Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

USS Nautilus SSN-571

Published: April 17th, 2018     
USS Nautilus SSN-571
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead, IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/700
Company: OKB Grigorov

"Underway on nuclear power." With those words uttered by Commander Eugene P. Wilkinson on the morning of 17 January 1955, the United States Navy had begun a new era in how submarines (later aircraft carriers, and for a time guided missile cruisers) would be propelled through the waters of the world. The USS Nautilus, SSN-571 was built using a Tang-class hull design, with a revolutionary Westinghouse nuclear reactor providing the steam used to power and propel the boat. SSN 571 was the sixth U.S. Navy vessel to carry the name Nautilus; she was authorized for construction in July 1951, her keel was laid in June 1952, and was launched in January 1954. She was decommissioned in March 1980 after steaming over 500,000 miles, and is currently on display at the Submarine Force Museum.

C.S.S. Hunley Civil War Submarine

Published: April 14th, 2018     
C.S.S. Hunley Civil War Submarine
Reviewed by: John Noack, IPMS# 23017
Scale: 1/35
Company: MikroMir

Disclaimer: Mikro-Mir's 1/35 CSS Hunley is probably one of the more accurate representations of this iconic Civil War submersible. As preservation of the original craft continues, more details come to light regularly. There are numerous interpretations of different features of the boat, and online research probably raised more questions for me than answered them. In the end, I elected to go with my best judgement of how to represent these features, most of which involve the spar torpedo arrangement. It's also quite possible that the actual configuration changed during the Hunley's brief career, so my interpretation is just that - an engineering judgement on my part. Here are several websites that may be helpful to you if you elect to build this kit:

https://www.hunley.org/ is the official Hunley website, and well worth a visit

Soviet Tupolev TB-1 Heavy Bomber

Published: April 14th, 2018     
Soviet Tupolev TB-1 Heavy Bomber
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: MikroMir

History

The Tupolev TB-1 heavy bomber was a historically significant aircraft, in that it was the world's first all-metal multi-engined bomber. After World War I, Dr. Hugo Junkers established an aircraft plant in the Soviet Union, and Russian designers, notably Andrei Tupolev, learned from the Germans' techniques of building metal aircraft, and began design and construction of a twin engine prototype bomber in 1925. The prototype was built in Moscow, but in November, 1925, the aircraft was flown, and the decision was made to place the plane in production as the TB-1. A former Junkers plant in Fili, near Moscow, was used for production. Powered originally by British Lion engines, the production models had 680 hp. Russian Mikulin M-17 water cooled engines, which were developed from German BMW VI's.

Dutch Walrus Submarine

Published: April 11th, 2018     
Dutch Walrus Submarine
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Scale: 1/700
Company: OKB Grigorov

OKB Grigorov is a small model company based in Bulgaria that you may not be too familiar with. The company focuses primarily on AFVs, tanks, and naval ships in 1/72, 1/350 and 1/700 scales and they have an extensive list of products available. They produce full resin kits with photo-etch enhancements, as well as resin, photo-etch and white metal conversion pieces for other models.

The kit I reviewed is a 1/700 scale version of the Dutch Walrus class submarine. The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNN) currently operates four submarines. These submarines entered service with the RNN in 1990 and are named after sea mammals (Sea Lion, Porpoise, Dolphin, Walrus). The four boats are currently going thru an upgrade program and the picture on the cover of the model box is a photo of one of the submarines being worked on in a dry dock.

Soviet Midget Submarine Triton-1M

Published: April 7th, 2018     
Soviet Midget Submarine Triton-1M
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/35
Company: Mikro Mir

Mikro-Mir is one of the Ukraine's smaller model manufacturers, specializing in submarines and odd-off aircraft in various scales. As a limited-run company, their models require a certain amount of TLC to achieve optimal results, but their kit selection holds so many strange and otherwise never-modeled items that they're definitely worth a look. The Soviet-era Triton-1M is one such unique kit.

Looking very much like something out of a James Bond movie, The Soviet Triton-1M, developed in the 1960's, was a two-man midget submarine intended to be deployed off surface warships for covert reconnaissance missions and sabotage. According to official documents, only 32 were made and they have now been largely decommissioned. It had a "wet" cockpit (non-pressurized) and the crew wore diving gear during missions.

Mikro-Mir's 1/35th scale model of the diminutive craft includes clear parts for the canopy as well as a photoetch sheet of very tiny parts. It also has a surprisingly high-quality decal sheet offering two variants, one being a prototype test vehicle in colorful markings.