Combrig 1/350 Rurik II

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Rurik II was an armored cruiser built by the English shipbuilder Vickers in 1906. The Russian were seeking a more modern and capable fleet after the lessons learned at the disastrous Battle of Tsushima. What they got has been referred to as the best armored cruiser of her time. However the Rurik completed just after the HMS Invincible rendering her obsolete. The Russians felt misled and initially refused to take delivery. In spite of being outclassed by the new battlecruiser, the Rurik incorporated some of the latest design innovations. The ship was designed with a sprinkler system could flood the ships magazine in case of fire.  Four 10" guns were carried in two turrets fore and aft with eight 8" secondary guns being carried in four smaller twin turrets. 

When the first world war broke out the Rurik was the flagship of the Baltic fleet. The following year she was badly damaged by grounding and was later refloated, repaired and returned to service. In 1916 she hit a mine in the Baltic and again was salvaged and repaired. By the wars end, Rurik was worn out and was eventually scrapped in 1930. 

Combrig has preserved this once mighty cruiser in 350 scale. Here's a look at what's in the box.

The hull on this kit is pretty amazing for a resin kit. Cast with most of the interior hollowed out. This saves resin and allows for more consistent casting quality. Of course the modeler is more concerned with what's on the outside and Combrig doesn't disappoint here with clean crisp casting. The surface detailing is nicely done but not all that abundant on the vertical superstructure surfaces. Deck planking is very fine and there mating surfaces for the superstructure are smooth. I prefer the deeper plug and socket approach used on some other kits, but this is pretty good too. 
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The superstructure parts are cast onto a thin resin wafer. The shapes are sharp and crisp and include well defined doors and window opening. There are some portholes, but not a lot of detailing on the walls. The platforms includes simulated canvas covered railing that looks more like the splinter shielding applied to more modern warships. 
This looks fine in 1/700 scale, but stands out in 350 scale. Cutting it off and adding photo etch railings shouldn't be a problem though. The funnels are hollowed out and fit smartly into the sockets provided on the separate bases. 
The two main guns are cast in one piece with separate gun barrels. The turrets fits snugly into the mounting holes in the hull. The 6" gun barrels are well done for resin, but advanced modelers may want to consider replacing them with brass ones. 
The fittings are very well done and feature some incredible detailing. The compass mounts are very well done and there are some really nicely done winches. Anchors, searchlights, and other parts are well cast needing very minimal cleanup to use. 
The ships boats come in a variety of styles. As with their other kits, these are very detailed and some like the steam launch feature separate stacks. They are almost little kits in themselves and are some of the best ships boats you can get. 
A photo etch fret is included with funnel grills, inclined ladders, boat cradles, and other necessary braces and brackets. No railing are included so you will have to get those from your spare parts bin. 
The Instructions are five pages with a plan and elevation on the front, graphic bill of materials, and two pages of exploded views. These are very well drawn but are missing part numbers to identify the parts. You will have to match it up to the illustrations which fortunately are quite good. Cut lengths for the mast parts are included, a nice touch.
I am glad to see Combrig offering kits in 350 scale. This one is state of the art for resin and well designed. It should be one of the easier resin kits to build. It could use a little more detailing on the superstructure walls, but the clean sharp casting makes up for this. 

This kit is available for $190 for waterline and $240 for the full hull version. Check the Combrig site for details on where to get yours and for other new Combrig kits.