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Borodino by Captain Slog – Publisher: Dom Bumagi - Card – 1:200

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Welcome to the start of my latest build.


Finally getting back to working on a ship model after a considerable time although during that time I have been working on and off on the Mazur D-350 card vehicle..  I checked my logs and I last worked on the Bismarck over 18 months ago, which has subsequently gone to a new home and it’s also been over 2 ½ years since I have done anything on the Endeavour which is still waiting patiently. So it’s high time I started another ship project. 


I poured over a lot of different ships from different publishers and finally settled on the Borodino by publisher Dom Bumagi, which is a Ukrainian company but according to Google Translator dom bumagi translates from Russian to Paper House.  I haven’t come across many builds of the Borodino but one in particular looks really nice so that made my mind up.


I chose the Borodino for a number of reasons, primarily because I find pre-dreadnaughts very interesting with regards to hull, gun and structure configurations and the Russian vessels are very well catered for by card model publishers.


The Borodino was the lead ship of five Borodino class Battleships and the second finished.  According to Wikipedia she was laid down on the 23rd May 1900, launched on the 8th September 1901and in service by August 1904.  The Borodino was sunk during the Battle of Tsushima against the Japanese on the 27th May 1905.

Here is a link to wikipedia for those interested in finding out more about the ship. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_battleship_Borodino


There are 2 or 3 other Borodino class card models available that I am aware of.  I previously mentioned that Russian ships are well catered as card models and I know of 12 other Russian ships available which were involved in the Battle of Tsushima.  A few of which I would like to do as future builds.  There are some Japanese ships from the battle available also, the Mikasa being one of note.


Another decision maker is the size of the pre-dreadnaught ships which at approximately 600mm long are half the length of WWII battleships so build duration should be proportionately shorter.  I also want to get 1 or 2 smaller ships under my belt before tackling the Fuso or similar sized battleship.


I ordered the ship kit, laser cut forms, photo-etch detail set and the metal gun barrel set from GPM in Poland (http://gpm.pl/en ) which took 3 1/2 weeks to arrive. This was longer than the usual 2 weeks.  The packaging was to GPMs usual high standard being well protected.  Price wise card models are relatively cheap compared to other mediums and worked out approximately;


Borodino kit book – A$24

Laser cut forms – A$20

Photo-etch detail set – A$24

Metal gun barrel set – A$14


But postage is crippling to Australia coming in around the A$90 mark.




Okay let’s get started.


This is my 1st experience with the publisher Dom Bumagi so will be interesting to compare them with others.  The first major surprise was how the kit is presented.  It came in a plastic sleeve and looked like a usual A3 kit book but on opening it the pages are all loose leaf with no binding.  This isn’t a problem as I usually separate the binding/staples and cut the pages in half to the individual sheets anyway for convenience and ease of handling/finding parts etc.


The front cover is stiff card with the picture on the front and the reverse as usual details the history of the ship and as usual is in the publishers native language but easy enough to convert to English.  Also on the reverse of the cover are diagrams for a lot of the ‘ironwork’ such as railings, ladders, stairs etc.  The diagrams show the various shapes to scale and the thicknesses of wire required to form them.


There are 6 thin pages for the hull skeleton and structure formwork which get glued to thicker card but these won’t be needed due to getting the laser cut forms.  There are 6 pages of parts and on close inspection appear to be very well printed on the expected quality and thickness of paper although did expect more parts sheets.


The assembly diagrams are on 4 double sided glossy pages and these are very nicely detailed being computer renders as opposed to line drawings some publishers use.

Also in the sleeve is a thin strip with more parts on which I think must be an update to replace incorrect parts or additional details.  There was also a small thin plastic cloth material with the various flags printed on to it.  This is quite translucent and the flag colours are strong on one side but a bit light on the reverse.









