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Tamiya 1/350 Bismarck and Tirpitz aftermarket Parts

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Hello, new to forum, apologies not got rounf to doing an intro post yet...will do soon.


So, Im looking at making some ships. As a kid I used to do Aircraft where I felt I was a good brush painter who made "clean" models, although my white left a lot to be desired. More recently did Miniture wargaming fantasy figures where I really learnt how to do more realistic effects.

I then moved into partwork models, routemaster, a few cars and more recently the Hachette Spitfire. Have to be honest, Im really not happy with the spitfire due to its inconsistent colourings and I feel forced to weather it in order to get something out of the £1,200 Ill be spending on completing it. 


Then I looked at doing the Bismarck. 1/200 scale over a million weeks at £10 an issue. However, I wanted to do something different. I thought what would be a great idea would be to convert the Bismarck into the Tirpitz. Great idea, except that I dont really know enough about either ship for that to be a good project. So, great idea number 2. Lets buy the Bismarck and Tirptz kits from Tamiya, build them both and then that should send me on the path to knowing more about the differences. So I now own both kits.


However, another project I have, the Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk1a was purchased  month or so ago (Thats a different project) along with some aftermarket parts (Decals, Instrument Panel, Undercarriage and Im sure there are more parts but cant remember them all now.) has taught me that AMP will really vamp up the realism.


So, basically Im after some aftermarket parts for the Bismarck and Tirpitz Im seeing a lot fo them and I really dont know if they are all needed as some parts seem to do the same job. So, let me tell you what Ive spotted in my research and then ask you, in bullet format, what parts I should buy and which parts that Ive selected I should leave alone.


These are what Ive spotted that I think I should get


Tirpitz PE sheet https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ED53004

Tirpitz Wooden Deck https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/MD-35011

Bismarck PE Sheet https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ED53002

Bismark Wooden Deck https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/MD-35013


Ive also seen this wooden deck but it doesnt come with PE parts so Im guessing its inferior to the link above https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/MD-35010


So, the bullet points


* Although I have never made a ship kit before, I do plan on builing a Russian Sub and the USS Hopper before I start these kits, so at time of writing Im a beginner, but hope to be pushing Intermediate by the time I start

* It doesnt have to be 100% accurate when complete but if someone more experienced than me looked at it and said "Yeah, you have done well there" then Ill be very happy.

* Gun Barrels. Ive looked at these and I think Im happy with the standard ones with the kit, although I feel the need to drill out the barrels. They do make brass ones but Im questioning if I really need them.

* Sack Things. Im sorry cant remember the name of these off my head but these are the bags that go over the bases of the barrels, I assume to protect the crew from nasty stuff. Ive seen a video on you tube showing how to make these out of cloth and PVA glue. Im confident to give that a go.


Lastly, Ive looked on Scalemates which I consider an excellent starting point and found the relevant pages and I have to say that the Related Products section confuses me. The question is do I need all these 3D printed parts and whatnots and I know that if you are a purist and want the best you will say yes, but considering my level and desire do I need them all?





In the end I want to build two fantastic ships that if I look back on them in 20 years I can say "Yeah, thats a good build and I enjoyed it". If in 20 years I use the words "disappointed", "but" or "should have" then Ill be dissapointed.


I hope that makes sense


O, and before you ask, yes I do plan on doing build diaries :)

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With all projects it depends on how far you want to take it in details and accuracy as much or as little as you want you could just go for adding the railings or you could go the full all bells and whistles PONTOS sets


I would suggest you start with some smaller builds destroyers or corvettes to build up your skill levels on Photo Etch details and rigging there are a number of details sets that you can use White Ensign, Eduard and Flyhawk to name a couple.

On 10/23/2020 at 12:25 PM, Pennys Pitstop said:

Sack Things.

I think you mean Blast Bags at the barrel base which can also be made from Milliput have a read through some of the great builds on here and I am sure you will pick up some great tips


Great start on the Victor by the way


Stay Safe


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20 minutes ago, beefy66 said:



Thank you.


Yes, I did mean Blast Bags, apologies if I offended anyone, however, at least Im learning.


Yes, I am doing some smaller projects. Ive decided that Ill start on a Russian Sub (Thread elsewhere) and when finished Ill do my USS Hopper. Then If I feel confident Ill go for the bismark and then the tirpitz, or possibly both at once. 

Today I ordered some gun barrels, wooden decks and eudard photo etch and Ill have a look at them. One size gun barrel was out of stock and the wooden decks are on back order from hannants. However, I probably wont start this for a long long time so lots of time to prepare. 


Today Ive learnt something new so Ill apply that, plus Ill see what happens when this latest order arrives. 


With regards to the Victor, did you have me confused with someone else as Im not doing a Victor and to be honest I have no current plans to either.

Edited by Pennys Pitstop
Added the last sentence about the victor
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Hi Penny,


This is the first time I've said that and it not be addressing my daughter :)


Tirpitz is a curious beast as far as models go. There are more differences between the Bismarck class sisters than most kits capture. The Tamiya ones are quite old and were originally marketed as motorised pond toys although they're nicely detailed by pond toy standards. Revell's 1/350 Tirpitz is the most accurate Tirpitz on the market capturing almost all the differences, but the Revell kits are fairly tough builds (to a good standard) due to indifferent parts fit. Addressing poor parts fit probably has a greater impact on ship modelling than either aircraft or AFVs. Trumpeter's newer Bismarck is one of their better ones, but they have a really bad habit of just recycling big bits so if they do offer Tirpitz, it will likely not capture Tirpitz's different bow.


Notwithstanding, unless your audience includes someone who really knows Tirpitz and spots all the carried-over Bismarck features, I reckon you'd achieve your stated goal.

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