|KIT:||Trumpeter 1/700 Kuznetzov|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||634 parts, 17" long, decals for the ship and air wing.|
The Kuznetsov Class heavy aircraft carrying cruiser, also known as Project 1143.5 or Orel Class, was constructed at Nikolayev South Shipyard on the Black Sea in the Ukraine. The Admiral Kuznetsov, was launched in 1985. A second-of-class vessel, the Varyag, was launched in 1988 but was never commissioned. Admiral Kuznetsov is the only aircraft carrier in the Russian Navy. The hull design is based on the earlier Admiral Gorshkov, launched in 1982, but it is larger with a full load displacement, 58,500t as compared to 40,400t. Admiral Gorshkov has not been operational since 1988 but, in January 2004, India signed an agreement to buy the vessel which is to be extensively refurbished with new propulsion systems, weapons and modernization of the deck for the new aircraft. The vessel is being sold for the price of the refit along with the purchase of 16 MiG-29K fighters and eight Ka-27 and Ka-31 naval helicopters for the carrier group. The vessel was formally handed over in March 2004. Gorshkov will be renamed INS Vikramaditya and will enter service with India in 2008.
The Admiral Kuznetsov supports strategic missile carrying submarines, surface ships and maritime missile-carrying aircraft of the Russian fleet.
The flight deck area is 14,700mē and aircraft take-off is assisted by a bow ski-jump angled at 12°. The flight deck is equipped with arrester wires. Two starboard lifts carry the aircraft from the hangar to the flight deck.
The ship has the capacity to support 16 Yakovlev Yak-41M (NATO code name Freestyle), twelve Sukhoi Su-27K (NATO codename Flanker) fixed-wing aircraft and a range of helicopters including four Kamov Ka-27-LD (NATO codename Helix), 18 Kamov Ka-27 PLO, and two Ka-27-S.
The ship has a Granit anti-ship missile system equipped with twelve surface-to-surface missile launchers. The Granit missile (NATO codename SS-N-19 Shipwreck) is reported to have a range greater than 400km and is capable of carrying either a nuclear or conventional warhead.
The Klinok air defence missile system, with 24 vertical launchers and 192 missiles, defends the ship against anti-ship missiles, aircraft and surface ships. The system has a multi-channel electronically steered phased array radar and can achieve a firing rate of one missile every 3s. Four targets can be engaged simultaneously in a 60 x 60° sector. The range of the system is 12 to 15km.
The Kashstan Air Defence Gun/Missile System, supplied by the Instrument Design Bureau and Tulamashzavod JSC in Tula, provides defence against precision weapons including anti-ship and anti-radar missiles, aircraft and small sea targets. Eight systems are fitted, combining missile launcher, 30mm twin gun and radar/optronic director. The range of the laser beam-riding missiles is from 1.5 to 8km. The gun can fire up to 1,000 rounds/min in the range 0.5 to 1.5km. Six AK630 AD 30mm air defence guns are also fitted.
The ship is equipped with an Udav-1 anti-submarine system with 60 anti-submarine rockets. Udav-1, supplied by the Splav Research and Production Association in Moscow, protects surface ships by diverting and destroying incoming torpedoes. The system also provides defence against submarines and saboteur systems such as underwater vehicles. The system has ten barrels and is capable of firing 111SG depth charge projectiles, 111SZ mine laying projectiles and 111SO diverting projectiles. The range of the system is up to 3,000m and the submarine engagement depth is to 600m.
The ship's radars include a D/E band air and surface target acquisition radar, an F-band surface search radar, G/H band flight control radar, I-band navigation radar, and four K-band fire control radars for the Kashstan Air Defence Gun/Missile System.
The ship's hull-mounted search and attack sonar, operating in the medium- and low-frequency bands, is capable of detecting torpedoes and submarines. The anti-submarine warfare aircraft are equipped with surface search radar, dipping sonar, sonobuoys and magnetic anomaly detectors.
The ship is conventionally powered and has eight boilers and four steam turbines, each producing 50,000hp, driving four shafts with fixed-pitch propellers. The maximum speed is 29 knots, and the range at maximum speed is 3,800 miles. The ship provides a maximum range of 8,500 miles at a speed of 18 knots.
This is the latest in Trumpeter's growing line of modern 1/700 ships. It is a bit surprising that we'd see this one released in this scale, but if you think about it, they have already produced this ship in 1/350 and so much of the work in developing the software program and research has already been done. I'd be quite surprised if we don't start seeing more upsizing and downsizing of various kits in the future.
The first thing you see when you open the box is the base. Though this kit can be built as either a full hull or waterline, it comes with a waterline base that is as big as the box itself (about 20 inches in length). It's already in blue plastic so just a bit of detail painting and it is ready to go. A great idea and one that I do hope catches on with the ship folks.
The kit itself will measure out to about 17" when it is finished so it isn't a tiny model by any stretch. There are numerous sprues full of tiny parts like antennas, searchlights, small guns, ship's boats and the like. Enough to force many of us to break out the magnifying lenses for construction. While there are both open and closed hangar bay doors, there is no hangar bay provided. The elevators are able to be positioned up or down as they fit into slots so you can move them. The jet blast deflectors can be posed up if you so wish.
A rather respectable air wing is provided consisting of MiG-29s, Su-33 and Su-33UB as well as Su-25 and Yak-141 fighters and bombers. Three Kamov helicopters, the -27/29/31 are also provided. These have the options of having folded blades if you so desire. They all have separate landing gear. What's more, they are molded in clear plastic. Now I'm sure this was done so that you could have clear canopies and cabin windows. That is a very thoughtful thing. However, not only will masking be a real challenge (actually, a pain), but you'll be looking into whatever color you painted the underside! I guess time will tell how this will work out.
Instructions are very good and what we've come to expect from Trumpeter. No color callout is provided during construction. However, there is a nice color painting guide that references Gunze paints and provides a generic name as well. All of the various markings are scribed onto the flight deck, so those who are good with hand painting can paint the various deck stripes and guides. These are also provided on the rather large decal sheet. Included on this sheet are a plethora of insignia for the aircraft. This includes nose numbers and the naval ensign which was used on the fin for a period of time in lieu of the standard red star.
When you think about it, this is a great value for the money. At the MSRP, it comes to about ten cents a part. With all the little bits included, it is sure to keep one busy for quite some time. The end result should be a real beauty and a very nice addition for those of you who like to do modern ships, but just don't have room for the 1/350 versions.
My thanks to Stevens International for the review kit.
If you'd like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has around 300,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page