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General Ship Modeling
Discuss modeling techniques, experiences, and ship modeling in general.
Hosted by Todd Michalak
French Navy Submarine, Surcouf
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: July 13, 2004
KitMaker: 6,705 posts
AeroScale: 50 posts
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008 - 03:24 AM UTC
MSW Associate Editor Frank Portela (Clanky44) provides us with this review of Pit-Road's 350th scale release of the then-largest submarine in the world, the French Surcouf. A fine, full hulled resin model kit with metal details!

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Joined: July 03, 2007
KitMaker: 3,529 posts
AeroScale: 54 posts
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008 - 04:06 AM UTC

Nice review. Now it is even harder fro me to resist getting one. I always like those “unique” items and this one sure fits the bill.

Maryland, United States
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 846 posts
AeroScale: 65 posts
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008 - 04:54 AM UTC
Great review, Frank. I always wonder why companies include metal items that turn out to be not so great- metal things are a real hassle 95% of the time it seems, when a better part could have been produced in resin.

Regarding not having the waterline option, the reason is basically due to resin issues. Whereas it's pretty easy to make a waterline option in styrene, resin is more of a problem thanks to the differing rates of shrinkage. True some resin manufacturers do the separate waterline thing, but mating the hull parts almost always requires a lot of filler and sanding (even more annoying when the lengths turn out differently).

So, some resin companies just take an either/ or approach (as Pavel does at Admiralty). I'd be willing to bet this is Pit-Road's reasoning with this resin kit, as I have a few of their full hull plastic offerings that *do* have the waterlining option. Now thanks to your review, I'm intrigued by this kit...
Lisboa, Portugal
Joined: February 28, 2002
KitMaker: 5,182 posts
AeroScale: 22 posts
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008 - 05:09 AM UTC
Hi Frank

Excellent review of an excellent resin model!
I always liked those resin Combat Submarines series from Pit-Road... also always found strange the inclusion of white metal parts instead of resin ones. Go figure!

As for a waterline version, you can always use the technique Jim Baumann used for is K-boat (also 1/350 resin model from Pit-Road):

A belt sander! Use with care and outside as you can see here:

Cheers and thank you for the review!

Ontario, Canada
Joined: September 15, 2005
KitMaker: 1,901 posts
AeroScale: 133 posts
Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 02:18 PM UTC
Thanks for the comments.

Yes the guns are the most disappointing part of the model, but considering the amount of aftermarket 203mm turned barrels out there, there's got to be something resembling the Surcouf's guns, as for the full/waterline hull options, it's true that the shrinkage factor is different for all cast parts, and quite noticeable on something as precise as a compound curved hull. Darren at the Resin Shipyard will offer waterlined hulls for his models at a slightly higher cost and it might take a bit more time but the option is there. Considering how expensive most of these resin models are, I think they should all have the option,... just wishful thinking on my part.

...Now to find some reference photos of the Surcouf...