Bismarck box art.jpg (22117 bytes)
Bismarck
Samek Models
1:700 Scale Waterline Kit
by
Rob Mackie


Bismarck head on.gif (13042 bytes)Entering service in 1940, the German battleship Bismarck is among the most famous warships of the 20th century. Her career was short but intense. Accompanied by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, she engaged the Battlecruiser HMS Hood, the pride of the Royal Navy, off Iceland in May 1941. Struck by shells from Bismarck and Prinsz Eugen, Hood blew up and sank.  Damaged by gunfire from Prince of Wales, Bismarck made way for France. The Royal Navy used every available resource at its disposal to track down Bismarck and avenge Hood. She was finally sighted by PBY Catalina and a carrier air strike was launched. In one of the great ironies of military history, a WW1 vintage Swordfish biplane somehow penetrated Bismarck's AA screen and launched a torpedo that disabled Bismarck's steering. No longer able to navigate, her end was a foregone conclusion.  It came on 26 May when the pursuing Royal Navy caught up with her. Bismarck was pounded mercilessly in the gun battle that followed and sank, taking almost 2,000 men down with her.

Vital Statistics
Battleship
DKM Bismarck
Displacement 42,370 tons   Length 823'6"   Beam 118'
Maximum speed 30 knots
Armament: Eight 15" (4x2), twelve 6" (6x2), sixteen 4",, sixteen 37mm

Complement: 2,400 officers and men

The long wait for a state-of-the-art 1:700 scale Bismarck is over. No longer will you have to suffer through the long-in-the-tooth Aoshima Bismarck. The Samek Models version of this famous battleship is a beauty. Expertly cast in cream colored resin and full of detail, modelers will not be disappointed. Like other Samek offerings, much of the superstructure detail must be affixed to the hull. Some 1/700th producers include as much as possible in the hull casting, but Samek is more conservative. The Samek USS Alaska kit took a similar approach.

Casting is top notch throughout. Many of the smaller pieces are cast in a thin resin film. Separating and cleaning up these small resin pieces should be easy. Resin overpour is minimal and there were no obvious voids or other casting problems. The teak deck is simulated with some of the best and finest scribing I've seen. The deck scribing doesn't show up in the photos, but trust me, it's there. The bulkheads and gun tubs are commendably thin and in-scale. Unfortunately, some of these thin bulkheads and gun barrels broke in transit. This was not a big problem, but Samek could have done a better job securing the model within the box.

Bismarck Kiel 1941 small.jpg (26616 bytes)Quality of the master pattern appears to be very good. Close examination of turrets, funnel and superstructure parts revealed much fine detail. The etched brass fret includes cranes, catapults, davits, and other parts that don't reproduce well in resin. Eduard, a well known and highly experienced Czech photo-etcher, did the fret. Unfortunately, railing is not included so get the appropriate Tom's or GMM brass. Instructions are adequate and include a large, clear exploded view. There is no numbered parts list, nor is there any text to guide you through construction. An approximately 1/700th scale plan/profile line drawing is included. Reproduction was not very good, but it will nevertheless prove useful for locating small fixtures and guns.

The Samek Bismarck costs $72 and is available from Pacific Front. A high quality 1:700th Bismarck is finally here.

Bismarck bow profile.jpg (10200 bytes)
Bow profile

Bismarck superstructure.jpg (12757 bytes)
Midship
Bismarck stern profile.jpg (11072 bytes)
Quarterdeck profile
Bismarck resin parts.jpg (54575 bytes)
Deck levels, gun barrels
Bismarck gun mounts and boats.jpg (34855 bytes)
Turrets, boats, funnel
Bismarck superstructure parts.jpg (11058 bytes)
Hangar
Bismarck superstructure 02.jpg (8044 bytes)
Side view
Bismarck etch.jpg (36011 bytes)
Photo-etched fret
Bismarck plan view.jpg (25875 bytes)
Plan view

Bismarck exploded view.jpg (73595 bytes)
Exploded view

Bismarck instructions 01.jpg (58147 bytes) Bismarck instructions 02.jpg (38980 bytes)

Home copper.jpg (2701 bytes)