This photo-etch set is an answer to my prayers. I picked up a 1/350 scale Combrig Novik about a year ago and
while it is a decent kit, quite frankly I was under whelmed.
Combrig kits usually lack a complete photo-etch
set. Most of the times you get specific detail items and ladders but no railings which I find rather annoying.  
Then there a couple of instances where you are provided with railings and nothing else which is the case with
the
Novik. I also found the kit is a little bland when it comes to details with blanks used for watertight doors and
hatches. The most glaring omission, in my opinion, is the lack of the ornate scroll work on the bow and the
eagle on the stern which really stood out on this ship. As a result this model project was put aside in favor of
some others. Much to my delight,
North Star Models has recently released a photo-etch set to not only remedy
what kit lacks but it provides numerous additional detail items that will improve the end product substantially.   
A lot of the parts are replacements for the kit’s thicker resin versions which will be more in scale.
The detail set is comprised of two frets labeled Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 contains the basics like pre-measured
railings, vertical ladders, inclined ladders, accommodation ladders and watertight doors and hatches. It also
contains gun shields and details, boat details, cable reels, funnel details, platforms, running light boards, ship’s
wheels, mast yardarms and footropes, numerous portholes and other bits. Last but certainly not least, Part 1
has not only the bow and stern ornamentation, but the ship’s name in Cyrillic as it appeared aft port and
starboard. The photo-etch version of the chart house replaces the 3-part resin version. Part 2 contains several
platforms and supports, the aft main gun platform, anchors, propellers, more funnel details, coal scuttle
covers, boat davits and stowage racks and other sundry items.  Display nameplates are provided Cyrillic and
stylized English lettering.

The relief-etching is generally well-done but as you can see some of the openings in the aft gun platform did
etch through fully which is the one blemish I have spotted with this set. I am glad that photo-etch
replacements for the kit’s resin 120mm gun shields are provided as the kit versions are a little warped. There
are seven-pages of detailed instructions which cover assembly and placement of all the parts provided with this
detail set. The instructions are similar in style to those found in Eduard detail sets complete with icons
indicating kit items that need to be removed and spots where there are symmetrical placement of items among
other notices. With this detail set I can finally move the
Novik up in the queue and build a super-detailed model
of what was a beautiful ship in the Imperial Russian Navy. I feel that
Combrig should include detail sets of the
quality with their kits given their price. But since this is not likely, I am appreciative that
North Star Models
has stepped in to do this. Now I hope they do a set for the
Boyarin.
This photo-etch set can be purchased directly from North Star Models or from Freetime/Pacific Front
Hobbies
and White Ensign Models.
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