I'm one of those crazy people who actually loves the design of the Nelson-class battleships, so I was definitely curious when I heard that Kagero was doing a book on "Rodney" in their "Super Drawings in 3D" series. I've found the overall quality of these books ranges from "superb" to "meh." Unfortunately, this one falls in the latter category. The model of the ship presented here looks excellent at first glance, but falls apart upon close inspection. My nitpicks follow:
1. The underwater hull is completely lacking in detail, except for the torpedo tubes, and seems to be formed of a single giant chunk of fiberglass. No shell plating, inlets, discharges, seacocks, etc. The bilge keels, propeller shafts, and brackets are present, but the angle bars attaching them to the hull are missing.
2. Very simplistic depiction of rigging. Braces, halyards slings, and lifts tend to vanish into the yardarms or superstructure or are belayed to very flimsy metal rings. None of the slips, bottle screws, sheaves, insulators and so on visible in pictures of the real ship are present. Signal halyards are depicted as single lines, which would have made them useless in practice.
3. Some of the smaller details are rather soft and poorly defined, the Oerlikon magazines and hinges on lockers and doors being two obvious examples.
4. The forecastle deck wood decking is oddly presented. There's no waterway, and the planks end abruptly at the edge of the deck. Many of the fittings (such as the breakwater and some of the storage lockers) seem to be resting on top of the deck rather than securely attached to it.
5. Many round and curved items, such as portholes, gun barrel liners, handwheels, and anchor hawsepipes, aren't truly "round" and appear to be made up of many short segments instead.
6. The English translation is atrocious. "The funnel was well astern of the tower 16." "Rodney's crew consisted of 1.314 sailor-men." The conning tower is referred to as the "cunning tower" throughout.
7. The black-painted areas of the superstructure are very hard to interpret without absolutely perfect lighting. I had this same problem with the USS North Carolina "SDIN3D."
I waffled between two and three stars for my final rating. The illustrator obvious has a lot of passion for the subject, but the final product feels frustratingly unfinished. I'm not sure what the graphics arts equivalent of "dotting the i's and crossing the t's" is, but this book desperately needs is. My search for a good visual guide to the Nelsons continues...
- Paperback: 89 pages
- Publisher: Kagero (1 September 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8366148289
- ISBN-13: 978-8366148284
- Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 0.8 x 29.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 422 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)