Hobby Boss 1/350
Type 212 Submarine

Reviewed by Sean Hert
September 2012

The Type 212A attack submarine from the German Navy (Marine) is the most modern non-nuclear powered submarine in the world. This class of conventional submarines have a diesel-electric propulsion, as well as a hydrogen fuel-cell AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) system. These subs are armed with six forward torpedo tubes, and have a unique "X" configureation to the after planes, allowing for unprescedented shallow-water (littoral) manouverability. This allows the 212A class to not only operate as an attack submarine, but to support special operations as well.

There are currectly 4 of these subs in service with the German Navy, as well as two in service with the Italian Navy (Marina Militare). Both navies have more hulls planned, and the next batch of 212's will be lengthened to allow for a larger sail with greater capabilities.


This is a fairly simply plastic kit, with the hull split down the waterline into two halves. These halves are well detailed, and the various hull lines all line up perfectly when the upper and lower hulls are placed together, and there is virtually no seam between them. There are some mold lines along the upper bow area, but some minor sanding should fix those quickly, with no damage to the recessed details.

The upper hull has the conning tower molded in place, which given the multiple complex surface curves of way it is fared into the hull, is a great way to make sure there are no seams. The bow mounted low-frequency sonar is cleanly done, as are the ventral sonar arrays on the lower hull. There are also four locators for the "X" tail, two to each hull halve. These fins are not pinned, nor have any other form of positive locator, and alignment may be an issue.


There is only one small sprue in the this kit. This sprue contains all the remaining parts to model a Type 212A; the fins for the "X" tail, the sail-mounted dive planes, two options for the top of the conning tower, and two screw options; a six- or seven- bladed screw.

The two conning tower options allow the sub to be built with either the sensors raised or lowered; if the raised option is selected, there are the various masts included. Some of these masts exhibited a small amount of flash, which was surprising in a new kit, but removal should not pose a problem.

Remaining on the sprue are the two hull supports for the display stand, and the unique cone-shaped hub for the screw.


Hobby Boss includes a fret of photoetch with this Type 212 kit. This fret has upgraded blades for either the six- or seven-bladed screw, the vibration dampener for the "X" tail, two cleats and a spray deflector for the conning tower, and a nameplate.


This kit has a simply stand included.


A small decals sheet is included, which contains draft markings and hull markings for all four subs currently operational with the German Navy.


A simple sheet of instructions, as well as a sheet of painting and decaling directions, are included. The painting references five manufactureres; Mr Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol. The directions indicate only Mr. Hobby appears to make the color for the upper hull, RLM75 Grey Violet (H89/37), but Testor Model Master has it in both the Acryl and Enamel lines (4785/2085), Tamiya has it in a spray can (AS-4), and it appears Humbrol has a Grey Violet as well.


Hobby Boss' line of 1/350 covers a breadth of topics, from World War Two to modern, and a variety of nations. This addition to the modern segment of their catalog continues to broaden a great line of subjects and kits. This little sub would be a great model for anyone looking to add something new to their collection!

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample. It is listed as #83527, with a MSRP $14.99. Hobby Boss' US importer is Squadron Products.