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Battleship Bismarck - 1/200 - Trumpeter

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I almost finished the Bismarck at 1/200 from Trumpeter, it's a big job, started in january 2019. 


It's was my first plastic ship model tu build since 1975..


Here are some pictures of the assembly progress.

For the occasion, I bought two PE improvement kits, MK1 and Eduard. I took the best of the 2 kits.


I bought the wooden deck to USA. 




I have used the probable scheme of the 24 may 1941:




Began by the Arado 196 A3 plane.






It's small..



I cut the wing. I want to park one in the one hangar.




Not the good color, i used later for other one RML72 , RML73 and RML65








The Bismarck was equipped with reconnaissance aircraft, patrol missions and artillery spotting. Four Arado Ar 196 seaplanes were embarked on board the Bismarck, but a maximum number of six could be embarked if necessary. They were very robust, single-engine, heavily armed double float planes. Two aircraft were stored in the double hangar of 120 m² located under the main mast and the other two in single hangars of 60 m² each on both sides of the chimney in the middle of the ship. To save space, their wings could be folded. These aircraft belonged to the 1st Squadron ( 1.Staffel ) of the reconnaissance group 196 ( Bordfliegergruppe 196 ) which had been formed before the war in 1937, and the pilots and technicians were members of the Luftwaffe .




The aircraft were launched on a double telescopic catapult, 32 meters long, which could be extended beyond the sides of the ship to a length of 48 meters. This catapult was located in the middle of the ship (section X-XI) between the main mast and the funnel and could be deployed on both sides. After completing a mission, the aircraft would land near one side of the ship and then be craned aboard by one of the large 12-ton cranes. 






This was always a dangerous manoeuvre, as the sea conditions had to be sufficiently mild to board the vessel. Once out of the water, two more small cranes located under the searchlight platform were used to return the aircraft to its hangar.


In the early morning of 27 May 1941, on board Bismarck , they attempted to launch an Arado Ar 196 carrying the ship's war log. Unfortunately, the catapult was damaged and the plane could not be launched.




- Type: two-seater reconnaissance seaplane.

- Dimensions: wingspan 12.4 metres, length 11 metres, height 4.4 metres.

- Weight: Empty 2,335 kg, loaded 3,300 kg.

- Armament: 
    2 x 20 mm MG FF (in the wings). 
   1 x 7.92 mm MG (front). 
   2 x 7.92 mm MG (twins). 
   2 x 50 kg bombs of the SC50, SD50 or LC50F types (under the wings). 1)

- Engine BMW 132K, 9 cylinders, 960 hp.

- Max. speed: 320 km / h.

- Range: 497 nm.

- Crew: 2 men.


1) On board the Bismarck, there was a stock of 40 SC50 / SD50 and 54 times LC50F bombs, all stored on the upper deck, in section IX (box 91.3-95.55), port side.












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Feb 2019  - The model is progressing well, there are a lot of details, it takes time to assemble and glue. A few dozen hours of work already. I painted the island that supports the stern radar to see which technique was used for painting and ageing or patina, even though this boat was almost new.




The Bismarck was equipped with three FuMO 23 search radars, mounted on the front and rear rangefinders and on the front. They broke down during the fight against the HMS Hood, because of the vibrations generated by the 380 mm guns.




Fire from the main and secondary batteries was directed from the command posts, located forward, aft and above the platform at the front. Each of these three stations was surmounted by a rotating dome with an optical rangefinder and a FuMO 23 Radar.


The command posts were connected by shielded communication ducts to the "computer" rooms located below the armour deck, forward (section XV) and aft (section VII). The FuMO 23 antennas were rectangular in shape and approximately 2 m high and 4 m wide. They had a frequency of 368 MHz and operated at a wavelength of 81.5 cm with an output power of 9 kW at 500 kHz.




The maximum effective range of this device was approximately 25,000 m. However, the German FuMOs were not equipped with the PPI (P lan P osition I ndicator) display system that is so familiar in today's radars, but a simple A-Scope display instead. As a result, they could barely detect more than one target at a time and bearings were not very accurate either. The lack of PPI was one of the reasons why on large German ships this equipment was so redundant with 3 radars.

The scope and cabinet of a Radar.




Bismarck rangefinder.


The command post forward, under the command of the First Artillery Officer (IAO), was located approximately 31 metres above sea level. It was equipped with a 10.5-metre basic rangefinder ( Basisgerät BG ) and had a 360º field of view. The forward command post was attached to the forward turret and had a basic rangefinder of 7 metres. However, due to the superstructure, its field of view was smaller. The aft command post had a basic rangefinder range of 10.5 metres with similar characteristics to the forward one.

Each of the four main battery turrets ("A nton", "B runo", "C äsar" and "D ora") was also equipped with a basic 10.5-metre rangefinder and, in the event that all three command posts were taken out of combat, the turrets could then individually conduct local firing. However, the chances of firing one shot on target for each shot were less than under centralized command. The central turrets of the secondary battery also had their own basic 6.5-metre rangefinder.

Anti-aircraft fire was directed from four command posts each equipped with a 4-metre rangefinder. Two of these command posts, covered with spherical domes (Wackeltopf ), were on either side of the bastion and the other two were located in the middle of the ship, aft.





This platform which is just in front of the "C "aesar turret is equipped with 2 x 20 mm anti-aircraft guns with simple mounts.






The funnel and its front hangars are still missing a lot of details.



This aft module is finish several days later:




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Thanks, Colin and Mick.


The end is not so far now, but i started some other projects in the same time, two Arado 196, a "B" and an "A3" later, 1/32 scale, this last type was on the Bismarck. The both models are finished:



I also finished a Fairey Swordfish MK1 1/32 Trumpeter, in connection with Bismarck project/story. 




