Mirage 1/350 A86 Torpedoboot Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2014||Manufacturer||Mirage|
|Kit Number||350505||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$15.95|
The German Navy commissioned a new class of torpedo boats designated as the A-class prior to the outbreak of World War I. These ships were produced in five groups with A86 part of group four. The common characteristics of group four A-class torpedo boats were a length of 60.2 meters, beam of 6.41 meters, displacement of 330 tons, and powered by a 5700 shp oil-fired steam turbine. Armament included 2x8.8cm guns and a 45cm torpedo tube. These vessels provided protection for coastal minelayers as well as coastal defense.
Mirage Hobby has released this new kit in 1/350 scale, which is interesting since the majority of their previous naval subjects were produced in 1/400 scale. This isn't their first 1/350 scale vessel as they've also produced a number of Flower-class corvettes in this scale as well. The write-up of A86 is interesting in that the locations for the shipyards that produced this class of torpedo boats were in Germany in those days, but are part of Poland today.
Molded in medium gray styrene, this kit is presented on two parts trees and appears to be a straightforward build. I list the skill level at experienced only because of the number of really tiny parts used to fit the main deck.
Note the box art, this kit does have a rudder on the stern as well as on the bow. Nothing I could find online discussed the bow rudder and how that improved (or hindered) maneuverability. Since we haven't seen that feature on combatants since then, I'm guessing it wasn't all that successful.
If you're looking for an interesting subject or an inexpensive project (or both), that a look at this new release which fills another gap in early 20th century German naval power.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!