There are 6 thick A3 sheets of laser cut form parts to replace the kit internal structures, skeleton, ribs etc and 1 thinner sheet for the ships boats, trestles etc. Having used laser cut forms in the past; these are a god send for quickly and accurately building the underlying structures. Previous experience of laser cut forms have been very good, going together perfectly so will see how these compare.





Card model ships aren’t as well catered for with regards to additional detail sets like the smaller 1:350 scale plastic kits but typically offer at least a set of laser cut card and/or a photo-etch set.  I got the photo-etch detail set as although the same price as the kit book they do sharpen up the model replacing some parts which would otherwise be quite bulky in paper.  The set also includes the nice eagle crest for the bow and the stern balcony. 


There are little numbers next to each part which correspond to the equivalent paper part they replace.





The metal gun barrels are a bit of a backup as I intend to at least try to do the larger guns in card as supplied but can fall back to these if that doesn’t work out as planned.  The set contains;

4x 305mm (~12”) in aluminium

12x 152mm (~6”) in brass

20x 75mm (~3”) in brass

20x 47mm (~2”) in brass





Really looking forward to getting back into ship modelling with this one.




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Awesome! Love your choice of subject and the fact that you're going all-in with the after-market details.


The one thing I wish the Russians/Ukrainians would add to their offerings is laser-cut detail sets, such as those produced by HMV. These are both cheaper and infinitely easier to work with.


This should build into a very nice model. Good luck!

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Dom Bumagi, which is a Ukrainian company but according to Google Translator dom bumagi translates from Russian to Paper House.

Actually it's "home of paper [models]". "Paper house" would be "бумажный дом" (bumazhnyi dom).


The model looks promising and with all other options available maybe you will have the full battle of Tsushima diorama? ;)



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Thanks to all for your likes and comments


Awesome! Love your choice of subject and the fact that you're going all-in with the after-market details.


The one thing I wish the Russians/Ukrainians would add to their offerings is laser-cut detail sets, such as those produced by HMV. These are both cheaper and infinitely easier to work with.


This should build into a very nice model. Good luck!

I thought you might like this one.  I haven't used laser cut detail sets before but wondered how they compare to PE.


Actually it's "home of paper [models]". "Paper house" would be "бумажный дом" (bumazhnyi dom).


The model looks promising and with all other options available maybe you will have the full battle of Tsushima diorama? ;)



Thanks for the correction, I guess Google Translator still has a ways to go.  I have translated some bits and pieces and on the whole it kind of makes sense with the odd crazy word thrown in now and then.  I am sure what should be 'Part' has been translated to 'Children'  LOL. Not sure about diorama it takes me long enough to do one or even finish one.


This looks like it will be fun.  Mind if I pull up a chair?

David B

Mind if I join in on this. Looks interesting.

You know I have already pull up a chair, so I am sitting here and waiting.

I'm in. There are a few Russian sites with these builds which is why they invented Google translate. Massive undertaking.

Another interesting project Slog. Think I'll pull up a chair as well.


Welcome aboard to all.


Really itching to get cracking on this one and will get stuck in this weekend.




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Finally put knife to card and started with the laser cut hull forms.  The hull is made up of 4 major parts; the underwater hull (designated U ), the upper hull (designated O), the front anchor shelf (?) and a bridge like structure which goes across from side to side.


There are also 4 other hull structures which on first glance get made off the ship and then get placed on later.


I started with the lower under water hull and first impressions of the laser cut forms are very good.  There were a few parts where the laser didn’t quite make it through the backside outer layer but this was easily sliced through. 


Hats off to Dom Bumagi on the design of the hull so far.  Each of the transverse bulkheads have tabs to fit through the horizontal parts so each part is self-squaring and self centering and should be a breeze gluing up. (The Bismarck transverse bulkheads didn’t have these additional tabs and it was a race trying to get everything centred and lined up before the glue went off)


All the parts cut out and the little nibs removed with a swipe of sandpaper.




Dry run of the lower hull which went together perfectly.  Everything slotted together easily with no trimming necessary.














