Takom – 1/72 German Battleship Bismarck Turret B – Full Build
This is the full build review. For the first look review go here:
First Look Review
Construction starts with the mount for the turret. With this kit representing the ‘Bruno (i.e. B)’ turret, the mount is relatively tall to elevate the turret over the turret in front of it. So it’s a pretty complex structure and the construction of it spans the first 8 steps.
It’s important to consider how to paint it when installing the various parts. I left off the large bag and supports (step 4) and the large cannisters (step 7) since installing them would have made painting the wooden deck very complicated.
I also deviated from the instructions by first installing all of the plastic parts and saving the photo etch for last. The plastic parts all fit cleanly with just the usual sprue attachments to clean up. There are a couple of parts (B8 and B10) that need a little putty to fair them into the mount structure but it is pretty straight forward if you leave off the photo etch.
Once the plastic parts were installed, I turned to the photoetch. Most of the photo etch parts are the vent covers. These can be installed in either the opened or closed position and they went on without any problems. Where things got more complicated was with the perforated platforms and their railings. There are three of them. In each case you must be very careful with the folding of the angle supports as they fit into notches on the plastic parts. On two of the platforms, there are a pair of these supports and they wrap around the vent housings so there’s very little room for error. Too narrow and they don’t fit and too wide and one is hanging out too far.
In addition, all three platforms have very thin railings that must be very carefully folded and on two of the platforms, glued almost edge to edge. These parts are very flimsy and easily bent. Personally, I think Takom would have been better off to have molded the platforms and railings in plastic as these parts are really tough to install.
Finally, there are two more railings that attach to the ends of the intermediate height large platform that runs around roughly 2/3 of the turret. These I left off until the end since painting the wooden deck would have been super tough if they were already in place.
With the mount completed, I turned to the turret. This is a much easier set of steps. The lower part of the turret has just the cannon mounts and these are straight forward to assemble.
The upper shell of the turret has the targeting housings, some ladders and a lower bar that runs along all four sides of the turret roof. Other than some cleanup and a little bit of putty work, all of these parts fit nicely and this step is also pretty simple.
Finally, there are the cannons. You have the option of fully depressed or fully raised for each cannon. I chose fully depressed. The barrels are split in halves and the covers are also split in halves to wrap around the barrels. Overall, the fit is pretty good and I had little trouble sanding the seam on the barrels while keeping them round since they’re big parts. I did run a little putty on the inside of the muzzle since that area will be visible.
Much to my surprise, there are 5 different painting options. I chose the one titled ‘Operation Rheinburg Phase 2, Grimstadtfjord, Norway, 21 May 1941’. This scheme has dark grey barrels and the roof of the turret is dark grey as well.
I started the painting by spraying Tamiya Deck Tan on the wooden areas of the mount. The mount has a series of jagged edges where the planks of wood meet the metal structure. I’m not sure this is accurate since every ship I’ve been on had a straight edge are the planks were cut to match the line of the metal structure. Regardless, it makes for a difficult job to mask off the deck since all those little zig-zags would take a long time to mask. I didn’t.
Instead, I next sprayed Tamiya Sky Grey on the lighter grey sections. Where the Sky Grey met the Deck Tan, I airbrushed as tightly as possible to minimize overspray. I gave the grey areas a panel faded with lighted Sky Grey.
Then I masked off the turret roof and painted it and the barrels with Tamiya Dark Grey and then panel faded with lightened Dark Grey. Finally I masked off the barrels and painted the covers with Tamiya Buff.
After all of this was done, I gave the model a heavy coat of Testors Dullcoat. Once dry, I carefully touched up the overspray on the Deck Tan with a brush. It worked out OK and was much quicker than masking.
After another flat coat, I gave the model an overall wash using thinned Raw Umber oil paint. Then I attached the parts I’d left off on the mount and gave the model a final flat coat.
Overall this is a fun build of a very interesting subject. But the photoetch is something less experienced modelers may have trouble with.
Highly Recommended for experienced modelers.
My sincere thanks to Takom for the review sample.
Reviewed by Jim Wechsler, SoCal AMPS