The Russian "Akula" class is officially the Shuka-B Project 971 class in the Russian navy but more commonly is called the Bars class, after one of the boats. Most of the submarines have have traditional Russian names used with submarines of the Imperial Russian Navy, such as Bars (Snow Leopard), Delfin (Dolphin) and Pantera (Panther). The boats of this class are larger successors of the Victor class attack boats but far more capable. The class is far more quiet and therefore far more survivable than earlier Russian attack boats. The class is said to be capable of 35-knots submerged and have a maximum diving depth of 1,475-feet.

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Pit-Road-Takara produces a 1:700 scale line of pre-painted submarines that require only minimal attachment of parts. Apparently the series of models is called "The Seven Oceans Story" and should appeal more to collectors than modelers. About the only assembly involved is the attachment of periscopes and other fittings to the sail and since all parts are pre-painted, assembly takes under three minutes. In looking at the photographs of the model, you will notice that the panel lines and flood holes are over emphasized, however, the model still presents a pleasing appearance.

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This model is just right for those that do not have time to assemble and paint the kits that they already possess. Since there is minimal assembly and everything is pre-painted and marked in less than an hour a collector can have a whole fleet of Pit-Road-Takara submarines on display. The 1:700 scale Russian Akula class is as good a place to start as any. This kit as well as others in the series, is available from Pacific Front.

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