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Takom – 1/144 Lun-Class Ekranoplan – First Look

Kit Number:
3002
Scale:
1:144
Published:
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Manufacturer:
TAKOM
Retail Price:
$63
Reviewed By:
James Wechsler

 Takom – 1/144 Lun-Class Ekranoplan – First Look

By  Takom

The ’Lun’ class Ekranoplan was developed in the Soviet Union as a fast attack anti-ship craft.  It used an aerodynamic principle called ‘wing in ground effect’ which causes a wing to generate more lift when it is in close proximity to a surface.  This allows for a smaller wing to lift the vehicle.  Using this principle, a very large craft can be designed since a smaller wing is needed than a traditional aircraft design.  After a series of test craft of increasing size, the Lun-Class Ekranoplan was developed as an operational vehicle.

It had a maximum takeoff weight of almost 838,000 lbs (roughly that of a 747) and a maximum speed of 340 mph.  Its primary armament was 6 P-270 Moskit guided anti-ship missiles that weigh almost 10,000 pounds each and go Mach 3 with a range of 75 miles.

The design was begun in 1975 and only one was produced and declared operation in 1987.  It was used until the mid-1990s and then left at the Caspian Sea naval base in Kaspiysk.  In 2020 a project was undertaken to preserve it at Patriot Park in the Russian city of Derbent, also on the Caspian Sea.  But during the towing operation, the Ekranoplan got stuck on a sand bar.  Due to concerns over its structural integrity, it was then towed to dry land where it sits as of July 2021.  Plans to move it further are not yet known.

The Kit

Even in 1/144 scale, this is a big kit with a length of just over 20 inches (510 mm).  It comes mostly in the typical gray plastic seen in most Takom kits.  There’s also a clear sprue for the canopy and other windows.

Overall detail is nice with clear, recessed panel lines.  Takom also made some very nice choices in the design of this kit.  One that’s very notable is the use of a slide mold to make the engine exhausts in one piece.  This eliminates the difficult and tedious task of trying to clean up 8 exhausts.  The cockpit is reasonably detailed for this scale and realistically, not much can be seen anyway.

Otherwise, the rest of the model parts and assembly are pretty straight forward with the only area to be careful being the attachment of the forward and aft fuselage sections.

There are markings for 3 vehicles.  But only the first one, in overall gray, is for the one vehicle that was built and flown.  The others are notional markings for what the vehicle might have looked like had it been produced and used in the North Sea and the Pacific.

Here’s a look at the sprues.

 

Conclusion

Huge kudos to Takom for taking on this project.  The Ekranoplan is a very interesting and unusual subject that will make a most eye catching finished subject.  More credit for making the model a straightforward and well designed and molded kit that should be buildable by most modelers. 

Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.

Thanks goes out to Takom for this review kit.

Reviewed by James Wechsler

 

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