Project 66 Russian Heavy Cruiser 
by David J. Salvin 

1/700 Russian Heavy Cruiser (Poseidon Models)

The latest in a long line of unique kits ordered by my favorite patron brings us to the Russian Project 66 Heavy Cruiser.  The ship was never built, so itís anybodyís guess as to how it may have looked when built.

The kit itself is a true dichotomy.  Parts of it are exceptional while other parts are anemic. Parts are ridiculously over detailed while others left for the builder to scratch build.

The instructions - while computer drafted and in full color, ignore many of the parts and where they go, and in the case of the many PE parts - how to fold them.  Pieces like the funnel caps require significant folding to get to the proper shape and when completed still donít fit right on the resin funnels.

The resin parts are well done, and the layers of the superstructure well planned out.  PE parts for water tight doors make a nice addition to the smooth flat sides of superstructure parts.

The best part is that multiple extra parts are included.  4 main turrets are provided when only 3 are needed.  Also included are multiple extra secondary and AA guns and turrets. Always nice to have a spare part when one is lost etc.

However, no parts are provided for davit and away boats.  It appears they were simply not included in the kit. They are not shown in the picture of all the parts in the instructions either. Also noticeably missing are gun barrels for the larger AA turrets.  So we get far more barrels for the main armament and secondary armament than necessary, but NO barrels for the larger AA guns which also look quite different than the picture in the instructions making fitting barrels difficult, while the smallest AA guns call for no less than FIVE separate PE parts including a gunners seat which quite frankly simply donít fit into the small AA turret.  Also, maybe Iíve become spoiled of late with brass turned barrels, but a ship with this many guns, really cries for brass barrels.  Resin barrels are never straight and proper.

On the nice side is the fact that many of the upper decks have top plates in PE with railing affixed that only needs to be raised.  Easy to place and align, the railings are nice, but.... because they are made from the same sheet of PE as the heavy deck plates and superstructure parts, they are too thick and well over scale.  Then, while the upper deck railings are too thick, the kit completely omits any railing for the main deck and hull.  Also omits anchor chain and anchors.

Superstructure masts:

This is the most challenging part of this kit.  No parts are provided for the multiple large poles required for the large front and rear masts.  While thickness and length measurements are provided, the kit presumes the builder has multiple sizes of brass or steel wire to scratch build the masts etc.  The rear mast in particular requires four separate mast poles to come together into a small resin part high above.  This requires three hands, very precise measurement, alignment and a bit of luck to get put together.  (Hint: drill deep holes in the underside of the resin mast part to receive the four separate mast supports slid through the folded PE superstructure part with the holes to align the lower portion of the assembly).  The kit would have been better with a bit of PE for that complicated structure.

Overall, a nice build, but made difficult by the over-reliance on PE with complicated folding patterns omitted by the instructions.  A great deal of work went into the three large frets of PE parts for all sorts of radar assemblies and even deck hatches etc., but yet the kit lacks away boats, part of the main bridge is missing requiring scratch building, and there is no railing for the main deck.

The kit almost seems like it was designed by two separate people and thrown together at the last moment and, of course, never actually built by anyone BEFORE sending it to market. Simply asking an experienced model builder to build the kit as shown would easily have revealed the shortcomings in the kit.

To complete the kit, I added Lion Roar Soviet railings for the lower deck, anchor chains, and. stretched sprue rigging

David J. Salvin

Gallery updated 2/24/2017