1/350 Russian Battleship Borodino
Kit Number: 9027
Reviewed by  Doug Hamilton, IPMS# 21985

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MSRP: $33.80
Imported by Dragon Models

Named after a battle Russian troops lost to Napoleon outside the gates to Moscow, the Borodino was the lead ship of the Borodino class dreadnaughts. Built for the Imperial Russian Navy, laid down July 1889, and commissioned 1 September 1904, Borodino had an unfortunate history. A total of five of this class ship were built, three being sunk, one captured during the Battle of Tsushima, the last naval battle of the Russian-Japanese War. Borodino went to the bottom, on May 27, 1905, not a year after her commissioning. Zvezda, a Russian kit manufacturer whose specialty, not surprisingly, are Russian subjects chose a very nice addition to their line, as well as for ship modelers looking for something different to build. Modeling part an oft-forgotten time and place in history is appealing every so often.

Injected with a fairly soft plastic, the kit features 356 pieces. Molded in light gray, the parts are contained on seven sprue. A stand, decal sheet and flags complete the packaged pieces. The instruction sheet is divided into 15 steps, with sub-steps for many of the numbered sets. The quality of the molding is about what you'd expect from a Monovell kit circa 1985. A nice amount of detail molded in, but enough flash to drive you mad!! This is the weak point of this kit, as all parts had a small sliver of flash around the parameter that effected construction later on. It wasn't difficult to remove with a blade, but every piece had it, and it all had to be removed!! I spent quite a bit of time scraping 356 pieces of various sizes, but think its worth the effort needed.

[review image] Construction was straight forward, and I had no difficulties during assembly, as each piece had been trued up during the clean up phase. I tried to build everything in subassemblies, and then mate those together after painting. This worked well in getting the interior sections painted before adding layers over them. Being a battleship, Borodino was given a high number of gun tubes in varying caliber on her decks, in turrets, and in casements along the hull. A total of 56 tubes are well represented and are enhanced by drilling out those of the larger calibers. Small boat detail is nicely done, and includes four steam torpedo boats on the aft boat rails. I drilled the out the stacks on those. The upper sections of the masts were warped due to the slim nature of the moldings, but straightened them out with a little hot water.

Painting was done during the construction phase, and followed the guidelines shown in the instructions. Model Master Paint numbers are called out in the painting guide, and should pose no problems in following. The model was painted with Model Master Acrylic Instrument Black, Some tan for the deck, I don't remember the brand, and Testors Flat Red (square bottle) for the bottom. I searched the web for some pictures, and found some of a great builds of this model with the porthole rings painted brass. I thought that looked good, so painted mine brass as well. I used Tamiya Smoke in the center of the ring to replicate the glass. Glass in other areas was replicated with Tamiya clear over Sea Blue. Weathering was added using washes of artist oils, and dry brushing. As Borodino didn't have a long life, I didn't add very much weathering, just enough to show depth.

There is a nice little rigging diagram in the instructions, but I decided against any rigging to my model. Overall, when completed, Borodino is a really nice looking ship; however, it's calling, no crying out for railings!! There's a lot of open space on the decks, and those voids should have something there. Railings would make a fantastic addition to the model, and I found a set available from a reputable supplier of model ship details available on the web. With the rigging, and some extra brass parts, this model could be constructed into a first class ship model with little difficulty. It looks good out of the box, but would be outstanding with some extra work.

As an out of the box project, the build took more time than I had originally estimated upon examining the parts in box. This was due to clean up of all the parts. I don't know exactly how many hours I worked on it, but started in Mid October, and completed it on New Years Day, about 2 months. The completed model scales well with information I found on the web regarding Borodino's specifications. Overall this is a nice model that needs a little more to look really finished.

I liked building this kit, and would recommend it to any level of builder who wants an interesting subject on their shelves.

I would like to extend my thanks to Zvezda, Dragon Models USA and IPMS/USA for supplying this kit sample for review.

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