Just finished a reading a book about the Great White Fleet, the
Russian Baltic fleet that sailed around the Horn, ( and through the
Suez) to get it self wiped out by the Japaneses around 1905. Got me
wondering if any body had ever kitted the dreadnoughts of that era.
Anything out there? I know there are some WWI kits out there but I was
interested in the 4 spanking new Russian cruisers that went to the
bottom in that action.
"Nooooooo! Stop me before I build again."
There have been a few Russian kits of turn-of-the-century ships that have
popped up on evilbay over the years. If you know the names of the ships, check
it out to see if they are there.
One I do remember was a ship called "Peter the Great", but I don't know much of
anything about European ships of that era.
The history of things that didn't happen has never been written.
. - -
- Henry Kissinger
A lot of the Russian ships have been kitted in resin. I only know this
because a Russian expat in our club has built a bunch of them (Rurik,
Dmitri Donskoi, at least three different destroyers, and others). Check
for kits by Kombrig, HP and/or WSW in 1/700.
I don't know the names of the Russian ships involved in the battle - but
the Russian company of Combrig do a series of 1:700 scale Russian &
Soviet warships - including pre-WWI Dreadnoughts.
Check out the list of Combrig ships on the Aviapress website :-
The Dreadnoughts are down near the bottom.
I have purchased a couple of Combrig's submarine kits - and the quality
of the resin casting is superb!
I ordered them from Aviapress and they provided an excellent service.
Just a quick note on nomenclature, which might help if you are to do any
searching; there were no "dreadnoughts" in either fleet, as the ship
which gave its name to that class of vessel hadn't come into service at
the time. The battleships are now referred to as "Pre-dreadnoughts"
(obviously, at the time they were just battleships), while
battlecruisers are a slightly later concept - their equivalent were
"Armoured cruisers". Below these were "protected cruisers", what would
later become "light" cruisers were entering service, but the later
"heavy cruiser" class hadn't been conceptualised then.
Getting the type right is important, as while some names are re-used
quite quickly the vessels are radically different - for example, the
Russian Armoured cruiser "Rurik" of 1910 is probably the finest (and one
of the last, battlecruisers having - just - made the type obsolete) the
previous bearer of the name (lost in the Russo-Japanese War) was one of
the very first "Armoured Cruisers" having more in common with earlier
sailing ironclads than what would become the norm for that type of
The difference between a (Pre-dreadnought) Battleship and an Armoured
Cruiser was much less than that between a (Dreadnought or
Superdreadnought) battleship and cruisers of later eras - dimensionally
the earlier vessels were similar, and the Japanese successfully
disguised the loss of two of their six battleships to Russian mines by
substituting two armoured cruisers in their premier battle squadron.
Many of the vessels involved which survived were still in service in
WW1, (most of the first two Japanese squadrons at Tsushima survived to
be lost in WW2!) so don't ignore listings for the later date (the little
protected cruiser "Zhemchug" sunk by the "Emden" in WW1 was an escapee
IIRC, there was a kit of the "Aurora", a Russian protected cruiser which
also escaped Tsushima and still survives as a museum ship in St.
Petersburg. The other vessel which still survives from that battle is
the Japanese flagship, the battleship "Mikasa", and I hope one of the
major Japanese companies will kit it for the centenary next year.
Otherwise ISTR it is kitted in resin in 1:700 scale.
(I've also heard the Chinese are building a full-size replica of one of
their early battleships, which (IIRC) was captured by the Japanese and
served in one of the cruiser squadrons at Tsushima - hopefully this will
get a decent kit in due course from someone like Trumpeter)
If you mean the "Borodino" class Pre-dreadnought Battleships, ISTR there
are resin/multimedia kits of these from more than one manufacturer, I
can't comment on quality. Also a fifth vessel of that class survived to
be lost in WW1, having to be scuttled after being badly damaged taking
on a couple of German Dreadnoughts.
Finally, they're a bit small, but I've got all the major vessels (except
one Japanese protected cruiser squadron) for Tsushima in 1:3000 scale
for wargaming. I had to scratchbuild several at the time I did it, but
I think they are all now available from various manufacturers, if you
fancy a diorama several yards long!
Moramarth> Just a quick note on nomenclature, which might help if
No additions to the nomenclature, lots of interesting titbits
Moramarth> The other vessel which still survives
Moramarth> from that battle is the Japanese flagship, the
Moramarth> battleship "Mikasa", and I hope one of the major
Moramarth> Japanese companies will kit it for the centenary next
Moramarth> year. Otherwise ISTR it is kitted in resin in 1:700
Pitroad/Skywave make a plastic version (and a special version with
a nice stand) in 1/700.
Moramarth> Also a fifth vessel of that class survived
Moramarth> to be lost in WW1, having to be scuttled after being
Moramarth> badly damaged taking on a couple of German
Slava showed that firstly, Russian crews were as good as any
(noted by the Japanese in any case in 1905 after seeing Russian
gunners continuing to return fire until their ships sank beneath
the waves), and that the Borodino class was simply a very good
design to boot. Taking on a Ko"nig class battlship and I think a
battlecruiser was a bit much, but the Slava was lost not due to
battle damage, but because due to the flooding she could no longer
pass the escape channel and so had to be abandoned. Quite a story.
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