Review by Robert Hernandez
Almost everyone is familiar with the DKM Tirpitz. She was the largest and most powerful battleship made in Germany. The 1/570-scale Revell kit of the DKM Tirpitz has been around in various forms since the early sixties. This is the model of that infamous German battleship that many of us built as children. Given the choices we had at that time, they were the best kits available. I wish I could say that things have improved for those of us dedicated to the 1/600 or 1/570-scale ships, but they havenít. Donít worry too much though, since all is not lost!
After an initial review of the DKM Tirpitz kit I purchased, the first thing I noticed is the size of this ship. According to the trusty tape measure, they measured out to 422 mm long (just a tad over 16 ½ inches) and it came with 161 parts. This would make the ship closer to 1/590 scale! Another thing I noticed is the plastic safety rails and the tabs on the hull (meant to attach to the plastic bases of the kit to the hull). These are definitely two things that will have to go. The molded details on this kit are above average for a kit of this age. In some places they are generally good, in some places a bit overdone and in others just lacking.
The hull comes in two halves and has some good detail on it. The oversized holes for the boat booms and hull ladders will have to be filled with putty (on the hull). The propellers are a little too far forward on this kit. The main deck comes in two sections. There are a number of molded details such as anchor chains, fire hose barrels, storage boxes and hatches etc. The forward section of the ship is lacking the correctly pointed shape of the Atlantic bow this class of ship was known for. The superstructure is okay but the admiralís bridge is incorrectly shaped and will require some major correction.
The main gun turrets are decent in shape but the openings are oversized and require some filling at both the top and bottom ends. The turret range finder housings are a bit too thick and require some putty below them to fill in the molding depressions. The forward turret Anton will need the turret range finder housings removed. The gun barrels are a little to long and slightly too big around.
The funnel has some minor details, such as vent piping but the grill detail is oversized. The funnel cap is generally the correct shape on the DKM Tirpitz kit. Only one of the two funnel cranes comes with the kit. Many of the smaller parts such as the boats, rafts and smaller anti aircraft armament are okay. The 150 mm secondary armament, heavy 105 mm anti-aircraft guns and cranes are barely okay (need work). The Arado 196 aircraft are only fair on this kit. The forward gun directors are weak and the radar range finders are crude. The masts are not to thick but they are a little fragile. Decals are included with shipís coat of arms for the bow, a Kreigsmarine eagle for the stern, markings for the Arado 196 aircraft and some other ship flags. I should note that I have never seen operational pictures of this ship with the coat of arms in place.
If you are looking for a challenge and in need of a Tirpitz for your 1/600-1/570 scale fleet, or want to develop some scratch buildings skills. This is the kit for you, since it is much better than the Airfix kit (requires less work) and easier than scratch building the entire ship. If you are looking for an easier model to build near this scale, find an old Monogram kit since the bow shape is more accurate and the kit requires less customization. The Monogram kit is unfortunately a smaller scale (approximately 1/610 or 1/617) and out of production. Photo etched parts in this scale and the correct sized anchor chain replacements are a definite must for any of these kits mentioned.
If you are looking for an easier more accurate kit to build, move to a 1/350 Tamiya or 1/700 scale Samek kit. As for me, hand me that old Revell kit I built as a kid!
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