1/700 Bismarck Premium Edition

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
Perhaps the best known ship of all time, the Bismarck has been the subject of many books, documentaries, and even dive expiditions. So  I am not surprized to see that Dragon has upgraded their original Bismarck and Tripitz to a premium edition kit. Their original kits are some of the most detailed available in this scale. This premium edition adds some new photo etch and fixes some of the shortcomings of the earlier release. See the review by Tom Kristiansen for details. 

You already know the history, so lets cut to the chase and have a look inside the box.

 The hull halves are molded as one piece with a bow and stern deck insert. The two parts join at the location of the forward secondary guns. This makes it easier to hide the seam. The lower hull is molded as two halves and are well done. Click images
to enlarge
Deck detail is pretty good overall. Deck planking is well done and there are plenty of hatches and  hose reels molded on. 
SPRUE B (Bismarck only)
The main superstructure part is one part, with very nice detailing on the deck surface. There is a lack of detailing on the sides due to the way the part is molded. Photo etch panels are provided to supply that detail, see below. The main superstructure parts are molded in halves with lot of surface detailing. The funnel caps include grate detail that looks very good.
The light anti aircraft guns are found on this sprue. They are very small and fine for 1/700 scale. Some of the superstructure parts are included as well. 
Medium weapons and main gun barrels are on this sprue. Detailing is good, overall. I am impressed with the size of the mast parts. Very small for injection molding.
Gun directors are included on this sprue for both Bismarck and Tirpitz. 
SPRUE F (Bismarck only)
The original kit included a funnel and other superstructure parts are molded in Vinyl. Modelers didn't like this choice of material so Dragon responded with this all new sprue in plastic. These versions will be much easier to work with and there is plenty of detail. 
Main gun turrets are really nice. The rivet detail is a little overdone but really makes the turrets stand out, especially if the modeler applies a light wash to accent the detail.
The float planes and ships boats are molded on a clear sprue. This is done so you can have a clear canopy on the aircraft. The drawback to this is that clear plastic is a brittle and harder to work with. I would rather paint my own canopy than have to work with this clear material.
A ship stand is included if you want to display your ship as a full hull kit.
A new relief etched brass photo etch sheet is provided with railings, platforms, and some walls. The latter are included to make the otherwise plain plastic parts stand out.
Decals include flags unfortunately presented in their politically correct style without the swastika complete. But you can put the parts of the decals together to complete the decal. A nameplate decal is also included as well as what appears to be camouflage sheets. I am not sure how these are to be used with the kit though. 
Instructions are well done with several subassembly views that show a step by step approach to building the ship. 

Dragon USA lists this kit with an MSRP of $28.50. A great price for a ship of this size with photo etch.