Tamiya 1/700 Prinz Eugen








Len Roberto


New Mold


            The German Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen accompanied the Bismarck on the ill-fated Operation Rhine in May 1941.  The cruiser was dispatched after the battle with the Hood and Prince of Wales and was not at hand to suffer the same fate as the Bismarck.  In fact, the Prinz Eugen survived the war entirely.  She remained in Brest until the famed “Channel Dash” -  Operation Cerebus in February 1942. 

After the end of WWII, the Prinz Eugen was allocated to the U.S. Navy and was classified IX-300.  In January 1946 she steamed, with an American and German crew, to Boston.  She was then sent on to Philadelphia where she had the two 8" (20.3 cm) cannons from her "A" turret removed.  These guns were then shipped to the Navy's Weapon facility at Dahlgren, Virginia, for testing.  They are now on display there.
Proceeding via the Panama Canal to the Pacific for atomic bomb tests, she survived an atomic explosion at Bikini 25 July 1946, and was towed to Kwajalein where she began to list significantly on 21 December.  Despite an attempt to beach her, she capsized and sank 22 December 1946 on a coral reef at Enubuj, Kwajalein Atoll. 



        Tamiya’s new 1/700 scale waterline Prinz Eugen continues in the tradition of last year’s Indianapolis kit.  In short, this kit is a beauty.  You get four sprues:  one with the hull, deck and flat waterline bottom, one with the superstructure assembly, and two armaments and ancillary equipment sprues.  The kit also comes with decals for the ship’s crest and floatplane markings, flags, and the familiar polycaps used to help support the deck and for use in the poseable main turrets.  The kit also provides instructions and parts to build the cruiser as she appeared with the Bismarck or during the Channel Dash-- Operation Cerberus in February 1942 with a different camo scheme.

 Molding is crisp and the level of detail attained in this scale is amazing.  As with the Indianapolis kit, the tiny antiaircraft armament, searchlights, torpedo tubes, and ship’s boats possess a level of intricacy that you have to see to believe.  This kit will build into a very impressive kit without any help from a photo-etch set.  However, Gold Medal Models makes a set not specifically for this kit but their German Warships set will make the kit a stunner.


            Anyone wishing to get into small scale (1/700 waterline) ship modeling will find this kit a fantastic starting point.  The usual Tamiya quality will ensure that fit should be a joy and the detail will impress.  Though a bit pricey at $31.00 (I say pricey because you can get the Tamiya 1/350 battleships for under $50 bucks now), the fineness of the molding even on traditionally chunky parts like armored gun tubs, machine guns, and radars seems to justify the price tag.  I can’t wait to build this beauty!


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