Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

Kayak Robot

Published: February 24th, 2016     
Kayak Robot
Reviewed by: Marc Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Company: Academy

Academy is one of the most eclectic kit manufacturers on the market. Not only do they make traditional models in a range of scales, they also make educational kits such as this one. It’s nice to see a mainstream company try a variety of strategies to entice younger modelers into the hobby.

The Kit

There are four sprues, all of translucent plastic that are of different colors. The plastic is on the soft side, but certainly strong enough to meet the demands of moving the kayak through the water. For those of us not mechanically inclined, the motor and gear box are pre-assembled, so no fears of trying to trying to become an electrician or mechanical engineer. There is a small sheet of stickers for the little robot man, but that’s about it.

USS California: A Visual History of the Golden State Battleship BB-44

Published: February 21st, 2016     
USS California: A Visual History of the Golden State Battleship BB-44
Author: David Doyle
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Ampersand Publishing

This is Ampersand’s first nautical book, a new series that promises to focus on US capital ships of World War II. It follows the format as David Doyle’s “Flying Wings” and “Consolidated B-36” books, but is in hard cover. Ampersand got their start in 1993 when Pat Stansell distributed a free issue of Military Miniatures in Review at the IPMS Nationals in Atlanta. Ampersand joined forces with HobbyLink Japan in 2008 and have continued to expand their military AFV publications ever since.

True to the Visual History Series name, the focus of this book in on the visual detailing the development and service history of the USS California. BB-44, nicknamed the “Prune Barge”, was one of two USS Tennessee-class battleships and was the fifth ship of the United States Navy named after the state of California. Ampersand is calling this an “Extended” version of their Visual History format and it runs 168 pages packed with large, clear photographs of BB-44 from her 1916 keel laying to 1959, where she was sold for scrap.

British 4.7"/45 (120mm) QF Marks IX and XII Barrels

Published: February 13th, 2016     
British 4.7"/45 (120mm) QF Marks IX and XII Barrels
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci, PhD, IPMS# 33459
Scale: 1/700
Company: Master Model

Thanks to Master-Model for the barrels and IPMSUSA staff for handling the request and publishing this review.

Bottom Line

Master-Model supplies the ultimate barrels for 4.7in/45 (120mm) main guns for most WW2 British destroyer classes.

Gato Class Submarine

Published: February 8th, 2016