Reviewed by Vladimir Yakubov

First Soviet guided missile submarines with the capability to fire the their missiles from under water (as opposed to from the surface with the previous Echo class), 11 units were built from 1968 to 1973. Initially intended to mount the long range P-120 Malakhit (SS-N-9 Siren) missiles, problems with the development of the missiles caused the subs to be armed with the shorter ranged P-70 Ametist (SS-N-7 Starbright). The follow on Charlie II class finally brought the P-120 missiles out to sea.

The subs served until 1990-92 providing the main striking force against the US carriers until the much more powerful Oscar class submarines came online in the mid-1980s. One of the submarines - K-43 - was leased to India in 1988-91, becoming an Indian Chakra, while another K-429 sank in a test diving accident in 1983 due to the series of mistakes made by the fleet command and the crew.


The kit is very simple consisting of 5 resin parts, 2 PE parts and a stand. Besides the hull there is two tips of the propeller and diving planes are included. The real sub was 95m long, which in 1/700 scale comes out to 135mm, the kit's hull measures out at 133mm and when the propeller and its tip (~3mm) are added the length becomes almost spot on. The width of the real thing was 10m which in 1/700 scale is 14.2mm, while the kit measures out at 13.8mm, which is pretty close. The casting on the hull is good with various hatches and holes accurately modeled. There are no periscopes included in the kit, but those are better scratchbuilt anyway from brass rod, so it's not a big loss.


A photoetch fret with two coaxial screws is included.


Given the simplicity of the kit, the instructions are very good.


This is the only kit of this sub on the market in the 700 scale and it's a very good one. Highly recommend it. The kit is available from Freetime Hobbies for $20.50.