Ships

Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

Flower Class Corvette Spiraea

Published: September 22nd, 2014     
Flower Class Corvette Spiraea
Reviewed by: James Binder,, IPMS# 49206
Scale: 1/350
Company: Mirage Hobby

This kit comes to us from Mirage Models out of Poland and is the third boxing of this type of ship, the other two kits in the series being the HMS Anchusa and the HMS Zinnia. The kit itself is molded in a medium gray and consists of three sprues marked A,B,E (more on this in the review). The sprue connection points are a bit thicker than on a Revell or Tamyia kit, but are fairly easy to cut through with a number 11 blade or a breeze for a razor saw. The kit also gives you photoetch railings and main mast ladder and a small decal sheet with the ID numbers for the boat and a British Naval Flag for the rear flagstaff.

This is my first ship model in probably 25 years but I thought it would be a good kit to try to get back into the ship arena. Not overly large or a lot of pieces and from the photos I had seen of other builds it would build up into a nice little ship. It was interesting to research and I found that ships and their camouflage patterns changed as much and as often, if not more so, than the aircraft I was used to building.

USS Carronade

Published: September 15th, 2014     
USS Carronade
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Scale: 1/168
Company: Lindberg/Round 2

The Ship

The USS Carronade was commissioned in 1955 and was designed to provide close in fire support for amphibious landings. Her 5" gun was the same weapon mounted on US destroyers and had proved itself in close in support over and over during WW II and its eight 5.5" automatic rocket launchers could fire 30 rockets a minute, meaning 240 rockets could be on their way to some unlucky target within one minute. Because of her cruiser type bow and potentially heavy firepower, she was often called a "bobtailed cruiser" due to her superstructure being so far aft. As a matter of fact, one release of this kit was titled Bobtail Cruiser and not USS Carronade.

After a couple of west coast tours and one cruise to the orient, the Carronade was de-commissioned in 1960 and placed in reserve. When the Brown Water Navy of the Vietnam War needed some heavier fire support, the Carronade was re-commissioned in 1965 and served with several other fire support ships in Inshore Fire Support Division 93. Again decommissioned in 1969, she was sold for scrap in 1974.

Sino-Japanese Naval War 1894-1895

Published: September 11th, 2014     
Sino-Japanese Naval War 1894-1895
Author: Piotr Olender
Reviewed by: Mike Hanson, IPMS# 41117
Company: MMP Books

I enjoy looking at and reading about early military steam ships that participated in conflicts prior to WWII, such as the Spanish-American War or even the US Civil War. So when I saw this book up for review, I knew I had to read it.

Piotr Olender’s book on the Sino-Japanese Naval War qualifies as an eclectic subject. I’m not sure there are any model kits that feature ships from this war, though there are kits of ships from this general era. That’s where this book really shines. It covers, in detail, nearly all of the ships from both sides that took part in this war. Additionally, if features period photographs and has some excellent line drawings.

Where the text of some books of this type can be very dry and hard to read, this one is just the opposite. It’s very engaging, and even though the author does supply plenty of dry info in the form of tables and lists, he also tells a good story with the rest of his text.

U-Boat Type IX C (U-505 late)

Published: August 24th, 2014     
U-Boat Type IX C (U-505 late)
Reviewed by: Mike Kellner, IPMS# 30864
Scale: 1/72
Company: Revell, Inc.

The U-505 was a Type IX C late-war boat completed in 1942 and refitted in 1943. A “hard luck” sub from the beginning for the German Navy, the U-505 was damaged in action, had a captain commit suicide, and finally, was captured by the Americans in 1944…she is now a museum piece at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. I went and visited her for this kit build to check details, and found only the bow section to have any rivets left showing. When I inquired as to what happened to the rest, I was told that thanks to the boat’s being out in the Chicago elements for years, they figured they’ve lost up to 70% of the hull thickness. There also were many welded-on patches to hold her together, which looked like big band-aids.

The U-505 kit comes in a large, impressive, remote control kit-size box. The spruces are packed in poly bags, and there’s a second cardboard deck about 2/3 the way up inside the box. Although the parts were bagged they were able to rattle, and I had several broken parts. There were also dents and holes on the inside of the box where parts had slid around in transit and hit hard.

