An Up Close Look at Master Korabel’s St. Gabriel Kit

One of the ship model kits that we started carrying last year is from the Russian ship model kit manufacturer Master Korabel. The kit, which doesn’t seem to get much attention, is called the St. Gabriel.



For reasons I don’t understand, this ship is referred to as a “Deck Boat”. Perhaps it is a mistranslation from the original Russian description. In any case, this is actually a significant historical vessel. The Archangel Gabriel, or St. Gabriel, was one of three ships used by the Kamchatka Expedition of 1724 to 1731, and it was the main ship of the expedition’s leader, the Danish explorer and cartographer Vitus Bering, who was in the employ of the Russian Navy.

The expedition’s task was to explore the North Pacific coast of the Asian continent, and to determine whether or not it connected to the North American continent. For this task, the ship Archangel Gabriel, was built in Kamchatka in 1728 . According to a Wikipedia entry, the other ships of the expedition were used to ferry supplies from Okhotsk to Bolsheretsk, on the Kamchatka Peninsuala. For a more detailed description, the Wikipedia entry on Vitus Bering, is an interesting short read.

As for the model kit, Master Korabel’s created a lovely 1/72-scale model of the ship Archangel Gabriel. It’s a small model, owing to the manufacturer’s standardized scale, only 13.8″ long and 11.8″ tall. 

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Note the photo-eteched brass hooks attached to the blocks. Master Korable makes beautiful blocks made from pear wood. They make blocks that actually look like real blocks.

As with other Master Korabel kits, the St. Gabriel kit features a specially engineered hull framing that is designed to prevent any distortion or twists in the hull shape. The hull is then double-planked and, most impressively, the finish planking is all laser-cut for you. This means that the planks aren’t just strips of wood that you need to shape in order to make them look neat and correct – it’s all been done for you. So, as long as you’re careful, you should end up with a perfectly planked hull.

Master Korabel’s St. Gabriel kit also features a laser-engraved deck that has all the planks and nail’s already marked on it. Together with the laser-cut hull planks, the kit is ideal for beginning ship modelers, or ship modelers who want a nice, accurate looking model, without spending all the time it might take to add all these extra details.

Deck is laser-engraved with all the planking and nail details.
The finish planks for the hull, laser cut to perfect shape.

We manage to find a very simple post of progress photos on the Model Ship World forum by a builder with the screen name Valentina. This one doesn’t describe any of the build process, but it includes photos of the kit contents, instructions, and so on. It even includes a few photos showing the construction of the optional ship’s boat (sold separately from the St. Gabriel kit). Click HERE to visit this build log.

We’ve also found a few nice nice Youtube videos. Here’s one that provides an overview of what’s in the kit. The narration is in Russian, but you can see the details of the kit:

There’s also a model builder by the name of Olya Batchvarov, who created a nice video presentation of the construction progress of her award-winning St. Gabriel model here.

For those interested in more of Olya’s work, check out her website,

Note that this kit includes sail materials and the information for you to make your own sail. However, we also offer a set of pre-sewn sails, if you prefer not to do your own sewing. Also, the ship’s boat shown on the model is optional. It is Master Korabel’s MK0102 75mm ship’s boat kit.


So, if you’re interested in building your own model of Vitus Bering’s ship, check it out at Ages of Sal at:


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