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Bronco Models 1/350 PLA Navy Type 041 Yuan-Class Attack Submarine Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2009 Manufacturer Bronco Models
Subject PLA Navy Type 041 Yuan-Class Attack Submarine Scale 1/350
Kit Number 5013 Primary Media Styrene/PE
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $18.98

First Look


The Type 041 is one of the Chinese Navy's newest diesel-powered attack submarine types and has proved to be a formidable design. The Type 041, NATO codenamed 'Yuan-Class', is a an electric boat equipped with six 533mm torpedo tubes and is one of the quietest submarines in service today.

With the appearance of these boats surfacing in the middle of US Navy battle groups on several occasions, these boats have demonstrated their stealth. On the other hand, with one submarine recently getting tangled up is the USS John McCain's towed sonar array, Chinese Navy submarine skippers still have a few lessons to learn about operating close to surface combatants.

Bronco Models has tooled up the Type 041 in 1/350 scale, and what timing this is! This is the first styrene kit of the Type 041 to be released and it is in the standard naval 1/350 scale.

Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on one parts tree plus the hull halves, one display stand molded in black styrene, one small tree of clear parts and one photo-etched name plate.

As with the full-scale submarine, this kit is very simple in its external design as it has as few external details as possible to keep the boat's movements through the water as quiet as possible.

The clear parts are for the observation ports in the conning tower. The majority of details for this build are the variety of periscopes and antenna masts that are also housed in the conning tower.

The rudder and stern dive planes are positionable.

Aside from the white fore and aft hatches and orange covers on the deck, as well as the brass propeller, the submarine gets an overall finish of rubberized black.

Modern naval modelers will be very interested in this simple project as it represents one of the PLA's newest submarine types that has been getting more visibility in the news for its stealthy antics.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!