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Trumpeter 1/350 Slava-Class Cruiser Varyag Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2007 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Slava-Class Cruiser Varyag Scale 1/350
Kit Number 4519 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Very nicely detailed cruiser Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $79.95

First Look


The Varyag is the third Slava-class cruiser that serves as a guided missile launch platform for its 16 SS-N-12 Sandbox surface-to-surface missiles. The Slava was first-in-class and launched in 1979, renamed Varyag in 1995 (after the helicopter cruiser of the same name was decommissioned a few years earlier), and serves in the Black Sea Fleet. Her sisters are Marshal Ustinov and Varyag. A fourth, the Ukrayina (Ukraine) was launched but still awaits completion and may have been renamed Admiral Lobov. The final two in-class, the Admiral Gorshkov and 'October Revolution' were cancelled at the end of the Cold War.

In addition to her main battery of Sandbox missiles, the Slava-class are also armed with 64 SA-N-6 (naval version of the SA-10 Grumble) and 44 SA-N-4 (naval version of the SA-8 Gecko) surface-to-air missiles. On her bow is a twin-130mm main gun. She also carries torpedo launchers, air-defense gatling guns, and embarks a single Ka-25/Ka-27 helicopter.

The Slava-class is propelled by gas turbine engines that can get the cruiser moving at 30+ knots.

Earlier this year, we were treated to the first release of the Slava-class cruiser from Trumpeter with the beautiful Moskva (Moscow) kit ( reviewed here). Trumpeter is back with another class member, the Varyag.

According to the specs, the kit is comprised of 406 parts. The kit is presented on nine parts trees molded in light gray styrene, two trees of clear parts, an upper hull and two main deck sections in gray, plus a full-hull or waterline bottom molded in red. A fret of photo-etched parts provides the characteristic radars of the type, while a single tree molded in black and clear provide a pair of helicopters.

As with the first release, the lower portion of the main superstructure is molded in clear. There are no parts provided inside the superstructure, so I'm still curious as to why this one structure is clear.

One other interesting thing that Trumpeter did with it clear parts is provide an alternative for their photo-etched parts. If bending the photo-etched towers or shaping the radars is not your thing, these parts are also pre-shaped in clear. Just draw in the details.

As I mentioned earlier, you have your choice of waterline or full-hull presentation of this vessel. If you do opt for full-hull, a display stand is also provided. In either case, a name plate is also included.

Trumpeter did include a pair of ASW helicopters in this kit. Using their unique multi-color molding technique, the fuselage is molded in clear while the landing gear and rotor blades are molded in black. One helicopter is posed with its rotors in flight position whilst the other has its blades stowed. The clear fuselage allows you to mask the windows, paint the interior color followed by the exterior color. Remove the masks and that solid fuselage looks like it has an interior!

Markings are provided for the Varyag in Russian Naval service with hull number 011.

This is another impressive release of one of the Slava-class and will build into an equally impressive model. Now I need to stop by White Ensign Models to get some of their Russian Navy ship Colourcoats!

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!