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Building the Yacht Kolchida

"Kolchida was the former yacht Tamara built in 1898. Purchased by the Russian Naval Ministry in June 1913 and converted into communications vessel attached to the Black Sea Fleet HQ. During conversion she was fitted with an extremely powerful radio-set that was able to communicate directly with St. Petersburg, which gave her a small but significant place in her Nations history."

Vessel History

October 25…When the cruiser Aurora fired (blank) shots at the Winter Palace in St Petersburg,it was to be the day of the victory of the October Revolution. At 10 a.m. the Military Revolutionary Committee accepted the appeal ‘To the Russian People’, signed by Lenin, in which the overthrow of the Provisional Government and the handing-over of all powers to the workers and peasants was proclaimed.
This appeal was broadcast by the radio station of the cruiser Aurora and the port radio station New Holland, and reached southern Russia within that same hour. This momentous news broadcast was received by the yacht Kolchida, a humble despatch vessel of the Black Sea Fleet. On that day the vessel was situated in Rostov-on-Don.
During the historic meetings of the II Soviet (=council) Congress on 25 and 26 October, and following reports by Lenin, the first very important decrees of the Soviet authority/ regime were accepted. Through these decrees, the main demands of millions of workers were being recognized. The decisions of the II Pan-Russian Soviet Congress that legislatively confirmed the victory of the armed October uprising in Petrograd, and the victory of the Great Socialist October revolution, were also received from Kolchida’s radio station, coming from the far shores of the river Neva.
This hithertoo insignificant messenger ship which was converted in 1913 from a former Tsarist yacht unwittingly found itself in the centre of the revolutionary activities on theRiver Don as people in southern Russia learned about the first decrees of the Soviet regime almost immediately from that mobile floating radio station. In those fast moving historic days, people began calling Kolchida the ‘Aurora of the Don river’. The vessel was converted in 1919 to a Minelayer and re-named Pernac.

In February 1920 this historic vessel was wrecked off the Bulgarian Coast at Cape Kara-Burun. Pernac was carrying Refugee Russian Officers and their families who wished to emigrated to Varna in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian authorities had denied entry-so in a storm the vessel was run onto a marked reef –All crew and passengers were rescued-and subsequently accepted into Bulgaria as shipwrecked cast-aways….
Three years later attempts were made to raise the vessel from the bottom of the sea, but these were unsuccessful. Divers however managed to bring several objects from the ship to the surface. Today, these artifacts from the Kolchida are kept in the military naval museum in Varna/ Bulgari: a binnacle with a magnetic compass, and the Figurehead of the yacht-, the head of a Golden Eagle carved out of wood.
A model of the vessel Kolchida can be found in the local district museum of Rostov-on-Don.

Displacement— 992 tons 1200 Indicated HP = 14 knots
Loa 220 ft 1” Crew 80 officers and men(!)
beam 28 ft 6” draft 14ft 1”
2 x 75mm QF guns).

Building the "Kolchida"

I retrieved this simple little kit from the bottom of my stash cupboard having purchased it many years previously. Upon opening the box I was struck again immediately by her elegant lines-delving into the internet produced virtually no usable information-gradually however a number of Russian, Finnish and German maritime(web) researchers offered snippets of information on the history of this intriguing ship. >br>
Eventually George A. Shishoff( webmaster of the Tsushima photo web-site) sent me the link to a usable and verified drawing of the ship HERE

Armed with historical background and a drawing it became evident that the kit was based on that drawing.
The kit out of the box comprised a very pretty hull casting and a mixed bunch of parts with a considerable quantity of ships boats....

....with some very finely rendered deck details

About the Author

About JimBaumann


Apart from the usual excellencie in craftmanship, Jim always surprises me with the theme and fast production schedule Bravo Jim! Thanks for sharing Mark Skipper
JUL 23, 2007 - 11:18 PM
Another wonderful model Jim.
JUL 24, 2007 - 03:06 AM
Amazing. The downward shot of the ship and the wake is pure artistry. Excellent article... thanks Jim! Cheers, Jim
JUL 24, 2007 - 04:27 AM
Really an impressive little ship.
JUL 24, 2007 - 09:18 AM
That is beautiful! Real class!
JUL 24, 2007 - 09:50 AM
Hi Jim I have always admired your work on Model Ship World and this new venture of yours has led me to an idea I have had for some time.Perhaps you can help. Amongst my kits that I intend to do I have stored for some time the Harvey by Artesania at 1:50 Scale. As I have built this model some years ago (I bought two at auction) I would like to bash this one into a vessel similar to you project as the hull shape is similar. Where can I get a clear drawing or picture of the coach house and general deck lay out. If you have any suggestions I would be gratefull for them. Regards Les
AUG 07, 2007 - 07:26 PM
Some ships just shine and some don't, some modellers works shine and others not, and Jim B's work just shines from everywhere, he chooses the best boats and does the best models, I am never tired of looking at his stuff JB
AUG 15, 2007 - 12:42 AM
Thank you all for your kind words!! Les--drop me an e-mail at jbys1@tiscali.co.uk and I will endeavour to send you some pics and ideas--I am not familiar with the Artesanai kit--send me a pic--I have a fair bit of info on steamyachts around that era..! JIM B
SEP 20, 2007 - 08:51 AM