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1 /350 Mikro Mir Project 941 "Akula" (Shark) - NATO Typhoon SSBN


Pappy
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G'day people,

It has been too long between submarine builds and I have been wanting to build one of these monsters since forever. I did not want to build the Dragon or Revell kits as these have serious shape flaws, and The Alanger kit is a rare animal. When Hobby Boss (HB) and Mikro Mir announce kits I was hopeful that an accurate and affordable injected kit would finally be available.

I was torn between building the HB kit which features the anechoic rubber tile and missile tube details but suffers from a less accurate stern, and the generally better shaped MM kit which has a smooth hull and closed missile tubes. The HB kit fits a lot better by all accounts, mainly as it splits the hull (which even in 1/350 is rather big!) into horizontal halves. The MM kit on the other hand splits the hull into quarters; vertically fore / aft and horizontally upper/lower. The engraved details of the MM kit although generally accurate are also a bit shallow and irregular in places.

This kit won out eventually,

DSCN3359_zpszkk3uwpw.jpg

After what seemed like forever, the kit arrived in the post.

For an in box revue, we have Shar2 to thank,

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234976636-typhoon-class-submarine-1350/

I have made a start by first gluing the upper and lower forward / aft halves. The hull parts needed a decent amount of cleaning up at the mating surfaces due to the presence of heavy molding flash. I also added a re-enforcing sheet of plastic strip inside each join and flooded it with CA for good measure as I wanted it to withstand the stress of what I expect will require significant filling and sanding to eliminate the seams. Once these had been given a day to set, I began by gluing the two halves together, beginning with the back end.

DSCN3360_zpstpentqyc.jpg

For a size comparison, I placed my Airfix 1/350 Trafalgar alongside

DSCN3361_zpsekuybkla.jpg

I have also started assembling the reactor coolant intakes and the upper and lower fin/rudders

DSCN3362_zpsicqc17gf.jpg

The coolant intake halves fit reasonably well, but the inlet openings are not well molded and feature a more oval inlet shape which will need correcting.

DSCN3363_zpsqqlskhma.jpg

The upper and ventral fin halvess fit well, however the upper fin/rudder lacks the prominent towed array array housing on top of the fin.

DSCN3364_zps1xvr0mcb.jpg

This feature is quite prominent on the box top picture

DSCN3359_zpszkk3uwpw.jpg

This is not a feature of all Typhoons, I think it just depends on the particular sub and the time frame as there are plenty of pics Typhoons without this feature.

Whilst the hull parts are drying, I turned my attention to the sail. MM provides a floor with some basic grating detail(?) and some apertures for the various sensors and conning bridge. An online search uncovered a picture of the interior of the weather bridge. I wanted to replicate a very basic representation of the details of the weather bridge, so a few buts of styrene stock were added to the interior.

DSCN3355_zpsurlqqoih.jpg

DSCN3354_zpsha9rnr5q.jpg

I doubt these will be very visible, I just want a hint that there is something there. The sail halves were then joined,

DSCN3356_zpsrwdcxivc.jpg

DSCN3358_zpszdzmo67u.jpg

cheers,

Pappy

Edited by Pappy
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Oh, wow, I did not notice that the towed array was depicted on the box. I did notice it was present on photos of the sub when looking for detailed photos.

I have started on this kit as well. Not something I would recommend. There are no guiding pins anywhere and gluing the four hull parts together can be tricky, and then one of the parts might have a slight bend to it, though the slightly bent part is easily fixed by simply gluing the parts together and holding them firmly with your hands until the bond set. It's not like the part was warped any other way, it just had a slight bend to it.

I really wish the tiles were shown, though the panel lines on this model kit aren't the best, so maybe it is for the best. :)

One thing I intend to do, is to replace the two fins at both sides at the rear, with thinner pieces of styrene sheet. Looking at a photo, it seems to me that the fins are a little too thick on the model.

As for the jet intake, I wonder if one could simply sand them shorter, to try get a nice round opening and maybe the 1mm shorter part won't be noticeable.

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It appears that there were 2 different types of towed array installations fitted to Akulas. One is the top of the rudder array which appears to be very rare. I only found 2 pictures which had obviously been taken at the same event.

The other fit is the one your kit has; the two extended strakes reaching up the hull held the arrays which were trailed from tubes built into the end plates outboard of the screws as seen here:

x5oa3luktzk3k9kyrdi8.jpg

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Good start on what promises to be a very interesting thread.

Martin

Thanks Martin, this one has been on my 'to do' list for a long time

Oh, wow, I did not notice that the towed array was depicted on the box. I did notice it was present on photos of the sub when looking for detailed photos.

