Robin Models 1/350 Balao Class Submarine SS-792

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
This is the model kit of the Robin model 1/350 Balao class submarine Hai Pao SS-792. Originally built as the USS Tusk (SS-426), on April, 11, 1946. The Tusk remained in US Service until 1973 when she was transferred to Taiwan as part of the  Security Assistance Program. She was upgraded through the Guppy program that gave her a new sail and bow sonar dome. She is still in service today with the Taiwanese Navy today.

Robin Models is a new venture formed by Chen chih-pang who worked for Veteran Models. You might notice that this first kit is made to the same high quality standards that you would expect from Veteran.

The kit is cast with the entire hull on a single resin runner along the keel. The casting is clean and defect free with sharp clean lines and lots of detail. A recess is cast on for the sail and the other parts. The deck features nice wood planking and cast on details. 
click images
to enlarge
The large sail is cast as a single part on a resin sprue. The attachment point is small and should be easy to clean up. This should make the part much easier to fit to the hull. The rudders and propeller are well done. I had one broken propeller but there were two extra in my kit, so that is not a problem. The periscope, snorkel and other details are very fine and amazing in detail. 
click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlarge
click to enlarge click to enlarge
A simulated wood base is included for full hull display. Blocks are placed for the sub to sit on. Just paint it to look like wood and you will have a handsome display base.
These are photos submitted by Chen chih-pang of the kit completely built up. 
The decal sheet is pretty basic. It includes draft markings and hull numbers. 791 and 792 as well as four rows of  numbers 0-9. These should be enough to do most any Balao class sub. A length of brass rod is also included. 
The instructions are two pages in color with parts locations shown on a finished model. The second page includes some color photos of the prototype.

This is an impressive first kit for Robin Model. The casting is crisp and clean and the detail is first rate. This is an excellent kit to build either most any Balao class sub that went through the Guppy program or of course the Hai Pao as it is today.

This kit retails for $50.00 US. It is currently listed as out of stock at But will soon available at the better ship model shops.