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1/350 Carriers Taiho and Graf Zeppelin


S-boat 55

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So here is (potentially) the start of part one of a dual/joint/two at a time build. Jury is still out in my head if to try two at a time having only completed two builds in 1/350 in the past 3 years especially as I still have a lot to learn and want them to turn out well. Also whether to do a joint thread or separate ones?

 

As a kid I built 1/600 battleships, if it didn’t have big guns I wasn’t interested. A few years back I dabbled in 1/400 and built battleships, (you may see a pattern), now that I’m rather hooked on the hobby again I’ve started by building you’ve guessed it – battleships, specifically Zvezda’s Dreadnought and Hobbyboss’s Dunkerque (95% complete). As I looked at my stash of 12 and counting with a couple of those started I realised bar a modern Russian destroyer I needed to change it up.

 

I settled on Aircraft Carriers, specifically 3, the bank said I could have 2 - fair enough I said. I wanted something unusual looking and Graf Zeppelin is certainly that. I’d actually discounted her as the aftermarket options aren’t great, Mk.1 do a set three times the cost of the kit which I personally think is too much. Eduard do a set in 4 prts, 2 prts of which are now discontinued. I contacted them about this and another set for Roma they have done similar with and they very bluntly said they wouldn’t bring it back into production even if demand went up which seems odd but that’s up to them.

 

So I have coming on monday trumpeters kit of Graf Zeppelin in 1/350 with half of the eduard sets available, I did track down all four parts but when I compared the kit parts with those offered by eduard I found multiple areas when eduard merely replaced what was already included in the kit with little or no marked difference. I’ve also an extra set of six ME 109’s and Stukas. I plan to do my best with it, maybe scratch build a few bits, it won’t be jaw dropping in terms of PE but I think there is enough to lift the base model up a level or two.

Part of the thing with Graf Zeppelin is of course she was never finished (about 95%) and in the process of not being finished she was changed several times. A brief history can be found on many a website, likely including this one on other builds but essentially, she had an Atlantic bow added post launch, was put on hold a couple times, had bulges added as well as changes to her super structure, AA armament, Aircraft complement and make up etc. You get the idea, the brilliant thing is it means you can’t really go wrong and where the line is drawn is any ones guess. As you’ll see from the following photos,  Insert obligatory pictures (all from scale mates and Wikipedia)

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I plan to make minor changes to the super structure and funnel cap as I think trumpeter got it very very very wrong. I’ve no idea on paint schemes she’d likely have adopted, the Germans didn’t seem to do much up to early 42 which is potentially when she could have entered service had she not be placed on hold repeatedly.

 

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There is this picture on Scalemates that are supposedly GZ but to me I'm not convinced, the step/angle in the bow is gone, the tip of the bow is different as is the rake, as are the missing casemates (which is possible) but the bulge comes a lot further forward and the superstructure is stepped out to one side which would be massive work to undertake during the brief times she was actually worked on post 1940, I wondered if these are perhaps pictures of Weser but I don't think she got that far in construction?

 

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Now as for the second ship I may concurrently build – I’ll say nothing partially not to jinx it, Im told it'll be here in short order but time will tell.

 

I'll be initially working to complete to a point of airbushing as the bank balance has taken a hit and so I can’t invest in an Airbrush right now. So any areas hairy stickable I’ll look to do and other areas be left ready for airbrushing later in the build. I'm not sure how easy to do as sub assemblies carriers are - but I'll guess I will fid out. Dunkerque has taken 10 months and isn’t huge but is nearly there so I doubt this will be a quick build initially but if you’d like to follow on and have made it through my inane ramblings I’d be glad of any input and suggestions as to:

- paint schemes

- paint sequencing given my Airbrish plan/delay

- and modifications that may make her stand out.

 

Photo's of the kit and PE to follow when they arrive, 

 

Thanks for bearing with me 

 

Sam

 

Edited by S-boat 55
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  • S-boat 55 changed the title to 1/350 Graf Zeppelin 1940 something

As I have this in the stash I will be following with much interest, thanks for the info on the Eduard PE. Hopefully we can find the Mk1 on sale somewhere. Looking forward to the other part of this build.

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This ship is always exciting.

The deck lift system was very complex and original.

 

The planes would go up to the deck through the front central elevators and come down through the front.

