Build of the Tamiya 1/350 Bismarck
Including Photo-Etched details from Gold Medal Models
Model, Text and Photos by: John Higgins
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 #400ɘ 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.
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.
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.
this point itís time to begin painting the model. Iíll cover this in the next
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