Hobby Boss 1/350 HMS Astute
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Includes stand and photo etch fret|
HMS Astute is the lead ship of her class of nuclear-powered submarines. Astute was ordered from GEC's Marconi Marine (now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions) on 17 March 1997. She was laid down on 31 January 2001, 100 years to the day since the keel was laid down for HMS Holland 1, the first Royal Navy submarine. The vessel was built at BAE's submarine facility in Barrow-in-Furness and was launched on 8 June 2007 by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
Astute is the second submarine of the Royal Navy to be named for the characteristic of shrewdness and discernment. The first was the World War II Amphion-classAstute. Now that she has been commissioned, Astute is one of the most 'advanced submarines in the world'.
Astute left Faslane for sea trials and dived for the first time on 18 February 2010 and was commissioned on 27 August 2010, when she was given her HMS prefix, in a ceremony watched over by her patron, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
On 22 October 2010, the Ministry of Defence confirmed that Astute had "run into difficulties" off the Isle of Skye while on trials after eye-witnesses reported the submarine had run aground a few miles from the Skye Bridge. There were no reports of injuries. The captain of the vessel elected to wait for tug assistance, rather than use the submarine's own power to clear the stern from the obstruction, to minimise the damage to the hull's anechoic tiles. A Royal Navy spokesperson said the vessel had been grounded on silt, and was re-floated at high tide. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency chartered emergency tow vesselAnglian Prince was despatched to the scene from Stornoway.
During the operation to tow Astute clear, there was a collision between the rescue tug and the submarine, which resulted in damage to her starboard foreplane. The submarine returned under its own power to Faslane, where the damage incurred in the grounding and afterwards was described as "minor".
Hobby Boss' new 1/350 modern submarine is a great addition to their growing sub fleet. This one is about as simple as they come. The hull is divided into upper and lower sections, with the sail molded into the upper hull. Thee are dive planes, rear fins and rudders to add along with a ducted prop. Atop the sail, one can install a section that has all the various antennas and periscopes buttoned up, or one can build the sub with all of these extended.
There is a photo etch fret that has the boat's nameplate, a prop (there is also a plastic one), and some small deck fittings. All of this fits atop a small display stand on which the nameplate fits.
Instructions are well done with well drawn construction steps. Paint references are for a number of different brands and decal placement is shown on the full color five view color and markings guide.
There really isn't that much to say about this boat as it really isn't that parts intensive. Many of us like to build a submarine or two every now and then to relax from some of the more intensive kits we usually build. This is one of those kits and as such, it is highly recommended for a change of pace and because it is a neat looking boat.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get yours at your local shop or on-line retailer.
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