- Published on Monday, 28 May 2012 00:00 Nick Mayhew
1/350 Russian Corvette "Steregushchy"
Blue Series kit # N03040
Available for around £35 from HobbyEasy and other selected retailers
The finished article [all images of built up model courtesy of Orange Hobby]
Having already established themselves as a company producing some very fine 1/35 photo-etch (PE), Orange Hobby have shifted focus to a new line of modern warships, with all resin kits being accompanied by extensive PE and turned metal accessories. For a look at some of their earlier products in this range, I have also reviewed their ROKS Dokdo and HMS Ocean, both amphibious assault ships.
The subject of this review is the Russian Federation Ship (RFS) Steregushchy class corvette, specifically Hull No.530. The kit is 1/350 scale, and is produced in resin with PE and turned metal detail sets included. Unlike the two kits above, it comes with a two-part hull and so can be displayed as a full ship kit or as a waterline model.
Overview of Steregushchy Class Corvette
This is the newest class of corvette for the Russians, although at 2,200 tons it is actually classed as a frigate according to NATO classification. Construction on the project started in 2001, with the first vessel commissioned in 2007; there are currently two completed, with a third due to be commissioned in November 2012.
The ship is diesel powered, with a maximum speed of 26 knots, and is just over 100m long (c340ft). Highlights of its armament include a 100mm gun in a turret forward; a Kashtan CIWS (this system has been replaced from the third ship of the series); an eight tube launcher for the KH35 anti-shipping missile; and a Ka-27 helicopter, provisioned in a hangar aft.
The kit comes in a long, thin, but very sturdy cardboard box; there is no box art but of not be put off by the rather plain and uninteresting outward appearance. Inside the contents are wrapped in a tight bundle of bubble wrap, with the seven page instruction sheet folded up on top.
Don't let the boring exterior fool you
Neatly packaged contents
Unwrapping the goodies!
The kit can be built as either a waterline or a full hull ship, and rather than being injection moulded plastic, it comes in a light grey resin. The casting is generally very good – there is some flash but overall the detail is sharp. Some passes with a razor saw will see the large casting blocks easily removed from both sections of the hull. To give an idea of size, it measures roughly 30cm (12in) from stem to stern.
The hull comes in upper and lower parts
There are two bags of additional resin parts, which at first I thought were injection moulded, because of the protective sprues which have been thoughtfully provided. There are some quite small and delicate parts here, so I really like the fact that the sprues go all the way around. Parts are also numbered on sprues, so no staring at instructions, then parts, trying to work out what on earth is what.
Superstructure and hull moulded as one
Talking of instructions, they are seven pages of A4, printed in black and white. The steps are not numbered, but they are shown in line drawings which clearly indicate what goes where. The instructions end with a four way plan showing placement of the markings, which come as decals printed on a small sheet. The markings are for the first ship of the class, the Steregushchy ("vigilant" in Russian).
There is another bag of detail parts, this one containing both PE and turned metal accessories. There are frets of PE in 'silver' and 'gold' brass. The silver frets are notable thinner and used for replicating the finer parts such as the railings – these really are exceptionally small and wonderfully crisp. The gold frets are rather thicker and used for things like the propeller blades. Whilst putting together the resin pieces should be very simple, the photo-etch parts will be a little more complicated, but as long as you have some experience and a good PE bending tool you should be ok. There is one tiny fret with two Steregushchy name plates on it, which I think are for 'decorative' purposes only, as I cannot see them used on the instructions.
So What Do We Think?
Belying its rather drab presentation box, this kit certainly has the scope to build into a stunning looking ship. There are two things I like about the whole concept of these Orange Hobby kits, and this one in particular: firstly, the fact that it is very much a one stop shop – no need to buy any aftermarket here – it all comes in the kit; secondly, the ability to chose whether you want full hull or waterline provides different options for presentation. I am certainly looking forward to seeing what Orange Hobby have lined up for their next ship kits.
With thanks to the team at Orange Hobby for the review sample.