USS Richard B. Russell SSN-687

Published: May 16th, 2018     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead - IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/700
Company: OKB Grigorov
Price: $17.91
Product / Stock #: 700 108

"They saved the best for last." The USS Richard B. Russell (SSN-687), named for the Georgia senator who served his state from 1933 to 1971, was the 37th and final boat of the Sturgeon class, and was the ninth long-hull version of the class. Built in the Newport News Shipyard, her keel was laid 19 October 1971; she was launched 12 January 1974, and was commissioned 16 August 1975. She was decommissioned 24 June 1994, and was scrapped through the Ship and Submarine Recycling Program between 1 October 2001 and 3 January 2003. Powered by an S5W reactor, the boat could travel at speeds of 15 knots surfaced, and 25 knots while submerged. The crew complement was 126, and she was armed with four 21-inch torpedo tubes.

A recent addition to the IPMS Review Corps suppliers is OKB Grigorov, which started business in 2003 in the European Union. The kit is a simple affair consisting of a hull, sail, sail planes, outer tabs for the diving planes, propeller tip, and a base that are all cast in gray resin along with a photoetched propeller. Inside the box, the hull was separately wrapped in a foam sheet, and then it and the other contents were enclosed in bubble wrap.

Construction was quick, as one would expect with the limited number of parts. For 1/700 scale, the propeller looks close to photos I found online of the real one for this class of boat. I went with the later all black paint scheme for the submarine and used Badger Stynylrez Black primer while the base received Stynylrez Metal. I left the propeller its natural brass color, and painted the propeller tip Vallejo Brass.

As far as my hits are concerned, the moldings are nice and crisp, and the ease of construction make this something that modelers with limited experience with resin can build without too much difficulty. The brass propeller looks convincing and was easy to set the blade angles to more closely match those used on the real submarine. The solid resin base provides some heft that will keep the finished model from being tipped over when on display.

My only real miss for this release is that I would have liked a small decal sheet for the hull numbers and perhaps something for the base. On my sample, there were no instructions included, which was only a challenge in figuring out what the outer tabs for the dive planes were. The top of the sail has the openings for the various masts closed, so no snorkel, periscope, or other appendages are included, but I have found those to be damaged easily in this scale when dusting my models.

Overall, I would highly recommend this kit to modelers wanting to add this historic submarine to their 1/700 scale collection. Most modelers will have little difficulty assembling the kit, and the only filling and sanding for my sample was along the keel.

I would like to thank the folks at OKB Grigorov for providing this kit to the IPMS-USA Review Corps for assessment, and to John Noack for leading the Review Corps, and allowing me to perform this review along with Phil Peterson. I would also send out kudos to all of the folks behind the scenes at the Review Corps who help John with his efforts, and as always, my sincere appreciation goes out to all the folks who take the time to read my comments.

  • 700108 contents
    700108 contents
  • keel requires some filling and  sanding
    keel requires some filling and sanding
  • SSN 687 bow
    SSN 687 bow
  • SSN 687 Port side
    SSN 687 Port side
  • SSN 687 propeller
    SSN 687 propeller

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