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USS Rueben James

Published: July 10th, 2011     
USS Rueben James
Reviewed by: John Lyons - IPMS# 47470
Scale: 1/350
Company: Academy Models

Short History

USS Reuben James (FFG-57), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate, is the third ship of the U.S. Navy named for Reuben James, a boatswain's mate who distinguished himself fighting the Barbary pirates.

Reuben James was born in Delaware, Ohio about 1776. He joined the Navy and served on various ships, including the frigate USS Constellation. During the Barbary Wars, the American frigate Philadelphia was captured by the Barbary pirates, when it ran aground in the city of Tripoli, on the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, along with a group of volunteers that included Reuben James, entered the harbor of Tripoli under the cover of darkness in an attempt to burn the Philadelphia so that the pirates could not make use of her.

Douglas DC-7C, JAL

Published: July 10th, 2011     
Douglas DC-7C, JAL
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall - IPMS# 2209
Scale: 1/144
Company: Roden


The post World War II airliner market was rather like the competition between bomber aircraft in the war. Better engines, sleeker designs, more load carrying capability, longer range, were all sought after by the various airline companies both in the US and overseas. TWA bought the Lockheed Constellation, which could carry about 100 passengers on transatlantic flights. Pan American, the other US powerhouse airline bought "Connies", but they also had a long standing relationship with Douglas Aircraft. The Douglas DC-7 could fly New York to LA nonstop, but couldn't do the Atlantic. The DC-7C could fly the Atlantic nonstop.

Unfortunately for the Connie and the DC-7, the Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8, Convair 880, and the VC-10 were coming into service, and the DC-7C began to disappear.


The box contains the fuselage halves, wing top and bottom, and two sprues of small parts. There's a flight deck, with just a console for detail. I added two seats beside the console. They're made from the part number tags from the sprue of another kit. I prefer the term "frugal", thank you. Otherwise, the build was straight from the box.

HH-60H Rescue Hawk

Published: July 10th, 2011     
HH-60H Rescue Hawk
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner Jr. - IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Skunk Models Workshop

Skunkworks is a brand name from Lucky Models. They have released some really unique sets in the past including weapons sets, Navy deck tractors, and UAVs. This is one the first of their new helicopters, the HH-60H Rescue Hawk. The Rescue Hawk is a development of the SH-60F Seahawk designed to retrieve downed aviators behind enemy lines.

The kit comes in a colorful end opening box with some really nice photos of the built model. The basis of this kit is based on Italeri molds. It is molded in light grey plastic. The kit has recessed panel lines and some really fine rivets. The detail is very nice. Along with the grey plastic is a sprue of clear parts from the Italeri kit. If that was all that was included you'd say, yeah whooped deedo. Skunkworks adds more, a lot more. First off there are two new sprues one molded in clear plastic, including new cockpit doors. This will prevent the unsightly join that inevitably comes from adding the window to a plastic door. The other sprue is in a light grey plastic with some of the sensors and mission specific items.

Vickers Valiant BK. Mk 1

Published: July 9th, 2011     
Vickers Valiant BK. Mk 1
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Airfix

Airfix. This iconic manufacturer that has come and gone, and returned throughout the years; they have returned under the support of Hornby, a well-established, forward thinking company, delivering what can only be described as world class kits. Reasonably priced, detailed far better than the old days, and coming back with models we have asked for; In this case, we have yet another example of what Airfix/Hornby can do; the Valiant! I have walked around underneath the surviving Valiant back in 1984 when visiting IWM Hendon, and it is a lot bigger than it looks in model form!

Arado Ar196A Express Mask

Published: July 8th, 2011     
Arado Ar196A Express Mask
Reviewed by: Roger Carrano - IPMS# 45853
Scale: 1/32
Company: Eduard

Eduard has released another set of die-cut flexible masks and this one is for the 1/32 Revell AR196A kit (No. 04688). This set includes all of the required masks for every piece of "glass". The material used is not unlike the material that Tamiya uses for their masking tape. It has the same holding qualities and peels off easily without leaving any residue. I coat all of my "glass" with a layer of Future which also helps to stop the glue from sticking. If you don't use anything on your "glass", a light stick to the backside of your hand should take care of the residue, if any.

Anyway, the fit is right on and it has a slight stretching quality to it if you feel the need to do so. I was one of those guys who would spend lots of time masking with tape and even though it came out good, trying these masks just once convinced me that all the effort and time was wasted and all that time spent could have been put to better use. After the first try I was hooked. I don't have to worry about the knife slipping and leaving a slice mark on the part or having to re-do it because I cut too short. The example shows the mask with no cutting to make it fit. It went on perfectly.

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