Enrico Toti Class Submarine, Modernized
The Enrico Toti (S506) was the lead boat in its namesake class of Italian submarines. The keel was laid in 1965, she was launched in 1967, commissioned in 1968, and was decommissioned in 1992. In 2005 the boat was moved by land to Milan, where she resides today in the Museum of Science and Technology “Leonardo da Vinci”. Called “pocket submarines” due to their diminutive size, the boats of this class were intended only to operate in the Mediterranean Sea, mostly to patrol the Channel of Sicily and participate in NATO exercises. The boat is 151.6 feet long, has a 15.4 feet beam, and has a draught of 18.7 feet. The two Fiat diesels provided power to the diesel-electric drive that would propel the boat at 14 knots surfaced, or 15 knots submerged. The crew consisted of 4 officers and 22 sailors, and she was armed with four 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Still a fairly recent addition to the IPMS Review Corps suppliers is OKB Grigorov, which started business in 2003 in the European Union. This kit is a simple affair consisting of a hull, six deck empennages for the modernized sub, and a cone for the propeller, all of which are cast in gray resin. The propeller along with a four-piece display stand are photoetched brass. Inside the box, the hull was separately wrapped in a foam sheet, and then it and the other contents were enclosed in bubble wrap.
Construction was quick, as one would expect with the limited number of parts. For 1/700 scale, the propeller looks close to photos I found online of the real one. My one caution is that a modeler will need to be experienced with small parts, otherwise there will be some frustration. I utilized Stynylrez Black for the lower hull and display stand, while Model Master Acryl Gunship Gray was used for the upper hull. I liked the color of the photoetched propeller, so no paint was added to it, but it was sealed, along with the rest of the boat, with Alclad Klear Cote Matte after washes of Tamiya Panel Line Wash Dark Gray.
As far as my hits are concerned, this is a unique offering and the moldings are nice and crisp; the ease of construction make this something that modelers with limited experience with resin can build without too much difficulty. The brass propeller looks convincing and it was easy to set the blade angles to more closely match those used on the real submarine, in addition, the photoetched base is ideal for a boat of this size.
My only real miss for this release is that I would have liked a small decal sheet for the hull markings and perhaps something for the base.
Overall, I would highly recommend this kit to modelers wanting to add this historic submarine to their 1/700 scale collection. Most modelers will have little difficulty assembling the kit, but will need some experience with small parts.
I would like to thank the folks at OKB Grigorov for providing this kit to the IPMS-USA Review Corps for assessment, and to Phil Peterson for leading the Review Corps, and allowing me to perform this review. I would also send out kudos to all of the folks behind the scenes at the Review Corps who help him with his efforts, and as always, my sincere appreciation goes out to all the folks who take the time to read my comments.