by Tracy White
Warship Modeler is a new magazine that caters to model warship enthusiasts. Produced by Steve Wiper of Classic Warships fame, Warship Modeler's inaugural issue is 55 pages of warship modeling goodness. This magazine is very well printed and features no image pixelization in the articles such as we have seen in some other publications. The first issue features two model galleries; one of a 1/192nd USS Kidd late WWII and the other of the cruiser USS Houston in 1/350th; twenty-three images between them shot by someone who understands depth of field; meaning that this is not a case of one gun in focus and the rest blurry!
Also included are reviews of kits, accessories, and books & videos. Kit reviews are broken down into plastic and resin and cover Aoshima's Hiryu retool, Tamiya's Missouri and Trumpeter's Bismarck and Tirpitz in 1/700, Revell's 1/72nd VIIc U-boat, and L'Arsenal's 1/400 resin carrier Béarn and lastly Corsair Armada's 1/700 Cruiser Houston. Each review is well written, giving a clear opinion on the kit along with some mention of potential cautions the modeler should take. Pictures of the box art and some parts on trees are included, and a nice touch is a shot of part of the instructions so the modeler can see what they're in for. click images
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There is also a scuttlebutt section filled with news; albeit it may be old hat to some of us who trawl message boards regularly it is an excellent source of info for those with a less immediate news and rumor feed.

In addition to model reviews there are book and video offerings. Six books and one video are reviewed, covering topics such as world fleets, German battlecruisers and destroyers, Friedman's revised US Destroyers, Japanese Aoba and Furutaka heavy cruisers, and the PBS home video about the Hood and Bismarck. In addition to a description and information about each title, the reviews state where the reader might come by a copy of their own.

This magazine is not just about models; there is research material for the modeler as well. 1/450th plans of USS Memphis in 1942 are provided in the centerfold; a nice touch for those who seek to reduce the plans down to another scale or whom are simply bugged by plans bound in different pages that don't quite line up! Additionally, Steve has gone into his amazing archives to bring us line drawings of a 16" three-gun turret (as mounted on the North Carolina and South Dakota class battleships) and type VIIc U-boot. Additionally, there is a seven-photo gallery of a US Navy World War Two quad 40mm anti-aircraft mount, showing different views with captions and even gun crew positions and common poses.

Previews of Classic Warship books are included on Italian Cruisers, Prinz Eugen, and the Type VII U-boot. Color and Black and white photos are included as well as a color three-view of the Italian cruiser Trieste and schemes Prinz Eugen was painted in during 1940, 1941, and 1945.

A nice feature near the end of the magazine is a gallery of miscellaneous ships ranging in time from 1907 to 1962. As with the rest of the magazine these pictures are reproduced well and are printed two to a page, making them clear and large enough to use as reference material.

One of the nice things in this inaugural issue is a grouping of subjects together; this first magazine has a review of not only the Revell 1/72nd u-boot but also a resin set, decals, and research materials. While it is not so focused as to be a magazine only on one topic, it will make it easier in the future to find that one review you read if the pattern is that reviews of both the base product and the aftermarket accessories are included in the same issue.

As with any magazine there are advertisements here and there; it reads like a who's who of model warship related companies and could serve as a telephone directory to the model warship world should your internet connection die in the middle of a buying fit.

The only negatives I can say at this point is that a couple of the reviews felt fairly compressed and cramped and that there are a few little style elements that might make things less clear. For example, the Plastic kit reviews has a "plastic kit review" banner at the top of the first two pages but not any of the following six pages. It should be readily apparent to anyone with any sort of comprehension what these sections actually are, and they really are minor points to an excellent first issue.


Folks, this is a great magazine and is well worth the price. We have been without a stable warship model magazine and my hat goes off to Steve for this first issue. I will definitely try and support him in this endeavor as it is good for us, the individual builder and the ship model hobby in general.

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