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Shar2

Akula
Akula Class Submarine. 1:350 by HobbyBoss

9 posts in this topic

Russian Akula Class Submarine

HobbyBoss 1:350

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History
The Russian Navy has 14 Bars Class project 971 submarines known in the West as the Akula Class nuclear-powered submarines (SSN). A number of Russian Akula class submarines are deployed in the Pacific region. The submarines were built by the Amur Shipbuilding Plant Joint Stock Company at Komsomolsk-on-Amur and by Sevmash at the Severodvinsk shipbuilding yard. Seven Akula I submarines were commissioned between 1986 and 1992, and three Improved Akula between 1992 and 1995. The improved Akula I and Akula II are also designated as Project 971U and Project 971A respectively.
The Akula Class submarine was deployed for the first time in 1986 by the Soviet Navy. Three Akula II submarines, with hull length extended by 4m and advanced machinery-quietening technology, have been built. The first, Viper, was commissioned in 1995, the second, Nerpa, in December 2000 and the third, Gepard, in August 2001. The Akula II submarines are 110m long and displace up to 12,770t. They have a maximum speed of 35kt submerged and a maximum diving depth of 600m. The oldest submarine, Akula I, is likely to be removed from service by 2015, while the Gepard Akula II is expected be withdrawn from service by 2025.

Construction of Akula II began in 1991, but it was suspended for a period of ten years due to lack of funds. So far only three Akula II submarines, with advanced machinery-quietening technology, have been built.
The Indian Navy signed an agreement with Russia to lease a new Akula II submarine, the SSN Nerpa, for ten years. The vessel was completed at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur shipyard and commissioned to the Russian Navy in December 2009. The submarine, renamed INS Chakra was recommissioned by the Indian Navy in April 2012. Initially, the Akula II submarine was scheduled to be delivered to India in August 2007. However, the induction was postponed to 2009 due to recurred delays caused by the installation of new systems and technologies on Nepra and due to an attack on the latest series of Schucka-B or Akula-II Class Russian-built submarines. Delivery was further delayed due to a fatal gas leak causing the deaths of 20 crew members during sea trials in November 2008.

The Model
The model comes in a very attractive top opening box with an artists impression of the one of the class under way on the surface. Inside there are the two hull halves, split horizontally at the waterline with the sail moulded into the upper half. The curves of the sail are very well done and looks pretty accurate for shape. The moulding is very nice on each half, but as with other submarine releases from HobbyBoss a lot of the detail is a little too fine and could be obliterated by too thick a coat of paint. The rest of the model is contained on a single sprue of grey styrene and a small etch sheet. The styrene sprue contains the diveplanes, rudders and various periscopes/ sensor masts.

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Construction starts with the joining of the two halves, after which the forward diveplanes and sensors just foreword of the sail are attached. On the review sample there is a slight bowing of the upper hull but it should take much to get the mating surfaces to adhere correct with just some masking tape. The teardrop shaped variable depth sonar housing on top of the upper rudder is in two halves, when assembled the rudder can be attached and the whole item fixed to the rear hull, followed by the rear diveplanes and lower rudder. The two strakes on the underside of the hull just aft of the sail position are also made up of two halves. The modeller has the option of using the injection moulded propeller or the etched version also supplied. This will have to be careful shaped to give the scimitar blades some resemblance of the real thing. After fitting the propeller boss can be attached.

The etched brass sheet contains the nameplate, screen for the sail command position and doors covering each of the mast silos.

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The decal sheet is very nicely printed and in good register. Decals are supplied for the depth markers, hatch and hull markings, but not the emergency hatch marking which will have to be painted.

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Conclusion
This is another very nice submarine kit from HobbyBoss and whilst simple the art of these is in the painting. It will certainly build up into a sleek and yet quite menacing looking submarine. The way the hull is split will allow easy use in a seascape. Highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of

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Love these Hobbyboss sub kits, I've just bought one of their Astute class and it's a perfect quick build project, this one looks to be a very similar style kit.

Great review.

Ant

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That looks very nice and certainly bodes well for the forthcoming Oscar II class. Now, how about a Typhoon and a Delta?

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Nice ukulele, I'll get it with HB soon to come Oscar II.

I like those kit, days to build and paint in less than a week.

Thanks Dave.

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Nice review - I'll be getting one - plus the imminent Oscar.

I already have the Bronco Akula (which is apparently an earlier variant??)

One small correction to your review though - the hull isn't split along the waterline - but just below it, so for a surfaced sub, you would need to remove some plastic.

The kits split is at the halfway point - sort of 3 and 9 O'clock, whereas the waterline on the real thing is at the 2 and 10 O'clock positions - as indicated by the white waterline marks.

Ken

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Interesting, but how does one account for the differences between the towed array sonar pod on the after fin in the boxart, to the one in the kit? HB seems a bit confused as to which version of Akula they are trying to produce.

Brad

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Anyone have any insight as to which version of Akula this kit represents.????

I think we can agree that the box art is wrong - the kit sprues seem to show the larger pod on the rudder.

According to Wiki, the Akula I and Improved Akula are 110.3m in length, Akula II & III are 113.3m

This works out in 1/350 scale as 315.1mm (Akula I) & 323.7mm (Akula II & III) respectively.

The HB boxart says the kit length is 314.5 - nearer to an Akula I

My Bronco Akula - which purports to be K335 'Gepard' Akula II is 315mm long - and it has a small pod

So I am now thoroughly confused........

Ken

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The HB kit is only .5mm short, that could be just be shrinkage. The Bronco kit is by far the worse in terms of length.

Brad

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Hi all this link will dispel the confusion I hope, as there are 4 flights of Akula, I, I improved, II and the III,

http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akula-class_submarine

The K335 is actually the only example of an Akula III and should be longer. The towed array pod is no guarantee on the version.

See pics

akula_zpsa5fa7dfe.jpg

akula1_zps2a1a7d45.jpg

Chris

Edited by whitestar12chris

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