Trumpeter 1/700 Russian Slava Class Cruiser, Marshal Ustinov

KIT #: 05722
PRICE: $16.98 MSRP  $22.45 at GreatModels
DECALS: Four options but only one is applicable
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Can be built both full hull or waterline

HISTORY

The design started in the late 1960s and was based around the P-500 Bazalt missile, as a less expensive, conventional alternative to the nuclear powered Kirov class battlecruiser. There was a long delay in the program, while the problems with this weapon were resolved. These ships acted as flagships for numerous task forces. All ships were built at the 61 Kommunar yard, in Mykolaiv, Ukraine (Nikolaev). The class was a follow up to the Kara class cruiser, constructed at the same shipyard and appears to be built on a stretched version of Kara hull.

The Slava class was initially designated BLACKCOM 1 (Black Sea Combatant 1) and then designated the Krasina class for a short period untilSlava was observed at sea. The SS-N-12 launchers are fixed facing forward at around 8 elevation with no reloads available. As there was nothing revolutionary about the design of the class western observers felt they were created as a hedge against the failure of the more adventurous Kirov class. The helicopter hangar deck is located 1/2 deck below the landing pad with a ramp connecting the two. GlobalSecurity.org notes that the design is said to be "marred by large quantities of flammable material and poor damage-control capabilities."

 Marshal Ustinov (Маршал Устинов), and subject of this kit was laid down 1978, launched in 1982, and completed in 1986. It is currently in service with the Russian Navy, Northern Fleet.

THE KIT

Trumpeter must have a pretty good reputation with the ship guys as I've not heard the sort of carrying on that usually accompanies a new release aircraft kit. Of course, I don't read the ship forums either so that may be the reason!

Typical of Trumpeter's releases, this one can be built either as a full hull or as a waterline. For the full hull version, a red plastic lower hull is included along with the appropriate stand and nameplate. I don't think it would be out of line to say that the kit has hundreds of parts and there are a multitude of smallish sprues, each festooned with somewhat small parts. All of the superstructure is built up from generally flat pieces on which one places the various radars and guns. Each of these items are identified with their NATO code names and one has to chuckle at some of these. 'Kite Screech' indeed!

As the main armament of this cruiser are the SS-N-12 launchers, the upper decks are pretty well overshadowed by eight large missile tubes on each side. These are really huge and would fit a small car inside with no problem. The kit also includes a Ka-27 'Helix' helicopter and includes folded and extended blade options.

Instructions are very well done with detail drawings where they are needed. There is a separate color and markings sheet that is printed in color. Gunze paint references are provided and one will have to paint the hull/waterline plate black, which makes me wonder why these were not molded in this shade from the start. The decks are shown as being painted Insignia Red. I'm no ship expert, so I'll go along with that, especially if they are using some sort of non-skid material that is this shade. Perhaps it was normal for the Red Navy....... The small decal sheet looks to be well printed and carries the numbers for all the ships of this class. As the instruction sheet only has the kit number for this version and as the bag with the ship nameplate in it also has other parts, I have to assume that there are subtle differences between the kits of these Slava class kits. 

CONCLUSIONS

If you are a fan of modern naval vessels, then this is one that you really should have in your collection.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org

September 2007

You can find this and many other fine ship kits at GreatModels

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