1/350 Revell DKM Bismarck (Platinum Edition)

Reviewed for Military Modelling by Chris Meddings
 

Introduction
The Deutsche Kriegsmarine Bismarck was laid down in Hamburg by Blohm and Voss in 1936 and construction was completed in February 1939, and was commissioned into the fleet for operations in the Atlantic in 1940. One of the last of the soon to be obsolete battle ships ship represented close to the apogee of the form combining excellent speed, firepower and armour protection.

  She was the largest battleship in Europe until after WWII and along with her sister ship Tirpitz, represented the pride of the DKM fleet and the height of their investment in challenging the then dominant world sea power; the Royal Navy. She was charged with interdicting and destroying allied merchant shipping in the Atlantic, and whilst undertaking this mission she clashed with a British force that included HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales. A fateful encountered that lead to the loss of HMS Hood in 1941.
  The loss of the Hood lead the British to seek revenge and the destruction of the damaged Bismarck and she was trapped on her way back to France and her rudders jammed in an attack by Swordfish Torpedo Bombers from HMS Ark Royal. Only able to steam in a circle, she was blasted by fire from several ships including HMS Nelson, Renown, King George V and Dorsetshire and eventually sank on May 25, 1941 around 800 miles from Brest and safety.

The Styrene Kit
The main kit was originally released by Revell in 2007. The moulds appear to have been well looked after and the kit is more or less free of flash and mould slip, looking generally pretty sharp.
  The hull is split in two halves in the usual fashion, and is full hull only with no marking allowing you to waterline her. Those wishing to do this (as I will mine) will need to carefully mark out the correct line and get scribing!
  On the sample I received it appears the hull halves were trimmed from a sprue before packing and in places the person in the factory has removed a little too much meaning a little filler will be needed here or there. Fit is generally very good between the two halves with no misalignment, however there is a small chunk missing from the very tip of the bow of the right hull half. This does need to be replaced but will not be beyond the skill of anyone able to handle the etch in this edition.
  The rest of the kit comes on seven sprues of the usual grey plastic and two sprues of clear plastic.
  Although not up to the standard of some more recent high end manufacturers the moulding is still very good indeed with sharply moulded detail on the surfaces. Some small gripes remain; the anti-slip tread plate detail on some surfaces is very much over scale. In reality the raised parts of the plates would scale up to over 30cm each! But of course this is something that would be very hard to replicate in this scale with total fidelity.
  In addition, in some areas there is a visible line across the deck where the mould separates (I suspect) leaving a line across the planks of the deck that will be difficult to eliminate.

In other areas there are some beautiful touches including the fine and subtle facet detail on the domes of the 4cm Rangefinders.
  Perhaps of special interest to those building the standard version of the kit, it also includes some nicely rendered, though obviously over-scale railings in styrene. This might be especially welcomed by those more averse to photo-etch.
  Knock out pin marks are almost entirely absent from the kit; a welcome feature on ship kits where just one can be a real problem to rectify given the small scale of the detail. Smaller details in the kit are well rendered for injection plastic, including the Arado spotter plane (which comes with a choice of wings deployed or wings folded) and the 2cm pedestal AA guns, although unfortunately some of the splinter shield walls around emplacements are very thick and will need to be thinned.

Overall it looks to be a very solid kit that will build well out of the box, or even better as a base for aftermarket and refinement. Talking of which….
 

Turned Parts

The Platinum edition comes with two types of turned parts; masts yards and assorted fixtures, and gun barrels.
  The turned masts etch number over 30 parts and are very will turned and sharply defined. The barrels include the primary armament (eight x 38cm) the secondary armament (twelve x 15cm), the heavy AAA guns (16 x 10.5cm) eight x 3.7cm flak barrels and ten x 2cm flak barrels.

PE Parts
The PE comes on three large sheets designed by Pontos. The quality and refinement of the etch and design is second to none and really is at the limit of what can be done in etched metal. This will make it delicate though so care will be needed in both removing it from the fret, and assembling it and adding it to the model. The etch covers a huge amount of detail including all the AA guns, railings, radar, watertight doors, funnel, ladders and an awful lot more. It certainly looks to be a very comprehensive set.

Wooden Deck
The kit also includes a laser cut wooden deck. The detail again is very fine; it matches the plastic deck perfectly. It is self-adhesive but you might find it lifts over time, especially if you use solvent based paints during the painting stage. Personally I prefer to paint decks, but if you do use it, use a little superglue to hold it down and it should be fine.

Decals and paint guide
The decals are reasonably comprehensive and are well registered. Along with the painting guide they cover two schemes: Autumn 1940 and May 1941. The Revell instructions are in the usual exploded diagram style, but the Pontos instructions are separate so you will need to refer back and forth between the two. The best advice I can offer here is to go through both beforehand and mark the Revell instructions with parts you will replace from the AM parts included.

Conclusion

A great looking kit packed with extras that should build into a highly detailed and very fine replica. Given the sheer amount of AM parts included it is also great value for money, even at full recommended retail price. Highly Recommended.

Thanks very much to Kia at Revell for our sample which will be featured in more detail in the near future within Military Modelling Magazine.

 

Product: Construction kit

Ref: 05144

Scale: 1/350

Parts: 161

Price: £134.10 (E-Models)

Manufacturer: Revell

Website: www.revell.de/en