1/700 Combrig
Russian Missile Cruiser Vladivostok

Reviewed by Peter Van Buren
While U.S. and UK Cold War –era ships are not too hard to come by these days, Soviet ships of the same era are rarer in kit form than they are in real life anymore. 

HP Models sells a selection in resin, but prices are high and quality varies a lot from ship to ship. Enter Russian resin kit maker Combrig, who brings us this well-done kit of a Cold War favorite missile cruiser. 

The Hull Casting is very good, very clean with no over pour or flash. The hull includes close-to-scale port holes, and the Level One superstructure. The superstructure lacks surface detail, and some modelers will want to add hatches, hoses and other detail via after market photo etch sets. The hull bottom is dead flat and ready for building right out of the box. This is a big plus for me—after spending triple the price for a resin kit over a plastic one, I do at times grow weary of finishing the manufacturer’s job by sanding the hull into useable shape! 
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Superstructure Parts These are important, as unless you have a pile of old Skywave Russian Navy sets in your basement (and if you do, call me please), there are no aftermarket detail sets available to make up for poorly done detail parts. The good news is that Combrig nails it here—the parts are cleanly molded, accurate and complete. Most are molded on small resin blocks, with the deck pieces molded on thin sheets of resin that will need to be sanded off. There is no flash and going from opening the box to freeing the parts to building the model will be painless. Specifically, the thin gun barrels on the AAA weapons are straight, in-scale and arrived pleasantly unbroken in my sample. Detailing on the life raft canisters is crisp and will paint up nicely with a light wash. A Helix helicopter is included; the resin blades are a bit thick and would be good candidates for replacement with thin plastic or brass strips. A small criticism is that the helo and ships’ boats lack surface detail. A little work adding details with plastic strip stock and/or an engraving needles will really pay off here. 
The instructions are clear and will be easy to follow. You get a layout photo of all the small detail parts, and an exploded view to help you assemble the kit. The exploded view is squeezed onto the small instruction sheet, so five minutes at the office copy machine to enlarge it will make building the kit a bit easier on the eyes. The instructions also include a port-side view and an overhead view in 1/700 scale, a big help in locating parts. These views also include some rigging, antenna and railing information as a head start to those who want to super-detail their ships. Painting instructions are very basic (“All above water parts of the ship were painted gray while the submerged section was painted red”) so you may need to check out some additional photos before loading up the airbrush. A short history in English and Cyrillic completes the instruction sheet. 
ConclusionsThis is a well-done kit that will build up into a good replica of an important Cold War adversary. The parts breakdown is clear enough for this to be a good beginning resin kit, while the stage is also set for a super-detailer to really create a striking ship with aftermarket photo etch and some scratch building. I’m looking forward to getting started, and hope to share my results with you all soon. P.S. In addition to the Combrig resin kits, Pitroad has announced on its Japanese language web site that a Kirov, Frunze, Krivaks I and II and an Udaloy are planning items for 2003 in injection-molded 1/700 kits. The Kirov/Frunze has been more or less announced as another Pitroad-Trumpeter release, Pitroad in Japan and Trumpeter everywhere else. There is no word on whether the Krivaks and Udaloy are going to be re-releases of the mid-1990’s Skywave kits or new tooling. 

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