Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

SMS Torpedo Boat A-III

Published: March 4th, 2021     
SMS Torpedo Boat A-III
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus - IPMS# 35035

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.

Essex Class Aircraft Carriers 1943-1991

Published: February 25th, 2021     
Essex Class Aircraft Carriers 1943-1991
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead - IPMS# 34786

As a former carrier sailor, books on the history of these ships fascinate me, and both modelers and fans of the Essex-class carriers will enjoy this new release in the "Images of War" series from Pen and Sword in their Maritime line. There are some great photographs of the ships and their aircraft, along with some of astronaut recoveries. A total of 24 ships of the Essex-class were built and served well from World War II through Korea and Vietnam, with the last ship serving as a training carrier until 1991.

After a single page of Abbreviations and a Note on US Navy Ship Designations, the Introduction discusses the needs of the U.S. Navy following the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was fortunate that by the time of the attack that the Essex design had been finalized and that five hulls had been laid down. By the time of the Japanese surrender, 17 of these carriers had been commissioned and an additional seven would be completed after the war. The names of the 24 ships commissioned as well as the builders and dates of the hull being laid down, the launching and commissioning are all provided as are the two ships that had their hulls laid down but were not launched.

Aircraft Carrier Juan Carlos I of the Spanish Navy

Published: February 23rd, 2021     
Aircraft Carrier Juan Carlos I of the Spanish Navy
Reviewed by: Paul R. Brown - IPMS# 24085

This is the first book of a potential new series from Duke Hawkins Books on aircraft carriers. The volume grew out of its earlier book on the Harrier II/AV-8B, as while working on that book, several of their photographers were given the opportunity to visit the Juan Carlos I while she was at sea conducting operations and ended up with an extensive collection of photographs not just of the Spanish Navy's use of the EAV-8B Matador II (Harrier II Plus), but also of the ship itself and its other facets of its operations - helicopter and amphibious operations.

The book is divided into ten sections/chapters starting with a brief introduction on the ship and its missions, then providing more details on the different operations conducted from the ship and details of the ships' spaces both internal and external. Each section is beautifully illustrated with full color photographs taken by very skilled photographers. As in the Duke Hawkins aviation books, there is little stand-alone text in the book, but the captions are extensive and highly informative.

Fighting Ships of the U.S. Navy 1883-2019, Volume One - Fleet Carriers

Published: January 24th, 2021     
Fighting Ships of the U.S. Navy 1883-2019, Volume One - Fleet Carriers
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653

Fighting Ships of the US Navy is a series dedicated to exploring each ship in the US Navy's inventory since 1883. In Volume One, the author, Venner F Milewski, Jr., starts with the Fleet Aircraft Carriers in the beginning. Overall, the book has a plethora of data and information of each aircraft carrier used by the US during the last 100 years starting with the USS Langley. Taking a look at the Table of contents shows what I mean:

Knox Class Frigate Detail-up Version

Published: November 6th, 2020     
Knox Class Frigate Detail-up Version
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell - IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/700
Company: AFV Club

AFV Club has provided very nice detail-up version of the Knox Class Frigate. It's the standard kit plus a resin upper hull, a large PE sheet and resin diorama base.

  • One light grey sprue
  • One large photoetch sheet
  • One resin lower hull
  • One resin base
  • One small decal sheet
  • Two instruction sheets (one for the kit and one for the PE parts)

The basic kit is very rudimentary, so the addition of the PE and Resin parts make this a very interesting kit to build. A couple of the areas where you need to remove details that will be replaced by PE parts will need filling, for example on part 20.

The PE instruction sheet is very well presented and detailed. I also suggest you heat treat the PE parts before starting to form them as they were very fragile and will break at the fold lines. The other area to be careful is the steps on the ladders as these snap off easily.

The first thing I did was to remove all the details that will be replaced by the PE parts as there are a lot to be removed. Once this was complete, I sprayed all the parts a gray all over.