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Old 10-18-2017, 02:38 PM   #1
ET2SN
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Default Hobby Boss 1/350th scale Akula II

OK, I'm literally flipping a coin on this.
I'm getting ready to paint the Akula's lower hull, should I paint it red or dark gray?
The kit says hull red but gray would also look tasty..

I built their 1/350th scale 688 a couple of years ago. Great kit, its the one 688 that gets the hull and bow dome right. I was torn between painting it like "good old usta fish", the 698 (which would have been a pain to mask) or a San Diego boat and wound up doing a replica from SC/DW.

So, what do you think?

Last edited by ET2SN; 10-23-2017 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:05 AM   #2
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I would suggest paintint it the same way as the rest of the hull:

as it appears to me that the standard paint is not red.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:58 AM   #3
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Very nice picture, thank you for sharing it.
Can I ask if it was taken in the far east?

I'm tempted to do a "weathered" hull but all the other subs I've built have a "first day after the overhaul" look.
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:13 PM   #4
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Believe this was Northern Russia not Vladivostok or Magadan
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:12 PM   #5
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Do I detect two submarines on that ship?
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Old 10-22-2017, 04:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET2SN View Post
Very nice picture, thank you for sharing it.
Can I ask if it was taken in the far east?

I'm tempted to do a "weathered" hull but all the other subs I've built have a "first day after the overhaul" look.
Transportation of two Akula series SSNs from Far East to ther repair center in the North for midlife repair and modernisation if memory serves me right. In 2011 we issued the funding nessesary to repair and overhaul the existing submarines, some of which were staying in reserve for a while with various problems, such as this:
 

Akula in need of sonar dome repair (it was broken by an inert torpedo hit).

Here you can find opensource and somewhat outdated (circa 2016) table for historical and predicted future status of the Akula series force:
 


In terms of factory hull paint, some Akulas did get in the past the red paint when fresh out of the factory, such as Gepard here:
 


But it appears that today the primary paints would be either light gray or just uniform dark grey/black, for example here:
 
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:00 AM   #7
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That does bring up the difference between "new construction" and "over-hauled" paint.

Fresh out of the factory, the boat is built and painted as per the contract. The paint tends to follow the generic look of the class. Its also when most of the pictures are taken.

Over hauls make things different. They tend to look more at where the boat is based and where it normally operates. In colder waters there isn't a need to make radical changes. In warmer waters and climates, hull growth becomes a much larger concern. Not because the hull looks nasty but because hull growth slows things down and makes things more noisy.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:53 AM   #8
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Just a quick update and general review of the 1/350th scale Hobby Boss Akula (kit # 83525).
I've got the hull and most of the sensors installed. Hobby Boss did an excellent job with the two parts of the main hull molding. The seam line was minimal so I glued them together using Tamiya extra thin cement (these extra thin solvent type glues work backwards to traditional model glues, you position the parts together and then apply a touch of the solvent to soak into the seam between the parts). There was a very minimal seam which cleaned up nicely with a polishing cloth (actually, 2000 grit sanding film). One area to be careful with are the two large water "scoops" that mount to the lower hull. Cut the four pieces off the sprue VERY carefully before gluing them together. There are sprue gates at the bottoms of the scoops which must be trimmed off but due to the small size of the parts, you'll probably wind up using some thick "filler" style primer to completely close the seams.
There are six "mystery sensors" which attach to the hull. I added the three large sensor blocks before I glued the hull halfs together. They stay mostly out of the way and I it found it easier to align them to the half-hulls. The three small sensors won't be added until just before I paint the upper hull. I plan to glue the center one in place first then add the outer sensors once the center one has cured in place. Builders should note that the number and position of these three sensors tend to be different for each boat in the class. I also opted to use the plastic screw instead of the included photo etch part. I took my time and it cleaned up nicely.
Now, its on to paint.
One thing I found about 1/350 scale sub kits is that you need to be a little inventive with paint. The upper hull is basically jet black and its easy to lose details. One technique I've used in the past is paint different parts of the upper hull with different textures of jet black.
The main hull on modern subs is usually covered in rubber tiles and a "tire" or "rubber" type of black paint does the job well. Hatches and tube doors are usually painted metal, so try more of smoother semi-gloss texture on them. Sonar arrays are usually not metal but some type of re-enforced plastic or composite material. I tend to use a very flat "grimey black" or "coal black" paint on them. Small differences in texture can make those details "pop".
Last up for the upper hull is the non-skid. Non-skid is supposed to be very rough and rather thick. You could try mixing baking soda into flat black enamel paint or just use flat black but apply it by dabbing the paint onto the masked hull with a "q-tip" and then rolling the same "q-tip" along the paint after its set up a bit. The idea is build up as much texture into the non-skid as possible.
Anyway, back to the Akula..

I really was torn about the lower hull and sonar "dome".
In the end I opted for a dark-ish gray lower hull instead of red. Any time you paint dark grays next to jet black, the difference becomes magnified. I'm using a USAF color called "gunship gray" (FS36118) for the actual hull and "euro 1 gray" (FS36081) for the sonar dome and coolant scoop inlets. These two shades are very close to each other in terms of how dark they are but they're different enough to tell apart so they'll provide some contrast.

Last up is the screw. On the one hand- you can go crazy on this item because NO navy likes to show off its sub screws to the press.
In the past I've used a paint called Testor's buff-able metallizer bronze lacquer that I applied over gray plastic with a brush instead of an air brush. This is a VERY tedious process (Testor's metallizer is extremely thin paint) and in the past I've applied over 8-12 coats of paint to get the right effect. This time, I'm using a Tamiya acrylic called "titanium gold" (X-31). It looks "about right", IMO, for a new/clean screw or you could weather it a bit with some thin flat white or tan for an "older" look. One thing about Tamiya acrylics if you've never used them, BE SURE you also get a bottle of their thinner (X-20A). Tamiya acrylic paints tend to be very thick the first time you open the bottle and you'll need to thin them down (something like a 1:3 ratio) even if you plan to brush them.

One last thing about this Hobby Boss kit, I highly recommend it. The fit quality is very good for this scale but realize you'll be dealing with some VERY small parts. You should have some experience with this scale before you tackle the build. The Akula is also fairly large for what it is. Park this kit next to the Hobby Boss Victor III in the same scale and the Akula looks HUGE. Its as if the Soviet designers started to get some details on the Seawolf's size and said, "Yes, we too. Only bigger.."

Next up will be something I was searching for over a long period of time and its finally available for shipment to the US. The Mikro-Mir 637 (Sturgeon class) "stretch" in 1:350th scale with an included DDS for the aft deck.
Mine should show up early next month and to say I'm psyched may be an under statement.

Edit- Well, duh. I said these Mikro-Mir kits are now available for shipment to the US but I didn't say where...

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...Ck%3Amicro-mir



The 637 with the DDS can be found by searching for "MENDEL RIVERS".

Last edited by ET2SN; 12-07-2017 at 03:25 AM.
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