Next up is to pull it down and then reassemble with glue and then straight on to the upper hull which is more complicated and has a few steps to follow for insertion of the separate anchor shelf and the upper side to side structure.




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I like the tab-and-slot concept. HMV, of course, don't subscribe to that particular design philosophy; it eliminates the need for buying the extra laser-cut set (or cutting the formers from heavy card -- ugh), but it means that there is more capacity for error when putting one of their hulls together. A good substructure can make or break a build!

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I like the tab-and-slot concept. HMV, of course, don't subscribe to that particular design philosophy; it eliminates the need for buying the extra laser-cut set (or cutting the formers from heavy card -- ugh), but it means that there is more capacity for error when putting one of their hulls together. A good substructure can make or break a build!

Hi Chris, the tabs are making the build so much easier.  The Bismarck had thick formers but no tabs and I had a few alignment issues trying to keep square to the lines.


Hi Captain,

I too will pull up a chair if you don't mind. My interest drifts towards this era, but I'm particularly interested in the medium. What can come out of paper blows my mind and quite likely will be my next adventure. Looking forward to following your progress.


Hi Marv, I say give it a go.  I find card modelling very rewarding when you cut, fold, bend, role and glue a bit of paper into a recognisable shape.  Although saying that sometimes you ask if they really want you to form a tiny piece of paper into something!


Coming along nicely. I will be waiting for more updates and pictures, lots of pictures.

More pictures coming up Joe. :D



Okay spent a fair amount of time today making a mess LOL.  The picture shows the off cut scraps of around 4 and half sheets worth of laser cut forms.  Couple of notes about this; firstly I save any largish scraps and throw them in my scrap card box in case I need to laminate any paper parts for the kit.  ( I periodically check the kitchen for suitable packaging and save any that’s suitable.  There is soup container packaging which is exactly 0.5mm which I have a lifetimes supply of LOL)


Secondly I go through the scrap pile as I am binning it to make sure I am not throwing out any parts which I have missed on the ‘Scrap’.





This is the ‘bridging’ structure which goes across the width of the hull and is being trial fitted hence the little strips of Tamiya tape holding it together.  I will need to check before permanently fitting to the hull as I think it may need to be skinned/plated with the finished paper parts before final fitting.





The anchor shelf (I’ll keep calling it this unless someone knows of another/correct term) gave me lots of grief as I couldn’t find all the parts reference. I searched each laser cut sheet again and again until I realised the other references were to the printed paper part!  Again I think this may need skinning before final fitment.  Dry fit again hence the tape.




Okay most of the upper hull structure cut out and laid out to form the various levels of deck working upwards.  The big sheet on the right contains doublers with holes in them for the casement guns and didn’t cut them out as I need the hull put together to determine their position.





Okay dry fit of the upper hull.  I started working from the lowest part (as per photo 9 above ) and it became apparent that the upper hull is essentially 2 platforms.  Surprisingly these are located together only at the front and rear tabs.  I am glad I trial fitted the upper hull structure as there were a couple of items which would have caught me out.


Firstly there is a horizontal doubler at the rear which I left out and thought at the time it looked strange until I realised it was missing.  Also a number of the vertical bulkheads are doubled up also but it isn’t clear in the plans which goes to the front and the back as usually the shapes are slightly different so care will be needed to verify before glue goes anywhere near it.


I trial fitted in the anchor shelf, which was very fiddly but would be easier when glued up and also the bridging structure which dropped in nicely.  All in all the extra time taken dry fitting is time well spent.





The two upper hull halves together and looking pretty good.  I love the shape of these ships.




Stern shot showing where the balcony? Veranda? will be.




This is one of my favourite parts of this ship.  The wasted bow for the anchor shelves with the ‘snout’ and the sticking up side structure which is plated flush with the sides.  Such interesting shapes these ships had.





Next up will be to check any notes about assembly to confirm placement and also to check some of the printed parts relationships before the big glue up to complete the hull.





