The X class was a World War II midget submarine class built for the Royal Navy during 1943–44.
Known individually as X-Craft, the vessels were designed to be towed to their intended area of operations by a full-size ‘mother’ submarine – (usually one of the T class or S class) – with a passage crew on board, the operational crew being transferred from the towing submarine to the X-Craft by dinghy when the operational area was reached, the passage crew returning with the dinghy to the towing submarine.
Once the attack was over, the X-Craft would rendezvous with the towing submarine and then be towed home. Range was limited primarily by the endurance and determination of their crews, but was thought to be up to 14 days in the craft or 1,500 miles (2,400 km) distance after suitable training. Actual range of the X-Craft itself was 500 nmi (930 km) surfaced and 82 nmi (152 km) at 2 knots (3.7 km/h) submerged.
I absolutely forgot that a midget submarine was, well, small. Here comes the 1/144 scale British Submarine X-Craft from Brengun Models. My copy was a clean model with virtually no air bubbles trapped. The is as small fret of photo etched parts. Get your magnifying glass ready because you will be fiddling with really tiny parts.
I have dealt with good and not so good etched parts during the years and this is one good rendered fret. With a fresh #11 blade, one can only see the parts coming off because the holding tabs are very delicate and the cut is very clean.
I found that the instruction sheet is a little ‘hazy’ in terms of photo etched parts placement (no big deal IMHO). Some parts are positioned in different locations when one look at the picture on the box. I decided to follow my heart and the picture on the box.
There’s is a good 4 to 5 hours of fun with this kit. Most of them consumed by the photo etch parts assembly. The instructions calls for light and dark gray for which I used Tamiya XF-19 Light Gray and Tamiya XF-83 Medium Sea Gray.
After a coat of Vallejo Gray Primer, I painted the entire model with Tamiya XF-19 and my Aztek A470 airbrush. The Dark Gray area was painted by masking free hand with a piece of a sticky note. Avoid the glued side on the model or else you will have PE parts off your model. After sealing the colors with Testor Acryl Flat Clear, the model was weathered using the Naval Weathering Set 1 & 2 from AK Interactive seen on the picture below.
I have 2 shelves reserved for submarine model kits. I like building them. Most of them are built in 1/350 so they are in scale with other battle ships. In real life this is a small subject, so a 1/350 would have been an almost featureless model. 1/144 nailed it, it will be on display inside a 5 x 7 shadow box from the craft store.