1/350 Russian Battleship
Tsesarevich 1917

Reviewed January 2015
by Timothy Dike
The Imperial Russian pre dreadnought battleship was built at the Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée shipyard in La Seyne-sur-Mer, France. She was launched in 1901 and entered service in August 1903, with her first assignment being in the Far East. 

Tsesarevich fought in the Russo-Japanese War and was among three ships hit by Japanese torpedoes in the Port Arthur surprise attack in February 1904. The hit caused flooding and the ship began to list. Counter flooding corrected the list and the ship was able to get underway only to run aground at the harbor entrance. After repairs Tsesarevich joined the First Pacific Squadron in an attempt to break through the blockade of Port Arthur and reach Vladivostok. They were met by Admiral Togo and his four battleships, Mikasa, Asahi, Fuji, Shikishima, two armored cruisers Nishin and Kasuga, as well as seven protected cruisers.  The Russian squadron consisted of five battleships, Tsesarevich, Retvizan, Pobeda, Peresvet, Sevastopol and Poltava, along with four protected cruisers and eight destroyers. Tsesarevich was damaged in the battle but tried to continue on. She ended up heading for the German treaty port of Tsingtau, where she was interned and disarmed.

After the war she was rebuilt without the fighting top and her superstructure was cut down some. Now called the Grazhdanin, she fought in the battle of Moon Sound in October 1917 but was forced to retreat as the Germans advanced. The Bolsheviks took over the ship and she was hulked there in May 1918. 

Trumpeter has released this ship in her WWI appearance.

The hull is molded in two hull halves. Detail is good and the shape looks pretty accurate to me. You will have to sand off some of the sprue attachment points to join the hull halves. No grooves or cutting marks  for a waterline version is provided. Click images
to enlarge
 The decks are nicely planked and much of the surface detail is separate winch should make painting easier. Bilge keels are also separately applied parts.
This sprue includes the funnels, some sheilds and boat supports. Molding is crisp and clean.
The turrets are the the main feature on this sprue and thanks to slide molding has really nice molding all around. These parts will not need a lot of filler to finish. The ships boats are also included, many with separate decks. 
SPRUE E (x2)
Two of these sprues are included with small fittings, searchlights, winch parts and other fine details. 
These slide molded superstructure parts include nice surface detailing. Of particular note, is the rivet detailing around the splinter sheilds, very well done. 
A second sprue with more slide molded parts have detail all around and are nicely molded. 
On this sprue more deck levels and a really nice cabin with window molding all around. Mast parts and some nice open girder parts are well molded here.
Flags of the Russian Navy in both still and wind blown styles are provided as well as a ships crest. 
Four different photo etch frets are included for the fine details.
  • The first includes pre-cut railings along with ladders and open mesh platforms.
  • Curved bow railings, relief etched open mesh grates, and inclined ladders.
  • Platform braces, boat davits with rigging and wheels and gears.
  • More railings, ladders and braces.
Metal chain is provided to hang the anchors. 
A simple stand and name plate with the ships name is included for full hull display.
A nice color profile is included showing the painting notes. The instructions are an extensive 16 page booklet with all kinds of exploded views. They are step by step and cover the assembly quite well. The only thing missing is waterline cutting instructions. 
This new kit from Trumpeter is a pleasant surprise for the 350 scale model world. It should provide a worthy opponent for your WWI German ships.

This is kit #TSM-5337 1/350 Tsesarevich Russian Navy Battleship 1917 with a suggested retail price of $89.95. Use the dealer locator on the site to find the nearest hobby shop to you that carries this kit. 

Thanks to Stevens International for the review sample.