MORSKAYA KOLLEKTSIA 1995-2000 By Steve Backer
Most warship modelers, when not searching for the latest kit, are searching for new or out of print references. Nothing fires up the reference collector in quite the same way as trying to get a copy of each title in a reference series. Some reference series are still adding titles and are well known. The WR Press Warship in Perspective Series, the Polish Profile Morskie and Monograph Morskie Series and the Classic Warship Photobook series are recognized by most ship modelers. Each new issue is eagerly awaited and purchased immediately upon publication by the true reference collector. The Ensign and Man OWar series, although long out of print, are still the best individual references on the topics covered.
There is one series that started in 1995 and still publishes a title every two months. It has produced titles on some well known subjects like the USN Essex Class carriers and titles on very obscure topics such as the ten foreign built Imperial Russian Destroyers at Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War. The Morskaya Kollektsia (Naval Collection) series published by Modelist Konstruktor is that publication. Published in Moscow and obviously written in Russian, this series has not received the exposure of the others. The titles in series fall in to two types. The bulk of the titles are each on a single class of warship and the second type is a survey of the fleet of a particular country during a certain period of time. Both types of titles are 32 pages in length and have color plates of the covered subject matter on the front and back covers, outside and inside. The titles on the individual classes of ships feature a two page centerfold plan and profile of the topic with the rest of the pages containing drawings and a great number of photographs. The titles covering fleets have small profile drawings of each class of warship found in the subject navy during the covered period of time.
There are several reasons why these publications are not as well known as others. The production standards are not as high, although the quality of the paper and photo reproduction has improved dramatically since the first two years of publication. Most modelers outside of Russia, the Ukraine or Belarus do not read Russian. Lastly, this series is much more difficult to find than the other reference titles. Pacific Front will normally have a few titles and although I have purchased some titles from Kitlink in the past, when I checked the Kitlink site today, they were carrying only two of the titles. This fall I purchased four titles from www.aviapress.com. Three of the titles arrived in two months and one, on the Sverdlov Class cruisers, which was a special order, took five months to arrive. The titles were mailed to me from Moscow and the packaging paper was covered with a great number of Russian stamps.
The great strength of the Morskaya Kollektsia series is the availability of a reference on a warship class not covered by anyone else, especially Russian warships. Im currently working on two sisterships in 1:700, that will be covered in a review later this month. The Oslyabya by the Russian company Kombrig and the Peresvet by the Polish company Modelkrak. I was fortunate to have issue 1/1998 of Morskaya Kollektsia, which was about this class of Russian predreadnought. This title has proved to be invaluable in helping me build the kits and add extra detail. I do not know of any other reference volume that could have given me the information that I received from the photos and plans found in this volume.
The purpose of this article is to provide a glimpse of the topics covered in the series along with pictures of the color artwork found in the titles. I do not have every title, so with some volumes I only list the topic covered or imported photos from another source.
1/1995 SOVIET CRUISERS AND OTHER LARGE SHIPS 1945-1995
2/1995 ADMIRAL NAKIMOV Russian Armored Cruiser
3/1995 GARIBALDI CLASS Armored Cruiser
4/1995 THE BRITISH FLEET 1914-1918
5/1995 LEXINGTON Class Aircraft Carrier
6/1995 SUPERCRUISERS 1939-1945
1/1996 ASKOLD Imperial Russian five stack Cruiser
2/1996 GREMYASHEE type 7 Soviet Destroyer Class
3/1996 THE GERMAN FLEET 1914-1918
4/1996 GIULIO CESARE Italian, later Russian Battleship
5/1996 USA & LATIN AMERICAN NAVIES 1914-1918
6/1996 HMS DREADNOUGHT
1/1997 HMS BELFAST
2/1997 GUNS OF THE RUSSIAN FLEET 1867-1922
3/1997 BAYAN Imperial Russian Armored Cruiser
4/1997 ITALIAN & AUSTRIAN FLEETS 1914-1918
5/1997 DKM ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE
6/1997 SOOBRAZEETELNI type 7i Soviet Destroyer Class
1/1998 PERESVET Imperial Russian Battleship Class
2/1998 SVERDLOV Soviet Light Cruiser Class
4/1998 THE RUSSIAN FLEET 1914-1918
5/1998 PIRATES OF THE KRIEGSMARINE, U-Boats
6/1998 LENINGRAD Soviet Destroyer Leader
1/1999 KASHIN Soviet Anti Submarine Frigate Class
2/1999 DKM SCHNELLBOATS
3/1999 MINOR EUROPEAN FLEETS 1914-1918
4/1999 RETVIZAN Imperial Russian Battleship
5/1999 THE JAPANESE and TURKISH FLEETS 1914-1918
6/1999 USS ESSEX Class Carriers
1/2000 USS ORISKANY AND MIDWAY Class Carriers
2/2000 SOVIET S Class Submarines
3/2000 THE FRENCH FLEET 1914-1918
4/2000 HMS VANGUARD the Last Battleship
5/2000 RUSSIAN FOREIGN BUILT DESTROYERS AT PORT ARTHUR
6/2000 FRIGATES OF RUSSIA 1945-2000