Hobby Boss 1/350
Russian Navy
Akula Class Attack Submarine

Reviewed by Sean Hert
December 2012

The 15 nuclear powered attack submarines (SSN) of the "Akula" class were buld by the Soviet/Russian navy during the 1980's and 90's. The Project 971 class of submarines, called the "Shchuka" by the Russians, (the NATO reporting name is "Akula") has a variety of sensors, including a towed sonar array in a bulb atop the upper rudder and temperature and salinity sensors. The Akula's are also equipped with a escape pod in the center of the sail


This is a fairly simply plastic kit, like most submarine kits. The full hull is split horizontally down the center into two halves. These halves are well detailed, and the various hull lines all line up perfectly when the upper and lower hulls are placed together, and there is virtually no seam between them.

The upper hull has the conning tower molded in place, which given the multiple complex surface curves of way it is fared into the hull, is a great way to make sure there are no seams. There are various sensors, doors and farings scribed into these hull halves, and appear generally correct. The limber holes, however, may be the wrong shape and location for this generation of Akula.

The kit does not state which Akula this kit represents, but no matter; the hull is a bit too short for either the 110.3m or 113.3m variants- but obviously is closer to the earlier, 110m subs. (30.7cm vs. 31.5cm/32.4cm)


There is a single sprue of parts for the Akula kit. The parts incluided are the two vertical rudder fins, the upper, poseable rudder has the towed array pod. The two-part reactor coolant scoops, the sensor masts, and a nice seven-bladed propellor


Hobby Boss includes a fret of photoetch with this kit. This fret has upgraded blades for either the seven-bladed screw, conformal hatches for the sensor masts, and a nameplate.


This kit has a simple stand included.


A small decals sheet of white hull lines is included.


A simple sheet of instructions, as well as a sheet of painting and decaling directions, are included. The painting references five manufactureres; Mr Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol.


Some sources say there are up to four variants or sub-classes of Akula, but the Russian do not obeserve this differentiations. Each member exhibits variations in appearance and characteristics which make classification difficult- this includes the last Akula built, Nerpa, which was comissioned into the Indian Navy as the INS Chakra in 2012. It isn't clear which member of the class this kit is meant to represent, as this kit is only a generic Akula, it should build into a visually pleasing representative of the class.

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample. It is listed as #83525, with a MSRP $26.99. Hobby Boss' US importer is Squadron Products.