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German Battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz


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German Battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz

HobbyBoss 1:350



SMS Seydlitz was the fourth German battlecruiser, and was essentially an enlarged version of the previous Moltke class ships. She was 46 feet longer but 3 feet narrower, carried the same main armament of ten 11.1in guns, and had a designed speed one knot faster (although her actual top speed of 28.1kts was lower than that achieved by the Moltke).  

The Seydlitz was Admiral Hipper’s flagship from June 1914 until October 1917. She took part in the Gorleston Raid of 2nd – 4th November 1914, the first attack on the British coast during the First World War, and the attack on Hartlepool on 16 December, where she was hit by three 6in shells from the coastal guns,


The Seydlitz was hit three times at the battle of Dogger Bank (24th January 1915). The second of those hits, a 13.5in shell from the Lion, hit the upper deck aft and penetrated the barbette of “D” turret. The flash ignited some of the cordite in the reloading chamber, causing a fire that spread up to the gun house and threatened to detonate the magazine. Only the actions of Pumpenmeister Wilhelm Heidkamp, who flooded “C” and “D” magazines, saving the ship. The damage spread to “C” turret when some of the crew of the “D” turret attempted to escape through a connecting hatch. The same thing would happen on four British battlecruisers at Jutland, destroying three.


In the aftermath of the battle of Dogger Bank the Germans modified the way their cordite was handled. Automatic doors were installed in the ammo hoists, much more care was taken to reduce the amount of cordite charges in the turret, and the fore charges were to be kept in their tins until they were about to be used. These changes almost certainly saved several German ships from destruction at Jutland.

The Seydlitz was Hipper’s flagship at the start of the Lowestoft raid of 25th March 1916. Early in the sortie she hit a mine, which blew a 90 meter hole in her side and let in 1,400 tons of water. Admiral Hipper had to transfer his flag to the Lützow, significantly delaying the raid. The Seydlitz needed two months of repairs, only coming back into service on 29th May.

The High Seas Fleet sortie that led to Jutland was delayed until the Seydlitz was ready to take part. Once again she was very badly damaged in the battle, although not until after she had played a part in the destruction of HMS Queen Mary. The Seydlitz opened fire on the Queen Mary at 15.50. The British had the best of the early duel. A hit at 15.55 knocked out the starboard forward switch room. The significance of the changes made after Dogger Bank was demonstrated at 15.57 when the working chamber of “C” turret was hit. The turret was knocked out, but without the disastrous results that followed at Dogger Bank.  

At 16.36 the Queen Mary suffered from the lack of anti-flash precautions on the British battlecruisers and exploded under fire from the Seydlitz and Derfflinger.


The Seydlitz continued to take damage throughout the battle. In all she was hit by 25 shells and one torpedo. C, B, D and E turrets were all hit, and she began to take on water. At 2.40am on 1st June she scrapped across Horns Reef, taking on more water, and by 2.30 that afternoon only her buoyant broadside torpedo room kept her afloat. She was rescued by two pump ships, and reached the entrance to Jade Bay by 2nd June, where she was briefly beached.


She was repaired by 1 October 1916, taking part in most of the remaining High Seas sorties of the war. At the end of the war she was interned at Scapa Flow, and was scuttled on 21 June 1919.


The Model

Hobbyboss are continuing to release plenty of new and exciting maritime subjects.  It’s even better now that they have started to manufacture German ships from WWI with this release of the SMS Seydlitz. Although it has actually been out a little while, it has proved so popular that we have only now been able to acquire a review sample. The kit arrives in a nice attractive box with a dramatic painting of the ship making way at sea. Inside you will find the instructions and hull sprue on the first level, then, once the cardboard shelf has been removed the rest of the kit, on seven sprues, along with three deck pieces and eight separate parts in grey styrene.  There are also four sheets of etched brass, a length of chain and a small decal sheet. The moulding of all parts is superb, with no sign of flash or other imperfections other than the necessary moulding pips.










The build begins with the joining of the two hull halves. These are strengthened with five internal bulkheads. The aft deck section is then attached, but before the mid section can be added, twelve two piece barbettes must be fitted to the hull and four to the underside of the deck. The foredeck can then be fitted and work begins on the underside of eh hull. There are four plated in propeller shafts, two A frame supports for the middle pair of shafts, four propellers, the main rudder and auxiliary rudder.


With the hull turned upright work can then begin on the superstructures. Now, these ships didn’t really have much in the way of superstructures, there being three islands, the bridge, consisting of three decks, the top deck including the bridge wings, an eleven piece mast, plus a lower structure aft of the lower bridge, which contains two more tow piece barbettes.  The bridge is then further detailed with PE railings, vertical ladders, halliard tie base and binnacle.


Just behind the bridge is the fore-funnel structure.  This consists of the three piece funnel split horizontally, three PE foot and hand rails, two piece funnel cap, with another pair of PE handrails. Eight individual auxiliary chimneys, a searchlight platform with two separate supports plus four searchlights, two lookout stations and four goose necked cranes. The whole structure is detailed with PE railings, vertical and inclined ladders.


The bridge and fore-funnel assemblies are then glued to the foredeck lower superstructure section and the bridge unit is fitted with the forward mounted armoured control bridge, with separate rangefinder on top. In front of the control bridge, there is a ships wheel and separate binnacle, which are then encased in a deckhouse which is open to the rear. The lower bridge wings are made of PE parts are fitted, as well as some more PE inclined ladders, and railings.