 

 

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Hi Sam

i too have the GZ but in 700 and am gathering p/e and wood decking for it 

the photo that you think is or is not GZ is the Italian carrier eagle a much better thought out design than GZ 

i mean just look how complicated and vunerable to weather damage that catapult is 

anyway good luck and keep posting your French battlecruiser is outstanding mate 

gary r

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Having got this kit with all the accessories I could lay my tentacles on and seeing as Mrs Martian bought me the kit for Christmas with the proviso that it didn't just stay in the stash, I am extremely interested to see how you get on with this. The ship was never fitted with her funnel cap so I'm not so sure that Trumpeter have got it so very wrong. I do stand to be corrected on this point though.

 

Nice to know Eduard are so customer focused.

 

Martian 👽

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Gidday Sam, this will be interesting I think. I don't know a lot about this ship, other than she became an expensive store house and was sunk twice (most ships only manage that once). I'll be keen to follow this. I don't have a kit of this but do have three (until five minutes ago I thought it was two) Airfix Prinz Eugens in the stash. I've already done one as the cruiser and am considering options for the others. One I think will be Seydlitz in her original design with twelve 15-cm guns in triple turrets. Another could be Weser (Seydlitz renamed) that you mentioned above. But these are well down in the build queue. In the meantime I'll follow your build here with interest.

     And Gary R, I didn't know of the Italian carrier Eagle. Thanks for the info. Regards, Jeff.

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3 hours ago, bismarck builder said:

Hi Sam

i too have the GZ but in 700 and am gathering p/e and wood decking for it 

the photo that you think is or is not GZ is the Italian carrier eagle a much better thought out design than GZ 

i mean just look how complicated and vunerable to weather damage that catapult is 

anyway good luck and keep posting your French battlecruiser is outstanding mate 

gary r

Thanks Gary,  you've confirmed my suspicions re that carrier, odd the axis had the opportunity to use carriers just never got them over the line,

 

Hoping to have Dunkerque finished in a week or two, its the final fiddly bits that I'm finding g better to do a bit then come away from and then back to so I don't rush it

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Question all, wood decks, thoughts?

 

From reviews I've read the kit doesn't have much in the way of planking detail on the main deck, if that's the case the options really are;

-ignore it and paint it as if covered in a finish similar to british carriers,

-scribe in planking...very not keen on this idea

-use a wood deck like artwox etc

 

My only concern re the last point is I tried one on my dreadnought and it kept lifting no matter what I did, plus in isolation it looked great but I always wondered if it stood out too much a I needed to do something to get it to almost stand put less, as in the was too great a contrast by comparison to painted areas. I prefer to build without any real weathering,  are there ways of making them blend in more as with others builds they seem to? And if it lifts what do you do? 

 

Thanks

 

Sam 

 

Oh and if I do go wood deck route, any experience with wood hunters decks, pontos and artwox?

Edited by S-boat 55
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Well the extra planes and detail set have beaten the kit here, the very nice man from the amazon has assured me that the kit is on its way though,

 

The planes are standard trumpeter affair - clear plastic, I'll confess I'd not realised how much bigger a Stuka is than the ME 109's. I'm not sure how many to have on deck as of yet but that's a discussion for another day. 

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The two eduard sets are also here, pretty quick delivery from Modelhobbies.co.uk, a little disappointed that one corner of the frets is bent  but its not what could be called major, 

Prt 1 - Deck

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Part 3 Antenna's and superstructure,

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I've also two sets for Graf Spee in the stash so I might look for any parts that are doubled up like (doors, ladders, steps etc) that I can use on Graf Zeppelin, 

 

I invested in a book about GZ a while back, never finished reading it, its more of an overview of the ships history written by an diver who is an enthusiast of the vessel, interesting if not essential, 

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Thanks for stopping by, 

 

Sam

 

Edited by S-boat 55
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Well the nice man from Amazon kept his word and when i got back from the office there was a large box waiting for me. Couldn't wait so had to dive on in while I had dinner to see what the kit was like. I think id be right in saying its good, if not exceptional, a little detail light in places but that just an opportunity to add things in/try new things. 

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The Hull is smooth with no plating - which is pretty close to the real thing, in photos from her launch there's very limited sign of hull seems etc, im going to try adding in something very subtle with paint layers to give it a little texture. 