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Hi All and thanks for all the likes and comments.


I haven’t got a great to show as I have been pulling down the 3 layers of the hull to reassemble with glue.  I have currently done the lower hull and the middle section.  I previously mentioned I hadn’t cut out the doublers for the casement guns and so needed to check an update for these.


With the kit there was an A4 sheet with changes which I needed to check what they were talking about.  Apparently the change is to increase the size of the laser cut holes.

The photo shows part of the A4 diagram, the laser cut form with the small laser hole and a former with my trial hole.  I thought I better see why the hole was getting enlarged so found the gun pedestal base (part 10) which corresponds with the new hole so mystery solved.





I also mentioned the benefit of trial fitting parts before gluing and here is a good example of why.  The horizontal forms of the bridging structure had holes in them which were off set to one side and I just randomly put them in for the dry run.  Before gluing I checked against the skin which wraps round the structure and low and behold my test fit was wrong.  50/50 chance LOL  Card models in general have very little instructions and this one has none so they assume you know what you are doing.  There was no indication about the position of the holes in the plans.  Check, check and check again is the motto.





With the bridging structure now correctly orientated and glued up it was finally time to do some paper modelling, huzzah!  The rear skin has some portholes in them which although I quite like the orangey bronzie colour I want to replace all the portholes with photo-etch ones.  I already have 1.6mm portholes which were a good fit for these.  I used the same technique I described in the Bismarck log where I use a drill to put an outside edge into a piece of brass tube to make a punch, 1.5mm in this case.





To glaze the hole in the porthole I wanted to try a technique I came across somewhere, where you use a floppy disk.  I think it is mylar, but whatever it is it is dark, shiny and very thin so should look good.  I cut a thin strip then cut into little square to fit behind brass portholes.  Incidentally the little metal door of the disk is very thin also so went into the spares box in case I can use it for something.





Okay new photo-etch portholes installed.  Once hole was punched through, I coloured the hole edge black and then put a dab of PVA glue round the edge of the hole and dropped the porthole in and then pressed down with the flat handle of my tweezers to make flush.


I then flipped the part over and using PVA again, painted round the area and dropped the plastic ‘window’ over it, again pressing down with the flat of the tweezer handle.  The PVA held the port holes and the plastic with no problems despite a fair bit of handling while skinning up the structure.  The mylar (?) is thin enough not to be a problem under the paper skin either.


I think they look okay and I do like the dark shiny effect of the ‘glazing’ so will continue to use this for the rest of the build.  One thing the macro shows up is I didn’t clean up the edge of a photo-etch porthole very well so will remember to take more care for the others…although at 1.6 mm diameter not really noticeable.





Just a quick tip for edge colouring.  For some of the build at least I will be using Faber Castell PITT artists pens and the black on black works very well.  Just remember to come in from the back side (also if using watercolours, paints etc) so if you slip you don’t mark the printed side.  Sounds obvious but have done it in the past.


Also noticed in the photo another tip.  When handling card parts always try and hold the flat part and not the edges.  If to small use tweezers or something, it doesn’t take much handling for the edges to become tatty and mashed up.





Captain Petr Serebrennikov and a couple of seamen have come to check the progress of his ship LOL  (the figures are actually 1:200 1940’s Kreigsmarines I got for the Bismarck).  I like the shine of the plastic ‘glass’.





The front part of the structure is actually one part so care was needed for the 2 bends on each side to wrap round the wings.  You can see the white dotted bend lines.  I transferred these to the back side and then with the ruler on the line I scored them gently with the knife just cutting the outer surface and then slide a razor blade under and folded up similar to what you would do with photo etch.  PVA glue used for gluing.





That’s all that can be done to this structure for now.  It needs installing onto the upper deck and the hull skin extends up and over it to complete.




