Dragon 1/350 DKM Scharnhorst (1943)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Scharnhorst class were the first capital ships, alternatively referred to as battlecruisers or battleships, built for the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) after World War I. The class comprised two vessels: the lead ship Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.
Scharnhorst was launched first, and so she is considered to be the lead ship by some sources; however, they are also referred to as the Gneisenau class in some other sources, asGneisenau was the first to be laid down and commissioned. They marked the beginning of German naval rearmament after the Treaty of Versailles. The ships were armed with nine 28 cm (11 in) SK C/34 guns in three triple turrets, though there were plans to replace these weapons with six 38 cm (15 in) SK C/34 guns in twin turrets.
The two ships were laid down in 1935, launched in late 1936, and commissioned into the German fleet by early 1939. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau operated together for much of the early portion of World War II, including sorties into the Atlantic to raid British merchant shipping. The two ships participated in Operation Weserübung, the German invasion of Norway. During operations off Norway, the two ships engaged the battlecruiser HMS Renown and sank the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious— in the engagement with Glorious,Scharnhorst achieved one of the longest-range naval gunfire hits in history. In early 1942, the two ships made a daylight dash up the English Channel from occupied France to Germany.
In late 1942, Gneisenau was heavily damaged in an Allied air raid against Kiel. In early 1943, Scharnhorst joined the Bismarck class battleship Tirpitz in Norway to interdict Allied convoys to the Soviet Union. Scharnhorst and several destroyers sortied from Norway to attack a convoy; the Germans were instead intercepted by British naval patrols. During the battle of North Cape, the Royal Navy battleship HMS Duke of York sank Scharnhorst. In the meantime, repair work on Gneisenau had begun, and the ship was in the process of being rearmed. However, when Scharnhorst was sunk, work on her sister was abandoned. Instead, she was sunk as a blockship in Gdynia in 1945; the wreck was broken up for scrap in the 1950s.
The result of 18 months of intensive labor, this is Dragon’s first ever battleship in this scale. The lower hull is made as a single piece via slide molds, and the accurate hull includes the correct undercut shapes. The deck fits onto the one-piece hull, with a single joint line completely hidden beneath the superstructure. The deck includes fine lines representing the plank pattern, and the bridge superstructure is superbly molded. The bridge is also made by slide molds so that there are no parting lines to mar this highly visible element. The kit makes use of multimedia materials with a judicious use of photo-etched parts. The canvas waterproof covers that fit over the guns in their turrets are made from DS in order to give the necessary flexibility and realistic texture. The gun turrets, made by slide molds, are fully detailed, with even their riveted construction depicted. Here is the full list of features.
The kit is carefully boxed with reinforced sections on the ends. The hull pieces are protected and positioned by ingenious preformed plastic sections to prevent damage during shipment. Instructions are all one has come to expect from Dragon. There is a lot of detail provided and one would be well advised to build this one carefully. In many cases are are optional etched brass bits that can be used in lieu of the injected plastic bits. I notice on the parts ID guide, that there are bits not used so I'd look for a Gneisenau in the near future.
Dragon now joins the 'big gun' club with the release of this kit. Typical of Dragon kits, there are over 1300 parts in this one, many of those as part of the photo etch suite. One thing for sure, it will make a superb model once you are finished with it. Guess you can sell off your Heller kit now.
September 2010 Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors. Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page