Flagman 1/350 'November' Class Submarine
|KIT:||Flagman 1/350 'November' Class Submarine|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Big box for a relatively small kit|
The Project 627 (Russian - проект 627 "Кит" (Whale), NATO - November) class submarine was the Soviet Union's first class of nuclear-powered submarines. More than 135 Soviet organizations (20 design bureaus, 35 research institutes, 80 works) participated in the design and construction of this completely new type of submarine in 1952-1958. The chief designer was V.N. Peregudov and the research supervisor was academician A.P. Alexandrov. The class was originally tasked with entering American naval bases and using the thermonuclear gas-steam powered T-15 torpedo to destroy them once in range (The T-15 torpedo had the following specifications: calibre 1,550 mm, length 23.5 m, range 40-50 km). However, after expert opinions of Soviet naval specialists were considered, the role of the class changed to torpedo attacks on enemy warships and transport ships during actions along the ocean and distant sea routes. Reflecting this change of mission, the final design of Project 627 was developed with eight 533 mm torpedo tubes instead of the initial plan for one 1,550 mm and two 533 mm torpedo tubes. Project 627/627A submarines could launch torpedoes from 100 m depth.
The November class (14 boats) served in the Soviet Navy with the Northern Fleet (in 3rd submarine division, later in 17th submarine division). Four of the class (K-14, K-42, K-115, K-133) were transferred to the Pacific Ocean Fleet (Russia) in the 1960s: K-14, K-42 and K-115 performed Arctic under-ice voyages whereas K-133 transferred to Far East on south route via Drake Strait for the first time in the world (passing 21,000 miles during 52 days of submerged running). The surviving vessels were decommissioned between 1986 and 1990. Several of them have been scrapped already. All of the survivors remain laid-up hulks in Russian naval bases (K-14, K-42, K-115 and K-133 of the Pacific Ocean Fleet; K-11 and K-21 of the Northern Fleet). There are plans to convert the first submarine of the class (K-3) into a museum ship in Saint Petersburg, but the hulk of submarine remains in Polyarny due to economic reasons the "radiophobia" of some ecological organizations.
Complex this one is not. The single sprue of black plastic is well molded with no molding defects, There are not a lot of parts to this kit. 34 pieces of which two are the base, three are a name plate and two are unused conning tower pieces, depending on which boat you model.
Basically, there is the tube, two short deck sections, the conning tower halves and the rest are dive planes, sonar, and aft propulsion steering bits. There are the usual number of periscopes and other masts to attach. The hand rails that go around the conning tower will need to be made from stretched sprue. Thanks to the super long hull, getting the hull decal stripe on straight will be a major accomplishment! Fortunately, this is provided as an engraved marking to help out.
Instructions are very well drawn and show exactly where the various bits are to be attached. The different conning towers for the class 627 and 627A are clearly shown. The decal sheet is well done and provides markings for three boats: K-3, K-42 and K-118. There are nicely done silver markings (which scanned a dark grey) which pretty well define the difference in boats. A color chart for Revell, Humbrol and Model Master paints is given, though we are talking mostly black and red.
Not many kits can truly be called 'weekend projects', but even with painting, this one could easily be done by Sunday evening if started Friday night.
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the review kit. Get yours at your favorite shop or ask them to order it for you.
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