 

Some what alarmingly I've counted 650-700 scuttles to drill out - this could take me a while!

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As I found reading reviews, there is no planking detail to speak of, from looking at a photo of the wreck there was definitely planked areas, so wood hunter may be making some money off me and i'll have to learn how to tone the deck down a bit. Impressively though the flight deck is one piece so no joins to manage - although i guess that's not much of an issue if you cover it anyway. Seeing the funnel in person it doesn't look as off as i thought, i do still think its a bit much though, im tempted to shape it a bit, 

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Fair few injection marks in the hanger deck, I'll have to work out which will be visible with some/all of the lifts down, and work out what to add detail wise to make it look right, 

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y4m-aVmx5XA4dTmn8MEDmamMK97s0bpRtRfXztxX

 

Oddly the extra planes i purchased are in clear plastic, the kit ones are grey...

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A couple more sprue shots,

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y4m5bkNMHjxaxgnYQa_Y-Y7yJ-d1N1ZJUkCDuIZQ

 

Quite looking forward to doing the PE (dare i say it) for the catapults that replaces these,

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Kit photo etch, there's more on the back of a couple of these as well which i why i wasnt convinced by the need for all of eduards sets, 

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The sprue attachments for the hull are mighty thick it must be said broke a blade trying to free a hull half, went back to my wire cutters, 

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A couple of 'fun' shots, turns out a german destroyers, which weren't small, fit in the hangar, this is z-43 hitching a ride, 

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The hull has a handy overlap and pins to hold it together and very much in line which will e good when they are joined, for now though it was good enough to see that Dreadnough fitted in the hull, 

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And from one Graf to another, Graf Spee fits as well, 

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This is where all my 'hobby' stuff is currently confined, i hope its more a creche than a graveyard as i start completing things, luckily GZ just fits, literally just with about 5mm to spare either end!

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Last photo I promise - well for now, 

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Thanks for stopping n, 

 

Sam

 

Edit: Just having a look through, its notably that the kit boasts 840 parts, the planes themselves account for 250+ of that, I might start by doing some of those and maybe work on them in a couple or batches to spread out the repetition, 

Edited by S-boat 55
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4 hours ago, S-boat 55 said:

Some what alarmingly I've counted 650-700 scuttles to drill out

Gidday Sam, do you really need to. They look quite sharp to me, I'd be happy with them as they are. Your choice, of course.

Z43 makes quite a life boat. All set for rapid launch I see, shoot her straight out the end of the hangar. You might have trouble launching Dreadnought or the other Graf, though. 😁 That's quite a collection you've got in the creche.

     Good luck with this. Regards, Jeff.

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1 hour ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday Sam, do you really need to. They look quite sharp to me, I'd be happy with them as they are. Your choice, of course.

Z43 makes quite a life boat. All set for rapid launch I see, shoot her straight out the end of the hangar. You might have trouble launching Dreadnought or the other Graf, though. 😁 That's quite a collection you've got in the creche.

     Good luck with this. Regards, Jeff.

You raise a good point, they ate pretty deep, I could just paint them I guess, hmmmm decisions decisions 

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17 minutes ago, S-boat 55 said:

could just paint them I guess

If you wash them just right you might even get a good window effect with the underlying hull colour (and means you can just wipe the excess off the hull so you dont have to be too careful)? I.e. so the darker wash pools at the lower end so the tops of them are lighter.

 

Either way, there's surely no surer way to kill modelling mojo than drilling out all those scuttles. Just thinking about it makes me want to lie in a dark room.

 

David

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33 minutes ago, Adm Lord De Univers said:

If you wash them just right you might even get a good window effect with the underlying hull colour (and means you can just wipe the excess off the hull so you dont have to be too careful)? I.e. so the darker wash pools at the lower end so the tops of them are lighter.

 

Either way, there's surely no surer way to kill modelling mojo than drilling out all those scuttles. Just thinking about it makes me want to lie in a dark room.