Chinese Navy Type 052D Missile Destroyer Changsha

Published: August 21st, 2014     
Chinese Navy Type 052D Missile Destroyer Changsha
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/350
Company: Bronco Models

The Type 052D is a Chinese designed and built missile destroyer. It features an active electronically scanned array radar system and it is refer by the Chinese media as the “Chinese Aegis”. There are two ships in the class completed and several more under construction. This kit represents the second ship of the class, “Changsha”.

Upon opening the box you find 13 sprues, 2 photo-etch frets (one of them for the nameplate), one clear sprue for the helicopter and a small decal sheet. The superstructure is packed on its individual box –inside the main box-. Despite the precautions my sample got slightly warped during transit (see photo).

This is a nice sized kit, with the hull being almost 18.5 inches long. There is no option for waterline hull, however there is an flat internal piece –that provides strength to the hull assembly- and some modeler might feel courageous enough to convert the full hull into a waterline model.

The instruction booklet includes multicolor line drawing instructions (CAD-style) in 16 steps. The first 3 steps relates to the boats/rafts, helicopters and bow details, including the main deck gun.

USN Sailors WWII Self Adhesive

Published: August 21st, 2014     
USN Sailors WWII Self Adhesive
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/200
Company: Eduard

If you are looking to add some “life” to your next 1/200 scale US Navy ship, allow me to direct your attention to Eduard release 53109.  This set contains 1/200 scale figures that are pre-painted, and require simple bending in order to create more of a three-dimensional effect.  Although labeled as WWII, the U.S. Navy, being all about tradition, kept the denim work uniform in use past my discharge in 1991.  The only challenge would be with the dress white uniform as the one depicted in the kit was discontinued sometime after the 1940’s.  The figures are easy enough for anyone who is experienced with photo etched parts to use, and will make a nice addition to your next Ship, Submarine, or Boat of this scale.

U-boat IXC Set 3

Published: August 19th, 2014     
U-boat IXC Set 3
Reviewed by: Mike Kellner, IPMS# 30864
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

Set 3 of the Eduard Photo etch set for the Revell U-505 submarine in 1/72 scale consists of detail for the hull. I’m not a “PE guy” but as with Part 2 of the Eduard sets, when asked, I accepted the challenge since I had the opportunity to build the sub.

This set consists of one sheet of brass. Although the instructions do not show any removal of kit parts needed to install this set, I found that they adhere much better is you carefully remove the detail of the kit before gluing on the PE. It mostly consists of removing rivet detail.

I cut the parts from the fret with a sharp #11 blade and sanded them smooth with a sanding stick. The instructions are clear and the parts fit perfectly. This would be a great “first try” at using photo etch if you haven’t done so before.

My thanks to IPMS/USA and to Eduard for the opportunity to review this subject.

U-boat IXC Set 2

Published: August 18th, 2014     
U-boat IXC Set 2
Reviewed by: Mike Kellner, IPMS# 30864
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

Set 2 of Eduard's PE for the new Revell U-505 in 1/72 scale consists of detail for the deck plus the armament. I’m not particularly “into” photo etch, but when asked I accepted, since I had the opportunity to build the sub. This set consists of one sheet of brass.

I started with the deck plates, as I thought they would be the easiest components. Although the instructions show that Eduard wants the builder to remove various kit parts which they mark in red, there was no removal needed for these parts. I found, however, that removing the kit details (rivets) in the areas where the plates fit worked much better because that way they lie flat. They fit great and adhered nicely with super glue. (I used Bob Smith Industries thin CA for attaching them).

German 8.8cm Submarine Gun

Published: August 5th, 2014     
German 8.8cm Submarine Gun
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

At the start of WWII, the U-boat packs operated with impunity in the North Atlantic and while their torpedoes sunk a lot of ships, their deck guns did a lot of damage also. This ended with the advent or air patrols and small carriers. Eduard has produced an excellent resin and photoetch kit of the 8.8cm gun used on the Type VII U-boats. My only recommendation is to check references in that on the later Type VII's, the gun was removed due to its ineffectiveness due to the threat of aircraft.

Eduard kit consists of 14 perfect resin parts and 15 photoetch parts on a single fret. The first dozen of these parts actually forms the gun sight alone. Fit is excellent but the parts are small with some being 2mm long and requiring bends. The rest of the gun assembly is smooth with the resin parts coming off the pour stubs easily and fitting perfectly. Add the adjustment wheels and tampion (gun plug) and its clamp and the gun can be set aside.

USS Intrepid - Part 1

Published: August 3rd, 2014     
USS Intrepid - Part 1
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Scale: 1/350