NEW FROM OLD
USS Forrestal (CVA-59)
Item no: 05156
Revell has got the most from its USS Forrestal moulds (the original parts are more than 60 years old); this iteration is a re-boxing of the re-worked 1989 release, depicting the vessel after its 1988 refit, with Phalanx and Sea Sparrow in place of its eight 5in gun turrets, and with the necessary hull sponsons to mount the new systems. It’s very much a product of its time, with raised deck detail, heavy mould seams, multiple sink marks and solid ‘railings’, but has huge potential, in part due to the many aftermarket products available.
There’s no hangar, other than a representation of closed doors, but that’s a common aspect with many such kits, and the deck elevators can be fitted raised/lowered. The Carrier’s Air Wing is represented by four F-14 Tomcats, four F/A-18 Hornets and two examples of the S-3 Viking, SH-3 Sea King, A-6 Intruder and EA-6B Prowler; again, for modellers seeking that little extra feature, unit decals are available from aftermarket companies. Just a single scheme is included, for an overall Haze Gray vessel; full flight deck and warning markings are supplied, along with national insignia for the Air Wing.
MOVIE-AND TV-STAR SUB
Item no: 808
Occasionally in a sci-fi series, the vessel on which it is set becomes the real star of the show, and this was certainly the case with the SSRN Seaview in the 1960s TV-series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Moebius has previously released a 1//128 version of this submarine, but this is a re-packaging of its 2009 1/350 kit, which comprises 34 parts, supplied on five crisply moulded styrene runners, plus separate hull halves and stand. The detail is excellent, replicating the vessel’s nuances accurately, from the sub’s graceful curves to the raised access and missile tube hatches. There’s even a shutter-style door for the Flying Sub (not supplied), although this is moulded closed.
Unfortunately, no interior is included, which is a shame, given the clarity of the large bow windows, and would require scratch-building. Helpfully, all parts are named as well as numbered, educating modellers as to the American names for most parts of a submarine. The photo-style instructions offer much guidance, including alignment shots and specific order of assembly for each stage, while the paint chart (specifying Testors’ shades) offers great detail on how the parts are to be coloured.
Project 685 Plavnik/Mike Class
Item no: 350-034
This is the first ever 1/350 styrene kit of the single Mikeclass attack submarine; it comprises three styrene runners (including one for the stand) and a small photo-etched brass fret for the main and auxiliary propeller blades. It can be built just as a full-hull model, and the exterior detail is superb, consisting of fine engraved lines, with a crisply defined edge to the upper hull walkway. There are options for raised/ lowered conning tower/fin masts and extended/retracted diving planes on the forward hull. MikroMir is to be commended for releasing a kit of this Cold War experimental submarine. Just a single hull was built (tragically, it sank in the Barents Sea in 1989 with the loss of all onboard), and the colour guide reflects its drab overall black appearance, although (given the level of secrecy around this vessel) it’s possible it may have featured red undersides as per the boxtop artwork. although this would likely have stained due to a combination of saltwater staining and exposure to the harsh Arctic weather when moored at its homebase on the Kola Peninsula.
Item no: 05693
Revell’s re-boxing of Italeri’s 1/720 HMS Hood is timed to coincide with anniversary of the vessel’s launch in 1918, and comes with paints, brushes, Contacta Professional Mini adhesive and an A2-sized print of the box-top artwork. Either a full-hull or waterline model can be built, with the parts supplied on two styrene runners, plus separate upper and two-piece lower hull. It’s ideal for beginners, as the detail is pleasing, and it looks like HMS Hood when finished, while the components aren’t too fiddly to handle. However, for those seeking greater accuracy, it does have several issues, notably the funnels and secondary armament/ decks; the latter appear to be a mix of how the ship appeared in 1920, 1935 and 1940. Based on the components supplied, it is arguably best to portray HMS Hood during either it’s first decade of service (by omitting the eightbarrelled pom-poms) or in the early 1930s, prior to its refit with quick-firing twin 4in (100mm) Mk.XVI gun turrets. There is a refreshing lack of flash, although several smaller parts suffer from heavy mould seams. The single colour scheme is somewhat basic and no date is specified — modellers would do well to check references such as those at www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk and www.hmshood.com for the correct shades and configuration.