Reviewed by Vladimir Yakubov

SS-533 was a small unarmed, diesel-electric test submarine that was build to test the test various new ideas in hydrodynamics and acoustics as well as to test the influence of various liquid polymer mixtures on the boundary layer. It was the Soviet equivalent of the USS Albacore but built in the 1980s. Commissioned in 1987, it was involved in active research until 1991 when with the dissolution of the USSR money dried up. Last time the sub went out to sea was in 1997 and in 2002 it was scrapped.


The kit is very simple consisting of 3 parts and a stand. Besides the hull there is a tip of the propeller included. The real sub was 64m long, which in 1/700 scale comes out to 91mm, the kit's hull measures out at 87mm and when the propeller and its tip (~3mm) are added the length becomes almost spot on. The width of the real thing was 9m which in 1/700 scale is 12.8mm, while the kit measures out at 11.7mm, which is pretty close. The casting on the hull is good with various hatches and holes accurately modeled. There are no periscopes included in the kit, but those are better scratchbuilt anyway from brass rod, so it's not a big loss.


A photoetch fret with the screw is included.

Given the simplicity of the kit, the instructions are very good.

This is the only kit of this sub on the market in the 700 scale and its a very good one. Highly recommend it. The kit is available from Freetime Hobbies for $13.50.