The Gangut was the lead ship of the Gangut class dreadnoughts built by the Imperial Russian Navy shortly before the First World War. Construction started in June 1905 and was completed and launched in January 1909. She was named after the Russian victory over the Swedish Navy in the Battle of Gangut two centuries earlier.
The Gangut was an impressive vessel for its time, at 181 meters in length and displaced 24,800 metric tons. Ten steam turbines powered the four propellers producing 52,00 shaft horsepower, enough to drive the ship through the water at just over 24 knots. She, along with the rest of the Gangut class was built to defend the Gulf of Finland against German attack and as a result included an interesting design feature – an icebreaker bow.
While the Gangut was laid down as the first ship of the class, she was interestingly the last to be actually completed and launched after colliding with her sister ship Poltava which delayed her launch by a month.
The main armament consisted of twelve 12 inch guns across four turrets, capable of firing a one thousand pound projectile over twelve kilometers. As for the secondary armament, this was made up of sixteen 4.7 inch guns. Her designers, Admiralty Works of Saint Petersburg did not believe in ‘Superfiring’ turrets – meaning to locate two turrets in a line, one behind the other so the second turret was located above the first, meaning both turrets could fire at the same time. As a consequence, the four turrets of the Gangut are spread across the length of the deck in a position that is atypical of dreadnoughts of the time.
However, all changed in 1918 with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1918 when her entire crew mutinied and the ship was laid up until 1925 when she was renamed Oktyabrskaya Revolutisya. In Russian: Октябрьская революция or October Revolution.
Following a reconstruction between 1931 and 1934, which equipped the ship with greatly enlarged superstructures, boilers and an improved fire control system, she saw service off the Finnish coast and in the Siege of Leningrad. She eventually became a training ship in 1954 and was struck off the navy list in 1956 and was ultimately scrapped.
The Kit: Revell kit Model No. 05137
One of the latest additions by Revell
to their range of 1:350 model ship kits, this kit builds up into the Imperial Russian Dreadnought Gangut
, depicting the vessel in 1912. The kit is supplied in a slide top cardboard box adorned with a great illustration of the vessel at sea. The sides of the box show the manufactures rendering of the completed kit, together with the specifications.
The kit contains the following
A two piece hull
8 sprues of grey coloured styrene containing 432 single components
One decal sheet
One set of instructions
Length – 520mm or 20 inches when fully built
What’s in the box!
Included within the box are the kit instructions booklet, comprising 79 steps across 16 pages, 8 sprues (including one made of clear parts), the base, safety and a small set of decals.
The sprues do not include reference numbers, but these are marked on the instruction sheet. This could be slightly irritating at times having to constantly refer to the instructions rather than the sprue but I suspect that after an hour or two of construction, you will start to recognize them. The main hull and the clear sprue are enclosed in separate polythene bags back but the remainder is all enclosed in a single bag. If you were to receive this kit through the mail, then there is a risk of damage to some of the smaller pieces.
holds the two halves of the hull and it looks as though this will build into a kit of impressive size, measuring approximately 52cms in length. There is a small amount of flash on the kit, but nothing a sharp hobby knife and a sanding stick could not remedy. The stern of the hull, along the vertical sides does show evidence of slightly raised bumps, which can be felt when you rub your finger along the sides. This may need a bit of sanding when it comes to construction. Other than that, the detail is good, especially along the bottom of the hull, especially a series of raised panel lines along the length of the hull. The instructions call out for small holes to be drilled through the hull sides (just below where they would connect to the deck at approximately 2mm in diameter; lots of fine detail work to get stuck into!
contains the majority of the remaining larger kit pieces, the two weather deck halves, the three smoke stacks, masts and assorted armour plating housing the lateral armament. The detail overall is first rate, showing nice crisp detail with minimal flash. The decking especially is interesting, as it depicts a “grill” for a decking rather than a series of wooden planks as you might expect.
One important point to note is the holes for the anchor chains to be inserted. The majority of kits at this scale do not include this detail – thanks to Revell
for the attention to detail! Some of the smaller pieces look as though they would have benefited from being made from photo etch rather than styrene as the detail is a little soft but there are limits with injection molding (parts B20 and B21).
, of with there are two identical sprues comprises the bottom sections of two of the main gun turrets, their turntables, the primary and secondary armament barrels, the lifeboats, davits and assorted small detail pieces. These pieces, particularly the davits, show some of the best moulding detail I have ever seen on a 1:350 kit. These pieces are very impressive and so much so that greater than normal care will be needed to remove these pieces from the sprue.
primarily contains the superstructure components and smokestack detail parts. Degaussing parts are included, together with a fantastically detailed pair of anchor chains. Again, there are a few parts which could benefit from being made from photo etch but remain impressive nonetheless.
contains the clear parts. There are only four of them and the instruction sheet shows that they should be included within the bridge assembly as windows. These are very small pieces however and I worry that when installed and the model is painted, you will really struggle to recognize these as clear parts. Lighting this section may be possible but the bridge assembly sits on a set of stilts so hiding the wires would be tricky.
again there are two of these include the top of the main gun turrets, ladders, the piping which runs the length of each side of the hull (this is where the small drilled holes come into play) and small machine guns. As per the components already covered, the detail is exquisite and you can see that Revell has really put the hours in when designing this kit. The turrets are, apart from a handful of detail pieces, pretty plain and would be greatly enhanced by photo etch.
