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Whiskey III Class Submarine. 1:350


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Whiskey III Class Submarine

Mikro Mir 1:350

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During the late 1940s, the Central Design Bureau #18, (now the Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering), produced the technical documentation for the Project 613 medium submarine (NATO designation Whiskey). It embodied the advanced world experience of underwater shipbuilding accumulated during WWII. Its diving depth reached 200 m, and the full submerged speed was 13.1 knots. Its armament comprised 12 torpedoes or 24 mines. The submarines were fitted with the most modern electronic equipment of that time. In the 1950s, they were built at a record peacetime rate of 215 units at four plants simultaneously. Some 20 submarines were built in the People's Republic of China by Soviet technical documentation with the completing equipment supplied by the USSR.

To adapt the technical documentation of the Project 613 submarine to technological potentials of particular shipbuilding enterprises and to develop modernization projects for this class of submarines, Special Design Bureau #112 was set up in the city of Gorky (now Nizhni Novgorod) and rather quickly turned into an independent design enterprise. It was later renamed Central Design Bureau #112, then the Sudoproekt Special Design Bureau, and, finally, the Lazurit Central Design Bureau. Project 613 submarines became "draft horses" of the Soviet underwater fleet: they operated not only in coastal seas, but also in the Worlds Oceans.

Ambitious German plans to build Walter-designed ocean-going submarines, such as the 1,600-ton Type XVIII, were thwarted by the unsuccessful course of the war; The Type XVIII was modified into the highly successful Type XXI "electro-boat," in which larger batteries provided a submerged speed of 17 knots, which could be maintained for 90 minutes. That innovation, and the adoption of the snorkel, yielded a potent combination that strongly influenced the post-war design of conventionally-powered submarines on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

During the five years following the end of World War II, Soviet exploitation of the Type XXI lagged significantly behind American fears. US intelligence initially foresaw in 1946 a force of 300 Soviet Type XXI equivalents by 1950. But it was not until 1949 that the first postwar Soviet submarine designs -- the Whiskey and the Zulu -- put to sea. While the Zulu was a true Type XXI, the Whiskey was a smaller, less capable, shorter range boat, designed more with an eye toward coastal defence and European littoral operations. It was not until the mid-1950s that Whiskeys were even given snorkels.

Early post-war construction focused on small submarines, the vast majority of which were Whiskey-class boats. Between 1949 and 1958 a total of 236 Whiskeys were commissioned. A shore targeting station would direct these vessels in their defence of the sea approaches to the Soviet Union. The larger Zulu-class and smaller Quebec-class submarines augmented the Whiskey-class. The thirty-two Zulu-class submarines operated further out at sea and coordinated with shore-based aircraft to provide targeting information to the shore centres. The approximately thirty Quebec-class submarines operated in the coastal waters.

The Model
As with many of MikroMirs releases, I believe this is the only kit of a Whiskey class submarine on the market. As such, it is a very welcome release to all those interested in these boats. The kit comes in a fairly sturdy cardboard box with a photograph of one of the class surfacing. Inside the kit is tightly packaged inside a poly bag complete with etch, decals and a simple instruction sheet. The grey styrene is quite soft, but the details are very finely done. The sprue gates on the hull sections are strategically placed where the etched deck is attached, thus ensuring any clean-up marks will not be seen, except for the extreme bow and stern points. Construction is very simple and begins with the gluing of the two hull sections together, attaching the etch deck, followed by the etch hatches, one on the foredeck and two on the stern deck section. There is one part which looks like it is attached under one of the stern hatches, but the instructions really aren’t very clear exactly how it fits.

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With majority of the hull done, the island is then assembled. The two halves are glued together and the “snorkel”, which is attached to the lower rear deck, needs to be carefully removed and attached to the rear upper section. The multitude of periscopes and sensor poles are then fitted along with an etched DF aerial before the whole assembly is attached to the main deck. The stern planes, rudder and propeller shaft fairings are then fitted along with the PE propellers, whilst up foreward the bow planes and etched anchor, with separate shank, are fitted. To complete the model the etched railings and safety line supports are attached and can be rigged using the modellers preferred medium.

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Decals
The small decal sheet provides quite a lot of markings for the submarine, mostly for the individual hatches and openings, but also for the escape/access hatches which are provided as two parts to improve the opacity of the white sections. There are also depth marks for the bow, amidships and stern plus markings for the island which include the option of identification numbers for seven different boats. There are two colour schemes to which the ID markings accompany; one is Ocean grey over red antifouling, whilst the other is black over red. There are several national markings which will require some research to find out where they go, as they are not marked on the painting guide.

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Conclusion
It is great to have the opportunity to build a Whiskey class and Mikro Mir are to be commended for producing these older, but no less important submarines. The build is quite simple, so would make a good starting kit for anyone wishing to build up a collection. Highly recommended.

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Nice review Dave, got one in the stash, the only other example at this scale fleetingly available are resin examples from Russia, managed to get a Juliette and a foxtrot in this medium.

All the best Chris

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