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Hi David and Joe thanks for the comments, I am glad you are getting something out of it.  I thought I would go into a bit of detail with the methods and techniques I use to hopefully provide an insight to card modelling.  Also in the hope of prompting suggestions for better or alternative ways of doing things as I am still a newb when it comes to card modelling.


Hi Paul thanks for the comment.  I find card modelling very rewarding. The lack of mess compared to working with wood is also a bit plus for me!  Also the vast range of subjects available is incredible.  Doris’s work is exceptional and I could never hope to get anywhere near her standards.



Just a small update as I have now finished the hull structure (almost) with all layers being glued up.  I haven’t glued the 3 separate layers together just yet as I want to do some fairing and shaping, which will be easier done separately.  Once that is done I will join all the layers together for a final fairing of the layer joins and then on to the dreaded hull skinning. :o













Post hull structure analysis; On the whole I am very impressed with the design of the forms.  They went together perfectly and the design creates a well-supported and rigid structure.  A couple of other nice touches are a laser marked bearding line for sanding the bow to a sharp edge.  Also the lower 2 sections have laser cut slots which align vertically with each other so that you can put in your own tabs from scrap to perfectly align the sections front to back and side to side.


Couple of minus’s  would be the lack of assembly detail as the diagrams aren’t very big and the numbering wasn’t clear which could have resulted in some of the double ribs being put in the wrong way round.  The skinning of the anchor deck has me stumped which I blame the diagrams for. :rolleyes:


Rather than plough on with hull I decided to leave it for a bit of a change and do some of the top side structures.  These run down each side of the deck and since they are flush with the edge, the hull skins extend up to cover them so they will need to be done sooner rather than later anyway.





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Thanks all for the comments and likes.


This is a bit of a boring post today.  Spent the day fairing the lower hull and the middle section and found when placed together there is a surprisingly large lip/ledge all the way round particularly at the stern.  I assumed that the hull would be flush all the way down.


I went to check the lower hull templates as I didn’t need these due to using the laser cut forms and the lower deck has a black border which wouldn’t be there if not to be seen. A couple of photos showing the ledge between the hull sections, which prompted investigation; and the template below them.







Glued the template to the lower hull and then glued the middle section to the lower hull.  The paper template is very thin and already starting to get a bit tattered at the edges with handling. I used an artist pen to touch up but then got damaged again with the Tamiya tape as used further on. 


Once the lower hull is skinned up I will go round tidying it up before skinning the upper hull.  I will use paint and matte coat to toughen it up.







Time to start skinning the lower hull.  The skins were initially rough cut out to get an idea of how they fit together and then started to trim the first of the bow skins.  A couple of points of note; firstly the colour does appear to be quite a bright red.  Initially I wasn’t keen on it but starting to like it and I think when the primarily black hull and structures go on should complement each other nicely.


Also the method of skinning relies on only a few quite large pieces which require slices and sections cut to allow them to curve around the hull to fit.  My minimal experience of hull skins use more multiple narrow bands so shall see how these compare.  Also it appears they don’t overlap so butting large skins together may be problematic.


The skin in the photo is just attached with strips of Tamiya tape to see how it forms round the curves.





Initial trial fitting of bow skin doesn’t seem so bad, there are tiny little marks for lining up the skins to the forms and on first try they appear to match very well.  What I will do is put some card on both sides of the forms where separate skins join as although the trial fit seemed perfect it wouldn’t take much misalignment for them to run off the narrow formers. 


I tested a few ways of edge colouring using 2 different red pens and some water colour paint.  I will end of using the usual Faber Castell PITT artist pens (Carmine 126) as although it looks quite pinky it is actually a darker red than the print.


Next up will be to trim all the lower skins to size and then offer them all up together before gluing.




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I just want to echo what Slog said about trying to emulate Doris -- she's like the top 1% of the 1% of card modelers, and she has a ton of experience. The same advice about starting simple goes for card same as for wood, perhaps more so. Fortunately there exits a large number of interesting models available that are well-suited to novice card modelers.

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Some more progress. 


