Welcome to the IPMS/USA Reviews site!

Introduction: The primary organization of the IPMS/USA Review website is by IPMS/USA National Contest Class. Within each Class there are sub-menus by kits, decals, books, etc. The Miscellaneous Class is for items that are not class specific or that cross two or more classes.

IPMS/USA Members: We encourage you to submit reviews, both here and to the Journal. To volunteer for membership in the IPMS/USA "Reviewers Corps" and submit your own reviews, please read the Guidelines For Submitting Product Reviews.

Manufacturers, publishers, and other industry members: IPMS/USA is pleased to offer your company the opportunity for product reviews. All product reviews are performed by IPMS/USA members, and are posted in the publicly-accessible section of our website. With very few exceptions, we perform full build reviews of new kit releases, aftermarket products, and supplies. If you would care to provide product samples for review, please contact John Noack, IPMS/USA 1st VP.

To learn more about IPMS/USA, please see our About Us page.

Book Author(s)
David Ashwood
Review Author
Andy Taylor
Published on
Company
Pen & Sword
MSRP
$50.00

This is the third (of four) in this TrainCraft series. The other volumes are:

  • How to Build a Model Railway
  • Constructing Buildings for Model Railways
  • Euston – A History and Modelling the 1875 Station (available for preorder)

These intensive, informative, and well photographed books are written by David Ashwood (the Vice Charmain) with the Market Deeping MRC (Model Railroad Club), now located in Essendine, near Peterborough, England.

As a plastic scale modeler, I was pleasantly surprised that this is a book focused on model railroads. As most of us modelers are open-minded, I wanted to know what I could learn from another fun hobby I shared as a lad; I was not disappointed.

Review Author
Andy Taylor
Published on
Company
Hauler
Scale
1/72
MSRP
$9.30

Hauler is well known for its detail and this set does not disappoint. This set is designed to give 1/72 US armor (and soft skins) the next level with resin tools and PE tool clamps to replace the preponderance of molded on tools on vehicles in this scale.

In 1/72 scale, this is a small detail set, with the PE fret coming in at 0.75” x 1”. There are seven tools (pick, axe, sledgehammer, tanker bar, tank track adjusting wrench, handle, and shovel) with associated clamps and tie downs. The tie downs are tiny and can easily be sacrificed to the carpet monster. Fortunately, Hauler has you covered with a spare of each of the tool clamps (Parts nos. 1-5) and ten spare tool tie downs. The tank track adjusting wrench is not referenced in the instructions, but quick research indicates it is secured by two tie downs.

Review Author
Pat Villarreal
Published on
Company
ICM
MSRP
$12.99

ICM isa hobby company based out of Ukraine and has provided IPMS-USA a six (6) bottle acrylic paint set for review, WWII German U-boats Acrylic Paint Set.

In the Box

The paint set contains six (6) 12ml bottles with nontoxic water based acrylic paints. The following colors are provided:

  • Sky Grey (1033)
  • Dark Sea Grey (1034)
  • Dark Grey (1037)
  • Brass (1018)
  • Oily Steel (1026)
  • Clear Red (1011)

Straight out of the bottle, the paint’s viscosity is thick and purposely prepared for brush painting. The instructions do recommend thinning 40-60% with water or thinner for airbrushing. All surfaces are recommended to have primer applied prior to painting. Volume wise, the paint takes up about 70% of the bottle and has “room” to add thinner if so desired.

Note, the bottles are not the usual dropper style (think Vallejo) but a twist off cap and a large opening to allow brushes to enter the bottle.

Review Author
David Wrinkle
Published on
Company
Pig Models
Scale
1/144
MSRP
$47.20

I’ll be honest, I never expected a Great War balloon kit and boy was I surprised to see this kit up for review. The kit consists of a small sprue of polystyrene parts, a left and right balloon halve (polystyrene), a sheet of photoetch balloon basket lines and a decal sheet. Oh, the best part for those of you how enjoy making dioramas, the kit includes a set of 40 each 3D printed figures in various poses. Wow! You will probably need to take advantage included polystyrene model stand.

Construction is very straight-forward beginning with the two balloon halves. I found the molding very well done and the fit was very good as well. The plastic of the two balloon halves is quite thick, but I think that helps in the grand scheme of things. Even with the great fit, it will be necessary to a little work seam joint. A little extra attention will be necessary at both ends of the balloon where there appears to be extra panels to strengthen the fabric panel seams.