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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul 2010 09:55 am 
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Airfix 1/350 Trafalgar Class Submarine (A03260) Build Review.

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Airfix 1/350 Trafalgar Class Submarine (A03260) In-Box Review here

Background information from kit;
"HMS Trafalgar was the first of seven boats of the Royal Navies "T" class nuclear powered attack submarines (SSN) and the named boat of the class. They are propelled by a Rolls-Royce pressurised water reactor and auxiliary diesel-electric power. Trafalgar has a seven bladed propeller, but other boats in the class use a pump-jet propulsion system. low resolution propeller that is much quieter, but heavier, unit. The hull is covered with anechoic tiles which are designed to absorb sound rather than reflect it, making the boat more difficult to detect with active sonar.

The class has been designed to perform ant-shipping, anti-submarine, surveillance, reconnaissance and land attack warfare missions. Capable of firing Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles from their five torpedo tubes, they are equipped with Bow, Flank, Intercept and Towed Array Sonar, plus attack and search periscopes. One of the class was the first Royal Navy submarine to fire a cruise missile during the former Yugoslavia conflict, and also in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The class has a displacement of 5200 tonnes (dived), Length 85.4m, Beam 9.8m and a top speed in excess of 30 knots (dived)."

More information about the Trafalgar Class at the official Royal Navy website;

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/operations- ... gar-class/


Build review.

The kit consists of 40 parts molded in a soft pale grey plastic on two sprues. The molding is very crisp with all parts well shot and without flash. Three parts are for the very sturdy stand, which is of the same design as the Illustrious stand.

The instructions are very clear and layed out in the traditional Airfix style, and there is a glossy colour painting and decaling guide.

Construction is straightforward, the only thing to watch out for is the quite large sprue gates and the soft plastic. Careful cutting is required to avoid damaging the plastic part.

The hull consists of three parts, the upper hull and two lower pieces. Fit of these is very positive, aided by chamfered steps in the seams. At this stage it is necessary to do a bit of minimal cutting to display the forward hydroplanes in the deployed position if desired.

Construction really flies forward from this point and it's possible to assemble the whole submarine very quickly, ideal for a starter or introductory kit.

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The other two options are two different caps to the conning tower, depending on if you want the periscopes deployed or stowed. The seam on this required a bit of blending with a sanding stick. The other option is for propellor or propulsor.

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If you are going for the propellor option a bit of work will be needed at the rear where the part 37B fits to blend this into the body. If using the propulsor, the shroud pretty much covers up this area for part 36B. This photo shows a partly fillered area.

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The rear hydroplanes needed a drop of filler on the undersurfaces where the smaller lower part joins into the larger upper piece 22/23B. A bit more filler can be needed to blend them into the main body. The locating pins on my part were a bit deformed at the rear so the fit was a bit off which necessitated a bit of filler, my other kit has no problems in this area.

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I also needed a bit of filler on the sprue attachment points on the side and bottom seam. This wasn't much trouble - a dab of filler and a sanding stick.

Painting was accomplished quickly, as this was a completely out of the box build, I painted it a primer them all over black. I applied a gloss cote and then the decals. The decals are very well printed, colour dense and in perfect register, they went on very well with no problems. Everything was sealed in with a coat of satin varnish.

The base was painted silver as a bit of a contrast with a navy blue nameplate to put the silver ships name decal on. I actually applied a different name to each side, so there's a bit of variety depending on the direction of display. The nameplate for the side of the conning tower is very nicely printed with the letters perfectly readable.

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Second build of the kit done as HMS Trenchant in the disruptive scheme

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More pictures of this one and other completed submarines in the gallery
viewtopic.php?f=38&t=20309


For those wishing to dress her up a bit, there is a White Ensign Models photoetch set available for UKP2.51(+VAT)

http://www.whiteensignmodels.com/acatal ... Ships.html

The possiblity of a decal sheet depicting the anechoic tiles has been mooted by Pheon Models, so those wishing to depict a more worn and salty ship might keep an eye out for those.

