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Martian Hale

Mikromir Hunley In Box Review

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Recently a large and mysterious package dropped on my doorstep, covered in Ukrainian stamps. Inside was a sample of the forthcoming C.S.S. Hunley submarine from Sergey at Mikromir.

Briefly, the Hunley was an early submarine operated by the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Powered by a hand cranked propeller, and manned by a crew of nine, the Hunley had already killed two of it's crews in training accidents, believed to be largely due to the craft's ballast tanks being open to the crew compartment, before a third crew was formed by a Lieutenant Dixon of the Confederate army.

On the night of 17th February 1864 the Hunley succeeded in ramming it's spar torpedo into the 1240 ton sloop, the USS Housatonic, anchored off Charleston, South Carolina. Exploding the torpedo, the Hunley went down in history as the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel. Sadly, however, the Hunley did not survive the encounter. Although the reasons are unclear, recent evidence points to the fact that the torpedo did not detach from it's spar. Quite possibly this upset the submarine's stability and the open topped ballast tanks overflowed into the crew compartment once more. The Hunley's crew all perished.

Following numerous attempts at locating the wreck of the submarine, she was eventually located by members of the author Clive Cussler's NUMA team in 1995 and was salvaged in 2000.

Mikromir's kit in 1/35 scale is, I believe the first time a pioneer submarine has been kitted in injection moulded form (I stand to be corrected on this though) and, as such, is to be applauded as a very brave move on the part of the company.

The kit itself consists of twenty eight, mid grey injection moulded parts, dominated by the two hull halves. These parts are complemented by eighteen clear parts and an etched fret of brass.

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Instructions consist of a double sided sheet of A4 paper showing a seven stage exploded assembly sequence.

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The quality of the mouldings is of reasonable limited run standard and well up to Mikromir's usual standards. Panel lines are fine and are covered with large rivets. Whilst quite correct for the numerous replicas of the Hunley that exist, archaeological evidence has shown the submarine to have been flush riveted, and strictly speaking they should be removed to be totally accurate. Panel line and rivet detail has also been continued on the interior of the hull, leading your scribe to wonder if Mikromir have it in mind to do a "clear" version of the kit, as they did with their model of the Delfin. Either way, the grey cells are already trying to work out whether a scratch built interior is a goer! Deadlights in the top of the hull and in the twin conning towers will need to be drilled out and can either be filled using the parts provided on the clear sprue or filled with Clear Cote or some such product. The hatches for the conning towers are to be found on the clear sprue and will obviously need their deadlights masking off before finishing takes place.

It is clear from examination of some of the finer injection parts of the kit that they will best be replaced with brass rod and tubing, especially if the completed model is to travel to shows.

Also best replaced are the propeller and the propeller guard. These are to be found on the etched fret.

The instructions would have the modeller twist the propeller blades to shape and then butt joining them to a small plastic boss. The assembly will have no strength and the blades be too thin. I did a quick surf on the net and discovered that Cornwall Model Boats do some cheap, bronzed plastic propellers of the correct (20mm) diameter an I will probably go down that route. The propeller guard is to be found as two parts on the etched fret and it will probably be easier to construct a replacement from a single strip of plastic card.

All in all a fascinating product that deserves to sell really well, I have already become totally wrapped up in the history and archaeology behind this subject and will be doing a build on BM in the near future

Thanks for looking

Martin

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Nice review Martin, still sitting on the fence with buying this one, having just won the bid on a cottage industry 1/32 resin cut away model of the Hunley. Supposedly with a full interior.

But thumbs up to Mikromir, keep up the good work.

All the best Chris

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Thanks Chris, I didn't know a cutaway kit had ever been done. If the kit is quite old though, check on line references carefully as archaeological work has shown a number of presupposed ideas about the sub to be incorrect a really good site with the latest info is here: http://www.vernianera.com/Hunley/reconstruction.html.

Martin

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Hi Martin great link, heres a link to ebay showing current cottage industry models, of note is an updated 1/72 Hunley based upon latest findings.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=cottage+industry+models&LH_PrefLoc=2&_from=R40&_osacat=1188&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xcottage+industry&_nkw=cottage+industry&_sacat=1188

Chris

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Very nice.

Maybe some ACW 1/32 Confederate naval figs may , um , surface.

I have CIN's 1/32 CSS David kit for a cut-away in the future , figs are tough to come by.

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Any chance you could rehost the pictures for this Martin, I'd be interested to se the bits.....Wondering how 1/35 compares to modern chunky 28mm figures TBH, too big for them I suspect, but I'm interested nevertheless.

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On ‎06‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 20:38, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Any chance you could rehost the pictures for this Martin, I'd be interested to se the bits.....Wondering how 1/35 compares to modern chunky 28mm figures TBH, too big for them I suspect, but I'm interested nevertheless.

The pictures are lost to the great PB scam. I will try to remember to ask the Martianess to get the kit down from the loft for me as I am banned from there at the moment since I put my keg through the ceiling the other week.

 

Yes 28mm is way too small for 1/35 scale. I have been trying to find some 1/35 Confederate figures since I was given the kit, sadly without any success

 

Martian

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Martin;

Here are some pics of the figs I have managed top find over a 6 year stretch.

These will be for my 1/32 CSS David 'Moment of Impact' dio.

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 Shotgun fig is from  Roger Saunders and will serve as the Commander , Lt. Glassell ,  who cut down the watch with his shotgun on the New Ironsides in Charleston harbour.at the moment of impact. 

Very hard to find stuff and problematic , infantry figs all have the sausage roll around them! The 2 Wolf figs also show the predilection for weird pose's in this genre of figs

I also came across these 1812 figs for conversion , just grabbing any naval 1800's subject as I learned they only come around once in a loooong time:

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Obviously there will be conversions , the guy with the rifle can be the stoker and so on,... If you can find the Naval head set that would be a good start.

Most of these were off ebay and some from swap meets.

Good luck and grab the CSA stuff as soon as you see it!

 

Edited by krow113

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8 hours ago, Martian Hale said:

Yes 28mm is way too small for 1/35 scale. I have been trying to find some 1/35 Confederate figures since I was given the kit, sadly without any success

Yeah, figured as much.....TBH when I got my ACW miniatures (Perry Miniatures 28mm plastics) out a little earlier I was surprised and impressed at how nicely proportioned and to scale they look for wargames figures, they would be dwarfed by the lumpy mutants that pass for 28mm humans at GW these days.  ;)

 

I'm guessing a 1/35 figure is about 50mm?  Sure I must have one.....Somewhere.  :shrug:

 

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13 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I'm guessing a 1/35 figure is about 50mm?  Sure I must have one.....Somewhere.  :shrug:

 

Sounds about right as 54mm is 1/32 scale. Its a shame Mikromir  chose to do this one in 1/35 as 1/32 figures are easier to come by for this period. Still, we are lucky to have this subject at all I suppose.

 

Martian

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Not that new...

http://cottageindustrymodels.com/

I have the 1/32 David , I've seen their 1/32 Hunley , but its not in the catalogue any more. Been going since '96 but no naval crew sets produced .

The David model has interior detail , the Hunley was a chunk of resin as I remember.

54 mm or 1/32  to me the difference is negligible , finding the figs is the problem. My naval head set was a good score as they will be used on conversions.

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