Some historic pictures:


Swap of the bow, classic to atlantic bow.
















Dazzle camouflage.

















Edited by Iceman 29
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October 2019:

Weathering of the main deck is not done yet, no modules are glued yet.




Catapults are in place (PE).








No weathering on turret Dora yet









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This blog is very complete about colors. Month of May in the North Atlantic, they should still be in winter uniforms...








This one is even better: summer outfit:







Edited by Iceman 29
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  • 2 weeks later...

Work is in progresse quickly now due to the strict confinement at home with my wife in France. Be safe, stay at home. 


I progress to the bow, the hull paint is finish.


Some pictures from few days ago from the bow. 









The deck is now stuck to the hull. I made a temporary support for the ship in wood.

I will post some new pictures to morrow, i have plenty time now..





Edited by Iceman 29
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Tks to all, tks Stuart. Lot of pieces, may be 3000 or more, with the kit MK1 and the Eduard.. But it's an exciting construction. I recommend. The quality of the model helps a lot.


Pass the complete day to the bow , batayoles, forward gangways and portside Davits. Try some north atlantic weathering, after few days at sea in moderate weather.  That's should be light.













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A fun picture.. It's my computer in the back, a picture of a fjord in Norway (Actually Mongstad), took by me few years ago when i was sailing in this beautiful country. It was in december.. Later I'll try to improve the shooting system, Could be interesting.




The bow.




Portside crane not glued yet, Just waiting to lift Arado 196 seaplane.



I started to made some flag with the classic method of aluminium sheet, i used a decal adhesive. Line are done by this magical product from EZ line from USA, great product. I have 2 size in stock, fine and heavy. In final i used a mat varnish (Revell enamel), because decals are bright.. That protect the decal color also.




Portside is finish. Starboard side, also, but not the weathering. The end is not so far..



In the back, on the wall, you can see a nice french pilot's boat "Albert Faroult". My father was chef engineer on this ship. She was the property of the "Pilotage de la Seine", it's was used by the pilots of Rouen in 70's. I used to go sailing with my father on this boat when I was very young at the time. There was an impressive 2 strokes engine fitted (4 cylinders) on this ship.




The ship was based in Le Havre.






This pilot's boat had a story during WW2. My uncle was on board and served later all along the conflict on the class Flower corvette K117 "Renoncule" (HMS Ranunculus") and corvette "Commandant Détroyat"






He's on the right, down.







On 18 and 19 June 1940, in general fever, sailors left Paimpol to join England and the Free French Naval Forces (FNFL).

Among them were young officer cadets from the Hydrography School.


On 17, 18 and 19 June 1940 the port of Paimpol was in turmoil.

The quays were crowded with vehicles and the population was worried. Ships, trawlers, tugs, succeed one another to shelter the maritime administrations and the archives of the large northern ports.


Pilot boats on the Seine

A couple, the Albert-Faroult and the Georges Leverdier, pilot boats of the Seine.

A pilot from Le Havre wants to save these ships before the Germans arrive.

He contacts Admiral Pacé, director of the school of hydrography and asks him to encourage the students to leave for England aboard the Albert-Faroult. The pilot's own son, Jean Saliou (20 years old) is a hydro student.

Some of the young cadets refused the armistice signed by Pétain. "This old man who speaks of honour when everything he says is a sign of renunciation and abandonment" wrote Georges Ménage, (18 years old at the time) in his memoirs*.

On 18 June, those who wanted to embark were desperate for the refusal of the maritime registration.

Rejected by some of the crew officers, they tried to take over one ship and then the other, hiding where they could, sometimes with the complicity of the cook.

At 5.30 p.m., the Albert-Faroult finally sailed for Falmouth without even hearing General de Gaulle's call.


The yacht Manou

One day later, a completely different ship will leave Paimpol, the yacht Manou, a thin black hull docked at the Loti wharf.

The port is blocked. The engine is out of order, we need a mechanic. The latter, Jean Eouzan, a native of Paimpol, will arrive from Dunkirk, exhausted, on the morning of 19 June. He will have crossed part of France by motorcycle.

In the meantime, those in charge of the lock have been convinced to open the lock chamber despite the current ban.

Admiral Lecocq, a general teacher at the hydrography school, took 52 pupils on board alongside a crew of volunteers under the leadership of Merchant Navy Captain Jean-François Le Deut and boatswain Jean Batard.


"Without fanfare or fanfare

On 20 June, it was the arrival at Plymouth after being boarded during the night by English warships.

All the passengers of the Manou will join the Free France and will serve on different ships during the conflict. The Manou, under English crew from September 40, will serve as a balloon ship for anti-aircraft defence.


On Saturday, the ceremony will pay tribute to this merchant navy of the Free French Forces, whose role "without glitter or fanfare" was nevertheless essential.

The figures bear witness to this: 4,000 crew members, all volunteers, on nearly 170 ships. Without forgetting the fishing fleet, 155 boats.


The losses were severe: 12% of men, 35% of ships. It is this heroic epic which will be recalled in detail and with many witnesses on Saturday 21st April in Paimpol and Ploubazlanec on the occasion of the tribute organised by the Fondation de la France Libre.


* Odyssey of a sailor of Free France


Le Havre - 1967












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Thanks Stuart, unfortunately, I don't have the blueprints for that ship... But a unique public modèle exist in The Le Havre museum. I'll take some pictures when I go to Le Havre... If it’s possible in the museum.



But I have the original blueprints of the ship that replaced it, « The Mascaret ». My father take it to the ship yard , built in Le Havre, and finish his career on it. One day, me be.. 



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Lovely Pascal! 

Those wooden are sumptuous. Makes me want to get the kit just for that alone!


Equally, the rigging diagram makes me not want to get the kit 😄



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