Kit supplied for review by
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Last edited by Richard M on Wed 05 Jan 2011 22:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul 2010 20:50 pm 
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A great build and superb finish Richard.

Mines waiting some brass and grass green to turn up before I complete the periscopes. I've done a double one for display purposes as well. One side its Triumph the other Turbulent. I may be wrong but I'm sure that Triumph is the one often in port at Gibraltar with a leaky reactor :!:


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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul 2010 23:02 pm 
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Impressive build. Can't recall any mainstream British sub kits before this one, but I hope I'm wrong.

Sean

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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul 2010 10:03 am 
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Nice review, and nice models.

Only other modern British subs in 1/350 plastic I know of are HMS Vanguard by Bronco, also re-boxed as one of her sisters, and the forthcoming HMS Astute by Hobby Boss.

Hobby Boss are also doing the Astute in 1/700, and Dragon have done Trafalgar and a missile boat, but I can't remember which class off-hand.

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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct 2010 21:26 pm 
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Great job on the model.

I am building this model now and there is a very prominent seam/line running the length of the model where the two halves are joined. Do these subs actually have a seam in this location? All the pics on the internet seem to only show the waterline.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue 19 Oct 2010 05:44 am 
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There won't be a visible seam as the whole surface is covered by a layer of rubber like anti-sonar anechoic tiles.

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PostPosted: Mon 30 May 2011 20:47 pm 
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As I have wanted to build a submarine kit for awhile now so today I finally purchased this kit. I've also ordered the PE set for it from White Ensign.

All well and good apart from the fact that I've never used PE before,  but have read a fair bit about it, so I know the theory at least. This will be my first "PE experiment".

I assume that the PE for this 1/350 kit is fairly basic and should not pose too much of a problem for a learner like me? I dread to think what it is like putting PE railings on a 1/600 ship  :fear:


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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun 2011 10:17 am 
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A recent issue of Airfix Model World (can't remember which one off-hand, but I can have a look tonight if it helps) had an article on building this kit using the WEM etch set, it might be worth getting hold of a copy as there are a few useful tips.

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun 2011 12:30 pm 
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Try looking at DaveCov's work in progress he made an exceptional Trafalger with PE, and a rescue from CA spillage. I'd post a link but have yet to work out paste and copy on the I Pad !.

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun 2011 13:10 pm 
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Obi-Jiff Kenobi:341003 wrote:
A recent issue of Airfix Model World......


Oops  :oops: I have every single issue, and as soon as you mention it I remembert the article. My memory gets worse by the day.

Plenty of time now for research anyway as the PE kit is out of stock currently. Thanks for the information guys.


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PostPosted: Tue 14 Jun 2011 17:03 pm 
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IanA:341065 wrote:
My memory gets worse by the day.

So does mine - I forgot to even look for the mag! Good thing you already have it.

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PostPosted: Sun 26 Feb 2012 18:03 pm 
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I was looking at this kit today at Hobbycraft and the box art has the conning tower much taller then the picture of the completed model at the back.

Are there different options for this? I read the review re different tops for periscopes but do these subs have telescopic conning towers?!

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PostPosted: Sun 26 Feb 2012 20:49 pm 
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There's parts to make one conning tower with everything retracted or extended


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PostPosted: Sun 26 Feb 2012 20:52 pm 
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That looks great, would love to see more submarine kits out there! Always been fascinated with them...

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PostPosted: Fri 11 May 2012 20:26 pm 
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Nearly finished my HMS Trafalgar sub but have damaged the front flag (Unon Jack) and the 'windows strip' on the nose. Anyone know where I can get a set of replacement decals for this kit please?


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PostPosted: Fri 11 May 2012 20:48 pm 
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Contact the Airfix spares department, they might be able to sort you out.

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Rich
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die."
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PostPosted: Fri 11 May 2012 21:07 pm 
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Thanks Rich - will give them a try


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