Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kit review vol.23: Wickes Class Destroyer

HMS Campbeltown Wickes Class Destroyer
US$ 35,00 + Shipping
Injection molded in grey plastic. Water slide decals
This is one of those box scale kits from Revell. The molds are dated from 1962, older them me. The subject however is very interesting The Wickes class of destroyers was produced during the First World War for the U.S. Navy and, until the Second World War, these ships were the largest class of destroyers built by the Americans. Revell released this old kit several times. This is their latest re-edition, representing HMS Campbeltown. The box art however, witch is very nice by the way, depicts USS Buchanan DD-131. This is  not a big mistake, as DD-131 was transferred to the Royal Navy and renamed HMS Campbeltown. This ship would not be a great subject for modeling as most of it's service life was concentrated on convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic. However, in 1942, it was modified to look like a German destroyer and sailed to Saint Nazaire were in rammed the drydock doors that sealed the only facilities facing the Atlantic that could receive ships of the size of the Bismark Class Battleships.This would turn the Campbeltown into a great subject for modeling. However, this would also represent a major rebuilt of the kit. But you can use this kit to construct another important Wickes class destroyer: DD139 USS Ward.
The Ward was at station at Pearl Harbor, patrolling the waters near the entrance of the naval base on the morning of the Japanese attack. It sighted a Japanese midget submarine, fired its guns and released depth charges, destroying the enemy sub and then signaled to headquarters the presence of enemies near the harbor. This was one of several ignored signs of the incoming attack. Due to this action, USS Ward was the first American vessel in combat in the Pacific during World War two. It was sunk by enemy attack exactly three years latter, in December 7th 1944.
As for the kit, despite it's age, is a very nice model. There are lots of details and dry fit showed very little concern on the quality of the molds. The guns would need to be reworked and some of the other minor details would benefit from some scratch building. There are some after market items for the kit. Gold Medal has a photo-etched set for the Ward with railings, depth charges rails, guns extra details and more, that would be very useful for the construction. Artvox offers a wood deck set for this kit. It is, of course, of great quality. However, there is some debate on this subject. as many sources stated the the Wickes Class used metal decks, I got it anyway and will use it in my kit. It looks to good to be left out! The project is already on the way, so i will soon post some pictures of the USS Ward in a it's Measure 11 camouflage, as it looked on the morning of December 7th, 1941. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Aircraft walkaround vol.50: English Eletric Camberra B1Mk8

Subject: English Eletric Camberra B1 Mk8 
Location: Location: Flugausstellung L.+P. Junior, Trier, Germany
Comments: The English Electric Canberra is a British first-generation jet-powered medium bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft (21,430 m) in 1957. Due to its ability to evade the early jet interceptors and its significant performance advancement over contemporary piston-engined bombers, the Canberra was a popular export product and served with air forces of many nations. In addition to being a tactical nuclear strike aircraft, the Canberra proved to be highly adaptable, serving in varied roles such as tactical bombing and photographic and electronic reconnaissance. Canberras served in the Suez Crisis, the Vietnam War, the Falklands War, the Indo-Pakistani wars, and numerous African conflicts. In several wars, each of the opposing sides had Canberras in their air forces. The Canberra was retired by its first operator, the Royal Air Force (RAF), in June 2006, 57 years after its first flight. Two of the Martin B-57 variant remain in service, performing meteorological work for NASA, as well as providing electronic communication (Battlefield Airborne Communications Node or BACN) testing for deployment to Afghanistan. The B1 Mk8 version was a Third-generation Canberra derived from B6 as an interdictor. It was Fitted with a new forward fuselage with teardrop canopy on the port side, and Navigator station forward of pilot (early marks had the navigator behind the pilot. Provision was made  for a ventral pack similar to the B(I) 6 with 4 x 20 mm Hispano cannon, one external hardpoint under each wing for up to 1,000 lb (454 kg) of bombs or unguided rockets, LABS (Low-Altitude Bombing System) for delivery of nuclear bombs. The prototype was converted from the only B5 and first flown 23 July 1954. Seventy two were built including 17 for export and two converted from B2s.( )

Friday, June 5, 2015

Boats vol.16: USS New Jersey BB62

USS New Jersey BB62
Price(February 2015):
Out-of-the box construction.
None other then provided by Revell
I guess every modeler should try to build a battleship at least once. This models are the elite of plastic modeling and probably the best example were after market items really make all the difference. I have a few battleships stored at home waiting for construction. However, i do invest more money on kits then on photo etched parts and other after market items. 
Recently, i found a special edition of Revell's USS New Jersey. I already had this kit once and did not build it because it looked like a big toy more then a scale model. Lots of poor molded parts, largely overdone details and poor fit made me decide to leave it in my basement waiting for further change of mind. But this time things were different. Revell placed inside the box two big sets of photo etched parts, natural wood deck and metal gun barrels for the main and secondary batteries. These are everything you would like to get to build a 1/350 battleship kit. So i got my second modern New Jersey!
I must confess: the plastic parts were still the same poor molded out of scale that i had in my collection. But with the extras added by Revell, you got perhaps the best Iowa class battleship out of the box that you can get in the market today. The photo etched parts were incredible!The wood deck parts were also fantastic and have nearly perfect fit with the kit. The gun barrels replace the poor molded ones that you find in the kit and add a lot more of realism to the final project. It took me  for months of work, including every weekend and some week days, to get my New Jersey ready. I think i have never expended so much paint and super glue on a model. I lost count on the number of parts, but each of the main batteries were made of 27 plastic and photo etched items, against  the 13 used in the original all plastic release.
I hope you like it. I sure do!
I have a review of the kit following the link bellow: 
Also, i have a walkaround series of pictures on the Missouri that i made while on vacation at Hawaii. To see the pictures, follow this link: