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Flankerman

Delta IV SSBN - 1/350 sub from Zvezda

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The latest 1/350 scale submarine kit from Zvezda is the massive Delta IV (Delfin) class of Russian SSBN....

 

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Moulded in black plastic, the lower hull is made up from three sections - two lower vertically split sides plus a top....

 

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The twin five-bladed propellers each have to made up from a central shaft - to which are attached the five separate scimitar-shaped blades :analintruder:

The missile casing is also separate - made up from two side panels (below) and a top section (above)...

 

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This complex hull construction would allow (I think?) for a waterline build - although the vertical fin/rudder would have to be modified... (lower section cut off?)

 

Internal bulkheads are included to stiffen the hull - but it remains to be seen how good the many joints are....

 

This sprue contains the various masts/periscopes, hatches for the two missile tubes, dive planes and doors for the topedo-loading hatches.

 

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Zvezda include a display stand - depicting a rocky sea bed.....

 

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The decal sheet is well printed and includes the white waterline stripes and depth markings, plus the town emblem after which she is named - Tula....

 

It also contains the boats pennant number - K-114 - and the name Tula (in Latin and Cyrillic) in gold to go on the display stand....

 

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The painting and decal placement guide gives Zvezda and Tamiya colours... (and you can learn a bit of Russian while you are at it....)

 

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Lastly - the four-page construction sheet is 'busy' - but readable...

 

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I have already got a Delta IV SSBN in my collection - from Alanger........

 

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So it will be interesting to compare the two models.......

 

Interestingly, the hull breakdown suggests - as well as a waterline option (although not mentioned in the instructions), the fact that it has a separate missile casing - could they make the earlier Delta II & III from the same hull moulds??

 

This needs investigating more...

 

This is a very welcome new kit from Zvezda - more power to them.

 

Ken

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The five scimitar-shaped blades are 5mm-long separate parts that have to be attached to an 8mm-long shaft...... the assembly drawing makes it look easy....

 

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First you attach the 'key' blade (part B1/B330 - then you attach the other four blades (each with a 'collar' that fits into place and establishes the pitch)

 

All well and good - except...

 

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In the above photo - I have attached three blades to the shaft, the fourth is separated and the fifth is still attached to the sprue.

 

Being moulded in black plastic makes the parts difficult to see (especially at my age!) and gives a lack of depth-perception.

 

Removing each blade leaves burrs that have to be removed - whilst holding a tiny part that threatens to ping off into the maws of the carpet monster.

 

Come on Zvezda - give us a fighting chance..... please!

 

Trying to attach the blades correctly is proving to be beyond my capabilities........ so I'm looking at alternatives...

 

I've found a couple of etched-brass scimitar blades in my stash - they are seven-bladers - but they may have to do.... 

 

Anyone know of a source of appropriate 1/350 scale propeller blades ???

 

In the meantime, the fixed horizontal rear planes are assembled - again a complicated arrangement designed to have moveable dive planes...

 

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Next up are the two open missile tubes - each made up from THREE segments.........

 

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This is proving to be a frustrating build.......

 

Ken

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In case anyone is looking ???

A bit of progress - but I must say that the kit breakdown seems a bit overly complex - not helped by being moulded in black plastic.... :deadhorse:

Anyway... the separate upper hull has a rectangular box added at the bow (the open torpedo loading bay) - plus four bulkheads and the two missile tube sub-assemblies....

 

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Upper hull underside - the bow is top left.

 

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Upper hull on its side.

 

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Top view of the upper hull - the bow is now at bottom right - you can just make out the torpedo loading bay

 

Black is so difficult to photograph....

 

Ken

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Progress....

 

The lower hull is in two halves (actually thirds - counting the top section) - and attaching one side is easy, because you can apply glue from the inside...

 

I attached to port side lower hull section first...

 

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View from the staboard (open) side showing the glue applied to the bulkheads and seam....

 

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Whilst waiting for the glue to set I built up the stern section - the fixed diving plane assembly has to be trapped between the upper

and lower halves - note the spigot for the 'working' upper and lower rudders....

 

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Attaching the starboard lower hull is more problematic - a dry fit revealed a gap along the lower edge.

 

This was because one of the bulkeads was slightly mis-aligned and was fouling on the raised locating grooves inside the starboard half.

 

After sanding off the offending raised grooves, assemly proceded.....

 

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Fit isn't perfect - particulary the join along the keel...

 

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Top view showing rear end attached.....

 

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.... revealing a slight gap that needs some attention....

 

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All the joints will probably need attention - to be revealed by the first grey primer coat.....

 

More later....

 

Ken

 

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A quick burst of grey primer reveals all the joints.......

 

Hull sides....

 

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...and along the keel. The two diamond-shaped holes are for the uprights on the display stand - they have been filled in.

 

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A few sessions of sanding down the filler soon had those joints (nearly) hidden.....

 

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Almost there.... (it's much easier to work with grey rather than black)

 

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In the meantime, I made a start on the bridge/conning tower/sail.

 

Zvezda gives two choices - masts up or retracted - and they provide a housing inside the bridge for them - made up from three tiny parts.