I am determined not to jump about and get distracted from skinning the lower hull, which is definitely the hardest part of the build for me and looking for excuses to put it off LOL.  So I decided to do the propeller shafts which according to the plans need to in be inserted in to the hull prior to skinning the lower hull.


I could cheat like I did for the Bismarck and use wood dowel but decided to use the paper part as doing is the only way to learn and hoping not to resort to painting the hull if at all possible.


I had already started before I remembered to take pictures so the photo shows a completed shaft with the other one to do.  I mentioned previously about minimising the handling of paper parts as they turn scrappy very quickly, well this tube shows the outcome of lots of handling.  The first tube took about an hour of forming round various rods and dowels until the final shape was achieved for gluing.  The second only took around 40 minutes to form and glue and wasn’t so tatty.


The white bands on the part are used to align the finished tube with the hull bulkheads as shown in the other photos.  As can be seen further on the alignment marks on the printed surface line up perfectly with the bulkheads.





The legend next to the part shows to roll it around a 4mm diameter form… 4mm is far too wide and the edges are far from coming together.  (the thin wood dowel in the picture is 4mm).  So used various sizes at hand to gradually form the bend and finished off using the smaller brass tube which is quite a bit less than the paper tube internal diameter.


Once I got the edges together I over lapped them to tighten the bend to remove some of the 'spring' of the paper and taped it like this a while.  It was then a case of removing the tape and of course it opens up again; then gluing a short section together and holding until sufficient to let go and then applying a small strip of Tamiya tape to hold before moving up the tube and doing another small section. The first tube had a mishap whilst removing a small strip of Tamiya tape where it pulled some of the print off. (I think some glue must have snuck out on to it)





The laser cut holes in the bulkheads were slightly too small so I used a Dremel, cone shaped grinding stone to ream out the hole until the tube was a tight fit (this was done by hand twirling the shaft of the bit with my fingers).  This worked well slowly sanding out the hole; a drill bit would just catch and tear the card.





The tubes turned out straight and near round with no creases or kinks so happy with that just a pity about the printed surface.  I may be okay though as it appears most of the exposed shaft is covered by bulges and only the last 15mm or so is exposed.  I tested some watercolour paint, which is a bit redder than the print on the end of the back tube and not very clear in the photos.  Considering how much is on show and the position low down under the hull I can live with that.








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The first tube had a mishap whilst removing a small strip of Tamiya tape where it pulled some of the print off. (I think some glue must have snuck out on to it)


To prevent this you can impregnate the paper with undercoat (primer) varnish. Just cover the whole sheets, before cutting out individual parts. In Poland the brand of choice is "Capon" (nitrocellulose based), but I guess any will do. Just test on the scrap paper (e.g. cutouts with the part numbers) -- the varnish can dissolve the printing ink.

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Hi Jeff,


Thanks for the comment.  They didn't turn out to bad despite the struggle I had LOL



Hi Mumin,


Thanks for the advice.  I have heard of this technique but don’t know much about it.  I wasn’t sure what people used and the method of application.  My concern with doing whole sheets or even large parts was how to get even coverage so there aren’t any streaks or discolouration due to uneven application.


I also wondered on how the parts would behave when bending, cutting, gluing etc but from your comment this seems a popular technique so my fears are probably unjustified.


I have brushed on Humbrol Matt Cote (a clear matt modelling varnish similar to Testers Dull Coat) to parts in the past (Orlik Mazur D-350 I am also currently building) but these were small wheel parts and already cut out.  I coated them to try and prevent damage to the edges due to the amount of handling they were receiving.  I found some parts a struggle to put together and they were getting handled far more than I am comfortable with.


I haven’t the courage to use the Matt Cote on large sheet parts in case I destroy them LOL


I was also thinking about airbrushing completed assemblies with Humbrol Matt Cote but again this would be after assembly.


I will check out the product you mentioned and see how it compares locally.




Edited by Captain Slog
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