Trumpeter 1/700 Russian Cruiser Kirov Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2006||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||Battle Cruiser Kirov||Scale||1/700|
|Kit Number||5707||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||The look of this formidable vessel has been nicely captured||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$22.95|
The Soviet Navy developed their ultimate combatant with the launching of the cruiser 'Kirov'. While classified a cruiser, at 252 meters long the Kirov is more like a battleship without the main guns. Instead, the Kirov-class was armed with a deadly array of anti-ship and air defense missiles that would have make any naval commander nervous.
While four of these impressive nuclear-powered cruisers were built, a fifth was under construction at the fall of the Soviet Union and was never completed. The first-in-class, Kirov, was later renamed 'Admiral Ushchakov'.
The other four were Admiral Lazarev, Admiral Nakhimov, and the Petr Velikiy. Of the four, only the Admiral Nakhimov remained operational by 1997 due to insufficient funding to conduct necessary maintenace on these vessels. The status of these vessels today is not immediately known.
To my knowledge, this was the first time the Kirov-class has been released in any scale. The decals are from Pit Road, so there is no-surprise that Trumpeter, Pit Road and Dragon have all released this kit at the same time.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and is presented on eight sprue trees, plus the three upper and lower hull parts. The upper hull is one piece, molded down to the waterline. You are provided with your choice of two bottoms, whether you want to display the Kirov with the lower hull or with the flat bottom for waterline display. In all, there are 252 parts in this kit – another typical highly-detailed Trumpeter kit!
Despite the fact that the Kirov uses a similar vertical launching system that the US employs on its newest combatants, there is still a significant number of parts that go on to fit out all of the deck, armament, sensor and lifeboat details. One nice touch is that there was no attempt to mold the handrails on all of the various decks, so the model will look more natural without these fine details for the average modeler, and there is no advanced surgery required to add photo-etched railings for the advanced/AMS modelers out there. Kudos to Trumpeter!
Assembly is logically laid out with everything coming together in layers from the bottom up. Given the vast number of tiny details, the less one needs to work around a previously assembled deck, the better.
The completed superstructure and hull is finally married up with the lower hull of choice. If you select the full lower hull, you add the prop shafts, screws and rudders to the underside of the lower hull prior to final assembly. A display stand is also included for the full-hull option. Construction concludes with a pair of Ka-27 helicopters for the aft flight deck.
Markings are provided for all of the various incarnations of the Kirov including its renamed identity as the Admiral Ushchakov.
This is a beautiful rendition of this impressive ship and it is equally impressive in size just in 1/700 scale! The detailing throughout the ship is great and the only improvements would be a photo-etched set for handrails, radars and rotor blades.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!