The destroyer Leitenant Burakov was originally the Chinese navy's 'Hai Hoha' built by Schichau of Germany in 1898. She was captured by the British destroyers HMS Fame and HMS Whiting in the attack on the Taku forts and thereafter assigned to Russia. She had two large funnels and two deck TT as well as 6 x 3pdr deck guns and with a four boiler Thorneycroft steam plant generating 6000ihp she was easily the fastest of the Russian destroyer flotilla in the war with Japan achieving a stunning 33.6 knots! She was torpedoed by the Picket boats of IJN battleships Mikasa and Fuji in the waters of Ta Ho Bay to the east of Port Arthur July 24,1904 Length 193'ft 7in : Beam 21ft draft 8ft 6in displacement 280 tons : crew 56
The model was built using the Combrig 1:700 resin kit. It is a very small ship in this scale. The hull measures a shade under 3 1/4 inches long. When the model was first released it was in his review that Daniel H. Jones, editor and publisher of the much loved and now sadly defunct Plastic Ship Modeler magazine who drew my attention to one of the shortcomings of the hull casting, that being the lack of sheer and the flatness of the sprayrail line. I decided to address both problems using the few photos that I could locate of the vessel. I heated the casting slightly and then induced a very slight even curvature fore and aft. I added shims of styrene sheet forward and aft and then flat-sanded the whole lower hull until I was happier with the look of the hull. The sprayrail was carved off and replaced with another of stretched sprue. In retrospect I should have added this rail at a later stage of the build, both to maintain its shape as it very vulnerable to handling, as well as to preserve the crispness under coats of paint.
I used the Russian publication Morskaya Kollektsia 5/2000 'Vnimatelny' and others, which has some photos within , as well as a side elevation general arrangement drawing , which appeared to contradict my new sheerline to the extent that I proceeded to re-bend into a flatter profile the aft section of the hull. Construction was both rapid as well as easy, many tiny details were added such as gratings, anchors, fairleads, sounding platform and coal scuttles on the deck. The conning tower received portholes as well as a binnacle and photo-etch steering wheel from WEM, complete with helmsman. The funnels were drilled out and steam pipes added, the aft steering position again was furnished with a binnacle and wheel . The railings are GMM Superfine goldplus coloured with an indelible pen, the stanchions are picked out and the whole rail is given a light drybrush from above only in an attempt to preserve the delicate appearance. The few photos I found showed the vessel to kept in near pristine condition in her white livery hence little or no weathering was carried out.
I wanted to portray the ship at speed, the model's bow-wave was actually tissue paper soaked in CA and then drybrushed, this gives a pleasing slight translucence with a spray effect. Masts are metal and all rigging is of stretched sprue. The Russian navy ensign is my usual blue ballpoint cross on copy paper. The vessel carries an on-deck complement of 1:700 white-uniformed photo-etch sailors from GMM. She made an interesting departure from the norm and was a speedy project to complete between my more involved battleship construction.