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10 Best Submarine Model Kits




The 10 Best Submarine Model Kits

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Yo, fellow submarine enthusiasts! Are you ready to dive into the world of scale models? Well, hold on tight because we’re about to explore some of the best submarine model kits out there.

So, you’re probably thinking, “How do I choose the right scale for me?” Well, let me tell you a story. I started with a 1:200 scale and man, let me tell you, it was a big mistake. It took up half my desk! So, my advice to you is to think about where you’re going to display your masterpiece and go from there.

Submarine Model – Buyer’s Guide

A scale model is a replica of a real-life object. Submarine models are made to scale and look precisely like the original dimensions and design features. A scale submarine model can be used for several purposes: decoration, display, or training aid.

You should pay attention when buying scale submarines kits, whether it’s metal or plastic model kits.

Plastic ships are cheaper but not as detailed as metal ones which have more parts that need assembling. If this sounds too complicated, there are also ready-made models available. They usually come preassembled, so all you need to do is paint them, then they’re ready to go on your desk or shelf!

About Submarine Model Kits

Submarine model kits are not for everyone. These model kits require patience, attention to detail, and above all, an interest in submarines! Once you have mastered the basics of model making, it is possible to build submarine models with your eyes closed. That’s the theory, anyway.

What is Submarine Model?

Submarine model kits are also known as ship model kits. These model kits can be detailed scale models of real warships, or they may just use the primary form of a historic warship without any interior levels to show how it works.

Submarine model ships are often used for educational purposes in museums and classrooms. Students learn about sea-faring vessels through their construction, whether an accurate replica of one ship or several types combined into one model kit.

Hobbyists will build these model ships too, with some being easy enough to complete by beginners while others take more time and skill, which shows off your experience level when you have completed them successfully! Shows off your experience level when you have completed them successfully!

How Does Scale Work?

Scale is a system for measuring the size of an object. It works by comparing it to something that we know has been measured accurately and is certified as correct. The ratio between the known, accurate measurement and your unknown size gives you what scale to use (e.g., one inch equals two feet).

As ship modeling grew in popularity, ship modelers have moved on to create more kits. Today, manufacturers are producing plastic ship models with die-cast metal fittings and decals. This is the most popular choice for many ship modelers because it’s easier to build these ships than building them from scratch using raw materials that require an advanced skillset when assembling ship parts.

These preassembled pieces already come with paint, making it easy for beginners who want a quick project without spending hours trying their hands on painting techniques that can be challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with how colors work or mixing paints of different colors hues. However, there are also small parts made up of resin known as photo et. They include details like railings and ship lines, making them great as dioramas.

What Are the Main Aspects of the Submarine Model?

Model submarines are crafted to resemble real-life ships, mostly military ones. Manufacturers use different materials for the construction process, such as wood molds or hard plastic resin, which is used for photo et parts.

What Are the Main Aspects of the Submarine Model?

1. Materials Used in Submarine Model Construction

In the hands of skilled manufacturers, various materials transform into realistic submarine models. Wood molds, hard plastic resin, and die-cast metal are the primary materials used in the construction process.

  • Wood molds: These serve as the base structure, often carved meticulously to match the shape of the submarine.
  • Hard plastic resin: This is commonly used for the creation of photo etched parts. Photo etching is a process that involves using light-sensitive plates to etch highly detailed components.
  • Die-cast metal: For a robust and durable finish, die-cast metal is a preferred choice, offering a heavier and more realistic feel to the model.

2. Interior and Exterior Details

The authenticity of a submarine model is determined by its detailing. Manufacturers go the extra mile to include intricate interior and exterior details. These details can range from working periscopes, control panels, switches, valves, and dials to equipment like torpedo tubes (found in smaller submersibles) and missile launchers (found in larger submersibles).

Photo etched parts are a favorite among modelers. These can be seen in different types of ship models, offering detailed accents to both interior and exterior components. For instance, the railings and ladders on the exterior or the control panels and switches inside.

Moreover, these parts often come with detailed decals that you can use for weathering effects, making the final product more realistic than ever before.

3. The Assembly Process

Submarine model kits typically require assembly. The process is akin to building a house – you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturers. However, some models come preassembled, especially the internal parts. These go inside the body of the ship model, and they’re either glued or attached using screws.

After experimenting with it, I can assure you that the assembly process can be an exciting and rewarding journey. You get to understand the intricacies of a submarine while enjoying the satisfaction of seeing your model come to life.

But, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with my top 10 picks for the best scale submarine models.

Best Submarine Model Kits – Comparison Table

1. German Naval Submarine Type VIIC / 41

Немецкая военно-морская подводная лодка типа VIIC / 41
1# Best Model Submarine Kit for Building

What’s your favorite scale? What better way to build that dreamboat than this submarine model kit from Revell. 1/72 is a perfect size for those who want their boat as accurate as possible with all the detail you could think of. Just look at the sleek lines and sophisticated military design! This product requires assembly, so get cracking because nobody will know what hit ’em once it’s finished!

Realism of Construction

For the money, you get a 1m long U-boat with a slew of add-on pieces, including a hardwood deck and a plethora of brass photo-etch. This kit can become a “museum quality” exhibit item, as well as a basis for an active/diving RC model (additional parts required).


  • Length: 934 mm
  • Width: 90 mm


The kit comes in a sturdy cardboard box with the pieces carefully packed and separated to minimize harm. After it is completed, the finished model may be displayed on a stand (supplied) (a first for me in my modeling).


A beautiful installation once completed – just make sure you have enough room to showcase this behemoth! – I’m excited to begin my own!

2. German Submarine Type IX C (U67/U154)

Немецкая подводная лодка Type IX C (U67 / U154)
2# High-Quality Model Submarine Kit

Ready to take the deep and mysterious sea and unlock its secrets? Now you can with your very own German submarine Type IX C (U67/U154) model kit! This detailed model kit for advanced model builders is made of high-quality, non-assembled plastic parts. All illustrated assembly instructions include extensive directions and pictures to help guide you through this great product. The submarine measures 1 foot long at a scale of 1:72.


  • Length: 1063 mm
  • Width: 95 mm

3. Russian Navy Typhoon Class SSBN

ПЛАРБ класса "Тайфун" ВМФ России
3# Nice Model of a Nuclear Submarine of the USSR

An actual work of naval art, this 1/350 scale submarine kit will have you rolling in deep water in no time. With a critical view to detail and over 190 parts, this product is sure to please the die-hard Soviet Navy hobbyist! Just be careful when installing the cement pads…you must remember they need to stay out of the way for optimum missile transfers from nearly anywhere on the boat.


  • Length: 491.5 mm
  • Width: 89 mm

4. US Navy Gato Class Submarine

Подводная лодка ВМС США класса Gato
4# Best Kit for Professionals

The model kit of the US Navy Gato Class Submarine is a meticulously accurate replica built to scale. Our Revell Platinum Edition Gato captures all its features in an incredibly realistic way – from the periscope to the propeller. The hull is beautifully done with recessed lines and hatches that snap together for easy assembly. Comes with full instructions and would be perfect for anyone looking for their next hobby project or just someone craving a challenge!


  • Length: 1320 mm or 51.97 inches
  • Width: 115 mm or 4.53 inches
  • Height: 335 mm or 13.19 inches

5. German Navy Type 212 Attack Submarine

Ударная подводная лодка Тип 212 ВМС Германии
5# Best Submarine for Beginners with Simple Assembly

So you want a submarine? This is the model boat for you! It’s so easy to assemble, and it features everything from a realistic reflectivity finish to full 3-view painting guidelines. Step into history with this replica of an actual German Navy Type 212 attack submarine.


  • Length: 16 cm or 6.43 inches
  • Width: 2 cm or 0.79 inches
  • Height: 2.82 cm or 1.11 inches

6. German Type VIIC U-Boat

Немецкая подводная лодка типа VIIC
6# Best 1/350 Scale Model Submarine Kit

I know you love all things military, and this is a fantastic addition to any collection. Make sure you buy the right amount of tweezers, though, because those propellers are tiny!

Of course, warships aren’t everything, but it’s pretty exciting to imagine what life was like on these submarines during World War II. And now you can build one yourself with this fantastic kit!

Advise: Build time: 3-6 hours


  • Length: 19.2 cm
  • Width: 1.8 cm
  • Height: 2.7 cm

7. French Submarine Surcouf

Французская подводная лодка Surcouf
7# Best Challenging Submarine Model Kit

Keep your hands busy for days with this challenging submarine model kit. And if you’re extra-adventurous, attach them both to the side at different stations! You can’t go wrong with hours of fun in miniature form. It’s a great way to either top off your collection or grows it, so take advantage today and dive right in!


