The Sevastopol was the first of four Gangut Class battleships to be completed for the Imperial Russian Navy. She joined the Baltic Fleet in 1915, where she spent the remainder of World War I. After the successful takeover of the country by the Communists, the ship was renamed the Paris Commune. She was transferred to the Black Sea Fleet and arrived in Sevastopol in January 1930. In the 1930's the ship went under a number of modernizations. During WWII Paris Commune spent her time supporting Russian troops until withdrawn from service in April 1942, when it was decided that Luftwaffe aerial supremacy was too great and the Paris Commune made a target that was too big. In May 1943 she reverted back to her original name. In 1954 she as re-classified as a training ship and stricken from the lists to await scrapping in 1956.
Early 20th century warships were pretty much ignored until now, the early 21st century. Recent years have seen a number of releases of kits from that era. One can only hope that this trend will continue. Zvezda has brought us another and it is very nicely done. The first thing one notices about this kit is the sturdy box. It has been partitioned and compartmentalized so that it will withstand a lot of abuse.
The hull halves are completely boxed over and separated from the rest of the kit. The kit consists of 428 crisp, flash-less medium grey parts and four clear ones on six sprues. I found the plastic seemed rather oily to the touch. This just may be the type of plastic it is made out of or mold release agent residue. The decal sheet consists mostly of fourteen separate decals that make up the waterline. Keeping seven decals aligned could prove very trying, painting may be a better option.
There is a separate paper sheet that contains two flags, the modeler would be better served had they been a decal as well. There is a four page fold out instruction sheet with Model Master paint references. The ship can be made as a full hull or waterline model. The inside of the hull halves have a scored groove to help ease the waterline process. If you choose to do the full hull version you have to open up the locating holes in the hull. There are four bulwarks to be installed that will not only strengthen the hull, they also appear to provide a bed for the main deck.
The stand itself is an interesting feature of this kit, it looks like a rock reef. I suppose if you choose to do the waterline version, it could make for an interesting diorama. My sources state that the Sevastopol had an overall length of 594 feet, my measurements gave the model a length of 606 feet. The main deck is in two halves, with about a 1/3 of it covered by the base of the aft stack, leaving the modeler to fill two 13/16 inch seams.
For those who enjoy painting individual planks, I counted 42 thwart rows of them on the main deck. The anchor chain is molded separately, so you have the option of using the kit parts or real chain. There are a number of hatches molded on various kit parts and they are nicely done, the detail is very understated. The ships boats have rudders and props.
The ladders on the turret faces seem to be a bit "heavy", but those could be easily replaced from some spare PE stock. Also, the locating holes for the turret roof AA guns need to be drilled out. Close examination of the other kit parts reveals that Zvezda has paid attention to detail and produced a very nice kit.
In conclusion whether you build Sevastopol OOB, or add some PE ladders and railing from the spares box or you add the Pontos detail set, at the end of the day you will a fine model.
Highs: A nice addition to the 1/350 fleet.Lows:Verdict: