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.
The gun barrels are resin and are also well done and much more accurate than the kit’s versions. The castings are very fine and the muzzles have openings for a realistic appearance. The turrets have
been designed to give modelers the option of using either the excellent resin barrels or, if they prefer, turned brass versions. You really can’t go wrong whichever ones you choose. Photo-etch railings
and ladders are included to detail the turrets. Railings were fitted on the crowns of the turrets. The main turrets had very short railings while the secondary turrets had a more standard type of railings.
Not only are the correct types provided but you get them in two styles of railings – with the bottom runner or with individual stanchion ends. I prefer the former style because I find them easier to glue
on but others prefer the latter because they are more realistic. I like that you have a choice here! The correct style ladder for the main turrets and ladders for the secondary turrets are also provided. I
should mention here that Eduard Zhuravlev designed and produced the photo-etch parts for this set. There are no assembly instructions provided with this set but the images of the turrets on the label
show how to attach the photo-etch.

I think this set is worth getting as it addresses the issues with the plastic kit’s main and secondary armament. If you are looking to build a show-stopping
Borodino class model and have purchased or
planning to buy some of the other after-markets detail and upgrade sets then you should add this to your shopping list – you really can’t go wrong.  
The entire line of Complect Zip ship products will be available at Free Time/Pacific Front Hobbies. For other retailers around the world I would suggest contacting Complect Zip directly at for that information. My thanks to Eduard Zhuravlev for providing this review sample.