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Shar2

Project 685, (Mike Class), Submarine. 1:350

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Project 685, (Mike Class), Submarine

Mikro Mir 1:350

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The Project 685 was an advanced submarine developed to test advanced submarine technologies. The design was initially developed in the 1960s, but the first unit was not laid down at Severodvinsk until 22 April 1978. The submarine K-278 Komsomolets was launched on 09 May 1983 and commissioned in late 1984. The hull was of double-hull configuration, divided into seven compartments: Torpedo room, Accommodations, Control room, Reactor compartment, Electrical motors, Turbines and Auxiliary mechanisms. The inner pressure hull was titanium, light and strong, making her the world's deepest diving submarine, and her operating depth below 3,000 feet was far below that of the best American submarines. A personnel rescue sphere was fitted in the sail to enable the crew to escape in the event of an underwater emergency.

 
On 07 April 1989, while the Komsomolets was submerged at a depth of 500-1,250 feet, a fire erupted in the aft compartment when a high-pressure air line connected to the main ballast tanks, which allow the submarine to control its depth, burst a seal. A spray of oil hit a hot surface, and a flash fire began which soon spread through cable ways despite closed hatches. The emergency system to protect the nuclear reactors from overload kicked in, and the propeller shaft stopped. The boat managed to surface eleven minutes after discovery of the fire, but the rupture in the main compressed air system fed the fire further. The crew fought the fire for several hours before the submarine flooded and sank. Of the 69 crew members, 42 were killed in the accident, most dying in the water of hypothermia.


The Komsomolets sank 180 km southeast of Bear Island off the coast of Norway in 1,500-1,700 meters of water. The Komsomolets was carrying two nuclear torpedoes when she sank. Two investigations, one by a state commission and another conducted independently, failed to fully account for the magnitude of the accident, though the independent commission suggested that Komsomolets had construction flaws. Others have claimed that the crew was not properly trained to operate the submarine's equipment. The site of the accident is one of the richest fishing areas in the world, and the possible leakage of radioactive material could jeopardize the local fisheries, valued at billions of dollars annually. Several underwater submersible missions to the site revealed that sea water was corroding the casings of the warheads and the hull of the submarine, a process accelerated by the rapidly shifting currents. On 24 June 1995 work began on sealing parts of the hull, and the objective was achieved at the end of July 1996. The hull was said to be safe for at least 20 to 30 more years.

 

The Model

 As with the other kits from MikroMir that I’ve reviewed recently, this one comes in the standard top opening box with a painting of the boat in its natural habitat. Inside the parts are held in a easy opening poly bag, containing two sprues of grey styrene, three if you include the stand, a small sheet of etched brass and a small decal sheet.

 

Construction begins with the joining of the two hull halves, split horizontally, rather than vertically of the previously reviewed releases. To this the four piece sail is attached, to which the modeller has the option of fitting up to eight masts and periscopes. The horizontal hydroplanes are each made up of upper and lower halves, which when glued together are fitted to the hull and two small PE propeller blades attached to the pod on the ends of each. The upper and lower rudder sections are then glued into position as are the forward hydroplanes. The propeller is made up of a central boss and eight PE blades, four at the tip and four forward of the first, much like a contra-rotating prop. The hull is then fitted with four large two piece reverse teardrop shaped pods, two on each side roughly amidships.  These look like water intakes for the reactor cooling/steam generation, but if any of the BM massive knows exactly what they are I would love to know. There are four square aerial like shapes fitted two each side on the upper hull, midway between the sail and the rudders, and a strake like shape on the lower hull aft.

 

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Decals

The small decal sheet provides quite a lot of markings for the submarine. These include the bollard locations, but also for the escape/access hatch which is provided as two parts to improve the opacity of the white sections.  There are also depth marks for the bow, amidships and stern. 

 

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Conclusion

It’s reviewing models like this one that tells me I don’t know half as much about Submarine classes as I thought, as I’d not heard of this one or its fate. As they say at work, everyday is a school day. This is also why I like MikroMir models so much, they really do release not only the famous boats, but the more, somewhat obscure subs. They are also willing to receive ideas as to what to produce next, just as long as there are plans available.

 

Review sample courtesy of
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Nice review and historical narative Dave.  The horizontally split fuselage is good if building a waterline version of the model.

 

Mike

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14 hours ago, Shar2 said:

The hull is then fitted with four large two piece reverse teardrop shaped pods, two on each side roughly amidships.  These look like water intakes for the reactor cooling/steam generation, but if any of the BM massive knows exactly what they are I would love to know.

Wayne Frey's book on soviet submarines has a picture (not from a Mike, but a generic one) showing the general structure of the intakes.  I've tried to drop the picture in, but can't seem to ... :-(

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Thanks Max. I was on the right lines. :thumbsup:

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Spoiler

WELL KNOWN WIDOW MAKER... always reading about that and gonna cry .....

OH! Want to get that one :) always loved this sub

Edited by Sosezi

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