Ships

Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

U.S.S. San Antonio LPD-17

Published: June 25th, 2014     
U.S.S. San Antonio LPD-17
Reviewed by: Jim Porche', IPMS# 20296
Scale: 1/700
Company: Cyber-Hobby

Parts count:

  • 7 - Total plastic trees including
  • 1 - 3 piece stand in light grey plastic
  • 1 - Upper Hull in light grey plastic
  • 1 - Waterline Hull in light grey plastic
  • 2 - 24 piece MV-22s in light grey plastic
  • 2 - 119 pieces for Ship details in light grey plastic
  • 1 - Photo etched tree with 7 pieces
  • 1 - 2 ½” x 4” decal sheet covering 1 version and 4 MV-22s
  • 1 - 7 Step instruction book

Upon opening the kit I found the plastic to be delicately molded in an easy to paint light grey styrene with fair detail for a model its scale and size.  The parts count is rather high because many of the details are molded as fine separate niceties.  Very small (less than an 1/8th inch) parts such as the masks, life rafts, antenna, and supports are molded in this fine plastic and make use of magnifying devices necessary.

US Heavy Cruisers 1941-45 - Pre-war Classes

Published: June 2nd, 2014     
US Heavy Cruisers 1941-45 - Pre-war Classes
Author: Mark Stille CDR, USN (Ret)
Reviewed by: Ned Ricks, IPMS# 36013
Company: Osprey Publishing

Highlights from Osprey’s website: “Designed and produced under the regulations of the Washington Naval Treaty, the heavy cruisers of the Pensacola, Northampton, Portland, New Orleans and Wichita classes were exercises in compromise. While they possessed very heavy armament – the Pensacolas, for example, carrying a main battery of ten 8” guns – this came at the cost of protection – armor was the same thickness as a gun cruiser, and incapable of protecting the vessels from enemy 8” fire. As the classes evolved, these flaws began to be corrected, with the main battery being reduced, and increased protection being added to the vital areas of the ship. Despite these drawbacks, the pre-war heavy cruiser classes served with distinction throughout World War II.”

This volume does a good job of informing the largely uninitiated (that would be this reviewer) about the difficulties of designing these large warships and the consequences of the decisions made.

Bismarck Main 38cm SKC/34; Secondary 15cm; and AAA 10.5cm, 37mm SKC/30,and 20mm C/30 Turned Metal Gun Barrels

Published: May 29th, 2014     
Bismarck Main 38cm SKC/34; Secondary 15cm; and AAA 10.5cm, 37mm SKC/30,and 20mm C/30 Turned Metal Gun Barrels
Reviewed by: Christopher Martens, IPMS# 48653
Scale: 1/200
Company: Master Model

Trumpeter’s recent 1/200 scale Bismarck is a gigantic kit at over four feet in length! Using plastic for her guns is, frankly, a serious disservice.  Fortunately, Master Model has fired a salvo of several metal barrel upgrade sets aimed squarely at this large-scale Bismarck.

The three Bismarck sets being reviewed are:

  • SM-200-06 - 1/200 German battleship Bismarck - main gun barrels - 38 cm (15in) SKC/34 (8 pcs) - $24.00
  • SM-200-07 - 1/200 German battleship Bismarck - secondary and heavy AA armament barrels - 15cm (12 pcs), 10,5 cm (16 pcs) - $15.00
  • SM-200-08 - 1/200 German battleship Bismarck - anti-aircraft armament barrels - 37 mm SKC/30 (16 pcs), 20 mm C/30 (12 pcs), 20 mm C/38 (8 pcs) - $15.00

Master Model has excelled in creating amazing turned metal products at reasonable prices, and these upgrades are no exception. The main guns are huge, well machined, and beautiful. The secondary and AA guns have astounding detail.

