Ships

Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

Italian Cruisers of World War II

Published: May 20th, 2018     
Italian Cruisers of World War II
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci PhD - IPMS# 33549

Mark Stille is a retired Commander of the US Navy and has written a succession of books for Osprey Publishing on naval topics. He continues as an intelligence analyst at the Pentagon. New Vanguard 258 covers Italian cruisers of World War Two, an overlooked topic. This book joints Stille's previous Osprey Vanguard 182 book on WW2 Italian Battleships (previously reviewed for IPMSUSA in 2011). Like other Osprey books, this issue is 48 pages (not counting the front/back covers) - not enough for an in-depth treatment of WW2 Regia Marina cruisers, but enough for an excellent synopsis of design, characteristics and history of each ship.

This book provides four pages of full-color side profiles of specific Italian cruisers, a two-page cutaway illustration of the Pola, a heavy cruiser, showing internal arrangements, and two full page illustrations of specific cruisers in specific actions. The book is sectioned into an Introduction with a brief overview of Italian cruiser origins, design, weapons and fire-control, followed by sections on major battles, heavy cruisers, light cruisers and an overview.

Submarine Project 613 / Whiskey III

Published: May 20th, 2018     
Submarine Project 613 / Whiskey III
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle - IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/350
Company: MikroMir

After having published someone else's review on a Mikro Mir 1/350 submarine kit I was intrigued to build one for myself. After a quick review of the available models, I opted for the Whiskey III kit. I can say I'm very happy to have built my first ship model in over 40 years. The Whiskey Class of submarine was conceived in the late 1940's with a design heavily influenced by the Russian analysis of a captured Type XXI U-Boat. During the 1950's approximately 220 - 240 Whiskey class boats were built (Class I through V). Wikipedia reports that by the end of the cold war, all Whiskey class boats have been retired by the Soviet Navy.

USS Richard B. Russell SSN-687

Published: May 16th, 2018     
USS Richard B. Russell SSN-687
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead - IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/700
Company: OKB Grigorov

"They saved the best for last." The USS Richard B. Russell (SSN-687), named for the Georgia senator who served his state from 1933 to 1971, was the 37th and final boat of the Sturgeon class, and was the ninth long-hull version of the class. Built in the Newport News Shipyard, her keel was laid 19 October 1971; she was launched 12 January 1974, and was commissioned 16 August 1975. She was decommissioned 24 June 1994, and was scrapped through the Ship and Submarine Recycling Program between 1 October 2001 and 3 January 2003. Powered by an S5W reactor, the boat could travel at speeds of 15 knots surfaced, and 25 knots while submerged. The crew complement was 126, and she was armed with four 21-inch torpedo tubes.

A recent addition to the IPMS Review Corps suppliers is OKB Grigorov, which started business in 2003 in the European Union. The kit is a simple affair consisting of a hull, sail, sail planes, outer tabs for the diving planes, propeller tip, and a base that are all cast in gray resin along with a photoetched propeller. Inside the box, the hull was separately wrapped in a foam sheet, and then it and the other contents were enclosed in bubble wrap.

German Sprengboot Tornado

Published: May 12th, 2018     
German Sprengboot Tornado
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/35
Company: MikroMir

As WWII started going towards its end and the Germans were backed into a corner, they came up with some interesting ideas to try and turn the tide of the war around. Like the Japanese Kamikaze group, the German Kriegsmarine came up with the Sprengboot Tornado. The thought was to take two of the large floats from a Ju-52 Floatplane and add 7-800kg of explosives and provide power with the V-1's pulsejet engine. The theory was to get the boat up to speed of 53 mph having a pilot guide the ship and when close the pilot would take an attached boat or just bail out while the Tornado was remotely guided to hit the target. One of these was built and tested for sea trials but was destroyed as the allies overtook Europe. MikroMir has produced a kit of this very unusual subject in large 1/35 scale so let's look in the box.

The first thing of notice is the four large pontoon halves accompanied by three sprues of parts to finish the build. Also included are a sprue of clear parts, a photoetch sheet and clear instrument panel. There are no markings included.

USS Thresher (SSN-593)

Published: May 5th, 2018     
USS Thresher (SSN-593)
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/350
Company: MikroMir

I have always had an interest in submarines after visiting the USS Cod in Cleveland. When the USS Thresher came up for review from MikroMir, I jumped at the change. The USS Thresher was the first of the new (in 1961) Permit class subs and had all the modern equipment for the time. She was 279 feet long and nuclear powered. Sadly, she was the first of the nuclear subs to be lost at sea during driving trials when she imploded about 350km east of Cape Cod on April 10, 1963.

MikroMir's kit of the Thresher consists of two hull halves split upper and lower, a small PE fret with the propeller and other parts, decals for all subs in this class, two base parts and lastly, a small gray sprue containing the scopes, diving planes and the rest of the parts. Parts are nicely engraved and flash free. I have attached a copy of the instructions also.

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