Tirpitz forecastle.jpg (19419 bytes)
Samek Models
1:700 Scale Waterline Kit
Sami Arim

The German battleship Tirpitz was built at Wilhelmshaven and completed February 1941. She and her more famous sister Bismarck were the largest German capital ships of the WW2 era. Normal displacement was 45,200 tons, and 50,100 tons full load. Her main armament was 8x15 in, 12x5.9in, 16x37mm AA,12x29mm AA. Tirpitz differed from Bismarck principally in greater power and range, and was later fitted with 8 triple 21in torpedo tubes and a light AA armament of 58x20mm guns. Tirpitz spent much of the war in Norwegian fiords, a one ship "fleet-in-being" that tied down many Royal Navy ships. The Royal Navy repeatedly tried to eliminate this threat. A midget submarine attack almost succeeded, and Tirpitz was finally sunk shortly thereafter by RAF bombers on 12 November 1944.

tirpitz.jpg (31525 bytes)
Tirpitz in Norwegian fiord.
Note distinctive camo scheme and torpedo barrier

Bismarck and Tirpitz are among the most popular ship-modeling subjects. They’ve been produced in every possible scale up to 1:4800. So it is no surprise to see yet another release, this time in 1:700 waterline, of these important and beautiful capital ships. Samek of the Czeck Republic released Bismarck several months back and not surprisingly followed up with Tirpitiz. Previous 1:700 Matchbox and Aoshima releases of these two ships were old and not up to current standards. I’ve built these older Tirpitz/Bismarck models. In fact, the Matchbox Bismarck was my first waterline model and got me hooked on 1:700 waterline modeling for good. Samek started releasing 1/700 scale models several years ago, focusing on destroyer and light cruiser subjects. It has steadily established a reputation for quality kits and finally nailed its spot in the modeling world with their excellent USS Alaska.

The Samek Tirpitz is a resin cast 1:700th waterline model. It scales out perfectly and the delicately cast parts are most impressive. The breakwater and gun shields are paper thin castings, and there was no breakage whatsoever. The detail on the hull casting was also perfect. There were no air bubbles anywhere. The scribed wood deck appears very much in scale with vertical and horizontal lines. The rest of the model was of similar quality, though there was some minor damage to the very delicately cast parts. The ship’s boats are highly detailed and even include portholes, leaving very little detail for the modeler add. The only problem I noticed was the gap between the level one deck and the first level of the bridgework. This gap requires some filling and sanding, a minor problem given all this model has to offer.

Tirpitz PE.jpg (47559 bytes)The Tirpitz kit includes an Eduard photoetch fret. Having GMM's German WW2 warship set in hand, I had a chance to compare both sets. The Eduard fret is of much thicker material than the GMM set. It lacks railings and does not have enough detailing parts, making the GMM set a must if you want to super detail your Tirpitz.

Samek's instructions are clear and should enable the modeler to complete the model without getting into trouble. A page is devoted to the Tirpitz’ March 1944 paint scheme, among the most striking ever to adorn a capital ship. Both sides are shown, but there is no color guide. The camo scheme shows only two colors. I believe it consisted of three colors, though I am not positive.

Overall, the Samek Tirpitz captures the look of the real ship and to me this is the most important attribute in producing a high quality model. This is unquestionably the definitive 1:700th Tirpitz. Samek’s quality, combined with an attractive price, makes the Tirpitz a must buy for modelers of WW2 era capital ships. I give it my highest recommendation, and wish to thank Michael Samek and Rob Mackie for the review sample.

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Tirpitz midship.jpg (22245 bytes)

Tirpitz quarterdeck.jpg (18883 bytes)
Tirpitz plan view.jpg (23105 bytes)
Plan view
Tirpitz deck structures levels.jpg (62840 bytes)
Deck structures & bridge levels
Tirpitz boats fixtures.jpg (52035 bytes)
Boats, directors, float-plane
Tirpitz turrets funnel.jpg (50232 bytes)
Turrets, gun mounts, funnel casing
Tirpitz barrels.jpg (40966 bytes)
Gun barrels, torpedo mounts
Tirpitz box art.jpg (45296 bytes)
Box art
Tirpitz camo schemes.jpg (60998 bytes)
Camo scheme

Tirpitz exploded view.jpg (106800 bytes)
Exploded view instructions

tirpitz2.jpg (23524 bytes)
Another photo of Tirpitz in Norwegian fiord

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