|The Eastern Express/Zvezda kits of the Borodino Class battleships have been around for a while now and have been sold as the Borodino, Orel and Kniaz Suvorov. Though this kit has some issues it still is a
very good foundation to build any one of the five ships in this class with research and work to account for the differences found on each ship. Quite frankly, this is the only game in town in 1/350 scale unless
someone else produces one, which is doubtful. There are plenty of after-market parts available to detail and improve this kit. There are dedicated photo-etch detail sets from White Ensign Models, Gold
Medal Models and more general fittings from North Star Models. There are even wooden decks and turned brass barrels available from a several manufacturers. Now thanks to the Russian firm Complect
Zip we have an upgrade set for the main and secondary turrets.
Eduard Zhuravlev of U-Boat Laboratorium brought my attention to Complect Zip. They are not really a new firm since they have been producing upgrades for armor and aircraft kits but they have now
expanded their line to ship models with the Borodino set. This set is labeled specifically for the Borodino, Orel and Slava so there may be differences in the turrets fitted on the Kniaz Suvorov and Imperator
Alexandr III. This bagged set provides a complete set of replacement turrets for the plastic kit – two main 12-inch turrets and six secondary 6-inch turrets. The turrets are very well detailed and a big
improvement over the kit’s versions. For starters, you do not have to put together 8 different parts and fill seams to make the 12-inch turrets (or 6 different parts for the secondary turrets). The face of the
kit’s main turrets has a molded-on over scale ladder that you would need to remove and replace with photo-etch. The resin versions do not have this problem. On both size turrets the sighting hoods have the
proper openings and the rear access doors are included in the castings.