The last piece of the kit is the styrene base (the base connecting to the hull by two pegs). It is a little strange in terms of design as it resembles both a choppy sea scape, and a piece of tree bark. It does feel like a bit of an afterthought, but building a scratch built base would not be an issue for moderate to well experienced modellers.
The small decal sheet includes a pair of Imperial Russian flags and a number of depth markings.
The 16 page instruction booklet included with the kit is printed in black and white and depicts construction in Revell’s
standard exploded view format. One point to note is for the more experienced modellers, I would suggest changing the order of certain steps when constructing the model.
In my humble opinion I would build the main hull of the model into a single sub assembly by attaching any and all detail parts, including secondary armament, through to anchors to the hull before priming and painting this separately. If you were to do this, you would need to effectively skip steps 10 to 32 and then complete steps 58 and 58. This way you can leave the painted hull to dry while proceeding with the deck and superstructure pieces.
Saying that however, if this is the first 1:350 kit you have built, I would suggest following the instructions to the letter as there are many small detail pieces that could be easily overlooked. The completed kit can then be painted and you would still end up with an impressive model.
While thinking of painting, it would have been nice to see a full colour fold out painting guide for the kit. The instructions do give the correct colours in order to pain the model but I would imagine you would spend significant amount of time looking at the box art. Obviously a quick Google search will help you with this but as the ship dates back to the early 20th century, the majority of photographs of the Gangut are in black and white.
While the supplied parts will enable you to build an impressive looking 1:350 representation of the Gangut, there are a few inexpensive improvements which you could undertake to turn a good model into a great model.
The addition of photo etch. Photo etch often fills beginner model makers with dread, and I felt the same fears when I first attempted this. There are a few tools you need to have in order to use photo etch but for beginners, all you really need is a decent pair of tweezers, a flat metal ruler, cyanoacrylate (super glue) and patience!
As for the photo etch itself, it is possible to purchase extremely high quality and detailed aftermarket sets for a wide range of 1:350 kits. If you have never seen one, then you are in for a treat. Currently there is not a specific set for the Gangut but it will not be long before a set does appear. The only downside is cost. For example if you were to purchase all of the available photo etch sets for the Tamiya 1:350 Enterprise aircraft carrier (the carrier set, air wing set, elevators, CVN extra details, water tight doors and ladders, this would cost you in excess of £200 or $300. Far and away more expensive that the standard model kit would cost. Admittedly this is not always necessary and there are a few tricks to get around this.
Railings! The simple addition of photo etch railings around the weather deck of the Gangut would really lift the visual impact of the model. A set of railings and ladders in 1:350 from eBay, generally around the £15 or $22 mark would be an inexpensive way to tremendously improve the model.
Rigging. To finish the model off, I would suggest purchasing a reel of fine fishing line to use as rigging. One reel would be enough for probably 50 model kits so you would not need to purchase another reel anytime soon.
The weather deck. I have my suspicions that when built, the deck of the Gangut could look a little sparse, even after all of the kit parts are added. A simple trip to the spares box to add the likes of boxes, crates, fire hoses etc would help fill out any blank space. Why not let your imagination run wild!
The last thing to keep in mind that at 1:350 scale, building a kit of this size is very similar to a painting. You will find you have spent many an hour building a small yet highly detailed part, attaching it to a sub-assembly and when standing back wonder what on earth have you spent the time on, it looks no different to yesterday! 1:350 kits build up in layers, slowly adding detail to detail. The key is to be patient - it is very easy to spend months, if not years on a kit of this scale as over time you will be inspired by fellow modellers and have eureka moments of your own. The key is to take your time and enjoy it!
If you have never built a 1:350 scale warship and wanted to give one a go, then this kit could be the prefect one for you. It will build up into an impressive kit of good size and detail that would not be too much of a challenge for a modeller who has a few kits under their belts. As with any 1:350 scale kit, if you take your time and pay attention to the details, you will end up with a very impressive piece.
There are a couple of drawbacks on the kit however. It is expensive for what you get but with over 400 parts, you do get a lot of plastic for your money. If you viewed the kit as several months’ worth of modelling “allowance” then you can certainly feel you have fair value for money.
No photo etch parts are included within the kit and considering the price, I would have expected to see at least a few photo etch parts for some of the finer detail. Similarly priced 1:700 scale kits often include photo etch frets but I would imagine that aftermarket manufactures will start producing detail sets in the coming months.
However, the addition of a view extra components, namely a photo etch railing set and fishing line to use as rigging would transform this very good model into a fabulous display piece. Should the thought of photo etch be a little daunting, the inclusion of these elements is entirely up to the builder. I am confident that built out of the box, the Imperial Russian Dreadnought Gangut
will not disappoint.
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