SMS Torpedo Boat A-III

Published: March 4th, 2021     
Product Image
Front Cover
Author: Oleg Pomoshnikov
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus - IPMS# 35035
ISBN #: 836667312X
E-Book ISBN #: 978-8366673120
Other Publication Information: Softbound, A4 (8.25” x 11.75”), 56 pages
Price: $37.95
Product provided by: Casemate Publishers

Kagero's SMS Torpedoboot A-III is one of the latest in their Super Drawings in 3D series. This edition is in their standard 8.25" x 11.75" format softbound publication that is 60 pages (including covers). This volume starts off with two pages of historical text followed by 61 pages of color 3D illustrations. There is also a Centerfold full of line drawings (B2; ~26.8" x 19.0") that starts with profiles at 1/100th scale and goes up to 1/25th scale for the details. I counted 106 color 3D illustrations, 42 line drawings, and two tables. There are no current nor period photographs.

Designed for use for operations off Belgium's Flanders coast, these torpedo boasts neared the size of a small destroyer. Built in three series, A-I (25 built), A-II (30 built), A-III (37 built), a total of 92 were built with each variant larger than the previous. The A-III had orders for 60 planned, but in the end, 19 to 23 were not completed and scrapped (sources differ). Built by four different shipyards, the A-III ships varied in size and outlines, especially between the Vulcan-Werke AG and the F. Schichau. This is quite evident on pages 6 and 7 where the differences are easily observed. The A-III class were essentially single stack, oil fired geared turbine steam engines driving two shafts. Armament was generally two 8.8cm guns and a 45cm torpedo tube, although the torpedo tube was only installed on A-56 through A-80. You can also see that some ships, A-56 in particular, carried a Maxim machine gun. The Chapters include:

  • Introduction [Page 4)
  • Tactical and Technical Data [Table]
  • A-56 through A-113 Build Notes [Table]
  • A-56 3D Color Illustrations [Page 9, 31, 40]
  • Scale Drawings [Centerfold, ~26.8" x 19.0"]
    • 1/100 Scale 45cm Torpedo Tube, Port, and Starboard Views
    • 1/200 Scale Port, Starboard, Top, Bow, and Stern Views
    • 1/50 Scale Dinghy, Binnacle Ship's Compass, 60cm search and signal spotlights, 8.8cm SK L/30 Gun Views
    • 1/25 Scale Maschinegewehr 08 Gun Views

Model-wise you have a couple of choices. Mirage Hobby has released three kits in 1/350, all of A-III torpedoboots, two of which served in the Polish Navy. This includes ex A-80 as ORP "Podhalanin", A-86 in German service, and ex A-59 as ORP "Slazak". I have one of these kits and they appear good in the box. Although they were all built by Vulcan-Werke AG, in Stettin, A-59 has different dimensions than A-80 and A-86. This may not be a huge issue, and certainly not as large a difference as some ships of the A-III class built at different shipyards.

I consider the Kagero Super Drawings in 3D an essential reference for model building. You get angles you can't really see in other references and they are in full color. This being the eightieth volume, they have managed to cover quite a few ships. If you have any of their previous books in the Super Drawings in 3D series, you know how great a value this book is. Highly Recommended!

My thanks to Casemate, Kagero, and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!

  • Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Cover Front
    Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Cover Front
  • Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Cover Rear
    Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Cover Rear
  • Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Centerfold
    Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Centerfold
  • Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Page 04
    Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Page 04
  • Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Page 09
    Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Page 09
  • Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Page 31
    Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Page 31
  • Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Page 40
    Kagero 16080 SD in 3D SMS Torpedoboot A-III Page 40

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