|KIT:||ICM 1/350 SMS Markgraf|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
SMS Markgraf was a König class battleship of the German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine).
She was the third of four ships in her class, displacing 28,600 tons, with a length of 175 m, a beam of 30 m and a draft of 9 m. She was powered by three turbines developing 46,000 hp (34 MW) each, yielding a maximum speed of 22 knots. Her armament consisted of ten 305 mm guns, fourteen 150 mm guns, six 85 mm guns and five 500 mm torpedo tubes. She carried a crew of 1,136 men and officers.
SMS Markgraf was built at the AG Weser shipyard in Bremen. She was launched on 4 June 1913 and commissioned on 1 October 1914. She served in the Third Battle Squadron and took part in theBattle of Jutland on 31 May-1 June 1916, where she received five artillery hits that killed 11 of her crew.
In October 1917, SMS Markgraf and her sistership SMS König operated in the Baltic Sea against the Russian navy and sank the Russian ship of the line Slawa.
Interned after the end of WWI at Scapa Flow (Orkney Islands), she was scuttled there by her crew, along with the entire German fleet, on 21 June 1919. A group of Royal Marines, trying to prevent the scuttling, killed the captain, Walter Schumann, and the First Officer, Hermann Dittman.
The wreck of SMS Markgraf still lies in Scapa Flow, near the island of Cava, at ().
Molded in white plastic, as are most ICM kits, this one comes in a rather large box, which gives the kit parts a lot of room to slide around. The majority of the sprues are in three large and one small bag. The parts themselves are very nicely molded. I looked long and hard for the usual problem areas of sink areas, ejector pin marks and flash. I was quite pleased to not find anything of consequence aside from some very deep sink areas on the prop shaft housings. Some of the parts are very finely done and thanks to the sprues being several to a bag, some of these bits had either broken off or had been bent to where straightening them will result in their snapping. The detail level is quite good and you'll find the usual rivets and the myriad of stanchions, ladders, davits, guns, and various naval accoutrements that one normally finds on ships.
The main superstructure is quite complex for a ship of this era and careful construction will be needed to keep things in place. This is especially true of the various mast work and cranes. It is for these constructs that you'll find the finest of parts and the need to do the most repair if your kit has been roughly handled before it got to you. If you don't have a small set of hand drills, I highly recommend getting one to drill out the gun barrels. Both the main and secondary armament are of such a size that doing this will surely enhance the look.
It seems from the instructions that each one of the three kits in the series is basically identical in terms of the sprues in the box. Some parts are shown as not used on different variants and this is to be expected as few major ships are exactly the same. Instructions are superbly done with all the needed modifications clearly shown. All the parts are listed in both Russian and English where needed. Color information is supplied in both Model Master and generic terms. An overall painting diagram is provided in the center of the instruction booklet. I did notice that the waterline is visible on the hull part to aid in painting as this is usually quite difficult. Though the basic color of the ship is shown as Light Ghost Grey, there are enough additional bits and pieces of different colors to keep from the ship looking a boring monotone. A small decal sheet provides basically your flags and a few smaller bits.
Yet another fine ICM WWI battleship. These dreadnought style ships have a certain cool to them that the more modern types just can't match. It is nice to have these back on the market.
Thanks to and DLV Company for the review kit. You can find ICM kits at your favorite hobby shop.
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