Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

Shinkai 6500 Manned Research Submersible

Published: November 21st, 2015     
Shinkai 6500 Manned Research Submersible
Reviewed by: John Noack, IPMS# 23017
Scale: 1/72
Company: Hasegawa

First launched in 1991, the SHINKAI 6500 is a manned submersible that can dive to depths of 6,500 meters (20,000 feet). Operated by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Shinkai has completed over 1300 deep dives in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans, as well as the Sea of Japan.

In 2012, the vessel underwent a major upgrade, including conversion from a single aft prop to two thrusters and the addition of one more horizontal thruster for maneuverability.  Hasegawa offers the kit with two build options to reflect the original and upgraded version of the submersible. To clarify the build process and the differences, the instruction sheet includes complete build sequences for each version. It's worth taking the time to go through the instructions – particularly since other sub-options are offered within each build – to end up with the configuration you've chosen.

Ship Plans No. 1-Japanese Destroyer Minekaze

Published: October 3rd, 2015     
Ship Plans No. 1-Japanese Destroyer Minekaze
Author: Grzegorz Nowak
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

MMP has published Ship Plans No.1 featuring the Japanese Destroyer Minekaze. This publication consists of a number of fold-out line drawings of the Minekaze in 1/350th scale, 1/200th scale, and 1/700th scale. The line drawings show the vessel as configured in 1920, 1939, and 1944.

Much detail is shown including railings, rigging, armament, depth charge racks, antennas, and utility boats. There is little text beyond captions for some of the drawings.

This publication will prove extremely useful to ship modelers who favor IJN subjects. Also, it should be noted that this publication is identified as “No 1”, promising more publications in this series.

In North America Casemate serves as the distributor for MMP, and in Australia the distributor is Platypus Publications.

You can view the book trailer for this publication at You Tube:

U-47 in Scapa Flow The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak 1939

Published: September 29th, 2015     
U-47 in Scapa Flow The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak 1939
Author: Angus Konstam, Illustrated by Peter Dennis and Alan Gilliland
Reviewed by: Steve Zajac, IPMS# 34937
Company: Osprey Publishing

Osprey Publishing’s latest edition in their Raid series looks at sinking of the HMS Royal Oak by German U-boat U-47 in 1939.  From the website: "At the outset of World War II, Scapa Flow was supposed to be the safe home base of the British Navy - nothing could penetrate the defences of this bastion. So how, in the dead of night, was Gunther Prien's U-47 able to slip through the line of protective warships to sink the mighty Royal Oak? This book provides the answer with an account of one of the most daring naval raids in history. Drawing on the latest underwater archaeological research, this study explains how Prien and his crew navigated the North Sea and Kirk Sound to land a devastating blow to the British."

Cruisers of the 1st Rank. Avrora, Diana, Pallada

Published: September 27th, 2015     
Cruisers of the 1st Rank. Avrora, Diana, Pallada
Author: Aleksiey V. Skvorcov
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

This is Mushroom Model Publications’ sixth book in their Maritime series. It is a translation of the same title in Russian published in 2012 (ISBN 978-5-904180-57-7) and is a monograph dedicated to the service of three Imperial Russian 415’ Protected Cruisers: “Aurora, Diana” and Pallada”. All three participated in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 and the Aurora and Diana participated in World War I in the Baltic Sea. The Aurora participated in the Siege of Leningrad, one of the bloodiest battles in World War II. A video trailer of the book can be seen on YouTube at Four A3 folded up plans, printed on both sides, detailing the side and top views are included from the (Russian) State Naval Archives collection. I counted 224 black and white photos and 88 drawings or sets of drawings (not counting the four sheets of folded drawings). Additionally, there are six specification tables to compare other nation’s ships against and three maps.

Commonwealth Cruisers 1939-1945

Published: September 25th, 2015