Polish company Mirage Hobby, which exists more than 20 years, usually produces models of war machinery used in Polish Armed Forces, with only handful of models that don’t follow the rule. This model is partly like that. It is a model of German torpedoboot whose two sister ships were actually given to Poland after the WWI as war reparation. The kit box number is 900001, which gives us the hope that there will be more kits in KIT series.
Four torpedo boats of the V105 class were ordered by the Koninklijke Marine Dutch Navy from German Stettiner Machinenbau A.G. Vulcan shipyard in Stettin, then Germany (nowadays Poland). They were to be designated by Z1-Z4 (Zeer groot – very large in Dutch, torpedo boat). Before their completion the World War One broke out and they were all taken over by Germans and upon their completion during 1915 entered service in Kaiserliche Marine.
Out of four completed ships in the class, three survived the war, whilst one was sunk by Russian mine merely two months upon entering service. It was V107 at the entrance to the port of Libau. The fate of remaining three vessels after the war was to be distributed as war reparations. Two of them were transferred to Brazil (V105 and V106), where they remained until 1920, and one was transferred to Poland (V108), where she was commissioned under name Kaszub. The fate of two Brazilian units was that V105 was transferred to Poland via Britain and commissioned as Mazur, whilst the V106 was scrapped in Brazil in 1920. The remaining two units in Polish navy had not so glorious ending after all. Kaszub suffered boiler explosion which caused it to sink on 20th July 1925 with the loss of four crewmembers, whilst the Mazur was the first warship sunk in WWII. She was sunk in German bombing raid on the port of Gdynia on 1st September 1939. So, none of the ships served in the navy that originally placed the order for them.
As for V106, she never saw any special action during WWI, except being a training ship and tender. She had slightly different armament than other ships in the class:
Displacement: standard – 340 tons
full – 421 tons
Length: 62.6 m
Beam: 6.2 m
Draught: 2.5 m
Powerplant: 2x Yarrow steam boilers
2x AEG Vulcan steam turbines
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h)
Range: 1400 nautical miles at 17 knots, or 640 nautical miles at 20 knots
Complement: 104 (according to some sources 74)
Armament: varied, original, as designed: 2x 88mm SK L/35 canon and 2x single torpedo tube caliber 450mm
V106: 2x 52mm L/45 canon (decrease of gun caliber in order to acomodate third torpedo tube).
What we have here is reissue of Mirage model of this torpedo boat, now as a premium edition (or as company itself named it KIT edition) where except the model itself there is a rather big PE fret in the box (when compared to the size of the trees with styren parts). Since the model represents the vessel from the period of WWI, it is therefore interesting and rather underrepresented topic in ship models. Parts are distributed on two grey plastic trees and there are more than 70 parts (without the PE ones) which is rather big number for the scale and size of the ship. Namely the ship itself upon completion is slightly over 15 cm long. Parts are completely without flash and rather detailed (majority of parts are smaller ones that are less than 2 or even 1 cm in size). Parts are nicely distributed over trees with only few rather shallow sink marks from ejector pins present, which can easily be filled. While reading about these ships and searching for their photos and plans I ended up with a dilemma. A number of texts states that all the vesels had two torpedo tubes, while the other texts state that there were three (and that exclusively for the ship designated V106, all the other had two). Photos and plans kinda confirm the second statement, although they are of rather poor quality so it can be only assumed that there are three (again exclusively for the V106).
According to some info only that unit was completed with different armament than others. But since I will build this model as V106, then I will build it with three tubes and if some among you want to build it as other vesel from the class feel free to explore this in greater depth. As for the PE fret, it is not only big in dimensions but also has large number of parts as well (as far as I gathered all, or almost all, are to be used), around 100 parts to be more exact. Therefore without a viewing aid in form of magnifying glass or something similar it is not recomended to start this build. Since modelers are building miniscule versions of real machinery, I think that all of us have magnifying glass as one of the basic tools for modeling, so this won’t be a problem. As for the decal sheet, it is given as sa smaller sheet in plastic bag attached to the instruction sheet and contains markings for all four vesels and two flags. Instruction sheet is printed on one folded A4 sheet withshort history on Polish and English language. Assembly is described through 14 steps with short info on paints in Polish and English language. Paints are given as a description without preference to a certain paint manufacturer or standard paint codes. On the box itslef there is a nice drawing of ship sailing, as well as the notice that the kit is forbbiden to all under 14 years of age. I haven’t preformed the dryfit nor the conture check (since I don’t have any reasonably good drawing or blueprint of the ship.
Although this kit (as all other kits in such small scales – over 1/144) suffers from over scale styrene parts here and there, in my opinion, the model after assembly will be a beautiful vessel, especially since it is from relatively underrepresented time period in naval history. Previous kit of this vessel from the same company lacked the detailing PE dedicated set, which fixes some of the over scale issues and the sheer number of PE parts for this small ship is a bit mind boggling. After all that is the reason for the sign „not suitable for children under the age of 14“is on the side of the box. I would most definitely recommend this ship to all the modelers building ships, as well as those interested in the WWI period. I would like to thank Mirage Hobby for providing me with the model for this review.
Highs: Highs: Quite accurate kit of the small vessel from WWI, which puts it in the spotlight as rather underrepresented topic (both in period and ship type). Cleanly molded styrene parts with no flash and rather small and few sink marks. Extraordinary dedicatLows: Few smaller parts are over scaled. Lots of small parts both in styrene and PE set. No instructions for painting, except rather poor textual description of paints to be used with no reference codes for any production model colors or standards.Verdict: Very nice scale representation of large German torpedo boat. The number of parts, especially smaller ones means this is not meant for beginners but for at least medium experienced modeler. Therefore this is not a quick build, but will end up as potentiall