Admiral Ushakov was the lead ship in the only class of coastal defense battleships to be built in Russia to   counter
armored ships of the Swedish Navy.  She was laid down at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg in June 1892,
launched in September 1893 and commissioned in February 1895.  She was designed specifically for coastal
defense duties in the Baltic Sea and as a result she had a low freeboard.

Admiral Ushakov and her sisters were stationed in the Baltic for most of the Russo-Japanese War.  Although the
class was considered obsolete at the time and not suitable for an ocean voyage due to their low freeboard, they
were nonetheless chosen to join Rear Admiral Nebogatov’s hastily formed 3rd Pacific Squadron which also
included the battleship Imperator Nikolai I (flagship), the old armored cruiser Vladimir Monomakh and five
transports and auxiliary units.  This squadron sailed on February 15, 1905 from the Baltic to the Pacific via the
Suez Canal to reinforce Admiral Rozhestvenski’s 2nd Pacific Squadron which had left four months ago to
reinforce the Russian fleet already at Port Arthur and Vladivostok.   Both squadrons eventually rendezvoused on
May 9, 1905 off Kua Be Bay in Indochina.

On May 14th the Russian ships left Kua Be Bay to sail for Vladivostok via the Korea Strait which was the shortest
route.  The plan was to avoid contact with the Japanese fleet, reinforce the squadron based in Vladivostok and
then engage the enemy.   Japanese naval intelligence considered this to be the most likely move for the Russian
ships and Admiral Togo’s fleet was ready to intercept them.
The Battle of Tsushima took place on May 27-28, 1905 and it is well known that the Russian fleet was decimated in
this battle.  On the first day of the battle, Admiral Ushakov was hit by a large caliber shell in the bow at the
waterline.  She took on seawater and her speed was reduced to 10 knots.   Another hit amidships was repaired.  Due
to the loss of speed, she became separated from the rest of her squadron throughout that evening and ultimately she
was left behind.  Surprisingly she was not spotted by the Japanese until the following afternoon.    As the Japanese
approached hoisting a signal flag with an offer to surrender, the Russian crew opened fired.   Outnumbered by
superior ships, the outcome was inevitable and within 20 minutes the Admiral Ushakov was ablaze and listing heavily
to starboard.  Unable to fire back, Captain Mikloukho-Maklai order the ship to be scuttled and the crew to abandon
ship.  The ship continued her list to starboard and then overturned and sank stern first.  The Japanese rescued a total
of 328 survivors which included 14 officers.  According to Japanese sources Captain Mikloukho-Maklai refused to
board an over-crowded boat and asked that a Russian sailor floating nearby be saved instead.  

The Wake Models Kit -Imperial Russian Navy enthusiasts have had numerous kits options in 1/700 scale resin.   
For those who prefer 1/350 scale, like yours truly, the number of kits available pales in comparison to the smaller
scale.   However, this dilemma is slowly but surely changing.   Alas we had promises of plastic kits from Flagman
that never materialized, but we do have plastic kits from Zvezda and resin kits from Box261 and Combrig.    Now
there is a new name to add this short list of Russian kit producers – Wake Models.  

Wake Models, like most resin kit producers, is a one-man endeavor and in this case he is Evgenie Polomoshnov who
lives in Novosibirsk in western Siberia.  Wake Models currently has two resin and photoetch kits in production, the
destroyer Bditelnyi (which will be the subject of a forthcoming build review) and the coastal defense battleship
Admiral Ushakov.
The model comes with a two part hull split at the waterline.  The hull halves are hollow cast resin, which is similar
to what other Russian resin kit producers do with larger ship subjects.  There is a good amount of detail cast into the
hull parts and I think the wood planking is well done.  As you can see from the photos the portions of bilge keels and
the bulwarks on the upper deck broke off during shipping.  Fortunately the pieces were loose in box the kit came in
and like a jigsaw puzzle they can be matched up to repair the damage.   The bottom of the lower hull has openings to
accommodate display pedestals, which are not included with the kit.  The hull halves line up rather well (the halves
shifted slightly before I took the photo) and will require a little bit of filler and sanding to hide any seams or gaps.

The one thing I did notice was that the resin parts have a tacky feel to them which is probably residue from some
kind of mold release. This was the same for the Bditelnyi kit that I am currently building but I can tell you that
washing the parts in dish detergent with warm water and a soft scrubbing with a toothbrush will remove this residue
and not impacting painting or assembly.

The next largest resin parts are the main turrets, bridge deck and the base for the military mast.  The wood planking
looks good and the oval shape of the turrets is captured rather well.   There are numerous smaller resin parts:  47mm
guns, main and secondary armament barrels, vents, searchlights, anchors, propellers, various bridge fittings,
capstans and sundry items.   The parts look well done but will require careful removal their runners.  The 47mm
guns look particularly fragile and may provide the biggest challenge.   There is a rather large complement of boats
and launches, 14 in total, provided with the kit and these are very well detailed.
What are quite striking are the turned metal funnels and yes you read this correctly.  These are very well done and
actually quite hefty.   Usually funnels are done in resin and as far as I know doing these in metal like this is a first.   
However I do have to ask if one went through the trouble of providing turned metal funnels why not provide brass
barrels for the main 10” and secondary 4.7” guns.   Now there is nothing wrong with the resin versions of these
parts but turned brass barrels are crisper and are resistant to warping.

Three photoetch frets are provided to super detail this model.   The most basic set are railings for the main and
upper decks.  While it is nice to see railings included they have individual stanchion ends which I find more
challenging to work with.  I prefer the style with the runner on the bottom and I may substitute the kit’s railings
with ones of the latter style but that is merely a matter of personal taste.  The other two photoetch frets contain
items ranging from such basic fittings as ladders, funnel caps, ship’s wheels, support bracings, davits to such items
as platforms, shields and support for the lighter guns, boat cradles, pilot house bulkhead and lots of other bits.  A
display name plate in Cyrillic is also provided.  What are omitted are oars for the ship’s boats.

The assembly instructions provided with the kit is comprised of eight pages.  The first page contains a nice profile
view of the ship and a brief history.  The next five pages provide an inventory of the resin and photoetch parts.  The
problem for non-Russian language speakers/readers is that all of the writing is in Cyrillic.  The actual assembly
guides are contained on two pages of exploded diagrams which should help overcome the language issue.

Overall this looks like a promising kit and fairly good first effort for a newcomer in the resin ship market.  This is a
welcome addition to the growing fleet of Imperial Russian Navy ships in 1/350 scale.  I would recommend this kit
to more experienced modelers due to the number of fiddly photoetch parts.  You can purchase this kit from Free
Time/Pacific Front Hobbies  or directly from Wake Models by contacting Mr. Polomoshnov directly at wake- to work out the details.