1/700 Sink the Bismarck
26-27 May 1941 Edition

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
Seventy years ago the most feared Battleship of all time the Bismarck sailed on her last voyage. Alerted to her departure the Royal Navy sent everything that had available to stop the ship before it was able to wreak havoc with the supply lines. With all ships out of range, it came down to a handful of vintage stringbag Swordfish torpedo bombers to stop the Bismarck. Braving intense anti aircraft fire, they pressed in and managed to damage the rudder of the mighty ship. Now thanks to Dragon, we can recreate it accurately in miniature. This special edition kit is an upgrade of the Premium edition kit that up until now was the best Bismarck on the market. This kit features the same upgrades and four newly tooled sprues featuring even finer 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. 
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. 
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.
SPRUE K x 2 newly tooled
This sprue was actually tooled for the 1/700 Z-39, but since the weapons are finer and based on more accurate research, Dragon has included them in this kit too. The modeler can chose from the old weapons of these new ones that are the best available in 1/700 scale plastic. Ships boats are very nicely done and many of the anti aircraft guns have separate barrel and mounts so the guns can be elevated. The searchlights are very well done and even the square floats are included. There are plenty of extra parts on this sprue for the spare parts box too.
SPRUE M x 2 newly tooled
More new weapons are included on this sprue. Slide molding is used to help give the gun barrels a hollow look. The light gun mounts feature intricate molding and there are two new launches included as well. 
SPRUE N newly tooled
DS plastic blast bags for the large and medium caliber guns are also included. These molded in a soft pliable tan color will stand out from the rest of the plastic and give those blast bags a more accurate look. 
BONUS SPRUE P x 2 newly tooled for this special edition kit.
Dragon has created a brand new Swordfish aircraft sprue just for this kit. The molding is exceptional with nice detailing all over. The wings have recessed panel lines and the fuselage has an open cockpit thanks to slide molding. There is a separate cowling where you can see the individual engine cylinders on the radial engine. Separate propeller, and  landing gear are included. The deadly torpedoes that were prominently slung from underneath these stringbag aircraft are also molded separately. 
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.
The new standard base is included for full hull display. Slide molded risers and a mounting base give the model a more finished look. 
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.
Two new frets to superdetail the Swordfish aircraft are included. Here the modeler is given options on how detailed they chose to be to build the Swordfish torpedo bombers. New relief etched brass wings fold in half so that you have detailing on both sides. New struts, landing gear and machine guns are also included along with replacement tail surfaces and vertical stabilizer. 
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. See the preview for more of the features of this kit.

The Bismarck continues to be one of the first choices for new ship modelers. Many companies already produce their own versions. Of these the Dragon version was the best in terms of detailing and accuracy. How do you improve on that? Add new state of the art sprues and bonus Swordfish biplanes! All of this for the low price of  $29.95. A great price for a ship of this size with so much detail and extras. 

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