Hobby Model Kits  206A German submarine vs. S605 French Submarine

KIT #: 35067
PRICE: £2.49
REVIEWER: Adam Greenwold
NOTES: 2 kits in one box. Scale not given


As a submarine modeller I was interested obtaining the S605 French Submarine and Hobby Model Kits (HMK) offer the only plastic kit that I could find of this submarine.  I did try to find out what the kit might be like having never purchased a HMK model but I could find no information about the company or the model.  I was able to purchase the kit very cheaply and describe what I bought here.

The S605 French submarine is also known as Amethyste and is one of 6 nuclear powered Rubis class submarines.  When designed the Rubis class were the most compact nuclear attack submarines.  The first in the class was laid down in 1987 and they are due to be replaced in 2012.  Weaponry includes a mixed load of torpedoes and Exocet missiles.  The crew complement is 70.  In appearance it is typical of post cold war nuclear submarines.

 The 206A German submarine is a conventionally powered, diesel electric coastal submarine.  It has an anti-magnetic steel hull, crew of 22 and carries 8 torpedoes.  It was introduced in 1973 and the last vessels have just been retired from service at the end of 2010. 

 It is quite a distinctive looking boat with a very bulbous front end and stepped sail (conning tower).  Other plastic kits are available from Revell.

 Quite why these vessels have been put together in a ‘verses’ package eludes me. It is highly unlikely that these submarines would ever come to conflict other than in an extremely hypothetical training situation.  The German and French navies as neighbours in Europe would complement each other in any operational capacity


The rather garish box with its Turner’esk yellow sky holds 2 submarines, not one as stated!  The end opening box gives very little information other than the title and brand.  The submarines are represented as built unpainted models.   There is no history or information supplied about the submarines.

 Two sprues and the Type 206A hull halves are contained in a single plastic bag. There is a single sheet of instructions with both kits on one side but unfortunately submarines are labelled the wrong way round. Other than this error the plans are clear with parts tree layouts and straight forward line drawings.

 S605 Amethyste. 

The hull is 14cm long which scales out to 1/525 which doesn’t fit any of the accepted ship modelling scales.

 The model is made from a smooth and shiny light grey plastic.  The edges of dive planes are very rounded and overly thick.  The top of the sail seems too rounded and it lacks the angled rear profile.  The overall hull ship is too bulbous with the original having a more cylindrical shape.  The recessed panel lines are 0.5mm thick which on the real thing would be 25cm wide.  The smaller parts, particularly the sickle shaped propeller are quite well represented.

A display stand is supplied.


The hull is 16.7cm long which scales out to 1:291.

The general ugly lumpy shape of the Type 206A is captured well but the recessed detail again is very over scale.  The detail looks less obtrusive than on the S605, perhaps simply because it is a (relatively) bigger model.  The small parts again are well done including the ring around the propeller. 

 A display stand is supplied.

 Painting and Markings

No painting guide is supplied and the box art does not help either.  No decals are included.


Both subjects require the cavernous recessed detailing filled up, especially on the hull of the Amethyste, and then some re-scribing if desired (images of Amethyste do not show panel lines).  As supplied, the German Type 206A could build into a reasonable little model which would look more or less like what it is supposed to be, however the French S605 would build into something which could be any generic attack submarine from almost any navy and lacks distinguishing detailing or markings.

 I cannot recommend these to serious modellers wishing to add the subjects to their submarine fleets but I am going to have fun making them with my 9 year old nephew.

 Adam Greenwold

February 2011

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