Zvezda 1/350 Russian Imperial Battleship 'Sevastapol'
KIT #: 9040
PRICE: $101.00 SRP
DECALS: One option. Paper flags
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit

HISTORY

Sevastopol (Russian: Севастополь) was the first ship completed of the Gangut-class battleships of the Imperial Russian Navy, built before World War I. The Ganguts were the first class of Russian dreadnoughts. She was named after the Siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War. She was completed during the winter of 191415, but was not ready for combat until mid-1915. Her role was to defend the mouth of the Gulf of Finland against the Germans, who never tried to enter, so she spent her time training and providing cover for minelaying operations. Her crew joined the general mutiny of the Baltic Fleet after the February Revolution and joined the Bolsheviks later that year. She was laid up in 1918 for lack of manpower, but her crew joined the Kronstadt Rebellion of 1921. She was renamed Parizhskaya Kommuna after the rebellion was crushed to commemorate the Paris Commune and to erase the ship's 'betrayal' of the Communist Party.

She was recommissioned in 1925, and refitted in 1928 in preparation for her transfer to the Black Sea the following year. Parizhskaya Kommuna and the cruiser Profintern ran into a severe storm in the Bay of Biscay that severely damaged Parizhskaya Kommuna's false bow. They had to put into Brest for repairs, but reached Sevastopol in January 1930. Parizhskaya Kommuna was comprehensively reconstructed in two stages during the 1930s that replaced her boilers, upgraded her guns, augmented her anti-aircraft armament, modernized her fire-control systems and gave her anti-torpedo bulges. During World War II she provided gunfire support during the Siege of Sevastopol and related operations until she was withdrawn from combat in April 1942 when the risk from German aerial attack became too great. She was retained on active duty after the war until she became a training ship in 1954. She was broken up in 195657.

THE KIT

It is nice to see these older battleships being done in 1/350 and this one from Zvezda is a very nice one. Unlike many WWII types, this kit is not a mass of tiny parts. Early dreadnought battleships were actually relatively 'clean' as capital ships go for they did not have all the smaller guns and anti-aircraft guns that were the norm 30 years or so later.

Let me start off by saying that the kit can be built either full hull or waterline. To do the waterline version, you will have to score along the line already half cut on the inside of the hull halves. There is no flat bottom for this option and since this is a large ship, the lazy amongst us will simply build the full hull version. The kit comes with a nice display stand and one only has to drill some holes in the bottom of the hull to use it. In common with many new ship kits, there are bulkheads that fit in between the hull sides to add stiffness and help provide a place for the upper decks to fit.

This ship has two of these upper decks, a fore and aft section, each which will hold two of the main gun turrets. Each of the hull sides will need to have holes opened up prior to gluing them together. There is a detailed diagram showing which ones to open. The 16 casemate guns will need to be installed at this time as well.

Though a pretty clean design, there are still a lot of deck vents and various lockers to be assembled. The ship also had anti-torpedo net booms that will have to be attached. These will fit where you previously opened holes in the side of the hull. Other items to be assembled are the ship's boats as well as the upper superstructure, such as it is. The Sevastapol had an enclosed bridge and you will need to build up the funnels and masts as well. Each of the four main gun turrets has separate barrels to install and small guns that fit on the top of the turrets. Again, holes will need to be opened up for these.

The kit includes no photo etch, so people who do not like this medium will not have to deal with it. I think the finished product could probably benefit from etched railings, but that is up to the builder to make that determination. Instructions are very well drawn and have detail sections to show the proper placement and alignment of some parts. The color chart has Model Master paint references. The kit has decals for the white line between the hull and waterline colors. It also has paper flags for the fantail flag and the jackstaff.  I should also take a moment to mention how nicely packaged the kit is. The box has a separate enclosed section for the hull halves and there is a brace that goes to the other side of the box to keep it from being crushed. This kit has one of the 'lunch box' style inner boxes with a thin cardboard box top.
CONCLUSIONS

1/350 ship builders have really been well served in the last few years. New, thanks to Zvezda, e are getting some fine kits of Russian and Soviet subjects. If you like these early dreadnought ships, then this is one you should seriously consider adding to your list.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_battleship_Sevastopol_%281911%29

October 2012

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.

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