 

As with the stern dive planes and rudders, the dive planes on the sail can be made 'workable' - by means of a connecring rod inside.

 

There is even a raised quadrant moulded inside to limit their travel (on the real thing, the dive planes can be rotated to the vertical to avoid damage when breaking through Arctic ice)

 

I chose not to have this (IMHO unnecessary) working feature and opted to glue the dive planes in place later....

 

The bridge parts - note the blue/green mast housing...

 

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The bridge assembled - minus the dive planes...

 

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Top view..... note the large wells for all the masts....

 

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Another view of the bridge...

 

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Ken

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I decided to forego the 'working' features and glued the rudders and aft diving planes in place........

 

I'm too old to be running round my lounge, holding the model and whooping 'Dive', 'Dive' 'Dive' - or in Russian.... 'Погружение', 'Погружение', 'Погружение'.....

 

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There are four cooling intakes and four outlets on the lower hull.... each made up from two parts.

 

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Port side of the missile compartment is added - the starboard side has still to be attached....

 

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The starboard side in place and the top decking added - black is so difficult to photograph !!!

 

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It all fits together beautifully - all credit to the Zvezda designer (although I do think it is a little over-complicated overall)

 

Ken

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Please accidentally poke a finger into the frame so we can get a sense of size.  My only conceptualization is the old Aurora/Polar Lights movie Seaview which is sort of 1:350 scale.

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The hull is 48.6cm long.

 

The real thing is 456ft / 139m long - the US Navy Ohio class is 500ft / 170m

 

Ken

 

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2 hours ago, Flankerman said:

The hull is 48.6cm long.

 

or just over 19" for all of us who are mystified by the metric system but still count on ten fingers....  :thumbsup:

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When I came to fit the conning tower sub-assembly - it just wouldn't fit.

 

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I tried to push it in from the front - but the assembly diagram showed it sliding in from the top...???

 

But there was no way that my conning tower could go in that way..... there are bits in the way.

 

So I scratched my head, studied the Zvezda instructions again, cursed the kit designers.....

 

Then a few brain cells stirred into life, a couple of synapses sparked, some cogs started to move - and it dawned on me....

 

I had glued the top decking to the BOTTOM of the tower... :wall:....

 

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Luckily, I was able to carefully remove the top decking and correct the problem......

 

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It now fits - as intended.

 

Phew... !!!!

 

The moral of this tale - always study the 'kin instructions !!!!

 

I'm going for a lie down now....

 

Stay safe.

 

Ken

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Posted (edited)

The Delta Flyer......

 

The hull is painted - using my favourite acryllic car sprays from a rattle can - Hycote Red Primer (with Halfords Red Plastic Primer at the bows for a little contrast) for the anti-fouling red lower hull.

 

I thing plain black is too stark, so for the upper hull I use Halfords Volvo Dark Grey - a very dark off-black.

 

I was worried about the decals - Zvezda include the white waterline markings split into four sections that look delicate and fragile

 

But they are superb - they are going on perfectly (so far!) they are thin, but opaque and are easy to apply.... the waterline decals take a lot of prodding and positioning without complaint.

 

I cut them into shorter section for ease of application.....

 

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I'm doing one side at a time...

 

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More to follow....

 

Ken

Edited by Flankerman

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Good gawd that looks overly complicated. I never knew a sub kit could be so complex!! The ill-fitting parts don't help either

I was going crossed eyed looking at the screw assembly - all the while thinking to myself "I'm glad it's him doing it and not me"

Still, you seem to have a knack for polishing up these 'challenging' Eastern Euro kits to a great finish and you seem t be on par with this one to. I'll be sitting here watching on and taking notes on your weathering.

I've developed an interest lately in battleships and WW2 sub's of late mainly thanks to World Of Warships. Say what you will about computer games, but they got me interested in the subject matter and the history behind them more now than if I hadn't play it. I'm currently building a 1/700 Richelieu in WOW colours and am loving it. Mind you, I keep looking at parts thinking how good they'd look as space ship details.

I also have a Tamiya i-400 to build, so that's why I'm keen to see how you weather this.

Thanks for sharing Ken - despite the minimal responses in this forum, there are people watching.

Simon

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Thanks for the kind words Simon - greatly appreciated.

 

The Tamiya I-400 is a superb kit - I built it some time ago... http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/model_submarines_350_scale.html#Japanese_I-400_Class

 

Don't make the mistake I did - can you spot it??........

 

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The Seiran can't take off - 'cos the crane is in the way - but the crane can't fold down - 'cos the plane is in the way... :doh:

 

Have fun - and stay safe..

 

Ken

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I found it almost impossible to construct the multi-prt props provided by Zvezda and wondered about how to replace them......?

 

Now, Michael Fuller has produced a set of 3D Printed props and very generously gave me a set.

 

He has made both 5-blades 'paddle' and 'scimitar' styles - and they are superb....

 

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They fit the Zvezda model perfectly....

 

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Mike says they will be available commercially on eBay ........

 

With the props attached, the model can now be completed

 

Thanks once again Mike..... :worthy:

 

Ken

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Hi Ken,

I came across this build because I'm building the same kit and I was wondering if those propellers are already available on ebay. I managed to get one looking "rightish", but not the other...

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