Bismarck in 1:350
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.