The Vladimir Monomakh was an early example of the armored cruiser. Laid down in 1880 and completed in 1885, the cruiser was rated as Cruiser First Rank. The ship had a complete six-inch belt of armor. She was originally completed with a full set of masts for sails. Between 1897 and 1898 Vladimir Monomakh was refitted with lighter masts and suppression of the bowsprit. The ancient warrior, a quarter of a century old, sailed with the Third Pacific Squadron comprising the ancient, the old and the obsolete, which rendezvoused with the Second Pacific Squadron off of French Indochina (Vietnam) before the combined force proceeded to meet the Japanese fleet at Tsushima. Vladimir Monomakh made it through the daylight action but was torpedoed during the night action. She surrendered the next morning but sank before she could be beached.
Combrig has just released a 1:700 scale model of the Vladimir Monomakh as she appeared at Tsushima in 1905. In this guise the cruiser still had a fore mast and mizzen mast but the main mast had been reduced to a stump with a searchlight platform on top. It is a very interesting kit with shielded six-inch bow chaser, conning tower in front of the funnels, bridge between the funnels, plenty of ventilator cowlings and numerous boat racks overhanging the lower gun deck.