by: Jessica Cooper [ ]
The type 35 Ming class was an evolutionary development of the Type 33 Chinese manufactured Romeo Class submarines built to Soviet-supplied drawings. The hull was refined and internal equipment upgraded. 21 boats were built between 1969 and 2001 in 3 separate production runs.
This is another excellent mainstream injection moulded Hobby Boss kit. The engraving and details are among the finest that I've seen in 1/350 ship models. This is not on first glance a complicated model, but the photo-etched parts for the fin render this one inadvisable as a starter model for younger builders.
In contrast to many submarine kits, the hull is separated in port and starboard halves rather than top and bottom. A separate deck goes on top of the hull, making painting easy. The aft screw skegs are moulded in halves to trap the screws between them. There are optional etched screws, which appear as though they might be too large. Since they're completely shrouded, the injection screws will likely be perfectly fine. They'll have to be painted before assembly, as will the interiors of the shrouds. Diving planes are separate, with tiny, delicate mounting pins. Take care not to knock them off. The bow planes have optional parts to show them retracted.
Submarines don't typically have much superstructure, but this one has more than most modern boats. The masts and periscopes may be assembled raised or lowered. A set of etched railings for the top of the fin is provided, as is the protective cage which mounts to the top over the navigation light housing. These parts will be quite delicate. The rear extension of the fin is made from two etch parts, one of which needs some delicate folding and bending. The bridge windows are outlined by very fine engravings.
I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it looks like a Ming.
Decals and markings
The decals are minimal for this boat. Hull numbers for boat No. 361 are provided, but if you wish to do any of the other boats in the class, you'll have to patch their numbers up using the 4 complete sets of digits from 0 to 9. The only other marking is the white ring which goes around the aft deck hatch. Hobby Boss missed the opportunity to give us a nice set of bridge windows, waterline and draught markings. The available colour scheme is overall light blue-grey upper hull with hull red below the waterline and black deck. Photos show that at least some of the boats have been painted in overall black above the waterline.
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