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The 1937 Graf Spee weighs in

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Dear Fellow Modellers


I finally completed the Graf Spee.  The Panzerschiff Admiral Graf Spee needs no introduction in the community of Naval historians, nevertheless the inter-war Panzerschiff concept remains one of the most radical of the pre-war period.  .  The design was extraordinarily radical with two battleship turrets carried aboard a light cruiser hull and powered by 8 MAN diesel engines.  The design was so tough on weight that the ships were slightly underweight and needed ballast.  MAN wished they could have been allowed more weight to have produced heavier, more robust diesels.  The result was a ship with extraordinary range potential, and with the help of auxiliary supply ships, to operate distant ‘cruiser warfare’.  In the new era of radio direction finding, signals intelligence, aircraft reconnaissance and radar, cruiser warfare turned out to be not viable. 




The Trumpeter 1/700 kit is now rather old and shows its age.  This model has 3-D printed turrets from Micromaster, barrels from Master, ships boats, searchlights, light AA, paravanes, reels all from Flyhawk.  The characteristic shuttered scuttles on the upper deck have been laboriously added from a Lion Roar set.  The masts are all scratch built brass














Hope you like it?




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Great model of one of my favourite cruisers! Nothing to complain, great attention to detail all around, plus rigging and railings look superb.


Those turrets really do look huge compared to the rest of the ship.

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Dear Liizio


Yes, the designers really went out on a limb with this design.  One of the reasons I like ship modelling is the enormous diversity of ship warship design.  The Germans knew they would not have a fleet in the near future, so rather than going conventional and building 'ships of the line' they went for this amazing raider cruiser (pocket battleship)





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On 07/11/2021 at 20:32, AndrewCJ50 said:

The Trumpeter 1/700 kit is now rather old and shows its age

Well, you've done a mighty fine job at hiding that then as she looks fantastic. I personally like how you've sourced a giant sized 20 pence piece to fool us all into believing this isn't actually 1/350! But seriously, well done on this build, she is quite a stunner and you've crammed in so much detail and done it so well, it looks like the real thing.




Ps. Do I need to go to the BoE or HMT for one of those coins?


Pps, I always wondered whether having such large turrets on such a small warship put strain on their hulls, they really do dwarf proceedings.


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Hello David


Those of us in the 1/700 club know we have to photograph our models next to a coin.  Never heard that the Panzerschiff had problems with their main armament, remember the guns are 11" not 15"


Glad you like it!



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