Caspian Sea Monster II (1964)
About the Design
An unholy cross between a ship, an airplane and a hovercraft, "Ekranoplans" were "Wing-in-Ground" (WIG) Effects Vehicles that exploited the compressed air beneath a large, fast-moving airfoil to create lift. The Soviets conducted extensive experiments with Erkanoplans in the 1960s and 1970s, hoping to use these craft as fuel-efficient transports.
This variation on the original "Caspian Sea Monster" launched in 1964 saw the two massive jet engines originally mounted on the tail moved forward to above the "bridge" to augment the eight in-line jet engines already in place. Whether or not this new arrangement proved any more efficient is unknown.
About the Kit
During the early 21st Century, numerous Japanese toy and model manufacturers issued various series of "trading kits," small model kit series based around various themes. The models themselves were not identified on the box; the idea was, once opened, the kits would be collected and duplicates traded until one acquired a full set.
Released in early 2005, the "Ships of the World" collection included surface ships, submarines and, yes, Ekranoplans. The "Caspian Sea Monster" kit came in two versions; one with its jet engines positioned both front and rear, the other with all engines near the bow. This is the "full frontal" model, which has been given an oil wash and weathered for added "realism."
This model was built from an original issue.