US Navy Airborne Mark 13 Torpedoes (Early and Improved Types)

Published: May 29th, 2014     
US Navy Airborne Mark 13 Torpedoes (Early and Improved Types)
Reviewed by: Christopher Martens, IPMS# 48653
Scale: 1/350
Company: Master Model

Master Model has a knack for making impossibly small upgraded detail “kits” that are assembled from turned-metal parts and photoetch (PE).  Previous highlights included the 1/72 scale six-barreled M61 Vulcan machine gun found in most modern US fighters, and the 1/72 GAU-8 Avenger gun tip, found at the business end of an A-10.

Now, Master has somewhat outdone themselves with two “kit” versions of the aircraft-carried WWII Mark 13 torpedo…in 1/350 scale:

HMS Dreadnought 12in and 12pdr Turned Metal Gun Barrels

Published: May 29th, 2014     
HMS Dreadnought 12in and 12pdr Turned Metal Gun Barrels
Reviewed by: Christopher Martens, IPMS# 48653
Scale: 1/350
Company: Master Model

Master Model, maker of some amazingly detailed metal replacement parts, offers a new turned-metal barrel upgraded set for the 1/350 scale Zvezda kit of the HMS Dreadnought.  The set consists of ten turned-aluminum 12in main gun barrels and twelve turned-brass 12-pounder secondary gun barrels. Both barrel sizes are spectacularly cut.

Using the Master Model barrels couldn’t be easier, as they feature a small mounting peg at the breech end of the barrels.  Simply remove an existing kit barrel, drill a small hole in its place, and insert and secure the Master barrel’s mounting peg into the hole with a bit of CA glue.

Like many of the Master Model barrel sets, this set is not only limited to use with the HMS Dreadnought, as both the 12-inch and 12-pounder guns were found on many other British ships before and during WWI.

This set is a welcome addition to raise the detail level on Zvezda’s HMS Dreadnought.  Once again, Master Model has delivered a top-notch product that deserves praise and a hearty recommendation.

US Navy 16"/50 caliber Mark 7, 14"/45 caliber, and 5"/51 caliber Turned Metal Gun Barrels

Published: May 29th, 2014     
US Navy 16"/50 caliber Mark 7, 14"/45 caliber, and 5"/51 caliber Turned Metal Gun Barrels
Reviewed by: Christopher Martens, IPMS# 48653
Scale: 1/700
Company: Master Model

Master Model has turned out quite a few turned-metal parts in the last few years.  They’ve recently sighted in on some common US Navy guns with three new turned-metal barrel upgrade sets as part of their Sea Master line of products:

  • SM-700-37- 1/700 USN 16in/50 Mark 7 barrels (9 pcs) - Iowa and Montana battleship classes- $7.00
  • SM-700-38 - 1/700 USN 14in/45 (12 pcs) - New York (B-34), Nevada (B-36) and Pennsylvania (B-38) classes - fits to USS Arizona model - $7.00
  • SM-700-39 - 1/700 USN 5in/51 (22 pcs) - many USN warships - fits to USS Arizona model - $5.50

Both the 16” and 14” barrel sets are an excellent replacement for kit parts. The barrels are hollow and the shapes appear dead on. The 5in/51 barrels are fantastic, but they will require a modeler of extreme skill and determination to use thanks to their small, but accurate, size in 1/700 scale.

Model Art Modeling Magazine, #889, All About IJN Destroyers 1918-1941

Published: May 23rd, 2014     
Model Art Modeling Magazine, #889, All About IJN Destroyers 1918-1941
Reviewed by: Mike Van Schoonhoven, IPMS# 41627
Company: Model Art

Model Art Magazine is a monthly publication covering aircraft, armor, ships and car modeling. Model Art began releasing magazines in 1966, and has evolved over the past forty-six years. They also release many special issues during the year, as is the case of this sample.

This issue covers IJN destroyers that were produced from 1918 - 1941. The classes include: Minekaze, Kamikaze, Momi, Wakatake, Mutsuki, Fufuki (Tokugata), Hatsuharu, Shiratsuyu, Asashio, Kagero, Yugumo, Akizuki, Shimakasze and Matsu. The magazine is broken down into ten sections.

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.