1/350 Combrig Ottoman cruiser Mecidiye
Reviewed June 2016
by Chris Martens

Mecidiye was a one off Ottoman cruiser laid down in Philadelphia by the William Cramp & Sons company. She was launched in 1903 and commissioned in December of that year. When commissioned, she was a powerful cruiser, armed with quick firing 152mm guns and British VQE turbines. 

The cruiser saw service both in the Balkan Wars and Great War. During the Balkan Wars, Mecidiye shelled Bulgarian forts and engaged Greek forces at Elli and Lemnos, narrowly being missed by a torpedo launched from the submarine Delfin. 

Mecidiye participated in World War I predominantly on the Black Sea, her Turkish service briefly ending when she struck a mine shelling the town of Odessa. Russian forces later raised and salvaged the beleaguered cruiser, recommissioning her Prut. The Germans recaptured her in 1918, turning her back over to Turkish forces. Much like the Goeben, the Mecidiye was retained by the Ottoman successor state, seeing service until 1947 when she was finally decommissioned and sold for scrap. 

Mecidiye comes in a package not too dissimilar from Combrig’s 1/700 scale offerings, likely because she wasn’t a terribly large ship. The cruiser come well protected with some peanuts (thank God the foam blizzard was not repeated) with all parts, minus the hull halves, in plastic bags. 

Overall, detail seems very nice. Hull shape seems accurate from what I’ve seen and the model appears like it would build up easily. 


Mecidiye comes in upper/lower halves split at the waterline. Both halves fit together incredibly well with little need for sanding. Modelers may need to clamp the two together to ensure good fit. Vertical hull detail is good for the scale, with clean molding.  Both the bow and stern appear correct from what little photographic evidence I can find.
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The attached superstructure is wonderfully crisp, if a little plain. Hatches are relatively simple and there’s no evidence of  portholes about the deck. Still, seeing as most super detailers would replace existing structure with photo etch, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

The wood deck looks molded well, though it lacks butt ends like many Combrig kits. Skylights look great and there is no molded on anchor chair, which I really like. 

Superstructure parts are molded on to three wafers minus the funnels which are molded on separate small resin bits. Detail is relatively spare for 1/350 scale, but molding looks excellent. Again, the potential for superdetailing here is pretty good.  2-SUPER_1
All three funnels are crisply molded, though lacking in detail. However, Combrig provides photo etch and a guide on scratch work to add grills and whatnot. Still, these would take well to some aftermarket foot rails or equivalent detail. The navigation bridge is molded with a solid resin façade. If the builder desires, removing resin from the windows for a hollow look should be relative trivial. The pilot house is also molded solid, but again, with extreme precision. All railing on the bridge is molded as solid tubs though it would not be difficult to remove this and replace it with railing. Mecidiye’s citadel is beautiful, with small slitted windows. 
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The small wafer containing two ventilators and various superstructure parts was flawless. Separate capstans for the ship are a welcome feature. 

The Mecidiye’s guns come on two wafers. All funs featured blast shields that are molded on. Barrels are nicely tapered and these aren’t bad for kit included guns. Still, I wish Combrig had molded the guns themselves in resin and provided the shields as photo etch. 3-GUNS_1
Detail and mastwork are captured on several small frets. Molding all looks nice, though several items were damaged. Secondary guns, compasses, and the small ventilators are detailed and the propellers are absolutely beautiful. Anchors, rudders, and shaft braces are absolutely beautiful.  4-DET_1
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Mecidiye’s launches are, detail and mold wise, the highlight of this kit. The largest motor launch has a beautifully molded on anchor and separate engine/stack. Two others also have nicely molded rudders and all are very crisp. 
Combrig provides two sets of the same photo etch, large due to the redundancy of some of the parts used on the port/starboard of the vessel. This will give the modeler ample extra funnel grills, among other things, for their stash. The PE is relief etched on many parts which is a nice touch. Railing is not included. 6-PE_1

Instructions are very similar to those provided with 700 scale Combrig kits, so builders familiar with their products will have little issue reading and assembling this kit. Front page contains a plan view with a good diagram for basic rigging. 
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Mecidiye is a very interesting kit, appearing like a cross between an American and British protected cruiser. The kit, as boxed, is relatively simple and looks to be an easy, quick project for even a beginner with resin. With a little love, detail, and research, this kit could easily build into an impressive vessel. 

Thanks to Combrig for the review sample.

This is an in-box review showing the kit contents. We welcome your input and comments in the review section of the forum especially if you can share details about fit, ease of assembly and accuracy. Click the logo on the right to join in the discussion.

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