Reviews of products for scale ship models, including submarines.

HMS Illustrious

Published: April 14th, 2019     
HMS Illustrious
Reviewed by: Keith Gervasi - IPMS# 44177
Scale: 1/700
Company: Aoshima


The Illustrious class was a class of aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy that included some of the most important British warships in World War II. The 1st ship in this class was HM Illustrious. She was laid down on 27th April 1937, launched on 5th April 1939 and commissioned on 25th May 1940. The Illustrious class relied on their anti-aircraft armament and the passive defense provided by an armored flight deck for survival.

In the Illustrious class, armor was carried at the flight deck level and formed an armored box-like hangar that was an integral part of the ship's structure. This armor scheme was designed to withstand 1,000-pound bombs. The flight deck had an armored thickness of 3 inches.

The Kit

Upon opening the box you will find 13 sprues of grey plastic, 2 metal ballast, a decal sheet and an 8-page instruction fold out. The plastic is crisply molded and pretty much free of flash and sink marks. The reason for the high parts count is that there are many parts which are not used for this kit. The decals are printed cleanly, but their accuracy leaves a bit to be desired.

The Russian Battleship Marat

Published: April 10th, 2019     
The Russian Battleship Marat
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus - IPMS# 35035

Kagero's The Russian Battleship Marat 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 68 pages (excluding covers). This volume starts off with seven and a half pages of historical text followed by 61 pages of color 3D illustrations. There is also a Centerfold full of line drawings (~26.6" x 19.0") that starts with profiles at 1/350th scale and goes up to 1/50th scale for the details. I counted 117 color 3D illustrations along with one table. There are no current nor period photographs.

Super Drawings in 3D: OSA-Class Missile Boat

Published: April 10th, 2019     
Super Drawings in 3D: OSA-Class Missile Boat
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum - IPMS# 26328

I would like to thank Kagero for this review sample

Treaty Cruisers. The First International Warship Building Competition

Published: March 16th, 2019     
Treaty Cruisers. The First International Warship Building Competition
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci PhD - IPMS# 33549

Thanks to Casemate Publishing & IPMSUSA for the review copy!

This book is also available in a hardback version (302 pages) priced at $55.00.

Casemate Publishers has reprinted a definitive review of the so-called "Treaty Cruisers" by Leo Marriot. The author has a long list of military books to his credit, focusing on WW2 ground actions and WW2 to modern naval subjects, including this title. He is known for an excellent book on the Titanic and The Universe, with illustrated views from the Hubble Space Telescope.

You get a 9.25 X 6 inches size paperback book with three Parts, 14 Chapters and four Appendices. Although the covers have a red tint, the book is completely B&W (no color) inside. The small print text is interspersed with B&W photos of ships, most of which are seen elsewhere, but there are a few rare ones. There are also small line drawings of profiles of ships. But mostly, this book is crammed full of text.

Kriegsmarine Searchlight Set

Published: March 13th, 2019     
Kriegsmarine Searchlight Set
Reviewed by: Bill O'Malley - IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/200
Company: Veteran Models


(from The Battleship Bismarck, By Stefan Draminski

German battleships and heavy cruisers were equipped with seven searchlights for illumination at night or in poor visibility conditions. They were produced by Siemens-Schuckertwerke and had a diameter of 1500 mm. Three signal lamps were also provided: one on either side of the admiral's bridge, and one on a platform at the base of the mainmast.

Veteran Models Searchlight Set provides seven 1540 mm searchlights and three signal lamps, both with transparent plastic lenses. The kit includes extremely finely cast resin parts with amazing detail, and a small photoetch fret, also with amazing detail. The resin pieces are exquisitely cast with virtually no imperfections. There is some minor flash on the parts, but no bubbles or voids. Some of the resin and photoetch pieces are extremely small and delicate.

Each searchlight assembly includes 18 parts and is built in six steps. The searchlight can be assembled with a movable lamp assembly or it can be fixed in place.

The signal lamp includes five pieces including some very small and delicate handhold brackets.