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Zvezda November class - in box review

Static Submarine modelers unite!

Postby Tom Dougherty » Sat May 13, 2006 4:07 pm

The kit arrived on my doorstep about an hour ago. Here's my first impressions of the new Zvezda 1/350 scale November class SSN kit. Over all molded in black polystyrene, with 30 or so parts. Quick dry fit of the two hull pieces (left & right) looks to be fair, some sanding & trimming will be necessary for a good fit. I was initially wary of the dimensions, as the hull beam to length ratio looks more like a torpedo than a sub hull. But, very rough measurements have it in the ballpark- the November beam was 26 ft and length 352 and 1/4 ft. The hull includes limber holes as well as ballast tank flood parts. Torpedo tube doors are also represented as scribed ovals. All of these details are a bit "soft" and very shallow. Thin airbrush coats will be needed to prevent obscuring some details with paint.

The deck comes in two long & very narrow pieces (fore & aft) with minimal details other than some scribed hatches and a few raised objects of unknown utility. The stern planes have upper and lower pieces which will have to be carefully aligned. The six-bladed propellers have opposite pitch (as they should).

You do get parts to build either the protoype Project 627 (K-3) submarine, with a shorter sail or a slightly different 627A version, with a somewhat longer and tapered sail and a separate "chin" sonar piece. The display base consists of two pieces of clear green plastic.

Very simple, inexpensive kit. First look appears to be decent, but I will be doing some detailed comparison of the hull details with some original Russian drawings I have of both the 627 & 627A boats. Overall, very similar in quality to the earlier Hotel SSBN kit from the same manufacturer. These two Zvezdva kits (November & Hotel) are the only kits of these two early Russian nuclear submarines available at present. All we need is an 1/350 Echo SSGN to complete the early "HEN" group of Russian subs. These three classes all shared the same troublesome twin VM-A reactors for propulsion.
Tom Dougherty
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Postby Gerwalk » Mon May 15, 2006 3:27 pm

Thanks Tom. Nice "in the box" report. I'll buy mine asap.

As for the Echo sub: seems like Zvezda is concentrating on catastrophes (Kursk, K-19, November class) I don't remember if any Echo was involved in a catastrophe.
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