 

David

Yeah I must confess it's not something I'm hugely excited by lol

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Hi all, 

 

GZ had double hangars, one atop the other as common in many navies, from looking at this rather impressive build on another site (I hope mentioning this is okay) 

 

DKM Graf Zeppelin by RGL - FINISHED - Trumpeter - 1/350 - - Kit build logs for subjects built from 1901 - Present Day - Model Ship World™

 

there is a schematic of the ship, it showed the extent of the double hangar, i wasn't sure that it covered the third lift or not. It inspired me though that I should do a bit of an extra and put in a lower hangar under the centre lift and show some internal detail with the lift fully lowered. 

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I would assume that different planes used/were intended to use different parts of the hangars. I've not settled on the air group/year yet, I'm aware that the originally intended torpedo bombers weren't able t use the catapults so id assume they were located more to the rear to allow space at the front for those that would use the catapults. Would the weight of the planes be taken into account for their position? in which case would the ME109's be located up the top, especially given they likely wouldn't have carried any heavy ordnance?

 

 

Thanks 

 

Sam

 

 

 

Edited by S-boat 55
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Sam not sure if you remember I started mine about a year ago and then it got shelved for other projects you have just reminded me I need to get my finger out and get the current projects done and complete this one 

 

Cheers beefy

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Hi All, 

 

As mentioned the other day, I think doing the second level of hangar deck will look good when complete, I've knocked up a couple of the ME-109's, (they take a while dont they even without PE), and this is the kind of arrangement I am thinking of with whichever planes so that each level of the hangar appears as a 'in use' area. 

 

In terms of layout Im thinking ME-109's on the flight deck lined up on the 'track' ready for launch. with one on the forward hangar and perhaps one situated just behind it in the forward upper hangar, then lined up on track a number of the Stuka's leading back to the centre hangar with one on the lift and another visible folder up in the bottom hangar in front or behind it depending on which can be seen easiest, then something on the upper hanger in the same lift well waiting for the next lift up, then at the rear some of the Arado 195's and FI 167's (both mixed between folded wing and not) sat on deck and also in the hangar and on lift. The idea is she's flying off a large scale force against a convoy with air cover.

 

A couple of photo's of very minor progress. Last night was mainly sorting out the remnants of the connecting points for the hull sprues. Unbelievable thick and so took a while to lop off and tidy up, also found the boat deck/hangar deck doesn't quite line up with the hull but that's nothing major to sort. 

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Quick question - lighting, i know during wartime having great big lights going was a kind of no no so wasn't planning on lighting the hull but I am wondering about putting something in the hangar to make it easier to se what's in there - just an LED each end. Accuracy isn't a massive watch word for this build but would you expect that in reality this would just have been a relatively warm yellow tinted light in the hangar or were they are march more stark white type light on carriers in general? 

 

Thanks for stopping in, 

 

Sam

 

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19 hours ago, beefy66 said:

Sam not sure if you remember I started mine about a year ago and then it got shelved for other projects you have just reminded me I need to get my finger out and get the current projects done and complete this one 

 

Cheers beefy

I must confess i don't - but then i forget my kids names so please don't be offended lol

 

Would be very curious to see yours underway though, was it 1/350 as well? there a WIP log for it, had a quick look but couldn't find it on here but I find the search function difficult so.....?

 

Thanks

 

Sam

 

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10 minutes ago, S-boat 55 said:

Quick question - lighting, i know during wartime having great big lights going was a kind of no no so wasn't planning on lighting the hull but I am wondering about putting something in the hangar to make it easier to se what's in there - just an LED each end. Accuracy isn't a massive watch word for this build but would you expect that in reality this would just have been a relatively warm yellow tinted light in the hangar or were they are march more stark white type light on carriers in general? 

I would tend towards the white light myself on the grounds that similar problems tend to beget similar solutions.

 

Martian 👽

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58 minutes ago, S-boat 55 said:

Quick question - lighting, i know during wartime having great big lights going was a kind of no no so wasn't planning on lighting the hull but I am wondering about putting something in the hangar to make it easier to se what's in there - just an LED each end.

Gidday, I've no idea what lighting would be used in a carrier in wartime, but as this ship was never on active duty and the Germans never had a carrier on active duty I think a little poetic licence is acceptable. It would be a shame to make the hangar decks 'busy' if no-one could see anything inside. My thoughts, anyway. Regards, Jeff.

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  • S-boat 55 changed the title to 1/350 Carriers Taiho and Graf Zeppelin

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