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Nikonov Submarine by ZHL

12 replies
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  • Member since
    January 2014
  • From: Carmel, ny
Nikonov Submarine by ZHL
Posted by Vett on Sunday, June 19, 2022 9:15 AM

Hi I've been loooking for this kit has anyone dealt with ZHL hobbies in china

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 9:02 AM

Yes. They are industrial kit pirates out of China that steals other manufacturers' kits and markets them as their own after some repackaging. Modelshipworld has branded them as pirates and won't allow any threads of builds of their kits.

I will not touch them.

Bill Morrison


  • Member since
    June 2022
  • From: Greer, South Carolina
Posted by ccoyle on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 9:40 AM

As Bill said, ZHL is a notorious purveyor of knock-off model kits based on western designs. Definitive evidence of ZHL's theft of intellectual property can be read in this article published by the Nautical Research Guild. ZHL is on the list of banned dealers maintained at Model Ship World. Be advised, not all modeling communities share MSW's stance on protecting intellectual property -- ZHL has many defenders who do not truthfully represent what the company does, i.e. prey on the work of others, thus depriving them of the fruit of their labors.

As you may notice, this is my first post to this community, and yes -- I feel strongly enough about the kit piracy problem to register here just to spread the message: don't buy from model kit pirates like ZHL.


  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 10:38 AM

YesYes  Well said, Bill.



Bob Frysztak


Current builds:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution with extensive scratch building

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 11:50 AM


Thanks!  ZHL is one of the worst pirates out of China.  I have looked at their website at several of their kits. They don't even hide the fact that the instructions in them actually include phrases that credit the kits to different manufacturers, such as those that mention that, "This Caldercraft kit . . .".  They are shameless!


  • Member since
    July 2022
Posted by Euryalus1803 on Saturday, July 2, 2022 5:11 AM

The following is from am Intellectual Property attorney regarding the person purchasing products violating copyrighted materials.    If the purchaser purchased the product knowing it was infringing, then yes they are in violation.  Also If the person who purchased it decided to resell it, then yes.     If there was no knowledge (the facts usually show whether there was actual or purported knowledge), then perhaps not. If you are the purchaser, then you should seek counsel regarding your specific situation. 

If my property was stolen and it was difficult to sue ZHL, I would go after one or two purchasers as an example to ward off further theft.


  • Member since
    January 2014
  • From: Carmel, ny
Posted by Vett on Sunday, October 9, 2022 3:27 PM

Thanks for the heads up, saved again by fines sale modeler

Anyone know who makes a legitimate kit, I see so many on line I don't know who to trust

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Sunday, October 9, 2022 4:39 PM


      You know you are right on with this. Pirated Kits are a Nightmare! Why? Well, if you're a small company and these thieves were to steal one of your Models and make it a kit of theirs, they are taking money right out of your and your employees pocket.

 Even if you are say Revell, A pirate could definitely affect the bottom line, resulting in layoffs and possibility of non-viability on the market place for the Brand. So it's outright Intellectual and Commercial Piracy!

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Monday, October 10, 2022 3:12 PM

So, do youi have the names of other pirate companies we should be on the lookout for?  I have only ordered one kit from someone in China and that was the USS Salem.

  • Member since
    March 2019
  • From: San Diego, CA
Posted by Jose Gonzales on Monday, October 10, 2022 5:39 PM


Here is the list of Banned Kit Manufacturers on the Model Ship World site (Note: I do not intend to infringe on any copywrited material from the Nautical Research Guild or Model Ship World site, just posting for information's sake). The topic link: 



Snail Model


JD Model 


Shi Cheng 

woodenkit (Russian MFG)
Unicorn Model 
YQ (YaunQing)




shi hai

4H Model







  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Monday, October 10, 2022 7:39 PM

Thank you for posting that info. Its to bad that there are people out there doing this. 

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 9:30 AM


Very well said!


  • Member since
    September 2023
Posted by mgd on Monday, September 11, 2023 5:37 AM

I'm interested in this kit but have been unable to find the genuine manufacturer, does anyone know who that would be ?

Or even a link ?



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