I have started on this kit as well. Not something I would recommend. There are no guiding pins anywhere and gluing the four hull parts together can be tricky, and then one of the parts might have a slight bend to it, though the slightly bent part is easily fixed by simply gluing the parts together and holding them firmly with your hands until the bond set. It's not like the part was warped any other way, it just had a slight bend to it.

I really wish the tiles were shown, though the panel lines on this model kit aren't the best, so maybe it is for the best. :)

One thing I intend to do, is to replace the two fins at both sides at the rear, with thinner pieces of styrene sheet. Looking at a photo, it seems to me that the fins are a little too thick on the model.

As for the jet intake, I wonder if one could simply sand them shorter, to try get a nice round opening and maybe the 1mm shorter part won't be noticeable.

G'day HS, it is a shame that the tiles were not represented, and I also plan on replacing the aft strakes as the kit ones are too chunky. I suppose your approach would work too, but I decided to just add some blobs of putty to the coolant intakes and sand to shape instead.

I have never been tempted to make a submarine,but looking at your work,I might be tempted to take the plunge into the submarine world. :goodjob::popcorn:

G'day Celt, thanks very much but I would not recommend this kit as your initiation into submarine kits. The MM kits have some nice touches (PE is included for example), but they also have a distinctly limited run feel to them. If you have a few limited run kits under your belt then okay, but if you are used to Tamigawa engineering, you are going to be disappointed!

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It appears that there were 2 different types of towed array installations fitted to Akulas. One is the top of the rudder array which appears to be very rare. I only found 2 pictures which had obviously been taken at the same event.

The other fit is the one your kit has; the two extended strakes reaching up the hull held the arrays which were trailed from tubes built into the end plates outboard of the screws as seen here:

x5oa3luktzk3k9kyrdi8.jpg

G'day Jessica,

Thanks for the input. I am by no means a sub expert (far from it!) but I don't think you are correct in this instance. I have a couple of pictures of the back end, one in colour and good quality of TK-208 the Dmitry Donskoi which shows all three features present.

Linky:

http://i.imgur.com/eVtP1za.jpg

G'day people,

Well a little more progress. The reactor coolant intakes had some putty applied and when this had set, I used some files to re-profile the openings to a more rounded shape from this;

DSCN3363_zpsqqlskhma.jpg

to this:

DSCN3368_zpsrdq6hiaq.jpg

A dry fit indicates these will fit neatly against the hull

DSCN3372_zpsvgwy27xf.jpg

The sail is together and just about finished. It went together really easily and the fit was not too bad.

DSCN3366_zpsgbwy6ds6.jpg

DSCN3365_zpsqymjtyb8.jpg

Unfortunately I lost a lot of the details on the top of the sail whilst eliminating the seam. Once the glue on the sail halves had thoroughly set, I gently wet sanded the lower edge using some wet'n'dry taped to a tile to get a nice flat surface. Prior to this, there was a distinct 'beak' at the front of the sail which meant the sail would not have sat square to the hull. A test fit proved the lower edge is nice and square.

DSCN3369_zpsjrit0wva.jpg

The small gap needs only a light pressure to allow the sail to sit flush, I am confident that taping the sail to the deck before applying glue will allow a nice flush join. The aft 'elevators' (sorry, I don't know the correct term, I'm a jet guy who builds subs!) were cleaned up and had their PE end plates added

DSCN3367_zpsyabqnetb.jpg

Dry fit

DSCN3371_zpsyx91ktlx.jpg

The 'beaver tail' between the elevators looks a little blunt here, I will need to sand it some to a sharper trailing edge. The hull is finally together after gluing it over three sessions. The back end horizontal seams are not too bad, I am finding that the seams only require a rub back with some sanding sponges

DSCN3370_zpsxcymqkzi.jpg

The vertical seams are not great, but workable

DSCN3376_zps1kiq6nvl.jpg

The front end on the other hand, well that is an entirely different story. This is gonna get ugly!

DSCN3374_zpshm9binef.jpg

DSCN3373_zpsznefwurc.jpg

I am using a b@r$t@rd (the softwqare changes the file's name to 'sweetheart') file to get the seams close to level, then I add a generous amount of sprue glue to cover the seams. Adding the gloop means I need to set aside the seams until they are thoroughly set, so I am going toleave them for about a week before tackling them again,

cheers,

Pappy

Edited by Pappy
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I've already added putty to the big seams on the hull, and I am prepared to not be re-scribing all the details that might have been covered by putty. :)

It looks like you do the same as me with the seams. Sanding over the seams to see where the scratch marks are, and then one knows where the hull bends inwards and so the area inside the scratches will be filled with putty.

I like using masking tape, to lay down a strip of putty and not smear that stuff all over the model, and then using a straight blade to "shave" off the putty from the masking tape, so the height of the masking tape would basically equal the depth of the putty that way.

