Sovremenny type 956
Building the Trumpeter 1:200 kit.

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Updated 3rd December 2005

Box Top Illustration of the Trumpeter Sovremenny Type 956 Destroyer, 1:200th scale plastic kit.

Trumpeter caused quite a stir in the model ship world when they released this large plastic kit. Available in three versions, the box contents are essentially the same with different decals to suit the subject. Comprising over 850 plastic parts, these kits also include a number of photo etched parts for some of the masts, railings and aerials. For an extensive description of the kit try AAA Hobby’s web site review, which not only covers the plastic model but is a gold mine of reference material, including lots of very useful pictures. Sean Hert illustrates the box contents here. For a very complete description of how this kit builds, you must also read Guido Hopp’s splendid two-part article which does not pull any punches!

White Ensign Models were very quick to release some additional photo etched parts for this kit, and also a set of replacement AK-130 turrets cast in polyurethane resin. Read the reviews and you will see these are ‘Must-Have’ items if you are building this ship. WEMs product codes are PE 2001 and PRO 2001, the WEM etched detail set and cast resin turrets. Excellent! Thank you Caroline and John for such prompt service.

There are lots of Internet references to the Sovremenny class of ships, particularly relating to the sale of 2 vessels to China. Many have illustrations which will be useful for this model making project, so it is well worth spending some time with Google. Searching with other words and phrases such as ‘Baltic Fleet’, ‘Moskit’, ‘AK-130’ can give good results. Save any useful images so they can be viewed or printed out. There are several sites listed on the Links page which I found particularly worth visiting.

Before starting to build the model, I spent some few hours comparing the model kit parts with the photographs I have. It is clear there have been many variations of equipment fitted during the life of this class of vessel, and there are differences between individual ships. Sorting out just what applies to any one ship at any particular time is tricky, but perhaps the best way is to select a subject for which there are a number of photos taken at the same time, such as the ones of Bespokoiny (620) on Mikael Jarnesen’s site here. Inevitably, there will be areas on the ship not covered by any of the photos available to you. However, more pictures and other references will turn up as you progress with a model. Break the project down into a series of subassemblies so that if anything is unclear you can put that particular item aside while doing a bit more research, and get on with something else in the meantime.  It is always worth asking for assistance on any of the ship modelling forums if you do get stuck. SMML or www.modelwarships.com are both excellent for this sort of advice.

Make a note of the areas of the model that you feel need improving or replacing. For example a great many pipes and fittings are moulded in relief on the kit parts. I think these would look better reproduced with wire or plastic rod, so part of my preparation will include carefully removing the moulded detail. Reading kit reviews will often highlight assembly problems, missing or incorrect details, so incorporate these comments into your plan. Study the kit components to see if anything is warped or mismoulded. This particular kit has been designed with motorisation features, particularly a removable deck, so dealing with this will be the first major job to tackle. My model will be cut for waterline display, but a full hull representation will also need some extensive cleanup around the propeller shafts. Consider what model making techniques you want to use. For example, if you want to tackle resin casting, there are many items which could be remodelled or scratch built, then replicated by moulding and casting them. You may prefer to scratch build everything, or use the kit components as supplied. If replacement masts are needed, they could be photo etched or built from plastic or brass strip. It depends entirely on your skills, the time you have available, and in some cases how much money you want to spend on the project. The methods I will be using are just those I chose to use. I am always keen to learn so if you have any suggestions or comments, send them in. 

For anyone tackling this project, the Sovremenny plans available from GMS in Russia are a fantastic reference and well worth the effort to obtain. You can see their web site here, although I bought my set via Model Boat Plans in Great Yarmouth. You can contact Model Boat Plans here.

Click this button for the pages covering construction of the hull.

Click this button for the pages covering construction of the bridge.

Click this button for the pages covering building the deck structures.

Click this button for the page listing parts to be cast or photo etched.

Click this button for the Sovremenny links page.