Online Build of the Tamiya 1/350 Bismarck
Including Photo-Etched details from Gold Medal Models

Model, Text and Photos by: John Higgins

Part 1



First of all Iíd like to point out that I donít always build my ships according to the sequence of the instruction sheet. This is because I use an airbrush to paint and I like to use Photo Etched detail parts. Therefore, the sequence in the supplied instruction sheet does not always work out. That said, letís go!

I fabricated a work cradle from some scraps of foam core board. This supports the hull and allows me to keep my hands off the model while moving it around. The screw shaft supports are first to be glued on. They fit pretty well but need a little filler. There are seams in this area, which need attention along with some sunken spots along the bottom center of the hull. I sanded the hull lightly with #400 wet sandpaper to reveal a few more low spots. All this was filled with Squadron Green putty and sanded smooth with #400&#600 wet sandpaper. The hangers for the screw shafts were installed with no problem. I will be using brass rod for the shafts instead of the plastic kit parts, so I temporarily installed them to keep the hangers aligned correctly. After sanding all of the lower hull items and drilling the rudder mounting holes, the rudders were installed. That completes the lower hull for now.

The main deck is made up of three large pieces. The molding and details are good. After cleaning up the small stumps from the spru, I test fit the sections. They looked good and I glued them in place with liquid cement. While allowing time for these parts to bond, I turned my attention to smaller subassemblies. The 15Ē gun barrels were drilled at this time with a .027Ē drill bit. The barrels of all the primary and secondary armament were cleaned up and assembled to their mounts and turrets. The p/e doors and armored windows were installed on the mounts and turrets with diluted white glue. After the deck sections dried I sanded off the molded anchor chains from the bow section. Iíll be replacing them with photo etched chains.

 I next began assembling the large superstructure sections. I did not assemble them completely since they will need painting and installation of PE details. These all went together quite well with a little attention to some of the seams. The PE hanger doors were installed with CA. The large door needs to be shaped slightly to conform to the curve of the hanger bulkhead. The notes from GMM, regarding the small hanger doors, say to remove the detail from the kit hanger door before attaching the PE hanger doors. Instead, I glued the kit doors on in side out. This provides a smooth surface to attach PE door. Next I began installing the many PE portholes and W/T doors on the Superstructure. I used diluted white glue, since this allows me to move the parts around for correct alignment. This is a time consuming process, but Iíve found itís fun and relaxing if I listen to some good music or a baseball game while Iím doing this. After removing the molded uptake grills from the sides of the funnel, I painted the inner surfaces flat black. I assembled the funnel halves and sanded the seams, after this I installed the PE uptake grills.

 At this point itís time to begin painting the model. Iíll cover this in the next installment.
Bismarck Online Build Overview