Revell 1/350 K-141 'Kursk'

KIT #: 05022
PRICE: SEK 139 (approx. $23,0)
DECALS: See review
REVIEWER: Ingemar Caisander
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 28 knots. At 154 m in length and with a submerged displacement of 18.400 tons, the "Kursk" was one of the largest submarines in the world.


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.

 Decals are provided for two ships: the K-141 "Kursk" and the K-186 "Omsk". A nice touch of the decal sheet is the inclusion of long white strips for the waterline marking. The instructions (comprising 14 building steps) are clear and easy to follow, with painting callouts where appropriate.

 General detailing of the kit is good as is the fit of parts. Both rows of cruise missile tubes are present and the outer missile hatches can be fixed in the open position. If you choose to have the hatches open you will need to do some extra detailing, though, as the missile bays are very rudimentary.

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.

 Also worth noting is that the split line between the upper and lower hull halves doesn´t follow the waterline: this mean you will have to be very careful when cementing the halves together, and/or use filler and sand the seam.

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. The long covering panels on the sides of the missile bays were then attached – these seams required a little bit of filler and sanding as well but nothing major. As I wanted to show off a few of the missile tubes I cut one of the long cover hatches in pieces. Note that each individual part of the hatch cover two missile tubes.

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 also drilled open the flood holes in the conning tower sides (the aftmost drains are very small, so I used a 0.6 mm (0.024") drill). The clear piece for the front windows required some trimming to fit, but other than this the tower came together quite nicely.

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.

 The stand for the model consist of four pieces, plus a name sign, and was also cemented together at this time. I added a thin strip of soft padding rubber on each of the upper crossbeams on which the submarine is to rest.


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…). The upper hull and conning tower was painted in flat black (Revell 9), as was the open areas of the port missile bay. These latter were then accentuated with rust (Humbrol 160) and drybrushed with off-white (Humbrol 121) in order to bring out the details.

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. All decals went on nicely and were sealed with flat varnish.


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 minimal maintenance. The entire upper hull was heavily drybrushed using off-white (Humbrol 121), with rust-red (Humbrol 160) accentuations around some of the flood holes, mooring bollards etc.

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. The masts of the extended conning tower sensors were painted in silver (Humbrol 11) and then treated with powdered graphite to give them a sort of "greased" appearance.


And there you have it – an impressive addition to your naval collection that will dwarf most of your other 1/350 submarines. All in all, it´s a nice kit that with a little bit of work will turn into a quite respectable model.

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.

Ingemar Caisander

April 2014

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