Trumpeter 1/350
Sovremenny Class Projects 956 and 956E

Reviewed by Sean Hert
The Sovremenny Class (Projects 956/956E Sarych) was designed in parallel with the Udaloy with a dedicated anti-surface mission in a surface task force. Known as a Bol'shoy Raketny Korabl', or Large Rocket Ship, Sovremenny is armed with the formidable supersonic SS-N-22 (3M80 Moskit) missile, designed to strike at Aegis equipped ships. Offensively, Sovremenny is also armed with the AK-130 twin water-cooled 130mm mounts, the same as seen on the Slava and later Kirov classes. In keeping with the design of a companion to the Udaloy class, Sovremenny's carry little ASW gear.

In a deviation from then practices, Sovremenny's are powered using standard steam tubines, not gas turbines.

Sovremenny's are still in service in the Russian Navy, and two currently serve in the PLAN (People's Liberation Army Navy [China])

These two kits, the Project 956 (#4514) and the 956E (#4515) were released close together, and have relatively minor differences. The main external differences being the upgraded radars of the 956E (TOP PLATE vs TOP STEER) and the presence of a structure aft of the bridge and forward of the funnel.

I will primarily review the #4514 kit, demonstrating the different parts of #4515 when necessary.

The hull is one piece molded in the waterline style. A separate flat waterline base and full lower hull are molded in red plastic. The hull has a little flash along the extreme bow, and is a little rough along the deck edge.

The hull halves fit together well, with the lower hull showing a couple of easy to fix mold seams. There is a slight overhang where the upper hull is a bit wider than the lower hull. Lengthwise, the lower hull fits well. The waterline plate fits tightly in both dimensions.

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The decks come in two pieces, and fit well onto the hull. The bases for the ZIL-121 chaff launchers and the torpedo tubes are present and detailed, as are the chaff chutes. Weapon disposal rails run the length of the decks. The is a small mold line where the rails exit the stern that may prove awkward to remove with damaging the detail.

Both decks have bollards and chocks, and seem to be correct. The bollards are a bit oversize, but that is easy to fix with plastic rod if it is really bothersome.

I could do without the simplified molded on anchor chains present on the foc'sle. They are very basic, and will look much better replaced with real chain.

Both decks have spots with a rough texture, looks like something left over from the mold machining process. I think most of them will later be covered by superstructure parts, but it's something to watch during the build process.

The first sprue contains mainly superstructure parts; decks, walls and the funnel. It has the complex exhausts for the interior of the funnel as well. Trumpeter seems to have captured the unique watertight doors of the Soviet Navy well. Also on this sprue is the telescoping hanger's large doors.
This sprue contains more superstructure parts, the KITE SCREECH gun director/fire control (labled MR-145LEV), and the distinctive dome of the BAND STAND SS-N-22 control radar.
More superstructure parts are here, as well as the ship's boats, the screws and shafts, breakwater and the stabilizers. The curiously "perferated" railings for the AK-130's in on this sprue as well.
The weapons sprue- my favorite part! There are two (2) of sprue D in the kit, with one (1) AK-130 twin water-cooled 130mm, a quad SS-N-22 launcher per sprue and a SA-N-7 launcher with an optional missile. Continuing, the AK-630 CIWS, the RBU-1000 ASW mortars, and some very nice BASS TILT radars for the AK-630's.

The AK-130 turret looks good, although the baseplate lools smooth, and should reflect its rough cast nature. The barrels are missing the prominent water cooling hoses, but that should be fixable with some fine solder.

Finishing out the sprue are the torpedo tubes, which I think could use a little more detail, the signaling guns, and various other sensors and SATCOM antenna weather covers.

The E sprue is basically the major parts of the bridge superstructure.
This sprue is specific to the Project 956E variant. It is almost the same as the "E" sprue, with the addition of the parts for the amidships structure.
There is one (1) KA-27 included in the kit. This is the same helo included in Trumpeter's other 1/350 Soviet releases, utilizing the multiple color styrene. Each have the option for both folded and deployed blades.
A display base is included for full hull display.
A basic photoetch sheet is included with each kit. The 956 sheet covers the parts for a basic TOP STEER radar, some details for the foremast and the mainmast. Also Included is the netting for the edge of the helipad, and some nice little platforms for the SA-N-7 launchers, and a DF loop.

The 956E sheet differs in that is has a basic TOP PLATE radar, and has the class has simplified mainmast.


A decal sheet(s) included with the kits have flags, hull numbers, and Cyrillic names for multiple ships. Both sheets have flags and markings for both Russian and Soviet era ships, and a fine white decal for the markings on the helo deck.


A twelve page instruction booklet describe the assembly in great detail with a variety of sub assembly views. These instructions are well done and should provide all the information that is needed to build this ship. For painting, Trumpeter included the standard Gunze color references, with FS numbers for the helo's.
These are the pages that differ from the 956 type Sovremenny, mainly dealing with the changes in radar.

Both of these kits were the first 1/350 Soviets kit ever produced. They are both very nice kits, ones that I am very happy exist. I had been wanting a 1/350 Sovremenny ever since the 1/200 scale one came out in 2001.

I was a little disappointed at the lack of UNREP gear, and some of the smaller missing details; some parts of the ship just don't seem "busy" enough, when compared to reference photos.SD

Even though these kits have been out for a number of years, they are great subjects, and precursors to the recent Udaloy and soon to be released Moskva (Slava Class Project 1164).

Both Gold Medal Models #350-27 and White Ensign Models have excellent Photoetch sets available for these kits. Kurt Greiner's SeaPhoto produces a fantastic resource; a Sovremenny Class Photo CD. I cannot recommend these products highly enough.

Purchased at Hobbyland, Columbus OH via Stevens International- Retail: $49.95 Stevens is the exclusive importer for Trumpeter kits in the US. If your hobby shop does not carry Trumpeter kits have them contact Stevens International or try their Hobby Shop Locator to find one.