1/700 NNT
SMS Furst Bismarck 1906

Reviewed by Martin J Quinn
Reviewed March 2015


SMS Furst Bismarck was the first armored cruiser built for the Kaiserliche Marine. She was much larger and better protected than earlier German cruisers, and spent most of her career on foreign station, between 1900 and 1909.  Rebuilt in 1910, she was briefly used as a costal defense ship in the early stages of World War I.   Withdrawn from service, she spent the rest of the war as either a training or accomodation ship, and was scrapped in 1919.   For more on Furst Bismarck, check out her Wikipedia page here.
The NNT Furst Bismarck

The model comes securely packaged in a sturdy white cardboard box, with a painting of Furst Bismarck in the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal on the cover.   The hull is wrapped in bubble wrap and taped to the base that is included with the kit.   The smaller parts are in smaller plastic bags, as is the photo-etch set.  There is a history of the ship, a larger version of the box art (which has the wrong date on it) and a two page instruction sheet also included in the box. 

The hull is flat out gorgeous.    The model scales outs pretty much perfectly in length and width.   There is a little bit of resin flash on the bottom of the hull, but the rest of the hull is exquisitely cast.  There are subtle lines in the deck to represent the linoleum covering.  All the bollards and deck fittings are well cast.  What is really impressive is the stanchions and shielding in the midships area.   The shielding is so thin to be translucent, and even the portholes look to line up, although the may have looked a little better if they were a little deeper.   Furst Bismarck was a big ship:  the hull is larger than the Combrig SMS Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm and only slightly smaller than the HP SMS Nassau. 

There is a small - but heavy - display base included.  It seems the base is supposed to represent a portion of the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal. 
The superstructure parts are on a thin resin wafer, and will need to be sanded off.  Everything is well cast, the shields on the platforms look relatively thin. 

The turrets (and some mast platforms) are on another resin wafer.   Everything looks well cast with decent detail.   The funnels have a recess in the top, though I would have liked to have seen it deeper.  The bases for the military masts have bracing at the foot of the mast cast into the part. 

 The remainder of the small parts consist of gun barrels, masts, ventilators, boat cranes, secondary guns and shields, searchlights and ships boats.   The gun shields look really nice, and most of the small parts are very delicate and very finely cast.   Mast and yards look nice, but I'll probably replace them with brass rod. 

There is a small photo-etch set included with the kit.  It has railings, davits, the stern walk, anchors braces included.  It appears to be well done.  There appears to be no relief etching. 

There is a small decal of the Kaiserliche Marine ensign included.

The instructions consist of four pages - two of which are a history of the ship.   The other two pages are photographs of the parts and of the unpainted model with numbers and arrows showing you were the parts go.   Frankly, I think they are lacking, and for a model with all these tiny pieces in it, the instructions could have been a little more robust. 

 This is a great little kit of an interesting subject.   The casting is first rate.  My only (minor) complaint with with the instructions - but that's been a complaint I've had with many a resin manufacturer.   This kit retails for approximately $79 USD (71 Euros) and is available directly from NNT, who I'd like to thank for this review sample.   Highly recommended for fans of the pre-dreadnought era!