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Heller 1:400 Prinz Eugen (81083)


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A step into the unknown here, my first ever Heller kit build but it looks like a beauty - the Prinz Eugen. As you all know, this is the German heavy cruiser which accompanied the battleship Bismarck on the ill-fated Operation Rheinübung in 1941. The Prinz Eugen then participated in 'The Channel Dash' in 1942 and survived the war to enter the US Navy for a very brief period. Fantastic art on this big box.

 

9bdXgvP.jpg?1

 

Actually, plenty of room in the box and the parts are still in the sealed bag, apart from the hull halves. The hull is very long and slim - just checking, Prinz Eugen was 212.5 m (697 ft 2 in) overall

with a beam of 21.7 m (71 ft 2 in). Very slim compared to the Bismarck which was 251 m (823 ft 6 in) overall with a beam of 36 m (118 ft 1 in). Lovely big sheet of decals, tooo, which look in good condition. This boxing of the kit was released in 1998 (according to Scalemates).

48y6mBT.jpg

 

My big issue with modelling at the moment is attempting to keep it under the radar of Mrs V, although I have put my foot down and declared 1hr on a Sunday afternoon to be 'Craft Hour'. I was wondering how I was going to hide this large hull as even the dog will notice that it's not the usual 1/72 aircraft! However, looking t the Instructions, Heller have you making up all the small sub-assemblies first and the hull only goes together in step 26 - this will be doable!. Also, I'm impressed with the internal jointing/bracing that Heller have included to prevent the hull imploding while you try to glue the halves together.

 

xCIcruM.jpg?1

 

You can see how it all comes together in the final assembly. I'm looking forward to this one - the last time I made up a warship kit it was for floating in the bath!

2jUskJZ.jpg?1

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Ooh cool! We could do with some more ships, nice one! I hope you'll be able to finish it in 7 Sundays x 1 hour 🙂 

 

Welcome to the GB and good luck with your build!

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Now this I will be watching with interest. Once they had the clipper bow and funnel cap added, the German Heavy Cruisers were good looking ships, and from a distance looked like a smaller version of the Bismarck. Speaking of which, both ships apparently had the zig-zag stripe disruptive camo painted out just before they sailed from Norway  for Operation Rheinübung  according to at least one of my books - any mention of that in the painting instructions?

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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3 hours ago, PeterB said:

Now this I will be watching with interest. Once they had the clipper bow and funnel cap added, the German Heavy Cruisers were good looking ships, and from a distance looked like a smaller version of the Bismarck. Speaking of which, both ships apparently had the zig-zag stripe disruptive camo painted out just before they sailed from Norway  for Operation Rheinübung  according to at least one of my books - any mention of that in the painting instructions?

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Pete, the painting instructions have the zig zag stripes on like the box art but you can see from the decal sheet that a Maltese type cross is given for the forward deck and flags - maybe not so accurate then. I’ll need to read the bit on the front page of the Instructions to see if a specific time period is represented.

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I should perhaps have also said that I suspect the black/dark grey painted out bow and stern and the false bow wave and stern wake may also have gone. All these measures were of course aimed at confusing the enemy when seen through a rangefinder or periscope. The things I just mentioned were of course intended to make the ship look shorter than it really was whilst the stripes I mentioned earlier were meant to break up the profile of the ship when viewed through optical rangefinders. All of this not only made it harder to decide exactly what ship you were about to engage, but also make it difficult to judge the range, course and speed, and therefore hit it.

 

As to the crosses, I am not sure about the Eugen but I know Bismarck had a black Swastika in a white circle on the stem and  stern as it can still be seen in pics of the wreck. I believe that some had this on a "red flag" background at one point, but later in the war it was painted out as Germany no longer had control of the air. Also, the tops of the turrets were at one time painted in a bright colour, probably red but it might have varied between the ships in the class, as an identification to German planes. I have a number of books on warships, but the only one of the three German Heavies covered is the Hipper, though of course Blücher was sunk during the invasion of Norway.

 

Jamie will of course have the paints in his German Warships section of Colourcoats and there may be some info on his site about the Eugen, but it is down for maintenance at the moment.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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The black crosses were Heller's solution to the problem of not being able to include swastikas in their kits.

 

Dave

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Great choice. 

 

Will be watching with great interest. 

 

I once bought a very cheap Revell 1:720 kit with the crazy intention of making a diorama of how she looks today.  But have baulked at having a go at it after seeing a similar under and above water diorama which was done amazingly well. 

 

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On 10/12/2020 at 19:11, JeroenS said:

Ooh cool! We could do with some more ships, nice one! I hope you'll be able to finish it in 7 Sundays x 1 hour 🙂 

 

Welcome to the GB and good luck with your build!

 

Many thanks, Jeroen. I think I will be needing to sneak in some extra time during the week to finish this one!

 

On 10/12/2020 at 19:52, mick said:

good luck with your build

 Cheers, Mick.

 

On 10/12/2020 at 21:27, klr said:

Nice one. I never got any of the Heller Hipper class, although I have almost of the other Heller 1/400 Kriegsmarine ships.

