USS Gato Submarine

Published: May 6th, 2013     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Jack Kennedy - IPMS# 12511
Scale: 1/200
Company: Riich Models
Price: $52.99
Product / Stock #: RS20002
Product provided by: Dragon Models USA

Ships are not something I normally model but I jumped at the chance to review this submarine. It is by a new company from Hong Kong and if this kit is a sample of things to come, I am surely looking forward to their future releases.

To begin with, I was thinking 1/700 or 1/350 scale when I asked to review this kit. It is in 1/200 scale and is rather long, 19 inches to be exact. The packaging is in a large sturdy box and the parts are molded in light grey plastic on 5 sprues. There is one sprue of clear parts for the OS2U-3 Kingfisher and two in black for the base.

Overall the construction is very simple. The lower hull is in two pieces and the upper hull is in three. The sub may be built as either waterline or full hull. I chose to build it as a full hull on a base. If one is to build it showing the torpedoes in a firing position there are several parts for the torpedo tubes with a couple of fine torpedoes with photo etched props. If one models the torpedo tubes closed, eliminate parts D34, D35, D23, P7 and P8 and use parts D29 and D33.

The Prop guards are assembled in 8 parts and are a little tricky to line up. They look great when attached. There are many deck furnishings with fine detail. The deck is molded with fine planking. Parts D3 and D4 are some kind of tank that cannot be seen when the conning tower is attached to the deck. I believe it may be eliminated.

The conning tower is a simple structure as are all of the diving planes. The gun for the It forward deck is a complicated piece with many tiny parts. It takes patience and a steady hand to get it right. I think it could have been produced simpler but it sure looks great when finished.

The railings on the conning tower and the deck are VERY fine photo etched brass. I drilled out the holes in the proper places and CA glued them in place. Since they are so fine, they bent into the proper shape easily. If one chooses to not use the photo etch rails, there are rail posts to be glued into the proper places and stretched sprue may be used between them. I did this on a couple of rails on the forward and real deck.

I primed the lower hull with Duplicolor rust color primer and everything else with Duplicolor light grey primer. This is the color I left the sub. When finished I glued the sub on the base and attached the brass nameplate. Of note, the kit included an OS2U-3 Kingfisher molded in 13 clear plastic parts.

Overall I really enjoyed building this kit. It was a simple task with only the gun and the railings giving me a challenge. It looks great when finished. Now I can only hope for a couple of German subs to join this one.

This kit is highly recommended. Thanks to Dragon Models-USA for supplying this excellent kit Riich Models kit, and Steve Collins for giving it to me for review.

  • Kit Sprue
    Kit Sprue
  • OS2U-3 Kingfisher Sprue
    OS2U-3 Kingfisher Sprue
  • Kit Sprue
    Kit Sprue
  • Deck Gun
    Deck Gun
  • Conning Tower
    Conning Tower
  • Stern
    Stern
  • Bow
    Bow

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