Guys, I am reworking this thread to turn it into a nice build series with lot of photos and more text as to what is going on. I will get this ship shape over the next couple of days.
This project started in 1991. I was living in Renton, Washington at the time and working for Boeing Defense & Space as a Senior Design Engineer on the B-2 project. I had never been to a Sub Regatta before, but had been corresponding with Greg Sharpe for quite some time and wanted to meet him. My Wife and I drove up to Vancouver to attend the SubRegatta at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. It is a beautiful place right on the shore. I met for the first time, people that I had been reading about for a few years which was exciting. I met the real pioneers of the R/C Submarine hobby such as Mike Dory, Dan Kachur, & Greg Sharpe.
On the second day of the SubRegatta my Wife and I ventured into the museum to see what they had. It is a small museum, but it does have some fascinating exhibits. Inside the musuem is a very small library/bookstore. I spent a couple of hours pouring over the various submarine related titles. Several of these books I had never seen before, and many were out of print. One book in particular really caught my interest. It was titled "Submarines of the Russian & Soviet Navies, 1718-1990"by Norman Polmar & Jurrien Noot. On the upper right hand corner of pageg 123 was a poor quality photo of a submarine I had never seen before. The caption stated that it an 'SHCH-Class Submarine' of series X. Here is that photo;
After further reading I found another picture, which was a closeup of the conning tower gun deck. It showed more detail which cemented my fascination with this class of boats. Here is that photo:
I purchased the books that really caught my attention and went home to start pouring through them. I searched for the next couple of years, with very little luck, for more pictures, photos, & documentation of any kind that would help me piece together an accurate plan of the Shch Series X boat from which I could build a model. In 1994 I found a plans service in Los Angeles that had a plan for the exact boat that I wanted. I was so excited! I called up the company, Repli-tech int., and spoke to the owner. He sent me out a catalog of his drawings. After receiving the catalog I immediately sent them my check to purchase the Shch Plans. They were drawn by a man from Poland by the name of Andrezji Krasniki. They were very poorly drawn and I was extremely dissapointed. The hull stations did not match the plans, the hull profile was drawn by hand and the lines were not even straight. But, after reconsidering, it was still another piece of the puzzle. If the plans were even close to being right, at least I know knew what was below the waterline. Here is that set of plans:
My search continued until 1994 when Paul Doman, a good friend of mine, called me up and told me he had found a set of prints for my submarine at a plans service out of Germany. I was so excited. Knowing how the Germans typically do things I was certain that these plans would be spot on. The plans arrived after a few weeks of waiting. I tore the tube open and threw the plans down on the kitchen table. It only took me 10 seconds to see that they were based off of the same crappy Krasniki drawings. The drafting quality was excellent, but the errors were the same. I knew now that if I was going to use an accurate set of plans, I was going to have to get the originals from Russia and make them myself. So, my quest to find a contact in Russia began.
I found many sources for the boat in Russia via the internet and was suprised how willing those folks were to help. None of the Russians I dealt with wanted any money. The folks at http://www.armybook.com were outstanding to work with and helped me out a great deal. Sadly Armybook is no longer in business. The Russians wanted trinkets from the US, which really puzzled me. The information that I did get was very contradictory, which I finally made sense out of when I recieved partial shipyard prints for the same class from 2 different yards. It turns out each yard had its own way of doing things and each boat was modified to suit the yard and even the Skipper if he had enough pull. This discovery ended several years of an extremely frustrating research. I finally settled on doing one boat, Shch 324 which I have dozens of photos both in and out of the water, plus I recieved an original WWII Russian Navy Captain's warpatrol badge from 1943 from the skipper of Shch 411. That will be mounted on the diplay case.
The other great source of information was the Imperial War Museum. They were extremely helpful in specific technical information, plus for a $200.00 donation they interpreted all of the shipyard construction notes for me from Russian to English. I found a lot of great information in that text that allowed me to finish the research on the project. I gentleman by the name of Sergey Myagov, who was a Russian Naval historian, helped me a great deal. He went and dug into the Russian archives and sent me hundreds of photos that I did not have. Unfortunatley, not many were below the water line and most photos, typical from this time period in Russian, were of extremely poor quality.
Armed with the information I had in hand I went forth to produce accurate plans & patterns in 1/48th. Little did I know at the time that there was a publication that had just been released (2002) that covered the very class of boats that I sought to build. Sergey found it in a local bookstore in Moscow and FedExed the package to me.
It was full of photos and plans that were much more accurate than anything I had seen to day. I had to scrap the plans that I had drawn and had to start all over again!
The first photo that really jumped out at me in 2002 was this photo. This is Shch-209. This is the very same boat that caught my attention back in 1991, but I can see a LOT more detail. More pieces of the puzzle starting to fall into place.