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Bismarck in 1:350

December 14, 2014 in Ships

I finished Revells Bismarck in february 2011. The kit is a major improvement over Tamiyas old kit, but it does not compare in quality with modern ones from Hasegawa, Dragon or Bronco. In one respect however it is better than most plastic ship kits. It has underwater details.
The general clumsiness of the details put me off a bit. (For example the ventilator shafts around the barbettes and the bulwarks.) Improving and detailing the model to really top level, was too much work I thought, so I contented myself with correcting the worst shortcomings.

Considering that the Bismarck, together with the Titanic, is the most popular subject for ship kits, it’s a bit surprising that there still is no really good kit of her in 1:350.

The tip of the stem was damaged when I opened the box, but Revell were quick to send me replacement parts. Hats off for that. Later when I sanded the hull I dropped it on the floor and broke it in exactly the same place. Luckily it wasn’t too hard to repair.

I painted the decks using the traditional “plank on plank” method, that is, masking individual planks and painting the deck in four different shades of wood colour. See my article on the Admiral Hipper for a more elaborate description.
To give life to the underwater hull I first sprayed it in a chaotic green-brown pattern, over which I then sprayed a thin half transparent layer of red.

For PE parts I used GMMs Bismarck set which worked very well. I lost count of how many times I accidentally bent the catapult during the build, but I managed to bend it back into shape reasonably well.
Some old school detailing was done, including drilling out the pipes on the funnel and replacing light AA gun barrels with piano wire.

Scratchbuilding the masts was the major improvement work done to this model. It’s not as hard as you think, especially if you’ve made yourself a simple mast building jigg, which I have. Building the complex main yardarm was also easier than expected. I worked on graph-paper to ensure symmetry. Oddly the superglued parts did not stick to the paper.
(When I later tried this method on another model, they did stick to the paper, but it was no problem cutting them loose.)

Building the long wave radio antennas was a bit of a challenge, but again a simple wooden jigg made it a lot easier. Once the antennas were done, the rest of the rigging was pure joy.

I painted her as I believe she looked during the Battle in the Denmark Straits and tried to subtly depict the overpainted dark grey areas on her forecastle and stern and the overpainted black and white stripes on the hull sides. The history of Bismarck is a tragic one, so to compensate, I trained her guns as I judged they must have been trained in her one moment of success, during the Battle in the Denmark Straits.

The model got a silver medal at Telford in 2011 and has placed second or third in some other contests.

27 additional images. Click to enlarge

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16 responses to Bismarck in 1:350

  1. Nice bismark mate – extremely amazing detail

    Good job 🙂

  2. Awesome Ulf, anything fiddly like that scares the s**t out of me.
    Well done mate.

  3. Well built Ulf. Your modifications really add crispness to your ships.

  4. Very nice Ulf. What did you use for the anti-fouling red?

    • Thanks Chris. I used some red-brown of my own mix, sprayed thinly over that chaotic background. All Vallejo paints.
      I mix all the colours myself, so I can’t give you any number.

  5. Ulf, your ships are so amazing, it’s always a treat when you post a new one. You are a truely gifted modeller.

  6. That’s some killer rigging! 🙂 !



  7. You most definitely have the ship modeling thing down pat, Ulf…very nice indeed.

  8. Amazing mate! I know I say it every time but I’m speechless at how good that is!

  9. Another stunner, Ulf. Great job on the Bismarck. The detailwork and rigging is awesome. Your “Battleship Row” must be an impressive sight. (Cruisers and subs incl.)
    Got the Bismarck and Tirpitz from Revell in 1/350/1/700 as well. A few weeks ago, i simply glued the Bismarcks (350) hull together. Got gun barrels for her, maybe this project is on the way …..

  10. Another project up to your previous standards. I’m sure with these recent inspiring examples we’ll be seeing more ship projects posted here.

  11. Nice job, skilled application of paint, great scratchbuilding of masts and replacements of other “clunky” plastic parts.

  12. Amazingly fab!

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