After having published someone else’s review on a Mikro Mir 1/350 submarine kit I was intrigued to build one for myself. After a quick review of the available models, I opted for the Whiskey III kit. I can say I’m very happy to have built my first ship model in over 40 years. The Whiskey Class of submarine was conceived in the late 1940’s with a design heavily influenced by the Russian analysis of a captured Type XXI U-Boat. During the 1950’s approximately 220 – 240 Whiskey class boats were built (Class I through V). Wikipedia reports that by the end of the cold war, all Whiskey class boats have been retired by the Soviet Navy.
As far as the quality of the model with regards to fit and finish I was very impressed by what you receive in the box. To my eye, the recessed lines and details of the plastic parts were nicely molded albeit a tiny bit soft to my eye. Assembly begins by joining the two halves of the hull and conning tower. In both cases, the fit was spot on. Prior to joining the conning tower to the hull, it is necessary to attach the photo-etch deck to the hull. The added bonus of utilizing a separate deck part is that it isn’t necessary to work on the upper hull seam. The photoetch deck nicely hides it well.
Next, in the build, I attached the rudder and both the fore and aft dive planes. If someone was ambitions, they could have done a little work on the hull halves and captured the rudder between the halves allowing to move. Attaching after assembling the hull requires the builder to remove the top and bottom lugs on the rudder. The dive planes required just a little work as well as there were no holes molded in the hull to fit the parts. Enter my pin vise and drill bit and a few minutes later the dive planes were attached.
The build finishes up with attaching all the conning tower bits including the periscope along with some smallish deck mounted photo-etch parts. I didn’t time my construction of the kit, but it was easily less than 10 hours start to finish.
Overall I thought the fit was pretty good. I did notice the photo-etch deck did not seem to fit the hull assembly perfectly. It along with one of the hatch parts seems to hang over the side just a tiny bit in a couple of locations. A little work with a file should sort out that issue though. My other niggle with the kit was with the various parts mounted to the top of the conning tower. The instructions seem reasonably clear, but the locating holes for mounting the parts didn’t seem to perfectly jive with the instructions. Either way, the finished product looks pretty good.
Even with these couple of small issues, I thought this was a very fine kit to build. I believe a beginner with a few kits under his belt should be able to build a fine representation of the Whiskey III submarine. I should also note that lead shot was added to the base to help prevent knocking over the finished model.
I’d like to thank you to Mikro-Mir for providing the kit for review and the IPMS USA for allowing me to review it.