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Record Breaker: Chinese Jiaolong Deep Sea Submersible (Trumpeter 1/72)


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When it was time for me to leave China after many years living there, I was lucky enough to have a shipping allowance. On my last trip to my favourite hobby shop - a very hard to find place tucked away with no signs inside a residential compound on the SE corner near the third ring road - I basically went a bit crazy and just grabbed a bunch of stuff like a guy in the supermarket during a Zombie Apocalypse when the Zombies are literally in the fresh food section and you're in the cereal aisle and you grab what you can and run....

 

My booty included this. And now nearly four years later I built it OOB as a precoloured kit (a) because it was fun and (b) because I did the same recently with a Hasegawa kit of the Japanese Shinkai 6500 submersible. Shinkai 6500 reached, you guessed it, 6,500 meters down and was the record holder until the Chinese came along. And you can bet a hugely important part of the design brief was "go deeper than 6500"!

 

The Jiaolong (pronounced roughly Jee-OW looong) set a record at 7,000 meters in 2012 which was then the deepest ever reached other than by a bathyscaphe which is a different type of deep-sea craft - the main difference being that Trieste, the famous bathyscaphe that went to the bottom of the Marianas trench in 1960, was not independently maneuverable. 

 

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Like the Shinkai 6500 kit I did earlier this year in the  Japanese GB this one lends itself to a quick build with OOB principles. It's neatly pre-coloured and pretty close to the pictures available online. 

 

So...on it goes as a fun quick build.

 

In about three seconds you get to here:

 

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23 hours ago, bianfuxia said:

I basically went a bit crazy and just grabbed a bunch of stuff like a guy in the supermarket during a Zombie Apocalypse when the Zombies are literally in the fresh food section and you're in the cereal aisle and you grab what you can and run....

The shopkeeper probably still periodically goes back over the CCTV footage for a laugh!

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Wings unlevel said:

The shopkeeper probably still periodically goes back over the CCTV footage for a laugh!

Yes they were always a bit shocked when I came in especially the first day. In Beijing at least I only ever found one proper hobby shop with street frontage and signs. But as most of my retail activity was on Taobao (some kind of cross between Amazon and eBay but crazier) I figured out where a few of the Taobao vendors in Beijing based themselves. This guy was deep in a housing compound, there was another guy tucked into a back street in a house near to Tiananmen and then the third guy I found was in the basement of a pretty crappy hotel. 

 

On each first visit I'd be like, really? And expect to walk in on a family eating their dinner but then you'd see the familiar paint racks and piles of kits. And some shopkeeper would look up and do a double-take thinking how on Earth did this foreigner wind up here? I'd just say, hi and start browsing like I was in Macy's. 

 

They were always friendly and also usually pretty happy because I'd buy in bulk as getting to these places was always a bit of a time commitment. You didn't drop in for a jar of gloss black and a tube of glue - if I was going there I was buying up big!

Edited by bianfuxia
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There was a model shop like that in Riyadh. You had to know where it was. Lots of craft stuff too, but very friendly. 

There were a couple more when I first went out there, but eventually they sadly closed.

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IMG_20220928_110041148.jpg?w=1352&ssl=1

 

So far, no glue...

 

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the join on these panels is not ideal but it's also not terrible.

 

and here it is with the lights/cameras on the front and the landing pads on the bottom (I assume these are for when it's sitting on the deck of the mother ship)

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The rear thruster set-up - at this point I realized I'd forgotten the tail fins, so in the end I had to remove the thrusters to make it easier to instal the fins.

 

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11 hours ago, bianfuxia said:

I figured out where a few of the Taobao vendors in Beijing based themselves. This guy was deep in a housing compound, there was another guy tucked into a back street in a house near to Tiananmen and then the third guy I found was in the basement of a pretty crappy hotel.

Wonder if these are the same Beijing based vendors you see on eBay? Sounds like each trip was quiet the adventure!

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On 9/29/2022 at 12:25 PM, bianfuxia said:

Hasegawa kit of the Japanese Shinkai 6500 submersible.

I built that one years ago. But as a Sci Fi spacecraft!

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These arms are poseable:

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Also, after removing the thrusters, I added the tail fins.

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So far it has still all been snap-fit. 

 

And this is where I am up to now - assembly basically complete. Time for decals and some detail painting.

 

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So you can pose the arms in different positions when you bored of them being fixed one way for a while? Cool :D 

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