1/350 Borodino/Varyag
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2 in 1 Photo etch set by Gold Medal models
Two new kits from Zvedza sometimes overlooked among all the Essex Class Carriers are the Borodino and Varyag.  These kits feature some really nice molding and details that are finer than other plastic injection molded kits. So what do you do with a pair of nice Russian warships? That's simple, you improve them with this new extensive double set. 

This is really two complete sets with the upper half containing the parts for the Borodino, and the lower half the Varyag. The parts are relief etched on .008" Brass sheet. The etching is typical of the finely detailed sets coming from Gold Model Models lately. The set not only dresses up the kits, but gives you more accurate features such as the pilothouses with walls that are scale thickness. A real nice touch is the interior details and etched window and door frames. You can model these with the doors open if you desire. Other notable features are the captains walk for each ship. Both feature ornate railings with awning frames. The one for the Borodino features a crest to mount on the stern. There is also two stunning  crests with nicely etched details for the bow.

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Borodino fret
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The Borodino frets includes custom cut rails sized to fit the kit. They are clearly labeled and noted on the instructions as to their position and the bends you will need to make. I really love this approach, it is the next best thing to pre bent rails. The rails come in a variety of styles, with a drooped chain appearance on the outer rails. The solid bar rails come in two and three bar styles. The boat details are very nice and will allow you to super detail the various launches. They feature new relief etched thwarts that will give your crew a scale thickness seat to row from. Large and small oars will help propel them and each boat has a properly sized rudder to steer them. The steam launch rudders have propeller details. Speaking of propellers, two and three bladed screws are provided for the ship. Once bent and attached these will look much better than the thick plastic ones in the kit. Doors and hatches are beautifully relief etched with hinges, latches, and frames really standing out. The skylights are etched at half thickness with porthole frames etched at full to really make them stand out. You also get other important items like funnel cap grills and gun armor plates
Additional detail shots of the photo etch fret.
Other details include a variety of turnbuckles, eyebolts, and other necessary items such as vertical and inclined ladders. The latter are custom sized to the kit, so no cutting is necessary.

Varyag fret
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The second half of the fret is dedicated to the Varyag. It features many of the same details found on the Borodino fret with many Varyag specific items. The captains walk with it's open grate flooring and braces to support it. A stern platform protrudes above it with rigging to support it. Accommodations ladders are provided if you want to display your ship in port. My favorite feature of this fret are the gorgeous boat davits. These when folded will give a realistic girder like construction appearance with thick outer edges and nice cutouts. The masts on this ship have plenty of detail items to improve them such as yardarms with foot ropes and mast platform braces.
Another notable feature are the ratlines for the mast. They have turnbuckle details on the bottom.
The instructions as usual are excellent, with a variety of well drawn sub assembly views. Page one is for the Borodino and page two the Varyag. Parts locations are clearly indicated as well as how the parts integrate with the plastic ones. The instructions call out the sections of railings you will need and show you where they go. No need to measure the part with dividers and cut railings to fit. Note that the fold points are also shown for each railing section. The elevation drawings will even come in handy when you go to rig your ship. 
click to go to Gold Medal Models website

This is an excellent set with parts to completely do both ships. When you consider that this is actually two complete sets, the price works out to be just $21 a ship. That is an awesome value for a set of this quality. If you don't want to do both ships then split the cost of the fret with a friend!

It is set number #350-36 Borodino/Varyag and has a retail price of $42.00 US. You can order direct from Gold Medal Models or pick your set up wherever fine ship accessories are sold.

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