The foredeck is the detailed with the addition of the breakwater, capstans, windlasses, bitts, cleats and storage boxes. These are followed by the anchor chain, jack staff, three anchors, boat booms, inclined ladders between the main deck and fo’c’sle, bow torpedo tube cap, and ships crests either side of the bow. The after funnel is assembled with the single piece base attached to the main deck, along with five two piece cable drums. The three piece funnel is then fitted out with five hand/foot rails either side, and eight auxiliary chimneys before being fitted to the base, as are two ships crane king posts. Railings are then attached, as are two vertical ladders, one for each king post. The four piece jibs are then glued to the base of the posts and two top mounted cables are fitted to each crane.


The after superstructure si made up from the base, main block, to which five platforms are attached followed by the main mast lower section. Several PE vertical ladders are glued into place, as are four searchlights, rear director tower with separate rangefinder, four lookout posts, and the top of the main mast which consists of eleven parts. The rest of the railings are attached as are two inclined ladders before the assembly is glued into position to the rear of the main deck.  The quarterdeck is then fitted out with the paraphernalia that ships are known for, the bitts, cleats, ensign staff, stern anchor, nameplates, storage boxes, a host of skylights and other fittings.  On the main deck the ships boats cradles are folded from PE parts and glued into position. The ships boats are assembled next, each of the ten boats multi-parts with separate hulls, decks, and rudders, the steam pinnaces then receiving a roof and smoke stacks. The completed boats are then glued to their respective cradles. 










The final assemblies are the five twin turrets of the main armament. Each turret is made from the base, two guns, separate trunnions and trunnion mounts. The barrels are well moulded and not too thick, so you could get away with not replacing them with brass parts should you so wish. They also have a nice indented end representing the interior of the barrel. The turret is the slid over the barrels and glued to the base and PE ladder fitted between the barrels. The turret assemblies are then fitted to the barbettes, one forward, two en echelon amidships and two aft. The model is finished off with a complete set of main railings and two three piece PE accommodation ladders The kit does come with a nice nameplate which can be painted as per the modellers wishes..







The small decal sheet provides the ships name plates, ships crests and white identification circles for turret Anton and turret Dora. They are nicely printed with good opacity and in register. The ship is painted in Dark blue Grey hull and superstructure tow the height of the foredeck, then light grey above that, with red antifouling and no boot topping. Depending on the date for which the model is being built, and you will have to check your references, the modeller may choose to paint the aft funnel red.





This is another very welcome release, finally giving the modeller a German WWI battlecruiser. While this kit is pretty accurate, certainly with the hull form, which to be fair is quite simple, there does appear to be a slight discrepancy in the secondary armament.  The kit has the rear mounted barbettes between the main and quarter decks as per her 1913 fit, but not the bow mounted barbettes, which had been removed by 1918, as had the rear barbettes. Easy fix though, just leave the barbettes out as their opening stayed unplated, although you will need to box the area in with plasticard. That said, it’s still a great looking kit.





Review sample courtesy of

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It is a great kit and for me a dream became true to build one of my favorite WWI warships. My copy is currently under construction. Some notes to the kit:

- The main of the kit shows Seydlitz after coming back to service after the Skagerrak/Jutland engagement because of the lack of the torpedo nets around the hull.

- The kit lacks the underwater torpedo tubes on the hull sides and the aft tube.

- the kit lacks some hull details especially the "strips" on the bow are missing.

- the kit has as noted the casemates of the 8,8 cm guns in the superstucture under the bridge and on the end of the upper works just behind the aft turret group but lacks the casemate in the bow.

For a post Jutland fit every of these mentioned casemates has to be removed. The guns were considered as too light to engage successfully destroyers. The damage done to RN destroyers at Jutland was mostly done with the 15cm secondary guns.

- the kit lacks the very visible life rafts found on the turret sides and on top of some. They were added around 1917. May the North Star Kriegsmarine life rafts are a help.

- the kit lacks the metal rings around the turrets, seen on Seydlitz and other heavy units of the HSF. I have a reference photo showing the ship from aerial view ( 1917-1918) and i can t spot them on this photo. May they were removed during her repairs.

- The kit lacks a raised line for lining up the demarcation between the bottom color and the gray color. On photos of the docked ship it is hard to see if Seydlitz had a boot line, probably in a darker gray shade..


The build goes well so far, the fit of the PE parts is not easy the Hand and foot rails around the forward funnel have a very tight fit so i have removed some of the plastics thickness.

Reference: Breyer battleships and battlecruisers from 1905-1970, Gary Staff German Battlecruisers in World War One. Also our research in the German Dreadnoughts 1909-1919 Group on Facebook.

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  • 8 months later...

….some thoughts on building the kit:

My hull is together with a good part of the superstructure. The parts are going well together but the PE parts supplied in the kit are not fitting well. especially the hand and footrails around the forward funnel are way to small so it took a lot of sanding to thinn the plastic :(

The same with hand rails on the bridge deck and search light podests but in this case the parts were too long.

The slide molded gun barrels of the 28cm main guns ( 11 Inch ) are the best plastic barrels i have ever seen.

The break water right before turret A on the forecastle lacks openings for the anchor chains.

I have added the missing stern torpedo tube but my Seydlitz lacks still the ones on the hull side.

I have added Evergreen strips to simulate the very visible steel strips on the bow ( i wonder how this will look under paint )

The forward 8.8cm casemate in the bridge upper works is now filled and sanded to bring my build to fit just after the Jutland repairs but i am lacking good refernce photos for those at the end of the aft superstructure.

( An excellent reference is the Gary Staff book "German Battlecruisers of World War One". Every ship is well captured in detail and it gives also an overlook of the operations of the Scouting Group during WWI )

The deck from Scale decks look great and it went well on with Gorilla wood glue.

Why not a WIP ?

The kit has landed back in the box due to a lack of motivation.

My progress on ships is pretty slow and has longer breaks in it. :sleeping:




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