Bditelni was one of four destroyers built for Russia at the German Schichau Shipyard in Elbing in what is now northern Poland.  Originally named Kit, she and her sisters Delfin, Skat and Kasatka, were laid down in 1898 and completed in 1900.  
At the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War,
Bditelni and her sisters were in the 1st Destroyer Flotilla of the Port Arthur Squadron. During the war, Bditelni performed mainly patrol and reconnaissance duties.  On November 13, 1904, Bditelni
steamed out to rescue the crew of the destroyer
Stroyni which sank after hitting a mine south of the entrance to Port Arthur.  While on this mission, Bditelni also hit a mine and was severely damaged. She did not sink and was towed back to port.
No repairs were made and when Port Arthur was surrendered on January 2, 1905 she was scuttled by her crew.

The others ships in this class were part of the Russian fleet that attempted a breakout on August 10, 1904.  The Russians encountered the waiting Japanese fleet in what was to become known as the Battle of the Yellow Sea.  The destroyers managed
to break through the blockade but did not reach  Vladivostok. Instead they steamed to Tsingtao, the closest neutral port, and were interred there on August 15, 1904 along with the damaged battleship
Tsesarevich. After the war, they were returned
to Russia and later during World War I, they were employed in Vladivostok and the White Sea. The destroyers were eventually scrapped in the early 1920s.

Displacement:        346t
Dimensions:        202’ 7” x  22’ x 9’ 6” or 61.75m x 6.70m x 2.90 m (length /beam/draft)
Machinery:        4 Schichau boilers, 2-shaft VTE, 6000ihp
Speed:        27 knots maximum  
Fuel:        80 tons coal
Armament:        1-75mm/50, 5-47mm (3pdr), 3-15in (381mm) torpedo tubes
Complement:        64
This is the second resin kit from Wake Models which is run by Evgenie Polomoshnov and based in Novosibirsk, Russia.  The other kit currently available is the coastal defense battleship Admiral Ushakov, which is the subject of an in-box review I wrote on
Steel Navy. The model comes with a two part hull split at the waterline. The hull halves are solid cast resin, which is similar to what other Russian resin kit producers do with smaller ship subjects. There is a good amount of detail cast into the hull parts which
include numerous skylights, a companionway and coal scuttles. The four pairs of bitts broke off during shipping but this can be remedied with plastic rod and a micro-drill bit. The two halves mate rather cleanly and will require some putty to hide the seam.
Openings are provided in the deck to accommodate the funnels and larger cowl vents. The resin parts have a very tacky feel to them which is probably residue from some kind of mold release. I also found this with the
Admiral Ushakov kit parts. Washing
the parts in dish detergent with warm water and a soft scrubbing with a toothbrush removed this residue. The next largest resin parts are the funnels. Cowl vents and what I guess are storage lockers. The forward funnel has the pilothouse integrated into it and
that sits flush with the deck while the bottom of the funnel fits into the opening. The funnels are hollowed out somewhat which is a nice touch. I used a small razor saw to carefully remove the parts from the runners. A pair of resin pedestals is provided for
modelers who wish to build full hull. They look like they could do the trick once cleaned up and painted brass or bronze. The smaller parts include the 75mm and 47mm guns, torpedo tubes, boats, a small vent, propeller hubs, searchlight and compasses. The
small parts are a little rough and need a little more preparation and cleanup. The 47mm guns look particularly fragile and may provide the biggest challenge. I apologize for the overexposed photo of these parts. A small but rather complete photo-etch fret is
provided with the kit. It includes railings in various styles, bridge and aft platforms and supports, ladders, propeller and propeller guards, rudder and shaft supports, foc’sle peak, anchors, ship’s wheels, gun shields, anchor handling davit and running light
boards. The photo-etch looks well done but I found the inclined ladders difficult to work with and when I tried to bend the steps into the correct shape some broke off. I ended up replacing them with spares I had. A display name plate in Cyrillic is provided
but oars for the ship’s boats are not. A pre-assembled mast made from soldered metal wire (not sure if it is brass) is provided but the metal is poor quality and flimsy in my opinion and looks like it has some corrosion. I made my own mast from brass rod
using the kit version as a template but I later found it was a little too tall so I had to trim mine down. The assembly instructions provided with the kit is comprised of three pages. The first page contains a nice plan and profile view of the ship, specifications, and
a number-keyed image of the photo-etch. What is curious is that the actual layout of the photo-etch differs from the image but all the parts are there and this doesn’t present a problem. The first page also provides a template to make the boat racks and davits
with brass wire. The next two pages provide exploded assembly diagrams which are fairly easy to follow. There is very little Cyrillic writing so this should not be a problem for non-Russian language speakers/readers.
I will not give a blow-by-blow log of my build but rather point out things that I encountered or feel should be noted. I will start by saying the model generally went together rather well and easily. I prefer waterline models so I decided to build the kit in a
seascape. I also opted to paint the model in white and yellow peacetime scheme worn by Imperial Russian ships stationed in the Far East. As I mentioned before, the resin parts need a good cleaning to remove the residue they have. I next repaired the broken
bitts with plastic rod and glued the funnels and large cowl vents into their respective openings. I had to use putty to fill in the areas around the funnels and vents to make the flush with the deck. I removed the cast on doors on the pilothouse with photo-etch
versions and I added one to the companionway entrance. I used Valspar white primer from a rattle-can for the overall white as well as a primer for the deck and funnels. The decks were red-brown linoleum and the closest match in my available paint supply
White Ensign Colourcoats Corticene. For the funnels I used Testor Model Master Insignia Yellow and Valspar Red Oxide primer for the anti-fouling red. The small parts required a lot of clean-up with an Exacto knife and sandpaper and files. Several
of the 47mm guns broke off their pedestals and the shoulder supports broke off on some as well (these should have been done in photo-etch like
Combrig does). I didn’t’ t like the way the kit’s 47mm pedestals looked so I took some extra resin 20mm guns
I had from an
Iron Shipwrights build  and used the pedestals from these as substitutes. The barrels of the 47mm guns where either broken or warped so I replaced them as well as the 75mm barrel with brass ones from the Master Models Borodino set; this
made a big difference.The railings provided have individual stanchion ends which I find a pain to work with. While I prefer the style with the runner on the bottom and I decided to forge ahead with the kit’s railings and managed to get them on with only a little
bit of trouble. I find that I tend to use a little more CA than I should when trying to glue the stanchion ends to the deck. The supports for the aft platform are rather delicate so care is needed when working with them. I added some additional details to the
model from other sources:  the boats oars came from the
White Ensign set, which had just become available while I was building this kit. The photo-etch anchor chain came from the L’Arsenal as well as the hand wheels fitted to the torpedo tubes and the
crew figures. I used MicroScale Krystal Klear to form the canvass covers on the bridge and aft platforms and .005 steel wire for the rigging and funnel stays. The boat davit pulleys came from leftover photo-etch from a project I cannot recall and the flag
came from the
Gold Medal Models decal set. The seascape was done using artist’s acrylic gel and paints. Overall this kit was an enjoyable build and is the first ship in my Imperial Russian Navy fleet. I look forward to tackling the Admiral Ushakov as
soon as I can.  I know that Evgenie Polomoshnov is working on a couple new Russian naval ships so I can’t wait to see what is coming in the future from Wake Models. I would recommend this kit to more experienced modelers due to the fiddly photo-etch
parts and additional work required. You can purchase this kit from
Free Time/Pacific Front Hobbies  or directly from Wake Models by contacting Mr. Polomoshnov directly at to work out the details.
Felix Bustelo
Grandee of Grand Central