This offering from Zvezda is the first naval subject I can recall looking at from them, and as such I really don’t know what to expect. Having seen their own armour and aircraft releases, I have high expectations of what I hope to find. Due to submarines basically being a cylinder with a tower, you are relatively limited on what you can say about them. As such, it is my intention to review this as a model and what it offers rather than its accuracy.
This offering from Zvezda arrives in a cardboard tray with a flip top lid, which offers a good level of protection and is further enhanced, by the addition of a card end opening box with the art work on it. The model itself, is provided in a single plastic bag with a display base supplied loose in the box. The decals and a length of string is provided in a zip lock plastic bag with all other elements being loose inside. An examination of the mouldings, reveals no obvious faults or concerns over what is provided with a single observation that there does to be a lot of gates between the sprue and moulded parts, resulting in a lot of clean up being required.
The body of the submarine is moulded in two halves, with the addition of a separate deck piece. Looking at the detail on these three areas I am very pleased with what Zvezda has provided, while offering the added benefit of not requiring any small detail parts to be added in most cases. The hull of the model has been tackled in a good way, as it provides three braces that sit between the two sides of the hull. Which provides stability to the structure, and also provides a flat upper surface for the deck to sit upon. The result of this is a robust shape on which all parts are further added.
The dive planes when added can be set at the angle of your choice, as can the rear dive and steering vanes. The propulsion has been well tackled, with good detail on the props, but I except could be bettered if resin or metal castings are/become available. While I am a fan of what has been provided in the form of moulded on detail, there are still some very small elements that need to be added to the model that would test my eyes greatly. However, parts( C11-C20) are the limitation of these small mouldings.
The tower of the model, is produced from five main mouldings, again with very nicely done moulded on detail. Two deck guns are provided, and are constructed in a manner that would allow the modeller to rotate, elevate and depress the weapons. The detail of these guns is fair considering the scale. The periscope tower has been provided with the option of being raised or lowered, depending on your choice. There are two raised arms looking like a rugby goal post, that serve as aerial mounts, but in this scale they seem to be on the heavy side. The string in the kit is provided to form the aerials themselves. Although I myself would look into using materials designed to string bi-planes, as this will be finer and while still not of a realistic scale is definitely more accurate. Two alternate bows are included in this release, one being the conventional look we are familiar with from the days of the U-boats, to a serrated leading edge, which I believe would be to aid in ramming enemy vessels.
An interesting stand has been included with the model, which replicates a rocky bottom. A name plate is also included, with the decal provided for each of the options in a rather nice gold form. The model itself can be made into one of four different vessels, with two smooth and two serrated bow options covered, and each of the vessels has some variation in the paint scheme. The decals themselves can only just be felt on the backing paper, and so should be perfectly acceptable for use. I will say I was very pleased to find flags provided, in the form of decals and which add a nice finishing touch.
While not a model type I would normally tackle, this offering does have some appealing aspects to it, and while initially unsure about the stand I do think it will make for a pleasing way to display the model. Moulding quality is of a very acceptable standard, and I see nothing worthy of complaint.