/11, the Boxer has deployed to the Persian Gulf several times and recently served as the flagship of Combined Task Force 151, fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia.  She participated in the activities surrounding the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips of the container ship Maersk Alabama.  After Capt. Phillips was rescued he was taken to the Boxer for medical treatment and rest.

In February 2013, HobbyBoss released a very precise rendition of the USS Boxer in a 1/700th scale kit.  I would like to thank MMD/Squadron for providing this kit to IPMS USA for review.