Btw, you might find the top side of that "beaver tail" to be uneven, presumably this "tail" is supposed to be "flat" as the beaver tail bends. I wonder if the beaver tail is supposed to have a straight edge at the end.

Edit: In this photo is looks like the end of the beaver tail ends in a straight line:

65y9w5.jpg

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Good choice Pappy, great to see you back.

Heres a comparison between my Alanger Typhoon and Kens Hobbyboss one, sadly Hobby boss really dropped the ball, photos lower down the thread.

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234963576-a-new-ssbn-typhoon-submarineproject-941-in-1350-from-mikromir/#entry2472374

Looking forward to seeing how she takes shape.

All the best Chris

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Probably just as well they didn't provide the anechoic tile detail with the work you're going to have to put in to sort those seams. I love the scheme you did on your Trenchant - I saw some pics of that trial scheme once upon a time. Looks grand :)

BTW - how does the MM kit compare with the Alanger kit for accuracy? I had/have the Alanger kit (can't remember whether I gave it away in the great floaty/sinky thing migration of 2014), and for some reason the Akula still appeals. :hmmm:

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I've already added putty to the big seams on the hull, and I am prepared to not be re-scribing all the details that might have been covered by putty. :)

It looks like you do the same as me with the seams. Sanding over the seams to see where the scratch marks are, and then one knows where the hull bends inwards and so the area inside the scratches will be filled with putty.

I like using masking tape, to lay down a strip of putty and not smear that stuff all over the model, and then using a straight blade to "shave" off the putty from the masking tape, so the height of the masking tape would basically equal the depth of the putty that way.

Btw, you might find the top side of that "beaver tail" to be uneven, presumably this "tail" is supposed to be "flat" as the beaver tail bends. I wonder if the beaver tail is supposed to have a straight edge at the end.

Edit: In this photo is looks like the end of the beaver tail ends in a straight line:

65y9w5.jpg

Well, I guess the classic build techniques don't really change just because the subject matter does. I think the beaver tail may be too curvy and a flatter side profile would look better.

Ah, here you are Pappy, I was wondering when we would see another WIP from you.

Nice progress on your target for one of my recent builds :D

Yup, found me!

Good choice Pappy, great to see you back.

Heres a comparison between my Alanger Typhoon and Kens Hobbyboss one, sadly Hobby boss really dropped the ball, photos lower down the thread.

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234963576-a-new-ssbn-typhoon-submarineproject-941-in-1350-from-mikromir/#entry2472374

Looking forward to seeing how she takes shape.

All the best Chris

G'day Chris, thanks for the kind words. I had read that the HB kit was a little 'off' but did not realise how bad until the side by side, thanks for the pic. The Alanger kit is a rare animal and I was happy enough when the MM kit was released. It would be nice if the MM kit had the option to pose a couple of the missile tubes open. I don't like the idea of all the tubes open (I think it ruins the boat's lines) but a tube or two would display the boat's purpose nicely.

Probably just as well they didn't provide the anechoic tile detail with the work you're going to have to put in to sort those seams. I love the scheme you did on your Trenchant - I saw some pics of that trial scheme once upon a time. Looks grand :)

BTW - how does the MM kit compare with the Alanger kit for accuracy? I had/have the Alanger kit (can't remember whether I gave it away in the great floaty/sinky thing migration of 2014), and for some reason the Akula still appeals. :hmmm:

G'day Mike, again I will qualify my comments by saying I am not an expert - I am just a jet guy who builds subs. The Alanger is a rarish kit, and until the MM kit was released, it was the most accurate. It seems that the Alanger kit suffers a little in comparison at the stern. The MM kit depicts the twin engine nacelle 'humps' blending into the stern section before the screw shrouds, whilst Alanger seem to show the area just before the shrouds as generally uniform and flatter. The Alanger kits provides the options to display the missile tubes open, which is nice. Refer to Chris's post above for some comparison pics between the HB and Alanger kits. Alanger is clearly ahead (pun intended!) in that comparison.

As for my Airfix T-boat, here are some pics that i posted previously,

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234963759-1350-airfix-hms-trenchant-trafalgar-class-ssn/?hl=pappy#entry1677441

cheers,

Pappy

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On 2016-09-12 at 0:57 AM, Pappy said:

G'day Jessica,

Thanks for the input. I am by no means a sub expert (far from it!) but I don't think you are correct in this instance. I have a couple of pictures of the back end, one in colour and good quality of TK-208 the Dmitry Donskoi which shows all three features present.

