In 1870 the Russian Navy laid down the first armored cruiser with the 5,031 ton General Admiral Class. Ten years were to pass before the next Russian armored cruiser design appeared with the Vladimir Monomakh of 1880 (Click for review of the Combrig Vladimir Monomakh.).
The next year the Admiralty laid down another design very similar to the Vladimir Monomakh. This design, the Dmitri Donskoi, is sometimes called the half-sister to the Vladimir Monomakh. In comparing the two Combrig kits, you can readily see the differences between the two designs. Vladimir Monomakh had a significantly different deck structure. The Vladimir Monomakh has raised quarter deck, mid deck and foc'sle with an open lower gun deck, while Dmitri Donskoi has an almost full length deck, with only extremely small raised quarterdeck and foc'sle..
Dmitri Donskoi was part of the Second Pacific Squadron and was the oldest warship in the force until Vladimir Monomakh, as part of the Third Pacific Squadron, joined with the force off of French Indochina. The old cruiser shared the same fate as most of the rest of the force. Dmitri Donskoi survived the first day of battle and night torpedo attacks but was scuttled on the morning of May 29, 1905.
The Combrig 1:700 scale model of the Dmitri Donskoi depicts the cruiser as she appeared upon completion. At that time she sported three fully rigged masts with fighting tops, plus bowsprit.