 

I think I did a bit of a run on buying up 1:400 warships at one point - thought they would have more detail than the 1:600 Airfix ships. I must check to see if any of the others I have are by Heller.

 

On 10/12/2020 at 23:29, PeterB said:

I should perhaps have also said that I suspect the black/dark grey painted out bow and stern and the false bow wave and stern wake may also have gone. All these measures were of course aimed at confusing the enemy when seen through a rangefinder or periscope. The things I just mentioned were of course intended to make the ship look shorter than it really was whilst the stripes I mentioned earlier were meant to break up the profile of the ship when viewed through optical rangefinders. All of this not only made it harder to decide exactly what ship you were about to engage, but also make it difficult to judge the range, course and speed, and therefore hit it.

 

As to the crosses, I am not sure about the Eugen but I know Bismarck had a black Swastika in a white circle on the stem and  stern as it can still be seen in pics of the wreck. I believe that some had this on a "red flag" background at one point, but later in the war it was painted out as Germany no longer had control of the air. Also, the tops of the turrets were at one time painted in a bright colour, probably red but it might have varied between the ships in the class, as an identification to German planes. I have a number of books on warships, but the only one of the three German Heavies covered is the Hipper, though of course Blücher was sunk during the invasion of Norway.

 

Jamie will of course have the paints in his German Warships section of Colourcoats and there may be some info on his site about the Eugen, but it is down for maintenance at the moment.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

I've been having a think about the colour scheme, Pete, and I think I will go with the stripes and false bow wave/wake etc. just to see what it all looks like (I tend to do aircraft 'factory fresh' as well). I'm keeping a look out for any reference pics as I go.

 

 

On 11/12/2020 at 00:44, JOCKNEY said:

Delighted to welcome you to the GB Mike, and your Prinz Eugen will be a stunning addition, best of luck.

 

Cheers Pat

 

Many thanks, Pat. Got here a bit late (as usual) but I'm looking forward to it. Do I need to get the screws turning on this one?

 

On 11/12/2020 at 01:41, davecov said:

The black crosses were Heller's solution to the problem of not being able to include swastikas in their kits.

 

Dave

Yes, I thought as much, Dave. I'll have a look to see if I can do something on swastikas just for a bit more accuracy. 

 

On 11/12/2020 at 05:08, Rob S said:

Great choice. 

 

Will be watching with great interest. 

 

I once bought a very cheap Revell 1:720 kit with the crazy intention of making a diorama of how she looks today.  But have baulked at having a go at it after seeing a similar under and above water diorama which was done amazingly well. 

 

 

Thanks, Rob, I hope I can make something of this one. I've seen a 1:720 Revell Prinz Eugen on ebay and I considered buying it to keep the Revell 1:720 Bismark company (I built the Revell Bismark as a kid).

 

On 11/12/2020 at 12:59, Johnson said:

Looks great Mike!

 

Thanks, Johnson. Hope it still looks OK when I've cut all these bits off the sprues. I can see one item missing from a sprue and a protruding mast piece broken off - hope they're in the plastic bag.

 

I've made a start at the beginning to see what I can get together before painting. Steps 8. 9 and 10 are in progress - looks like fire directors / radar. 

5CDJyUI.jpg

 

Doing a fair bit of painting on the sprues as well - I using enamels this time and for me they have the habit of taking ages to dry as well as needing two coats. I think I need a bit more in the way of tools to hold the little sub-assemblies while I paint - sticks in bluetac seems to be popular on other builds.

 There are a lot of detailed/delicate pieces on the sprues and absolutely no flash. The handrails don't look too chunky either. 

 

kS6anYM.jpg

Edited by Ventora3300
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  • 1 month later...

Well, the Christmas break didn't work out as I thought it would in terms of modelling. I did get a couple of kits as gifts and did those as it was almost sanctioned with Mrs V as 'I need to do these so no one is offended....!' (and I want to encourage more gifts of this sort!)

 

Anyway, looking at the Prinz Eugen, particularly the paint scheme put down by Heller, has meant a bit of a change in plan.

 

Firstly, I proceeded to make up the main and secondary armament plus radar and telescopic directors (I think) etc.,using the '64' / '27' / '33' scheme on the Instructions. The 8" gun barrels can elevate but the fit of the barrels in the turrets is too loose for them to remain in position so a dab of cement had to go in. The 4.1" dual purpose gun barrels are a good fit in the two-piece housings and I left these as able to elevate. With the telescopic directors, this is where I began to notice that the parts have little or no locating spigots etc. so you need to line everything up by sight. 

 

naudEe0.jpg

 

Despite making excellent progress on the Arado Ar 196, it was dawning on me that this build was going to take forever and the colour guidance on all the small parts was not aligning with what was required in terms of the disruptive camouflage stripes on the hull and superstructure, so I changed tack and got on with the hull.

q3uSj3U.jpg

 

Good fit of the hull halves as long as you use the plates and braces provided.

