Riich 1/700 955 'Borei' class SSBN

KIT #: RL27001
DECALS: One option per boat
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes two kits with etched brass name plates


The Borei class (Russian: Борей; sometimes transliterated as Borey, also known as the Dolgorukiy class after the name of the lead vessel, the Yuriy Dolgorukiy) is a class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine produced by Russia and operated by the Russian Navy. The class is intended to replace the Delta III, Delta IV and Typhoon classes now in Russian Navy service. The class is named after Boreas, the North wind.

Work on the first unit of the Borei class (officially designated "Project 935") started in 1996. A new submarine-launched ballistic missile was developed in parallel, called the R-39UTTH "Bark". However, the work on this missile was abandoned, and a new missile called the Bulava was designed. The submarine needed to be redesigned to accommodate the new missile, and the project name was changed to Project 955. The vessels are being built at the Northern Machinebuilding Enterprise (Sevmash) in Severodvinsk, and were designed by the Rubin Marine Equipment Design Bureau (Rubin). Because of the repeated failures during Bulava test launches, some experts have suggested that theBorei submarine could instead be armed with R-29RMU Sineva missiles. The Sineva is already in active duty on the Delta IV class submarine.

Advances include a compact and integrated hydrodynamically efficient hull for reduced broadband noise and the first ever use of pump-jet propulsion on a Russian nuclear submarine. Costing some 23 bln RUR ($890 million USD), Borei is approximately 170 metres (560 ft) long, 13 metres (43 ft) in diameter, and has a maximum submerged speed of at least 46 kilometres per hour (25 kn; 29 mph). In comparison the cost of an Ohio class SSBN was around 2 billion USD per boat (1997 prices). Smaller than the Typhoon class, the Borei was initially slated to carry 12 missiles but was able to carry 4 more due to the decrease in mass of the 45-ton Bulava SLBM (a modified version of the Topol-M ICBM) over the originally proposed R-39UTTH Bark.

A fifth generation successor/supplement is already in development.


This new kit from Riich is a double kit that offers two submarines. Both submarines can only be build at waterline kits, seriously reducing the parts count. The two sprues each contain about 20 or so parts. Some of these parts are optional bits as the submarine can be built without all the periscopes and various antennas jutting out of the sail. When having these bits closed, the kit offers a number of blanking plates for some of the section.

The rest of the sail consists of two halves. This assembly is then simply placed atop the one-piece upper hull. The only other piece to be attached is the upper fin. and the flat hull bottom. Perhaps thiskit was picked for a waterline due to a lack of information about the propulsion system and how this all looks. Or perhaps it is just because they wanted to fit two kits in the box and wanted them to be pretty simple. The only other piece are two brass name plates, of which the sides bend back to allow them to be properly displayed. The two boats are the K-535 Yury Dogorukly, and K-550 Alexander Nevskiy.

Instructions are super basic and offer no color information. That and the decal placement guide are printed on the back of the box. Like all modern subs, these can be black or black. The only difference to these boats is the badge that fits on the front of the sail.


If you are looking for a relaxing and quick build, then this kit certainly fills the bill.



April 2012

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