Revell 1/350 K-141 'Kursk'
|PRICE:||SEK 139 (approx. $23,0)|
|NOTES:||Some inaccuracies but in general a nice kit|
The ill-fated Russian submarine "Kursk" sank on 12 August 2000, following an internal malfunction and explosion in one of the huge Type 65-76 anti-ship torpedoes onboard. All 118 crew perished in this tragic accident. The "Kursk" was a Project 949A "Antey" (NATO reporting name "Oscar II") nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine. Primary armament consisted of 24 P-700 (NATO: SS-N-19 "Shipwreck") supersonic cruise missiles, capable of being fitted with either nuclear or conventional high explosive warheads.
In addition to this,
the "Kursk" was also equipped with two 650mm bow torpedo tubes for a total
of 12 large Type 65-76 anti-ship, wake-homing torpedoes, and four 533mm bow
torpedo tubes for a total of 16 Type 53-65K anti-ship and SET-65
anti-submarine torpedoes. Two OK-650B/VM-5 pressurized water nuclear
reactors provided steam to twin GTZA OK-9DM geared turbines, developing a
total of 98.000 shaft horsepower and providing an underwater speed of up to
The kit I used is the old Revell offering, #05022. The hull is separated into two parts (upper and lower) and you also get two sprues with the smaller details and parts for a stand. All of this is moulded in black plastic. Also included is a small clear sprue with the bridge windbreaker and an insert for the front windows in the conning tower.
A few inaccuries of the kit are also present, however:
- The outer bow torpedo doors are missing on the starboard side. I don´t know if this is only on my example or if all kits lack them. The doors can relatively easy be re-scribed, though.
- The screws are incorrectly moulded with the blades going the wrong way. On the real 949A-class submarines, the seven-bladed skewback propellers should rotate outwards (when seen from behind), with the tip of the blades trailing. In the kit this has been reversed, with the tip of the blades leading. The fix is relatively simple: cut off the rounded end of the screws, turn the blade section 180 degrees, and glue it all back together again.
- The single lower rudder should be replaced by two units, one on each lower propeller shaft casing. Unfortunately I found this out too late so I didn’t get around to correct it on my model.
- The upper hull is slightly too rounded, especially at the missile area. This is quite obvious when comparing the kit with the real thing, as the upper hull should be more "square" or flat. Unfortunately this is very difficult to correct and would require extensive surgery of the kit – I didn´t bother.
However, most (if not all) 949A-class submarines feature a lower hull finished in red/brown corrosion inhibiting paint and fortunately the line between this and the black upper hull coincides with the kit parts split line, so this will help "disguise" any imperfections in the seam.
I began by
preparing the two hull halves. All flood holes were drilled out, carved,
and sanded into shape, then I added black plastic sheets on the inside
in order to prevent any see-through effect. The hull halves were
cemented together and the seam sanded smooth.
I couldn´t get the closed portions of the hatches to line up properly with the upper hull, so in the end I had to sand off the uppermost internal part of the hatch rim. When this is removed the hatches fell into place just fine. Not sure if this is a fault of the kit or if I messed something up. The missile tubes that were going to be exposed were detailed with some scratch material, mostly small pieces of tubing, soldering wire, and some plastic netting.
The conning tower
was next. It goes together nicely and feature an internal floor which
also include the bases for the various masts. The upper hatches for the
rear "Molniya-M" satellite navigation mast and the center MRKP-58
"Radian" surface radar /ESM were cut apart and cemented in the open
position, the rest of the hatches were closed.
I cemented the forward hydroplanes in the extended position but the kit also give you the option of having them retracted (using a different cover plate). The rest of the hull details were then added and everything fit nicely. At the lower aft hull there are four reactor condenser cooling water intakes, these are to be cemented inclined downwards at about 45 degrees – make sure you get them all equal as any error in alignment will look funny. I also drilled open the end of the dispenser in the top of the aft fin: this dispenser is for the "Pelamida" towed sonar array.
As mentioned before, I re-scribed the missing starboard outer torpedo hatches as well as corrected the skewback propellers by cutting them apart and turning the blade sections 180 degrees before cementing them back together.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I usually always brush
paint my models, but in this case I did an exception with the lower hull
which was spray painted in red oxide primer from a rattle-can (it is
actually intended for use on cars…).
To add a bit of interest, I masked off and painted the dome for the MGK-540 Skat-3 bow sonar in aluminum – this is even shown in the instructions, but is actually incorrect as all 949A-class submarines have the entire lower hull finished in red. The aluminum sonar dome does however break up the monotony of the lower hull.
The stand was painted
in flat dark green (Humbrol 75) with the text on the nameplate in copper (Humbrol
12) and then clear-coated.
As I wanted to depict the
"Kursk" as she looked a few months before her final mission, weathering was
quite extensive in order to simulate a rather long time tied up in dock with
The lower hull below the
waterline was even more heavily drybrushed using both previously mentioned
colours, as well as fine beach sand mixed with white glue in order to simulate
heavy growth of barnacles just below the surface waterline. When dry, the sand
was also painted rust-red and then heavily drybrushed with off-white.
And there you have it – an
impressive addition to your naval collection that will dwarf most of your other
True, there are some inaccuracies present in the kit, but most of these can relatively easy be corrected. And, considering the rather cheap cost of the kit (typical of Revell kits, at least here in Sweden), I would definitely recommend it.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Review Index Page