Category: K-19 Hotel class SSBN


Model was first smeared with White and Payne’s Gray artist’s oil colours.



Later the oily mess was wiped away – first with paper tissue and then followed by straking an old paintbrush down the hull.



Letting the paint dry further a bit, random streaks of Burnt Sienna were added to simulate light rusting.



White was also used for lightening the deck colour and provide for some discolouration.


Browsing through the net you will most likely find most of this sub models painted in classic black hull with dark red bottom, but I’ve decided to paint her in her early scheme, probably also the one she wear during the 1961 tragedy.


Image source:


Model was sprayed with Aclad Grey Primer first and as I found it to be quite a nice colour for the upper hull I masked it off and sprayed Revell 37 ‘Reddish Brown’ for the lower hull. Top deck was painted with Revell 9 Anthrazite


Further the sub was given 3 coats of Alclad Aqua Gloss to achieve nice even surface for decalling, which went on mostly without much problems. Only the silver decals for the sonar? were giving me a bit of a problem – I had to cut the upper one in half to get a better angle and then trim it.


With a dryfitted conning tower she almost looks the part already. But not yet – the most important steps is yet to follow – the weathering that should make it more life-like and less toy-like.

K-19 was one of the first Soviet nuclear powered submarines and that could carry and fire ballistic nuclear missiles. The sub was commisioned in 1961 and its bad luck began a couple of years before that, as the bottle of champagne didn’t break upon christening the hull, and rather bounced of the rubber coating. Even before commisioning people died during construction and there was an accident on the boat which required nuclear reactor repair. During sea trials in 1960, a number of failures and accidents caused a few floodings and a loss of one crew member on seperate occasion. In 1961 the nuclear accident happened which made this sub infamous worldwide, claiming lives of heroic sailors that prevented nuclear catastrophe and earned her a “Hiroshima” nickname. In the ’70s and ’80s a few dozens of sailors died due to the fires and she was finally decommisioned in 1990 and scrapped in 2003.


Image source:

The kit I use for this project is Flagman in 1:350 scale. I strongly believe the moulds are the same as Zvezda’s from several years ago. The plastic has a textured look and some mould imperfections can be seen but on modern subs, these are easily sanded away as there is little detail on the hull. The part count is small and as such this should be a quick and easy build.


By glueing together just 4 parts, you already have a hull finished – ain’t that nice?!


The dryfit of the conning tower shows a perfect fit, which enables me to fit it later.


I used Alclad Grey Primer that was shot over the join lines as black plastic is a little hard on the eyes to spot any potential mistakes that need to be sanded


Two holes were drilled at the location of the conning tower and sprue rods attached for easier handling of the model during painting stages.




I’ve added the railing around the conning tower – Flagman suggests using streched sprue but I find 0.3mm solder wire much more easier to work with, especially curving it around the tower.