Here are some images of Trumpeter Models 1/200 scale Battleship Bismarck
This kit is a monster, coming in at just a shade under 50 inches and worth every penny.
As a side note though, this kit included. When it comes to model battleships I never understood model companies propensity to to not supply even the most rudimentary of rigging instructions.
This has been going on for as long as I can remember. Leaving the model builder to to stare long and hard at old photographs, and often one is relegated to guess work.
But I must say this kit is most definitely the most impressive model kit of 2012 in my opinion. Well done Trumpeter.
Bismarck was the first of two Bismarck-class battleships built for the German Kriegsmarine. Named after Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the primary force behind the unification of Germany in 1871, the ship was laid down at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg in July 1936 and launched two and a half years later in February 1939. Work was completed in August 1940, when she was commissioned into the German fleet. Bismarck and her sister ship Tirpitz were the largest battleships ever built by Germany, and two of the largest built by any European power.
In the course of the warship's eight-month career under its sole commanding officer, Capt. Ernst Lindemann, Bismarck conducted only one offensive operation, in May 1941, codenamed Rheinübung. The ship, along with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, was to break into the Atlantic Ocean and raid Allied shipping from North America to Great Britain. The two ships were detected several times off Scandinavia, however, and British naval units were deployed to block their route. At the Battle of Denmark Strait, Bismarck engaged and destroyed the battlecruiser HMS Hood, the pride of the Royal Navy, and forced the battleship HMS Prince of Wales to retreat; Bismarck herself was hit three times and suffered an oil leak from a ruptured tank.
The destruction of Hood spurred a relentless pursuit by the Royal Navy involving dozens of warships. Two days later, while heading for the relative safety of occupied France, Bismarck was attacked by Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal; one hit was scored that rendered the battleship's steering gear inoperable. In her final battle the following morning, Bismarck was neutralised by a sustained bombardment from a British fleet, was scuttled by her crew, and sank with heavy loss of life. Most experts agree that the battle damage would have caused her to sink eventually. In June 1989, Robert Ballard located the wreck, which has since been surveyed by several more expeditions.
Bismarck was ordered under the name Ersatz Hannover, a replacement for the old pre-dreadnought SMS Hannover, under contract "F". The contract was awarded to the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, where the keel was laid on 1 July 1936 at Helgen IX. The ship was launched on 14 February 1939; during the elaborate ceremonies, the ship was christened by Dorothee von Löwenfeld, the granddaughter of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the ship's namesake. Adolf Hitler held the christening speech. Fitting-out work followed the launch, during which time her original straight stem was replaced with a raked "Atlantic bow" similar to the Scharnhorst-class battleships. Bismarck was commissioned into the fleet on 24 August 1940 for sea trials, which were conducted in the Baltic. Kapitän zur See Ernst Lindemann took command of the ship at the time of her commissioning.
Bismarck displaced 41,700 t (41,000 long tons) as built and 50,300 t (49,500 long tons) fully loaded, with an overall length of 251 m (823 ft 6 in), a beam of 36 m (118 ft 1 in) and a maximum draft of 9.9 m (32 ft 6 in). She was Germany's largest battleship, and displaced more than any other European battleship, with the exception of HMS Vanguard. She was powered by three Blohm & Voss geared steam turbines and twelve oil-fired Wagner superheated boilers, which developed a total of 150,170 shaft horsepower (111,980 kW) and yielded a maximum speed of 30.01 knots (55.58 km/h; 34.53 mph) on speed trials. She had a cruising range of 8,870 nautical miles (16,430 km; 10,210 mi) at 19 kn (35 km/h; 22 mph). Bismarck was equipped with three FuMO 23 search radar sets, mounted on the forward and stern range-finders and the ship's foretop.
Her standard crew numbered 103 officers and 1,962 enlisted men. The crew was divided into twelve divisions of between 180 and 220 men. The first six divisions were assigned to the ship's armaments, divisions one through four for the main and secondary batteries and five and six manning anti-aircraft guns. The seventh division consisted of specialists, including cooks and carpenters, and the eighth division consisted of ammunition handlers. The radio operators, signalmen, and quartermasters were assigned to the ninth division. The last three divisions were the engine room personnel. When Bismarck left port, fleet staff, prize crews, and war correspondents increased the crew complement to over 2,200 men. Roughly 200 of the engine room personnel came from the light cruiser Karlsruhe, which had been lost during Operation Weserübung, the German invasion of Norway. Her crew published a ship's newspaper titled Die Schiffsglocke (The Ship's Bell); this paper was only published once, on 23 April 1941 by the commander of the engineering department, Gerhard Junack.
Bismarck was armed with eight 38 cm SK C/34 guns arranged in four twin gun turrets: two super-firing turrets forward—"Anton" and "Bruno"—and two aft—"Caesar" and "Dora". Her secondary armament consisted of twelve 15 cm (5.9 in) L/55 guns, sixteen 10.5 cm (4.1 in) L/65 and sixteen 3.7 cm (1.5 in) L/83, and twelve 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft guns. Bismarck also carried four Arado Ar 196 reconnaissance floatplanes, with a single large hangar and a double-ended catapult.The ship's main belt was 320 mm (13 in) thick and was covered by a pair of upper and main armoured decks that were 50 mm (2.0 in) and 100 to 120 mm (3.9 to 4.7 in) thick, respectively. The 38 cm (15 in) turrets were protected by 360 mm (14.2 in) thick faces and 220 mm (8.7 in) thick sides.
