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Battleship Bismarck


Paul A H
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Battleship Bismarck

1:700 Revell

Bismark1.jpg

Laid down in July 1936 by Blohm and Voss of Hamburg, the Bismarck was one of the largest and most powerful battleships to see action during the Second World War. She, along with her sister ship Tirpitz, represented the epitome of German warship technology. Weighing in at 50,900 tons deep load, the Bismarck’s design prioritised stability and protection over firepower; her broad beam of 118ft making her a very stable gun platform, even in heavy seas.

On 21 May 1941, Bismarck left the Kjorsfjord in Norway to embark on her first raiding sortie, accompanied by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen and three destroyers. Three days later, she sighted and engaged the Royal Navy warships HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales, sinking the Hood and damaging the Prince of Wales. Having suffered damage herself in the engagement, Bismark disengaged and attempted to make for St Nazaire. Eventually spotted by a Catalina flying boat, her rudder was then jammed by torpedoes launched from the Swordfish of HMS Ark Royal. Left unable to manoeuvre, she was battered by HMS Rodney and HMS King George V, and was soon reduced to a burning hulk by their heavy guns. She was finally sunk by torpedoes from HMS Dorsetshire, before she could be scuttled.

Bismark2.jpg

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The latest addition to Revell’s small but expanding range of 1:700 naval subjects arrives in the traditional end-opening box, into which is stuffed the two large mouldings that make up the hull and ten sprues of grey plastic. As you would expect from a brand-new kit from Revell, the mouldings are nice and sharp and no flash was noticeable on my copy. The level of detail looks very good indeed, with small features such as doors and ladders being very nicely represented.

The forty-eight steps that make up the instructions begin, as you would expect, with the construction of the hull. Perhaps unusually for a 1:700 scale naval subject, there is no option to complete the ship as a waterline model as Revell provide only for a full-hull version.

Bismark5.jpg

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Once the hull is complete, the propellers and rudders can be fixed in place, although the builder may wish to leave these fragile items until later in the building process. The deck comes next, and then the superstructures that make up the bridge, aircraft hanger, etc. can be assembled. The detailed components that make up these larger assemblies are very nicely rendered and are up there with the best I have seen in this scale. Features such as the cranes and the aircraft catapult will look the part, even without the addition of aftermarket etch.

Bismark6.jpg

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Two Arado floatplanes are provided, and these look pretty good on the sprue. Revell even provide a miniature painting guide for the aircraft, and a fairly comprehensive set of decals (although no stencils!). Construction concludes with the addition of the main and secondary armament, as well as the lifeboats and launches. The main gun turrets are nicely detailed, with very fine raised rivets adding a little surface texture. The 15-inch guns may be posed independently, allowing for some interesting and realistic configurations. The ship’s boats are nicely moulded, and the separate painting guide for these will come in handy.

Two colour options are provided: the first as she would have appeared in the Baltic Sea during the winter of 1940-41, and the second as she appeared in March 1941, following the addition of disruptive camouflage. A surprisingly large decal sheet is included, which includes the stripes that make up the disruptive camouflage, as well as a comprehensive set of flags and some nice decals for the display stand that is provided with the kit.

Bismark8.jpg

Conclusion

This looks to be a very nice representation of the famous German battleship. The level of detail is excellent for the scale, and the instructions look clear and comprehensive. Having seen a completed example of the kit on Revell’s stand at Scale Model World, I can vouch that the finished article looks very impressive. Revell’s decision not to provide a waterline option is a little puzzling, and the modeller wishing to build such a model may wish to look to one of the other three models of the Bismarck available in this scale. Otherwise, this kit is very highly recommended. I believe the next model in the series will be HMS Duke of York, and I look forward to seeing what else Revell will turn their attention to in due course.

Review sample courtesy of

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That looks to be a great kit, and a nice review too.

Duke of York, you say? New tool? If so, I'm going to have to get one.

Obi-Jiff :fish:

Yep, it's showing as a future release on the Hannants website. I don't know what else they've got planned, but I hope it's some more British warships - I'd love to see some Queen Elizabeth or Royal Sovereign class ships in this scale.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Paul good review it's a pity they haven’t included a waterline option like Dragon and Trumpeter have in there Bismark kits. I am sure most modellers working in the smaller scales would prefer the option to build a waterline model. Have Revell given any cutting guides to enable the lower hull to be removed?

I assume from looking at the decal sheet no swastikas are included for the ID markings. I'd be interested to know what paint scheme they suggest for her.

Malcolm

Edited by Mal
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