Second Chance

Posted by on Dec 21, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Second Chance

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First Look

The White Navy was an early proponent of submarine warfare, with a number of technical and tactical specialists working in the field as early as 1857. The Tsar’s admirals saw these revolutionary craft as key weapons in breaking potential blockades by the Prussians and Ottomans of the Baltic and Dardanelles respectively.

Out of the blue, the Pesets Class Attack Submarine surfaces and opens up on its prey!

Out of the blue, the Pesets Class Attack Submarine surfaces and opens up on its prey!

In this work, the Russian naval architects benefitted from their nation’s long-standing accord with the Kingdom of Britannia. The Tsar’s engineers were given access to early blueprints for Brunel’s Vanguard Class submarine, which formed the basis for their own first designs.

Of course, the White Navy’s designers also benefitted from the sporadic but vital nuggets of Covenant ‘black’ information provided by Markov and his co-conspirators before his eventual defection. With this combination of information sources, together with their own talent for invention, the research team of ‘Proyeckt Pobeda’ working under great secrecy in the port of Kerch on the Sea of Azov had produced their ultimate prototype by 1864.

Unfortunately, while the craft was running its final live-armed sea trials, the treacherous Captain Vladimir Nikonov and his crew pirated the vessel. In a night of devastation, they launched a ferocious surprise attack on the main submersible research facility, managing to destroy a huge amount of valuable material. They also stole the last remaining complete blueprints for the Pobeda Class before making their escape by slipping through the Dardanelles.

Pesets Class Attack Submarine

Pesets Class Attack Submarine

Nikonov’s revolt was a disastrous setback for the Russian submersible warfare program. The resulting Oprichnina investigation, ordered personally by the Tsar and supervised by his cousin Andrei ‘the Axe’ himself, revealed evidence that Nikonov had been a double agent, enticed into treachery by the Prussians in return for a series of enormous bribes.

The program and its personnel were transferred to the more secure Baltic base at Kronstadt. Renamed ‘Proyeckt Pesets’, it received a major boost with the return of Markov and his Circle in 1866. Among the many secrets Markov bore with him were the blueprints of the Antarctican submersible in which he had made his escape.

This extra information sped up the revived program immensely, and by early 1867, the final prototype of the new Pesets Class attack submarine was completed, running trials in the far more secure waters around Kronstadt Island under conditions of near-paranoid security by the Oprichnina.

The Pesets Class bears many resemblances to the original prototype Pobeda on which it was based, albeit smaller and more agile in confined waters. It shares the Pobeda’s armament of a powerful forward gun battery and torpedo tubes, although rather than being a lone wolf the Pesets is designed to operate in hunting formations.

Pesets Class submarines work alongside the Battle Brigades of the White Navy in specialised hunter-killer squadrons, often supported by destroyers. A pack of these ‘arctic foxes’, under the command of patient, dedicated captains and highly-motivated crews are fully capable of devastating enemy convoys or stalking and eliminating larger hostile warships with ruthless precision.

Pesets Class Attack Submarine

Pesets Class Attack Submarine

A Word from the Designer
The Russian Coalition’s previous attempt at producing a lethal submarine for the White Navy ended disastrously as Vladimir Nikonov took the submersible for his own ends. But this shame and misfortune was not enough to stop the mighty Russian Coalition from trying once again.

This time, however, the lessons of their past mistakes have been heeded in the design of the new vessel. The Russians realised that pouring so many resources into a single vessel is unwise given the potential unreliability of their captains, thus the final production submersible, the Pesets, has become a medium class model rather than the large behemoth that the Black Wolf was. Despite its smaller size the Pesets has not been defanged; it still has a formidable fore gun battery and, combined with its turret mounted torpedo launcher, the Pesets is a capable offensive weapon in its own right.

Designing this new submarine was a fond reminder of the process behind the Black Wolf, which remains one of our favourite models. it combines the bio-mimicking style of the Covenant of Antarctica (the influence of the traitorous Markov, of course) with the hard edged, angular lines of the Russians. It’s a fun shape to put together, although quite time consuming. The general layout and use of engine features, hatches and so on is much the same as the Black Wolf, although manoeuvring planes have been moved from the centre of mass forward to the ‘head’ section. This gave the model a sleeker profile in line with our other, smaller submarines, but it also necessitated moving the guns up to sit above the hull. The other major change was the addition on the torpedo turret atop the vessel. The challenge here was to make it look like it could track wide enough to match the statistics of the model while also being capable of lowering into the hull for increased hydrodynamics when lurking below the waves.