CK6gkfQ.jpg

 

Deck goes on to hold it all together with a slight gap at the stern.

C826lJV.jpg

 

The prop shafts and rudder went on - I've left the screws off for the moment,

vRFgKGR.jpg

 

as it appears was done for launch, as on this clip on youtube.

https://uk.video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=film+footage+of+prinz+eugen&_guc_consent_skip=1611591744#id=4&vid=dca46ebde6acb4a6c271a5fac6f36471&action=click

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I then decided to get the decks built up as I would go for spray can technology in laying down the base colours. Again, there were few locating spigots about and there is some filling required where joints are exposed.

2tvmeUN.jpg

 

That's all the main structural superstructure components on the hull except for some uprights to create a tripod at the main mast and a broken spar from one of the control decks, found in the bag thank goodness.

UaRmF2P.jpg

 

You can see how the colour guide for the funnel sub-assembly won't match what is required in terms of disruptive stripes. Portholes are called out as '11' - lots of them!

nyveOFb.jpg

 

Edited by Ventora3300
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It's beginning to take shape nicely, the size is becoming apparent. It really is most impressive.

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Looks the business Mike, as @Johnson said its a whopper !

I have a couple of rollers and trays spare so if you need a hand painting give me a shout :wink:

 

Cheers Pat 

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Light grey is now sprayed (Halfords) on the hull and superstructure, and a lot of the small parts still on the sprues - it still makes sense to leave a lot of these off until the decks are painted. I actually discovered a couple of deck bulkheads that I hadn't put on as they are included in later parts of the Instructions where the completed sub-assemblies are added to the main hull. I managed to slip these in place into the spaces between the completed upper decks.

 

Boats are off the sprues now - I think there are going to be many hand painting / counter touch up sessions required on these.

 

The colour call outs by Heller for the some of the smaller sub assemblies are not matching with the overall colour scheme and any films/pics of the Prinz Eugen that I have come across i.e. the 'Prinz Eugen film from the Battle of the Denmark Strait') - I'll alter these as I go along.

 

ik44OqD.jpg

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Looks great Mike, I must admit I thought this one came with guns ? :wink:

 

It's looking great, but please be careful with that mast, I don't want to be a doom merchant but when I warned Steve aka @fightersweep about his aerial on his Dewoitine, within minutes it was history apparently  !

 

Cheers Pat 

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18 minutes ago, JOCKNEY said:

It's looking great, but please be careful with that mast, I don't want to be a doom merchant but when I warned Steve aka @fightersweep about his aerial on his Dewoitine, within minutes it was history apparently !

 

If the mast does break, then henceforth it shall be known as "The Jockney Touch". 🤣

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31 minutes ago, fightersweep said:

 

If the mast does break, then henceforth it shall be known as "The Jockney Touch". 🤣

 

That has a worrying ring of truth about it :whistle:

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13 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

Looks great Mike, I must admit I thought this one came with guns ? :wink:

 

It's looking great, but please be careful with that mast, I don't want to be a doom merchant but when I warned Steve aka @fightersweep about his aerial on his Dewoitine, within minutes it was history apparently  !

 

Cheers Pat 

 

Thanks Pat - the guns are in the paint shop at the moment! It is also lacking the propellors but you could lend me a couple of 1/180 oars from your Viking ship now that it has been 'commissioned'. The original idea of putting the masts on at this stage was to get the best cement attachment possible without paint interfering, since Heller give no location holes /sockets but just the merest suggestion of a depression to position, if you are lucky.

 

(BTW, Scotland is the land of doom - I give you Private 'We're aaalll dooooommed' Fraser from Dad's Army. Also, we have 300 words meaning 'bad' but only one meaning 'good' - which is 'no' bad!')

 

 

13 hours ago, fightersweep said:

 

If the mast does break, then henceforth it shall be known as "The Jockney Touch". 🤣

 I've hung garlic at all the windows to keep 'the doom' at bay.....

 

I'm getting a bit confused with all the differing possible paint schemes for the Prinz Eugen so trying to find actual photos where possible - here is one of Prinz Eugen in May 1941 apparently, which gives me a bit of confidence to do the darker 'paint-out's' with false bow waves at the bow and stern.

 

0gRc7Qp.jpg

 

And progress on the 1/400 version. I'm not worried about the overspray onto the decks at the moment because they will be brush-painted in Teak'

 

I've also come up with what I think is a whizzy way of getting the small items sprayed without blowing them off the workbench and into the clutches of the carpet monster. This is a piece of scrap skirting board with strips of double sided tape, which holds the small items down during spraying.

 

Imo01L7.jpg

 

Seems easy to peel the parts off again ready for the reverse side to be sprayed where necessary. The 4" and 1.5" guns are already on their mountings which were pre-painted with Humbrol 27, which is very close in shade to the spray paint I am using. However, there was one of the 1.5" gun mountings missing off the sprue but not in the big bag so I'll have to make something up from scratch.

9C7yJwN.jpg

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Looks really great Mike,

 

I don't envy you masking the canopy on the Arado though !

 

Cheers Pat

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