Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

US Navy Battleships 1886 - 98

Published: August 3rd, 2019     
US Navy Battleships 1886 - 98
Author: Brian Lane Herder, Illustrated by Paul Wright, F. Rodriguez, and A. Gilliland
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Company: Osprey Publishing

In the 1860s the US Navy led the world with the innovative, turreted ironclad USS Monitor - a vessel that gave rise to a series of warships whose name defined the class. However, within ten years of the end of the Civil War, the US Navy had become a mere ghost of its former size and power. Ships were decommissioned, sailors released from service, and the Secretary of the Navy was returning funds to the Treasury. By the 1880s, British built ironclad battleships of the Brazilian and Chilean navies caused panic within the halls of Congress and along the east and west coasts of the United States. Frustrated officers from the US Navy, along with insightful members of Congress and the Garfield administration determined that major changes were needed to prevent the US Navy from declining into irrelevance.

The Russian Destroyer Spravedlivvy, 1956

Published: July 27th, 2019     
The Russian Destroyer Spravedlivvy, 1956
Author: Oleg Pomoshnikov, Jan Radziemski
Reviewed by: Marc Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Company: Kagero Publications

Casemate Publishers, distributors for Kagero Publications, has added another title to their ongoing series of Super Drawings in 3D. This time they turn their attention to the Russian Destroyer Spravedlivvy. Built in 1956, the ship was part of a class of Soviet destroyers that are not well known in the west. By no means an iconic ship, given that Kagero is based in Poland, this ship was turned over to the Polish navy in 1970 where it took the name Warszawa (Warsaw). When it went into service with the Polish navy, the ship had been modified to carry missiles. The book looks at its original configuration, as the ship was commissioned, rather than in its modified form.

USA WWII Landing Vehicle Set

Published: July 7th, 2019     
USA WWII Landing Vehicle Set
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum, IPMS# 26328
Scale: 1/350
Company: Hobby Fan Trading Co., Ltd.

In conjunction with their release of the U.S. LST-1 Class of ships, AFV Club has also release a box of 1/350 WWII military vehicles to populate the deck and well deck of the ship. Injection molded, the set includes two sprues, one the duplicate of the other allowing the modeler to build 7 different vehicles and 2 artillery pieces from each sprue for a total of 18 pieces in a box. Also included is a set of decals, which curiously does not match the number of vehicles. The instructions are isometric and printed on the box. There is no locating guide for the decals, just side view color drawings of the vehicles, so the modeler must rely on research for marking placement on the tops of the vehicles. Plus, the color call outs are poor. But aren't all WWII vehicles olive drab?

HMS M1 Submarine

Published: June 16th, 2019     
HMS M1 Submarine
Reviewed by: John Noack, IPMS# 23017
Scale: 1/700
Company: OKB Grigorov

HMS Submarine M.1 was an innovative but ill-fated attempt to overcome the poor performance and high per-shot cost of contemporary torpedoes. The unique solution was to add a 12-inch Mark IX gun, initially intended for battleship use. The gun was to be fired at a flat trajectory on the surface, or even at periscope depth (!) through use of a simple bead gunsight. 3 of the 4 M-class vessels that were ordered were actually completed, but operational results were poor at best. To reload, the sub had to surface, and it has been reported that the Royal Navy was reluctant to risk the possibility of German replication of this concept. M1, the first in the class, did not see wartime service, and sadly was lost in a collision with a Swedish transport vessel in 1925, and was discovered again in 1999, reported in a BBC television documentary airing the next year.

The Japanese Destroyer Shimakaze

Published: May 20th, 2019     
The Japanese Destroyer Shimakaze
Author: Mariusz Motyka
Reviewed by: Andrew Birkbeck, IPMS# 27087
Company: Kagero Publishing

Kagero Publishing of Poland has two lines of books that include titles with a nautical bent and aimed at scale modelers: Super Drawings in 3D and Top Drawings. The former covers a ship in great detail via the use of color 3D renderings, while the latter covers a ship in great detail via black and white line drawings. The books are sized differently, with the 3D books numbering 80 to 90 A4 sized pages, while the Top Drawings books number 20 to 30 A4 sized pages. Prices reflect the size and content differences, with the 3D books priced $28.95 to $36.95, and the smaller Top Drawings books priced $19.95 to $24.95.

Kagero cover the IJN destroyer Shimakaze under both titles, and it is the Top Drawings book that we are reviewing today. Shimakaze was the first of what was supposed to be a fleet of destroyers constructed on the basis of extended hulls of the Kagero class destroyers. Her keel was laid down on August 8, 1941, she was launched on July 18, 1942. However, by then the military and industrial situation for Japan had changed, and none of her proposed sister ships were ever built.