Perhaps the most famous of Germany's WWI battlecruisers, SMS Seydlitz was an improved variant of the preceding Moltke class. Her armament was identical, but she was 46' longer and 3'3" narrower. This gave her slightly more turn of speed. More importantly, her protection was much enhanced and her forecastle was one deck higher. All capital ships are a tradeoff between speed, armour and armament. German shipbuilders were generally willing to sacrifice some gun size and speed in order to get more - and better arranged - protection than their English counterparts. The prevailing wisdom in Germany was that it was easier to repair a damaged ship than build a new one, so survivability was paramount.
These attributes stood Seydlitz in good stead at the May 1916 Battle of Jutland, the largest ship-to-ship gun duel of all time. She was hit more times than any other surviving ship, being struck by 21 heavy shells (12", 13.5", and 15"), two medium caliber hits and one torpedo. Ablaze and her decks awash as she took on 5,000 tons of water, she somehow made it back to Wilhelmshaven, where she was repaired and made seaworthy. It is debatable whether any other ship of this era could have survived such punishment. Alas, Seydlitz met her end when she was scuttled at Scapa Flow in 1919.
The Iron Shipwright 1:350th SMS Seydlitz is a one-piece full-hull model. The kit's most striking attribute is its simplicity. I have never seen a 1:350 scale kit with fewer pieces. This is partially attributable to much detail being cast integral with the hull. But mainly it is because of WW1 era German capital ship design. They were blocky and fortress-like with a minimum of above-deck clutter. Aside from the main 11" battery, there were only two 8.8 cm guns mounted above decks on Seydlitz. The secondary 5.9" battery was entirely casement mounted. This makes for a very clean warship design, and less assembly for the modeler. There is something distinctly German about the simple, almost brutal purposefulness of the Seydlitz.
The Iron Shipwright kit shows Seydlitz in her 1916 Jutland fit, at which time she still carried torpedo nets. The torpedo net shelf is cast integral with the resin hull. The torpedo net booms and both masts are fabricated from brass rod supplied with the kit. As with other full hull Iron Shipwright kits, you will need to do some cleanup and filling along the keel. Decals are included as well as an etched brass fret. Neither the brass fret nor the instructions were available for this preview.
Commanders Models, Inc.
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