1/700 Combrig
Russian Missile Cruiser Varyag

Reviewed by Peter Van Buren
Project 58 Grozny Kynda class Guided Missile Cruiser

The Kynda class surface warfare cruisers, deployed during 1962-1965, were among the first of the modern Soviet warships.  Initially laid down as destroyers, on 29 September 1962 they were redesignated as Rocket Cruisers.

Only slightly longer than the Krupnyy and Kildin destroyer, they had significantly more firepower and could launch 16 SS-N-3b SLCMs and 24 SA-N-1 surface-to-air missiles, and also had six 21-inch torpedo tubes. The excessive top-weight of the design prompted the decision to build the larger Kresta class, and only four were built.  Three of the class were stricken 1991-1993.  Admiral Golovko was recommissioned from reserve in 1995 to serve as the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, though by mid-1997 the Black Sea Fleet flag had transferred to the 'Kara' class Kerch' and Golovko probably had been deactivated.

Kombrig’s 1/700 resin kit of the Varyag, the fourth and final vessel in this class, is the only kit I am aware of for this ship.  USSR Navy fans and those bored by the fact that many of today’s adversarys have little in the way of naval forces to spark interest should be well-satisfied by another chance to build up their Cold War collection.

The Hull

Like Trumpeter and some other new manufacturers, Kombrig is learning and improving with most new releases.  While I am not sure where this kit falls in the Kombrig chronology, the casting quality is very close to very good, but will still require some work by the modeler to bring it up to the standards seen in today’s top of the line kits.

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Specifically, the hull casting has a few rough edges around the various items cast onto the deck.  The 01 level superstructure elements lack any surface detail.  The hull bottom is however dead flat with no pin holes and only a small void at the stern that is easily filled.  Let’s call the whole thing a strong B+.
Superstructure Parts

The parts count on this kit is higher than I have seen on some other Kombrig kits, allowing for better detailing and easier painting of individual components.  The superstructure parts and deck houses again lack any detail, so super detailers will want to add photo etch hatches, drill out portholes and otherwise bring the ship alive with extra detail.

The deckhouse parts are largely solid-cast cubes and rectangular pieces that are stacked and placed together, similar to how many scratchbuilders work up a ship through a series of basic shapes.  Watch, however, the squareness of the shapes as you build them up here—a few deckhouse elements are ever-so-slightly oblong.  On their own they are fine but once you start gluing them together the slight shape problems could add up.

The weapons and other detail parts are well done, with good engraved detail and little-to-no flash.  They look good and, with a light wash, should stand out on the finished ship.  No PE is included, so you’ll want to look into photoetch from Gold Medal Models or WEM for railings and radars. 

The Instructions

The instructions consist of a photo parts map, a small exploded view and a 1/700 scale overhead and side view of the ship.  They are adequate to assemble the ship, but with the higher parts count some additional reference photos will make for an easier build.  The scale drawings are great, and include extra details such as railings and rigging that will make it easy for super detailers to go the next step with their ships. 

Text is only in Cyrillic, but for most of us the drawings are adequate for a pleasant week of evenings I estimate will be needed to complete this ship.  You’ll need to consult other sources for painting instructions, as there are none, at least in English!


I’ve always had a (mostly unfulfilled) interest in USSR ships, and am enjoying working through some of Kombrig’s new kits.  They will fit in well as Trumpeter and others release more 1/700 scale plastic capital ships from the old USSR navy.  This kit, for example, would look great next to a Trumpeter Kiev or the forthcoming Kirov.

This is a simple enough kit that a modeler with decent plastic experience could jump into it as a first resin project, and the basics are here such that an experienced super detailer can make quite an impressive finished product out of it using photoetch, adding rigging and a nice paint job.

Click here to see Peter Van Buren's Buildup of this kit.

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