The following introduction is as supplied by Zvezda:
This release from Zvezda of a 1/350th scale nuclear powered ice breaker and named the Arktika. Zvezda as the project 22220, where as on line searches indicate that this is the first vessel in project 10520, building began in 1971 and was commissioned in 1975. It was the first surface ship to reach the North pole. The vessel was also temporarily re-named the Leonard Brezhnev, during the 1980s. There were six ships built in this series, with the last vessel commissioned in 1993. The last vessel to go into service was built to a different standard to the previous four, but still looks very similar to the others. This vessel listed as Arktika was de-commissioned in 2008.
This offering from Zvezda arrives in a very large flip top cardboard box, that contains four sealed plastic bags with a loose base stand, and instruction booklet which also has the decals inside and painting instructions on a separate sheet. The mouldings themselves, appear to be of a good quality, despite some of the parts having multiple angles and being bulky. One of the sprues does provide clear parts, to represent the windows in the bridge. This 1/350th scale vessel comes in just shy of 19 inches in length, and a width of approx. 4 inches.
The hull of the model has been provided in two halves, with good detail on the exterior, and hopefully a good fit. The super structure on top of the deck is produced in a number of fairly bulky parts, that are fortunately well detailed. These bulky elements are given life via the addition of lots of small elements, such as stairways and deck fittings. When bringing the two halves of the hull together, you are given a central brace which will help during assembly and also supports the deck of the model. Most of the main deck is provided as a single moulding, which is of course susceptible to warping, but I appear to have gotten away with it in this sample. The height of the superstructure will produce quite an impressive model, with the radar tower being even higher, and bringing the height of the model to 7 or 8 inches. Included with the model are, two launches, and a helicopter.
While ships are not really my cup of tea for the most part, this release from Zvezda, with its colourful finish and impressive dimensions should make for an impressive looking model. The only thing that bothers me with regards to what Zvezda supplies, is the lack of photo etch, due to railings and protective structures being so fine that photo etch would really be needed to meet any form of scale.