Welcome to Zero Bubble Model Design:
Specializing in Radio controlled Submarines
My Name is David Hughes and I am the sole operator of Zero Bubble model design, located just north of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
I am a model maker with over 25 year’s experience. I have designed and flown numerous scale Radio controlled Gliders and have for the last 20 years designed and developed over 10 RC Scale submarine designs.
Five of my designs are featured here and are offered as basic kits. They are kits Ideally suited to radio control application and are based on five rarely modeled Nuclear submarines. These kits are durable, the hull components are made of Fiber glass and the appendages are made of polyurethane castings. These models are niche designs in an already niche sector of the RC market. These kits are intended to be affordable and reasonably priced kits at the lower end of the price spectrum. They offer challenge for the builder who wants to take a basic kit and produce their own version of a rare submarine design.
These kits are designed for a Water tight cylinder (WTC) that can be configured for either dynamic diving (using forward momentum to drive the boat underwater) or more commonly using a static system (a ballast tank that changes the buoyancy of the boat). Mike currently employs a "2" inch "Subdriver" from Caswell models in the United States. The other boats use my own custom made cylinders the ZB-1 and ZB-1/2 designs.
New for 2021.
I now offer a line of Watertight Cylinders for all the Zero Bubble kits. These cylinders are the single shaft ZB-1, and the twin shaft ZB-1/2.
These are available to order as of January 2021.
This page gives an overview of my submarine designs and also the ZB Series of cylinders that drive the models
At Zero Bubble I have five kits available for sale. Three are 1/120 scale with a hull diameter of 90 mm / 3.54 inches. (Mike and Resolution).
Papa's diameter at 97 mm / 3.81 inches.
Borei and Delta are 1/140 with a diameter of 95 mm / 3.74 inches.
All are designed for Radio Control application. These kits are basic and just comprise the hull, appendages and fittings (eg, Rudders, Fins and scoops). They also include a brief instruction booklet. They do not include Radio control electronics, Water tight cylinder (WTC) propeller shafts or masts and stand.
To make Radio control you need to purchase an appropriate ZB cylinder or use one of your own.
They are designed for experienced modelers who know how to build and would have a preferred method of assembly. The components included will need sanding, filling and some adjustment. As can be seen by photos and videos, all designs have been thoroughly tested.
I have a bad habit of building to whatever scale I like. It is usually determined by how well a model sits on the back seat of the car. Borei just fits across the back seat of my Corolla! Sorry, Ive never really paid much attention to 1:96, 1:72 or 1:144. (call me a rebel)
KIT 1: Royal Navy Polaris missile Submarine HMS Resolution.
This is the only 1/120 Scale model of Resolution on the market.
KIT 2: Soviet Project 685 Plavnik K-278 'Komsomolets'. Nato codename: Mike. This design is the only large kit available for radio control of this one off Russian submarine. (Scale: 1:120)
KIT 3: Project 955 'Borei' class SSBN. Big Russian SSBN. Lots of space. The only large kit of this sub for RC on the market. (Scale: 1:140)
KIT 4: Project 661 'Papa' class SSGN. This is a cool little submarine if i may say so. Once again no other large kit of this submarine exists. (that I know of)
KIT 5: Project 667 BDRM Delta IV class SSBN. January 2020. (Scale 1:140)
Like Borei, lots of space. Twin shaft cylinder required.
KIT 6: New for 2022! This is really different. I am developing a kit of a
World War One U-boat. The SM U-23 Class. This kit will be 1100 mm long and 120mm wide. Scale 1/54.
ZB-1 and ZB-1/2 Cylinders. Single and Twin shaft. These are now on the market (Jan 2021.)
Zero Bubble model design is a side business and not my full time occupation. (I wish)
I do require approximately 6 weeks from order to completion of the kit, as I do not necessarily keep kits in stock. Although if a kit is in available then I will notify you as the turn around time will be shorter. I keep in touch with customers throughout the production cycle and when the order is ready to ship to inform you of shipping costs.
I do not take deposits. I take payment just before shipping kits. (I only take Paypal) If you do not commit to the kit. It goes back on the shelf and the next buyer gets theirs really quickly!
Due to overseas shipping costs I will split the top and bottom hulls of my larger models (Borei, Delta and
Resolution) in order to create a package that does not exceed Australia Post's shipping size requirements. This is done as a means of reducing the cost for the customer.
I am reluctant to do custom work. I'm busy enough working through orders and trying to perfect what I already have. Sorry....
With COVID-19 causing disruption to supply chains world wide, shipping times can be unpredictable. Many customers ask me about this and unfortunately I cannot currently give an accurate estimation of time taken to receive your kit.
I am frequently asked about shipping costs. Each kit and destination gets me a different reply from Australia post when I get a quote, however to give you a ball -park idea I'll give quotes from previous orders. Usually I am quoted an express price (the higher end) and an economy price (lower end). Sometimes there is an in-between standard rate. The difference is usually how quickly it gets to your country (The post office states the number of days it takes to get to your country) but no how quickly it gets to you! I usually recommend tracking but not the express.
Resolution is approx- $45-65 AUD
Borei is approx $ 55 AUD
Mike is approx $42 AUD
Mike is approx- $43-56 AUD.
Papa is approx- $36-56 AUD
Delta is approx $55 AUD
Delta: is approx: $55 AUD
Borei is approx- $49-56 AUD
Mike is approx- $37-40 AUD
Borei is approx- $52-62 AUD
Delta is approx - $55 AUD
Papa is approx- $37-51 AUD
Resolution is approx- $40-49 AUD
Australia post offers different shipping options which I investigate for each customer...
As mentioned, my kits are basic and parts can be rough. They are not precision kits of museum quality, as components may not precisely align. Experience with scratch building is advisable. I would spend on average up to 10 hours laying up, casting and processing parts once out of the molds. I make very little profit off these kits and do it for the passion. I realize that many modeller's would rather an imperfect, reasonably priced kit than none at all.
With reasonable modelling skills these five kits will build into satisfying models and handle superbly when built for Radio control.
They are also unique, rare and hand crafted.
Proudly Designed, Engineered and hand made in Australia. (yes we still actually make stuff in this country)