Warship Models Underway Product Reviews Page 1

Reviews Page 2

John Haynes Fittings

At Warship Models Underway, we just love it when manufacturers send us free stuff to look at.  Of course, that does not mean we automatically give a good review, but it doesn't hurt!

Seriously, in this section I will review items that I get for my consideration, and give you my impressions of them.  As always, I will call them as I see them.  If you manufacturer items of interest to large scale warship modelers, and wish to submit something for review, please email me for more information.  The product can be returned after review, if you pay postage both ways.

Sirmar 1/96 scale Type 45 Royal Navy Destroyer

Paul Simpson sent in these photos of hte first hull and superstructure developement for his new Type 45 destroyer semi kit.  This is going to be an impressive project, and a must for modern Royal Navy enthusiasts.

Catalog 203 from Precision Scale Model Engineering

Precision Scale Model Engineering sent in their 2003-2004 catalog for review, and it is a welcome reference.  This company carries a lot of items that would be very useful to the builder of radio controlled warships, from tools to scratchbuilding supplies.  This catalog is 202 pages printed on nice quality paper with a comb binding so that it lays flat when opened, and is 12.00 postpaid in the US (see website for costs to other countries).  In it, you will find thousands of unique products, from small screws (going down to 00-90 thread), raw materials (plexiglass, metals, styrene, wood and more)   a comprehensive plastruct range (much more than you would see at most hobby shops) to motors, actuators and other electronic/pneumatic components. Gears, belt and chain drives for those who favor animating their models are also offered. If you are a hardcore tinkerer, this would rate as a must have catalog, if only to see what is available. Very highly recommended.

Catalog 12 from Loyalhanna Dockyard

At $ 22.00 postpaid, you would expect quite a bit from a model ship catalog.  In the offering from Loyalhanna Dockyard. you get it in spades, with almost 400 pages in two volumes, comb bound and laser printed in color.   Inside, you will find the most comprehensive selection of model boat kits and fittings that I have seen in the 20 plus years I have been involved with the model ship hobby.  You will find many British imports, such as Dean's Marine, Metcalf Moudlings, Sirmar and more, as well as most of the notable US manufacturers of kits and hulls.    You will find many possibilities for your next project, wether it be a well known subject, such as a HMS Dreadnaugtht in 1/96 scale, to the more obscure, like a Swedish Coastal Submarine in 1/30 scale.  The kits are illustrated with a photo of the built model, components, or line drawing, making this a valuable resource.

The second volume of the catalog covers fittings, running hardware, electronics, building services, steam engines and more, again providing what may be the world's largest variety of model ship parts.  Model Warship builders will want to take note of the extremely good selection of warship fittings that Loyalhanna offers.  Many of these are illustrated, which helps with the selection process.

When considering the price of this catalog, remember that a significant portion must be the mailing costs, as it weighs the better part of three pounds. I would recommend to Loyalhanna that a nice alternative would be to offer the catalog on CD ROM, which would be a savings to both that company and the modeler - the only downside being that CD's don't offer easy bathroom reading!

If you like to build, or even read about building model ships, this would be a great catalog to have on your bookshelf, and is highly recommend


Portholes from Loyalhanna Dockyard

Loyalhanna Dockyard  sent in samples of their new portholes.  These are very well machined, solid brass airports the measure about 3/16" in diameter (average .186 across in my samples within a thousandth of an inch; impressive). The inner measurement is .152, or about 5/32 inch (this is the hole you need to drill into your hull to mount the port).  A nice touch is a very small bevel turned on the outside to reduce the apparent thickness of the port where it touches the hull.

These ports come in two varieties, unglazed and glazed with a liquid medium that hardens to simulate glass.  Of the samples I received, 3 out of 12 had a small bubble in the clear fluid, which would be noticeable if the ports were backlit.  If this is your intention, you might be better off getting the unglazed ports and filling them with Devcon clear epoxy yourself.  If you are mounting them in a warship that will not be backlit, I don't think these small bubbles will detract from the finished appearance, but you might want to start your order with a dozen and decide for yourself.

Don tells me that they are available in 8 different sizes, both smaller and larger than the review samples, so check with him if you have a different scale model that needs ports.

The unglazed ports I would recommend unhesitatingly, as they are the finest ports I have seen. Very Highly recommended.


Superglues from Loyalhanna Dockyard

In the same package as the above ports, Loyalhanna also sent in samples of the Superglue line they now carry.  In addition to the normal thin, thick, and extra thick varieties that are commonly available, the line also includes rubberized, specialty plastic and metal superglues.  

Testing the glue out on a couple of models during our last regatta, I found that they hold well, and are of industry standard quality.  I especially want to test the metal superglue against Loctite to see if it brings any advantages in the assembly of stuffing boxes, but that will have to wait until the next time I have occasion to build a set.  All in all, these seem to be good products and worth considering, especially if you live in a place with no local hobby shop. Recommended.


1/03 Update - I have been using the glues for a few months now, and the perform well.  Still need to play with that metal glue - may make up some test sections and check it out for those purposes.

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