HP Models 1/700
German Raider Pinquin

Reviewed by Timothy Dike

The Pinquin was built in 1936, know as an Auxiliary Cruisers, she was a converted merchant ship, with the armament of a Light Cruiser. With six single 5.9 inch guns mounted in various positions around the ship, one 75 mm, a double 37 mm mount, a quad 20 mm, and four 21 inch torpedo tubes in two twin mounts, she was a formidable adversary. In addition she could carry 300 mines or plenty of torpedoes to resupply the U-boats then stalking the sea lanes.

Originally built as the merchantman Kandelfels, she was a sister ship to the Goldenfels which became the Raider Atlantis.  The Pinquin set out from Gotenhaven on 15 June 1940 under the command of Captain Ernst-Felix Krüder, on a 328 day long cruise, passing through the Denmark Strait. It wasn't long before she found and sunk the British freighter Domingo de Larrinage. Leaving the Atlantic Ocean she entered the Indian Ocean and operated in the southern area. The Pinquin sank or captured six more ships. 

The seventh ship,  a Norwegian tanker named the Storstad, was captured intact  converted into an auxiliary minelayer and renamed the Passat. These two ships  mined six channels around Australian and Tasmanian in what is consider one of the most successful mine laying operations of the war.

Captain Krüder was responsible for sinking four more ships before sailing into the Antarctic ocean and capturing 14
ships of the Norwegian Antarctic whaling fleet. The 11th whaler captured was renamed Adjutant and was used as a scout for Pinquin. The other whalers  were sent back to France as prizes of war.

Next he operated off the African coast in what is called the Mozambique track. Three more ships were sunk, but the last ones managed to get off a radio message before going down. The British dispatched the cruisers Cromwell, and Hawkins and carrier Eagle to intercept the Pinquin. Luck ran out for Krüder on 8 May, when he was sighted by a seaplane from the Cornwall. The Pinquin opened fire on the heavy cruiser and actually managed some hits a four gun salvo from Cornwall found its mark detonating in her mine compartment where she still had 130 mines stored. The result was a terrible explosion that blew her to bits. Unfortunately among the casualties were 200 Allied prisoners from some of the captured ships. Captain Krüder and 342 others went down with the ship. The German raider Pinquin, was credited with sinking or capturing 31 ships totaling 136,000 tons

The hull is cleanly cast and looks much like a typical freighter hull except for the four notches cut into the sides for the drop down side doors. The splinter shields are thinly molded and rather delicate so be careful with them. I managed to break off a small piece of the bow shielding, but it is a pretty easy fix. click to enlarge
The superstructure parts are all cast in the open face style on a paper thin sheet. The casting quality is excellent and again it is very fine so be careful handling them. There are more than enough weapons included to build this ship as well as a number of other fittings. The ships boats are all molded with tarps over them so they are a little plain looking. All the parts come securely wrapped in a plastic baggy surrounded by bubble wrap to protect against any shipping damage.  click to enlarge
The decal sheet is the big disappointment here. Due to laws in Germany regarding the display of the Nazi Swastika symbol these decals are incorrect. The swastika is deleted resulting in a blank white circle in the middle of the flag. I would recommend you replace them with those made by Dunagain Decals. click to enlarge
The instructions include several exploded views with placement of the parts shown. They are pretty much self explanatory but I would like to see a little more text (in english please) to explain the process. Views of gun doors in their open position would be beneficial for those wanting to display this ship in action. 

All that needed to finish this ship off is a set of photo etch railings and maybe some rigging. Naturally this kit is a must for the Kriegsmarine collector. It's not a good kit for the first time ship builder, but anyone who has build a few ships could handle this one. So if your looking for something other than another Bismarck or U-boat then this this would be a great kit to tackle. I had not seen any HP kits until recently and am very encouraged by the quality of these kits. They have quite an extensive line of 1/700 kits covering many different Navies and a multitude of subjects. Compare the HP Models Arizona review also on this site. 

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Thanks to Pacific Front Hobbies for the review sample. Check out the other HP Models in the latest Pacific Front Update.

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