  • Length: 31.4 cm
  • Width: 2.6 cm
  • Height: 3.3 cm

8. Dolphin Nuclear Submarine Delta IV Kl Tula

Dolphin Nuclear Submarine Delta IV Kl Tula
8# Best Nuclear Submarine Model Kit

Bring home the delightfully detailed submarine model kit. Kit contains all necessary parts to be assembled by yourself, and the included set of assembly instructions (English language not guaranteed) will help you through every step as you complete this impressive craft for hours of fun and stimulating fun. Detailed as never before, with various high detail components, I am sure this model is one your family will cherish for years to come. The complete model requires painting – glue and paint not included.


  • Length: 48,6 cm

9. Russian K-141 Nuclear Submarine Kursk

9# Best Submarine Modeling Diorama Kit

Российская атомная подводная лодка К-141 Курск

Ready for battle, the nuclear submersible Russian K-141 “Kursk” model is an awesome
presentation of your taste in naval warfare. With this kit, you can make your very own copy of what was once touted as Russia’s only submarine equipped with vertical launch systems and featuring two such launchers on either side of the conning tower. It also includes a periscope and antenna mast, sonar dome, and radars that all come conveniently pre-painted. So arm yourself against any enemy that may try to stand in your way; I gladly support you!


  • Length: 37 cm

10. German Naval Submarine U-Boat XXI Type w. Interieur

German Naval Submarine U-Boat XXI Type w. Interieur
10# Best Functional Submarine Model Kit

Everyone knows that the Nazis had the best submarine technology. But did you know they also had the most extraordinary interiors? Now your kids can build their own German Naval Submarine U-Boat XXI Type w. Interieur (model) kit, featuring 163 pieces for ease of assembly; includes interior detailing; 2 figures; could be used as decoration or toy battles! The bright green and black colors are sure to drive away bad vibes. All aboard!


  • Length: 53.1 cm


In conclusion, I think that the U-Boat XXI Type w. Interieur Submarine Model Kit is a great model for kids and adults who want to learn more about submarines. It’s also a fun toy for those with an interest in military history or maritime engineering. If you have any questions about this product or my buyer’s guide, just let me know!

Hey there! I’m Richard Baker, a miniature painter who’s been in the game for a solid decade now. I’ve been painting miniatures for ten years and I’ve got a ton of tips and tricks to share with you all. My website is a treasure trove of knowledge that I’ve gathered from both my own personal experiences and from reading all sorts of books.

About the author

6 responses to “10 Best Submarine Model Kits”

  1. JIM Avatar

    Your article shows a Revell 1/72 scale Gato submarine with a fairwater (conning tower) that is *not* available in the Revell offering. Imagine the anger of someone who shelled out $100 for something that was not included in the kit.

    1. Richard Avatar

      I apologize for my mistake in using the incorrect image in the article. It was an oversight on my part, and I understand how frustrating and disappointing it can be to purchase a kit only to find that it doesn’t include what was expected.
      I want to assure you that it was not my intention to mislead anyone, and I take full responsibility for my error. I will take steps to ensure that this does not happen again in the future.
      I appreciate you bringing this to my attention, and I will replace the incorrect image with the correct one as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

  2. Al Wayne Avatar
    Al Wayne

    Why do all these model descriptions state ratios like 1:72? It’s not helpful when considering the space needed to display the model. How about real measurements? I don’t care if its metric or inches.

    1. Richard Avatar

      Thank you for your comment. I’ve added the length in centimeters for your convenience.

  3. SubmarineSam Avatar

    Hey there! After reading this fantastic article, I’m curious about the materials used in submarine model construction. I’ve seen some models made of wood, while others are made of plastic or metal. How do these materials impact the overall look and feel of the finished model? And which one would you recommend for someone looking for the most realistic finish?

    1. Richard Avatar

      Hello SubmarineSam! Great question. The material used in submarine model construction plays a significant role in the final appearance and feel of the model. Here’s a brief rundown:

      Wood molds: These provide a classic and traditional look to the model. They serve as the base structure and are often carved meticulously to match the shape of the submarine. Wood gives a warm and natural feel but might not capture the intricate details as precisely as other materials.

      Hard plastic resin: Commonly used for photo-etched parts, plastic resin can capture very detailed components due to the photo etching process. It’s lightweight and can be painted easily, but it might not feel as hefty or premium as metal.

      Die-cast metal: This material offers a robust and durable finish, giving the model a heavier and more realistic feel. Metal models often feel more premium and can capture details very well.

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