Discovery by Robert BallardThe wreck of Bismarck was discovered on 8 June 1989 by Dr Robert Ballard, the oceanographer responsible for finding the RMS Titanic. Bismarck was found to be resting upright at a depth of approximately 4,791 m (15,719 ft), about 650 km (400 mi) west of Brest. The ship struck an extinct underwater volcano, which rose some 1,000 m (3,300 ft) above the surrounding abyssal plain, triggering a 2 km (1.2 mi) landslide. Bismarck slid down the mountain, coming to a stop two-thirds down.
Ballard's survey found no underwater penetrations of the ship's fully armoured citadel. Eight holes were found in the hull, one on the starboard side and seven on the port side, all above the waterline. One of the holes is in the deck, on the bow's starboard side. The angle and shape indicates the shell that created the hole was fired from Bismarck's port side and struck the starboard anchor chain. The anchor chain has disappeared down this hole. Six holes are amidships, three shell fragments pierced the upper splinter belt, and one made a hole in the main armour belt. Further aft a huge hole is visible, parallel to the aircraft catapult, on the deck. It is unclear whether this was a result of an internal magazine explosion due to a shell penetration of the ship's armour. The submersibles recorded no sign of a shell penetration through the main or side armour that could have caused this; it is likely that the shell penetrated the deck armour only. Huge dents showed that many of the 14 inch shells fired by King George V bounced off the German belt armour.
Ballard noted that he found no evidence of the internal implosions that occur when a hull that is not fully flooded sinks. The surrounding water, which has much greater pressure than the air in the hull, would crush the ship. Instead, Ballard points out that the hull is in relatively good condition; he states simply that "Bismarck did not implode." This suggests that Bismarck's compartments were flooded when the ship sank, supporting the scuttling theory. Ballard added "we found a hull that appears whole and relatively undamaged by the descent and impact". They concluded that the direct cause of sinking was scuttling: sabotage of engine-room valves by her crew, as claimed by German survivors. Ballard kept the wreck's exact location a secret to prevent other divers from taking artifacts from the ship, a practice he considered a form of grave robbing.
The whole stern had broken away; as it was not near the main wreckage and as of 2010 had not been found, it can be assumed this did not occur on impact with the sea floor. The missing section came away roughly where the torpedo had hit, raising questions of possible structural failure. The stern area had also received several hits, increasing the torpedo damage. This, coupled with the fact the ship sank "stern first" and had no structural support to hold it in place, suggests the stern detached at the surface. In 1942 Prinz Eugen was also torpedoed in the stern, which subsequently collapsed. This prompted a strengthening of the stern structures on all German capital ships.
Subsequent expeditionsIn June 2001, Deep Ocean Expeditions, partnered with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, conducted another investigation of the wreck. The researchers used Russian-built mini-subs. William N. Lange, a Woods Hole expert, stated, "You see a large number of shell holes in the superstructure and deck, but not that many along the side, and none below the waterline." The expedition found no penetrations in the main armoured belt, above or below the waterline. The examiners noted several long gashes in the hull, but attributed these to impact on the sea floor.
An Anglo-American expedition in July 2001 was funded by a British TV channel. The team used the volcano—the only one in that area—to locate the wreck. Using ROVs to film the hull, the team concluded that the ship sank due to combat damage. Expedition leader David Mearns claimed significant gashes were found in the hull: "My feeling is that those holes were probably lengthened by the slide, but initiated by torpedoes".
The 2002 documentary Expedition: Bismarck, directed by James Cameron and filmed in May–June 2002 using smaller and more agile MIR submersibles, reconstructed the events leading to the sinking. These provided the first interior shots. His findings were that there was not enough damage below the waterline to confirm that she was sunk rather than scuttled. Close inspection of the wreckage confirmed that none of the torpedoes or shells penetrated the second layer of the inner hull. Using small ROVs to examine the interior, Cameron discovered that the torpedo blasts had failed to shatter the torpedo bulkheads.
Despite their sometimes differing viewpoints, these experts generally agree that Bismarck would have eventually foundered if the Germans had not scuttled her first. Ballard estimated that Bismarck could still have floated for at least a day when the British vessels ceased fire and could have been captured by the Royal Navy, a position supported by the historian Ludovic Kennedy (who was serving on the destroyer Tartar at the time). Kennedy stated, "That she would have foundered eventually there can be little doubt; but the scuttling ensured that it was sooner rather than later." When asked whether Bismarck would have sunk if the Germans had not scuttled the ship, Cameron replied "Sure. But it might have taken half a day." In Mearns' subsequent book Hood and Bismarck, he conceded that scuttling "may have hastened the inevitable, but only by a matter of minutes." Ballard later concluded that "As far as I was concerned, the British had sunk the ship regardless of who delivered the final blow."