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Bismarck by Channell - Trumpeter 1/200

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Ok, here's a quickie reboot of my Bismarck thread as requested:




At the moment this is jut about the biggest, scariest (in more ways than one!) chunk of plastic that you can pick off the shelf at your local Rob-E-shop.  Here's the hull next to a 1/350 Tirpiz (Bismarck's sister-ship):




The kit is fairly impressive "out of the box" but it has it's problems. The first thing that worried me about the kit was the sorry shape of the porthole molds. Trumpeter molded all the portholes straight on the broadside angle and also molded the major superstruture pieces whole, rather like lego blocks


This means that every porthole on the hull that is not directly broadside is warped. For example:






There are plenty of curves on this ship... which means a awful lot of portholes to fix.


The hull is also extremely thick plastic... great for strength and stability but after drilling out the portholes it made them look like little round cave openings instead of ports. This was my first attempt to fix the warped portholes with putty and drilling; it did't turn out the way I wanted.




Also, it turns out the hull shape is wrong below the waterline and has too much of a "banana" shape to it which makes painting a waterline and boot top a bit challenging as it is not marked off with scribing or raised lines like most plastic ship models.


More to come...

Edited by channell
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My solution to the porthole issue was to descend into porthole hell for a couple of months.



I replaced all but 1 or 2 of portholes on the hull and superstructure by drilling out a "perfect porthole" into very thin styrene card and inletting them into the hull and carefully blending them into the surrounding material:














Anyway, it was too much work and a serious PITA to get them all straight and clean but it was ultimately worth it:






On the hull I replaced the porthole eyebrows and added the bar steps with very thin copper wire. Later on I got the KA Models Mk1 detail set which has all that and more already included as PE.

Edited by channell
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I added a strip of thin styrene along the top of the the hull to replicate the 45 degree angle of the top of the armor belt (and raise the edges to match the level of an additional wood deck)


After that I got to work on the main and secondary guns.














The various rails are included with the kit and really make the guns look great... not fun to put on though!

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Next I painted the hull:








Trumpeter gave absolutely no indication of where to put the waterline on the boat so I gave it my best guess while looking at historic pics. I scribed a waterline around the hull by placing it weighed down on a large smooth surface, taping a fine pen to an upside down cup (and shimmed to height) and runing a line around the hull. As you can see, it's wrong on the stern even though it was right at the bow. To make it work I warped the black boot top to match the correct height on the bow and stern; thanks to the size of the thing you just can't tell by looking at it!






I also started on a hefty oak base to display the beast:







Edited by channell
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...orginally I planned to hand-plank the deck with tiny wood strips but luckily I briefly returned to a state of sanity and bought a detail set that had a great deck already:




I don't usually like "stick-on" decks but this one was really not that bad! It's high quality and the larger scale helps mitigate the negative aspects of such a deck:













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My latest piece of work invoved starting to rebuild the superstructure on the maindeck after I had previously sanded off all the molded detail and replaced the portholes:




... and starting to add all the "fiddly bits" to the funnel:






And just when everyone thought I couldn't possibly be having any more fun I found myself sinning again ;) :




To Trumpter, your most loyal and spend-crazy customer. Please give me a 1/200 USS Missouri as well... soon, but not TOO soon! :bird-vi:

Edited by channell
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  • 1 month later...

Here's a quick update, sorry I haven't been quite so dedicated in keeping this thread going:








The standard kit has around 1700 parts but that's just not enough so I at least doubled that with aftermarket photo etch! At least the "groundwork" is pretty much done; most of what's left is attaching all the brass "fiddly bits" and painting.

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Hi Channel,


I just caught up on your build log. Wow, your attention to detail is really showing. Very interesting project, to be sure. It will be very cool to see Bismark and Arizona side by each and compare their different designs


Keep up the excellent work!



Edited by petervisser
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  • 1 month later...

Progress update:












Instead of doing this the smart way and focusing on specific areas start to finish and/or following the instructions,  my Bismarck is "growing" rather organically across the entire ship. Every week it's sprouting new parts, paint and modifications all over the superstructure, depending on what part I feel like working on that day... and damn there are a lot of little parts to put on this thing!


I had troubles getting the black "baseboard" to look good; I finally resorted to (hopefully) permanent black pinstriping tape. Thankfully I finished the last porthole replacement yesterday and cut out the windows of the admiral's bridge, which means I am finally done with my modifications and the hard part is over!


Until next time...

Edited by channell
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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Just happen to see these while looking at other plastic ships here. A friend just bought this kit and my first thought after looking at the hull was holy crap...where will one put this once its finish but at the same token I'm seriously thinking about getting the 1/200 Aircraft carrier. I just read that Trumpeter announced at the Nationals that they will be coming out with WW2 USS Enterprise. I'm torn between it or Hornet. Well, see what happens.


You are doing awesome work on her. I really enjoy the extra effort you are putting into it with all those PE detail. It sure will be a show stopper for sure. Keep up the good work... B)

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Thanks everyone for the comments!


Kevin- I am using the KA Models Mk1 superset and Eduard PE; there are plently of duplicates but they do compliment each other fairly well; the Eduard set contains many details KA missed and vice-versa.


Foremast- I am airbrushing the superstructure with Model Master "Lichtrgrau" acryl and steel decks with Tamiya medium grey. The hull above the waterline is rattlecan Model master "Navy agressor grey" and below is Tamiya Guards Red (I think).


I have still been puttering along with her; I got the docking wings on along with may other details (with plenty more to go!)






I also am about 2/3rds through building all the AA guns:







Edited by channell
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just read your log, im impressed, it's a shame that with all the extras that can be added,  they cannot get the basics right - like portholes, - well done,


Yea, Trumpeter is a bit infamous for stuff like that. Luckily (with a little bit of patience) the porthole problem can be fixed. At this point in the build I am glad I took the extra time to do it... I think it really makes a difference on the (almost) finished product.

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