by: Rade Marjanovic [ ]
Polish company Mirage Hobby presents us with a more recent historical piece of Soviet/Russian machinery that served in Polish navy as well. Besides Poland this little ship found its way in many navies of the world, with some of its sub-types still being produced.
Corvette of Projekt 1241.1/RE type (or how the marking on the box, which is partly not correct, states Tarantul II) represents further evolution of Soviet fast attack missile boats after OSA II class, a highly exported small ship, which perfectly fitted the doctrine of hit-and-run combat. As that, missile boats represent a logical step forward after the torpedo boats of WWII.
As for the marking on the box, it states that the box contains model of Tarantul II vessel, which is partly correct, due to the fact that box contains parts for model of Tarantul II (Projekt 1241.1), which was Soviet version for domestic use (as well as in few member states of Warsaw Pact), but also parts for model of Tarantul I version (Projekt 1241.RE) which was in fact the export version of original project with weaker armament and electronics. NATO naming of these classes actually created confusion here. Technology, namely electronic equipment on the export version, was dependent on the technological development level of importing country. Original Soviet vessels had a 76 mm single-barreled AK-176 canon, whilst the export versions had dual-barreled 57 mm AK-750 on the bow. Main missile armament consisted of four P-15 Termit type rockets (NATO: SS-N-2 Styx), as well as its variations P-20, P-21 and P-22. As AA defense ships had 9K32 Strela-2 (NATO SA-N-5 Grail) naval version rockets on MANPADS, as well as 2 AK-630 six-barreled 30 mm automatic machine guns of Gatling type. So far over 70 vessels of this class and its sub-types have been built, with around ten in some stage of production. The main characteristics of this class are:
Displacement: standard – 488 tons
full – 549 tons
Length: 56 m
Beam: 10.5 m
Draught: 2.5 m
Powerplant: 2 shaft COGAG turbines at 11000 hp each,
plus 2 cruising engines at 4000 hp each
Speed: 42 knots (78 km/h)
Range: 1650 nautical miles at 14 knots, operational autonomy 10 days
Sensors and processing systems: Radar: Spin trough, Bass Tilt, Peel pair,Pop group
Armament: 4 × P-15 Termit/SS-N-2 Styx or 4 × P-270 Moskit/SS-N-22 Sunburn or 16 × Kh-35
Uran/SS-N-25 Switchblade anti-ship missiles (depending on the version).
1 SA-N-5 SAM (1x4) MANPAD air defence missiles
1 × 76 mm AK-176 dual purpose main gun
2 × AK-630 30 mm gun or 1 × CADS-N-1 Kashtan CIWS (Close-in weapon system)
for air defense
Within the nicely illustrated box numbered 40420 comes the model of Soviet missile corvette Tarantul I/II in 1/400th scale, which leaves us with the model of circa 14 cm after the assembly. Parts for this model are distributed on three trees of grey plastic and the total count is 76 parts, plus the decal sheet. As for the model itself the option of two versions is given, the export one (Projekt 1241.RE, Tarantul I) and Soviet (Projekt 1241.1, Tarantul II). Parts are clean with no flash and only few ejector pin and sink marks, which are not that big of a problem, easily solved with little putty and light sanding. As it is usual case with models of Mirage Hobby, here as well, sprue attachments are quite small and it would be wise and recommended to use razor or model saw to disconnect parts form sprue, especially the smaller ones. Smaller parts themselves (such as masts, anchors, propellers and so forth) are a bit on the larger scale, which is unavoidable when it comes to injection moulded kits.
Instructions in ten or so steps are very clear and understandable, which allows easy build. As for the paint and marking schemes, they come at the last page of instruction sheet for four different vessels in these two classes. The paint instructions cover only Humbrol pallete, which can be considered as a drawback in the instruction sheet. The instructions for placing decals is also given there. Decals cover Lybian and Iraqi versions of Tarantul I and Soviet or Bulgarian versions of the Tarantul II. Except the ship number placed on the hull sides, there are decals for bow and stern flags, as well as the one on the mast, and the waterline markings. Decals are supplied by Techmod company, which means that they are of high quality. Since all four versions have similar color scheme, the only difference are decals themselves, or the ship numbers and flags.
This model is one of the better quality ones, which is characteristic for Mirage Hobby, and besides this Polish company, there is one more that produced models of this vessel. It is Orange Hobby and their model is slightly bigger, but the model is casted in resin. Therefore, Mirage is familiar for production of the armament and units that were used in Polish Armed Forces, which makes the company stand out with its exothic model topic.
This quality and nice-looking model would be reccomended to all modelers out there interested in ship modeling, even to the beginer-alike, due to its availability and price. By following the instructions modeler can get one verly fine looking missile boat, which can participate in modeling competition or place it on the shelf.
It is very hard to find an injection moulded kit without any over scaled parts present so it is also the case here with some of the parts already mentioned. But also since models of smaller modern vessels such as this one in particular are not that popular among the modeling companies (except those that produce in resin) this kit and its sister kits are a welcome sight on modeling scene. Due to the lack of PE parts in the box, the notice on its side states that children older than six can build it. The mentioned lack of PE fret is probably one of the biggest drawbacks to this kit. I would most definitely recommend this ship to all the modelers building ships, as well as those interested in the modern navies (after WWII). I would like to thank Mirage Hobby for providing me with the model for this review.