Soviet Navy G-5 Class Motor Torpedo Boat...
...the Merit kit built
Merit models make some interesting subjects, and one of these is this Soviet G-5 Class Motor Torpedo Boat in 1/35. So, a larger scale model and one which builds up into an impressive, full-hull piece.
Built between 1933 and 1941, around 300 of these were completed, of which more than 70 were lost during WW2. Some were also supplied to Spain, Finland and Korea. It has a very streamlined design, though the confined structure prevented the crew being able to stand upright inside the hull. It was an enlarged version of an earlier Sh-4 design done by Andrei Tupolev, best known for his aircraft designs. They were powered by 2 engines, which were replaced by ever more powerful ones as they went through the production period and as the newer engines became available. The G-5 carried two torpedoes, which were launched from the stern, as used in British WW1 torpedo boat designs. Pushed out the back, they were linked by a wire until the wire broke and that started the torpedo itself. Aiming them was not easy and apparently they did not have much of a record in the way of ships sunk. In addition to the two 21in Torpedoes it also carried 2x 12.7mm machine guns (early versions only had one). The upper hull was mainly built from Duralumin, but although it was light, did not do well with salt water, so they had to be very regularly taken out of the water for anti-corrosion treatment, just about weekly in the summer and every other week in winter.
As for the kit, it is nicely detailed and very cleanly moulded. The one piece upper hull is a big piece of plastic, and has neatly done rivet detail. It isn't a complex build and is easy enough to construct. Fit of parts is good all round. The torpedoes build well, and these have individual etch brass parts for the propeller blades. Once done, they also fit snugly into the troughs for them at the back of the hull. The rest is just as good, and the two Dushkas also make up well for their open turret ring mountings. I enjoyed building the boat and it certainly makes for an interesting piece, especially in this large scale. There are no crew figures provided, but it would look good with, say, a commander and the two gunners in place.
These photos show it under construction, and I've added pictures of the painted model with transfers applied. As they had to be cleaned on a regular basis, I'm calling this one done rather than add any further weathering effects.
Just to add one extra comment, since I built this I now have a real example (deactivated of course) of the 12.7mm Duska we see mounted in the model and can say just how large, and heavy, these were/are.