Linky:

http://i.imgur.com/eVtP1za.jpg

 

Dmitry Donskoi is the special trials boat for the new Bulava missile. I'll bet that the fin top towed array is for test equipment. I've never seen it on an operational boat.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 19/09/2016 at 0:59 PM, Jessica said:

Dmitry Donskoi is the special trials boat for the new Bulava missile. I'll bet that the fin top towed array is for test equipment. I've never seen it on an operational boat.

 

 

 

The Dmitry Donskoi it shall be then.

 

G'day people,

 

I have managed to get some bench time in and I have managed a little more progress on this monster.

 

The vertical  seams were not too bad to clean up but the lateral seams have tested me. I was using sprue glue and although this worked well on the vertical seams, it was going to take several applications to deal with the horizontal seams so I reverted to standard putty. The seams are starting to get there,

 

DSCN3435_zpsspgnoeie.jpg

 

DSCN3434_zpshhdbjkuz.jpg

 

I have also started to add the other lumps and bumps starting with the reactor coolant intake sub assemblies

 

DSCN3432_zps1xit48g8.jpg

 

followed by the fin assemblies

 

DSCN3433_zpsd1hqwytz.jpg

 

These sub assemblies generally fit well but they will still need some form of filler to blend them into the hull

 

I have also begun to modify the upper fin housing for the non standard pod that lives above it by sawing off the top portion of the fin.

 

DSCN3430_zpsjetndjhy.jpg

 

DSCN3431_zpsdafylebs.jpg

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

 

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

G'day people,

 

Finally a chance to move this one along.

 

After what has seemed like an eternal process of fill, sand repeat, the main hull seams are starting to co-operate,

 

DSCN3435_zpsspgnoeie.jpg

 

I have added the prop shrouds,

 

DSCN3546_zpszmugxe91.jpg

 

The fit of these was okay, but getting a smooth transition between the hull and the shroud has taken some time  and filler

 

DSCN3547_zps76i1jncg.jpg

 

It may not look like a lot of filler was required, and in reality, the amount of filler remaining is not much, however some plastic was sanded away in order to get all the contours to match up nicely. There is still some work remaining with the interior seams ,

 

DSCN3548_zps5jdbsewm.jpg

 

The hull strakes were added.

 

DSCN3549_zpso2g64ha2.jpg

 

Don't let the lathered on liquid filler give the wrong impression, these fit reasonably well. I glued a small section at the front, let is set then worked my way back. It worked well and was actually quite painless.

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

 

 

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11 hours ago, whitestar12chris said:

She's looking very nice Pappy, have you the room to fit the props after the shrouds?

 

All the best Chris

 

G'day Chris,

 

The honest answer is I don't Know! MM supply the props (screws?) as a solid plastic core with individual PE blades. I have not assembled the screws yet as I was going to do this last due to their fragility. The shrouds do taper front to back but I am hopeful  :pray: that there will still be enough clearance to install them post painting, otherwise things will be very unsat :raincloud:

cheers,

 

Pappy

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On 04/12/2016 at 7:24 AM, Jessica said:

If the etch is thin enough, you may be able to bend them just enough to get them in, and then spring them back into shape afterwards.

 

G'day Jessica,

 

That is one approach, but I usually use CA to attache PE and it does not cope with shear loads very well, I think that the blades would just snap off. If I don't have the clearance to attach them straight up, I was thinking of leaving one or two blades off and attaching the missing blade(s) in situ?

 

It still seems like that is a distant problem at this stage. The lower shrouds are proving to be  a little more problematic and will require a few more sessions of "fill, sand - repeat" before I will be happy with them.,

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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G'day people,

 

I think I have turned the corner on this one. The sub is nearly assembled save for the periscopes, sensors and weather bridge windows.

 

I replaced the supplied end plates with new items made from .010" plastic sheet as these look more scale like.

 

DSCN3589_zpsbchk2rwc.jpg

 

DSCN3590_zpsr8nrv3vp.jpg

 

DSCN3591_zps5l5ydoxg.jpg

 

I used the kit parts as a template and simply traced around them onto the sheet. these were then cut out with scissors and their edges cleaned up with some sanding sponges. I think they are an improvement over the kit parts.

 

Once I have added the bridge windows I will give this monster a primer coast and we shall see how much extra work is needed before painting can start,

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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G'day people,

 

I am nearly over the assembly hump. The bridge windows are now installed

 

DSCN3612_zpst1pifgey.jpg

 

DSCN3614_zpsvy2ufx9b.jpg

 

DSCN3615_zpsdcge9v5b.jpg

 

A small clear part was also added to the front of the sail. The top still has a part of the sprue attachment point that requires sanding. I will let the glue set then sand it off as it will make the job a lot easier.

 

Finally, a small aerial was added to the top of the fin

 

DSCN3613_zpsk6y8kwui.jpg

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

 

 

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