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Trumpeter 1/350 Scale Kirov/Admiral Ushakov

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"MSW crew-mate Chuck Bauer (DieselDog) shares his first submission with us, Trumpeter Models 1/350 scale Kirov/Admiral Ushakov Battlecruiser, in this "On Display" feature!"

The Kirov was the lead ship in a class of four nuclear-powered battle cruisers. The model I built represents the Kirov in its “late” phase, just prior to its nuclear accident, re-naming and decommissioning. My references for this project come from the public domain and also Norman Polmar’s book, A Guide to the Soviet Navy.

The Trumpeter kit accurately represents the major elements of the ship, and would make a decent model “out of the box.” However, the decal sheet was not accurate for the Kirov. The large numerals had to be repositioned to obtain an accurate Kirov hull number. The “Kirov” nameplates were created from scratch by my friend Kyle Nelson.

With no time constraints on the build schedule, I decided to add lots of photo etch and scratch built pieces to enhance the look.

For example, the utility boats each have 14 pieces of photo etch/styrene attached to replicate the deck house form, the fittings, ladders and doors, etc. The bridge roof, decks and yardarms have small details attached which match actual photos of the ship. In addition, the jackstaffs are scratch built from metal and styrene and all superstructure ladders are photo etched, The KA-27 helicopter has a 10 piece photo etched rotor blade assembly and 5 more PE pieces attached to the fuselage. The RBU missile launchers have photo etched valves and switches on the front and rear of every tube.

Unfortunately, even after viewing multiple photos and videos of the AK 630 Gatling guns, I could not make them look any better than the kit allows.

Here are the details of the construction:

Paints: Tamiya sprays were used for the decks and the main superstructures. Model Master, Testors and Boyds enamel brush paints were used for touch up, small details and for minimal washing and weathering.

Glue: I used Elmer’s white glue, Model Master Liquid Cement, Testors tube cement and liquid cement. I also used Tamiya extra thin and standard liquid glue, plus a mixture of the two.

Photo Etch: I used the White Ensign Models set and also scratch built some details to match photos of the actual ship

Wire and mono filament thread was used for rigging, flag lines and ladder supports.

Mr. Surfacer 500 was used for blending together gaps in the deck surfaces, and for adding body to photo etched pieces where needed.

I used a mechanical pencil for shading ventilator/grill details.

All told, I used approximately 500 kit pieces plus 500 scratch built and photo etched parts, for a total of about 1000 pieces.

It took me seven months of intermittent, frequently-interrupted construction time to get the model to where I am happy with it. I hope you like how it turned out.
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About the Author

About Chuck Bauer (DieselDog)

Early in my business life I traveled to many US Defense Department installations, including naval shipyards and construction facilities. I built models as a kid, took 40 years off and started up again in 2007. Since then I have seen a lot of good models and learned a lot about model building by att...


very well done! love the lines of that ship cheers
JUL 29, 2010 - 06:13 AM
A very nice clean and crisp build, I hope my little effort turns out half as good as this one. Great looking model.
AUG 01, 2010 - 01:05 AM
Mark, Thanks for getting me started with MSW. I am still learning the website itself, and just discovered these postings this AM. Thanks to all of you modelers for your comments, i have tried to send you eacha private e mail reply. Regards, Chuck
AUG 13, 2010 - 02:59 AM
Welcome aboard, Chuck! There's ALOT to see here my friend, make sure you check out all of our departments, and trust me, you won't find a friendlier bunch to hang with...and above all, have fun! Cheers, ~Gunny
AUG 13, 2010 - 05:46 AM
Very nice work.......that stark color difference in superstructure and deck is what keeps me from starting any of my Soviet ships......
AUG 15, 2010 - 10:13 AM
I have to admit that I didn't pick the kit, my wife bought it for me. But once I started the research I kind of got hooked. I don'y as yet use an airbrsuh so my painting techniques for the decks was a little weird. Let me know if you want more info.
AUG 17, 2010 - 09:03 AM
Great build and superb colors. One of the most accurate built and painted soviet ships i've seen. Congrats to a splendid ship! If i may ask, did you use Tamiya XF7 Insignia Red (as the instructions say) for that spectacular deck color? Best regards/ Christian
MAY 13, 2011 - 10:34 PM
Thanks! I built this model before I knew how to use an airbrush, so I matched the paint color to a Model Master spray called Huggar Orange. For touch up I used Model Master/Boyd's Sunburst enamel. Even though these are gloss colors, I knew I would be clear dullcoating afterwards, so it didn't matter. There is a very faint black wash also, but it doesn't show up in the photos. Not sure but I think you can get Sunburst enamel and spray, although I have heard it is being discontinued.
MAY 14, 2011 - 02:20 AM
I was wondering about the deck color. Thanks for putting that info out. Unfortuneatly i blew my ship budget this year on the Fuso and future Roma, I haunt ebay , so maybe i'll get a bargain for this one.
MAY 15, 2011 - 06:49 AM
When I first showed this model there were about 50 modelers in the room and lots of discussion about the deck color. It was ultimately "decided" that the color was accurate because a couple of guys had seen it up close, one said he actually stood on it. If you do build the kit, watch out for a gap or two in the superstructure decks.
MAY 16, 2011 - 02:31 AM