The Kirov was the lead ship in a class of four nuclear-powered battle cruisers. The model I built represents the Kirov in its “late” phase, just prior to its nuclear accident, re-naming and decommissioning. My references for this project come from the public domain and also Norman Polmar’s book,  A Guide to the Soviet Navy. The Trumpeter kit accurately represents the major elements of the ship, and would make a decent model “out of the box.” However, the decal sheet was not accurate for the Kirov . The large numerals had to be repositioned to obtain an accurate Kirov hull number. The “ Kirov ” nameplates were created from scratch by my friend Kyle Nelson. With no time constraints on the build schedule, I decided to add lots of photo etch and scratch built pieces to enhance the look. For example, the utility boats each have 14 pieces of photo etch/styrene attached to replicate the deck house form, the fittings, ladders and doors, etc. The bridge roof, decks and yardarms have small details attached which match actual photos of the ship. In addition, the jack staffs are scratch built from metal and styrene and all superstructure ladders are photo etched, The KA-27 helicopter has a 10 piece photo etched rotor blade assembly and 5 more PE pieces attached to the fuselage. The RBU missile launchers have photo etched valves and switches on the front and rear of every tube.

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Unfortunately, even after viewing multiple photos and videos of the AK 630 gatling guns, I could not make them look any better than the kit allows. Here are the details of the construction: Paints: Tamiya sprays were used for the decks and the main superstructures. Model Master, Testors and Boyds enamel brush paints were used for touch up, small details and for minimal washing and weathering. Glue: I used Elmer’s white glue, Model Master Liquid Cement, Testors tube cement and liquid cement. I also used Tamiya extra thin and standard liquid glue, plus a mixture of the two. Photo Etch. I used the White Ensign Models set and also scratch built some details to match photos of the actual ship Wire and mono filament thread was used for rigging, flag lines and ladder supports. Mr. Surfacer 500 was used for blending together gaps in the deck surfaces, and for adding body to photo etched pieces where needed. I used a mechanical pencil for shading ventilator/grill details.

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Summary - All told, I used approximately 500 kit pieces plus 500 scratch built and photo etched parts, for a total of about 1000 pieces. It took me seven months of intermittent, frequently-interrupted construction time to get the model to where I am happy with it. I hope you like how it turned out.

Chuck Bauer

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