Finding good reference on ships is a problematic issue due primarily to their large size and so the difficulty of finding reference on a very specific area of a specific ship. Kagero Publishing has come to the rescue when it comes to the Guided Missile Frigate ORP Kościuszko. The Top Drawings book series is aimed very specifically at the modeller in a number of fields and they usually do the job of getting that information across very well.
The book is a duel language offering in English and Polish, English on the left and Polish on the right. This offering is a soft backed book offering with 18 pages and 2 large fold out sheets. The cover is a soft glossy card and the pages within are a matt good quality paper of a very heavy gauge that provides the visual information very well. The print quality is also of a very high standard which is a big plus when covering the rigging required in areas of the boat.
The book starts with a couple of pages of text on the Guided Missile Frigate ORP Kościuszko. This is the only dedicated text in the book and covers a very brief history and provides information on the vessel starting as a US Navy vessel in the late 1970's before going into Polish service at the turn of the century. The text also offers a data chart on the vessel looking at dimensions, weapons and crew numbers amongst other data.
Moving onto the heart of this book and the glorious visual reference. The centre portion provides a number of full colour photographs of the ship in nice detail and these I feel will be of great benefit to the modeller. The photographs do relate to its time in Polish service. This is a very nice section of the title
The drawings in this book cover the vessel in a good level of detail from stem to stern but concentrates on the deck structures. The drawings look at the portions of the vessel in a large number of scales ranging from 1/24th all the way through to 1/200th scale; this is the second title where I have observed such a wide number of scales and it is something I really do not like as it makes scratch building more difficult and more expensive as you will need to replicate the contents in a single scale for working from.
The fold out sheets are excellent are excellent but are in a different scale again, this time it is 1/250th. moving on in a more positive light the vessel is depicted in full length and also on one of the sides in full colour. a slight confusion here on my part is that one side of both sheets has the same scale drawings provided and this space could have been better utilised with specific areas of the vessel covered. I suppose my biggest complaint is that a head on image that shows the shapes of the hull at specific areas along its length. The lack of this aspect makes it difficult to use as a reference for a scratch builder.
Ships are not my area of modelling, but I can still appreciate the form and those members who tackle these subjects. This title provides a very large amount of reference material that enables the modeller to super detail a build but it fails to meet the needs of the scratch builder I am sorry to say.
Highs: A boost for anyone who has a model of this vessel and wants to detail it to a high level.Lows: I do not like the jumping around the scales that makes life difficult and I am disappointed to not see an image covering the girth of the vessel.Verdict: This is a very nice book for the super detailer who will get at the data they require.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...