Tamiya Bismarck Battleship Build Part 6

Tamiya Bismarck Battleship 1/350 Scale Kit 78013 – Part 6

In this Sunward Hobbies article I’ll continue with Part 6 of the build of the Tamiya 1/350 scale model of the German battleship Bismarck (items# 78013).

We are nearing the end of all the major construction on this huge model; thus, I’ll be showing you ways to make this daunting process glide smoothly.

It’s critical to test fit the section as many times as you need. Grasping the runways, just aft of the funnel, to remove and replace this section will help prevent snapping off the small parts. Also, try to have an open area to work. My writing studio was never set-up for this size of project, so I used the dining room table.

The ship on a white background with the cardboard box above
The ship on a white background with the cardboard box above

After taking a break from the test fitting there are plenty of other little, yet important, tasks to finish up. Painting very fine detail can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The lettering on the stand’s name plate can be pulled off with some patience and paint retarder added to your colour.

Putting the smallest dab on the edge of your fine bush then placing it on a forward point to be painted works well. Then literally pull the paint back. It takes a steady hand, but you’ll become familiar with the process quickly. Get as close to a 90-degree angle as you can. Sunward Hobbies have all these brushes. Just ask one of the staff to help you out with the right type for the task.

Front and back of name plates in copper and black
Front and back of name plates in copper and black

Step 19 is a breeze since the parts have already been primed. Here again is the AK Interactive Super Chrome 9198 product for the searchlight glacious which David recently did a video on. You will have to remove any paint and primer from the insert openings to get the arms of the lights to fit. It’s much easier to do that than to scrape the flash from the connecting pins.

Step 19 with the necessary parts and tools placed beside
Step 19 with the necessary parts and tools placed beside

When installing the front deck press your finger down at spots to ensure the fit is tight. You’ll be able to know this by the slight sound of plastic on plastic. Use a clamp and a rubber band at the tip of the bow and let it set up before moving a few inches back. Even though I’ve clear coat protected the hull gloves were still used to prevent scratches.

Tamiya cement at the nose of the bow
Tamiya cement at the nose of the bow

Now that I know the forward section is battened down you can “walk back” the gluing process. Use a clamp to draw the sides together while pressing down on the deck. You don’t need a lot of pressure, but hold each point for a minute. If it pops up, simply add more cement and hold it for a couple of minutes longer.

Clamp and blue glove at insignia area of the deck
Clamp and blue glove at insignia area of the deck

Once the forward deck component’s have somewhat stiffened you can add some more Excel Hobby clamps and move down a little more. You’ll be able to feel where to add more cement and clamp. There’s also a noticeable plastic creaking sound to help you out.

Large Excel clamp on the mid bow
Large Excel clamp on the mid bow

It is crucial to get this section placed right because it affects the fit of the other two deck parts, hence why all the test fitting. Don’t scrimp on the cement and use a heavy weight to gently force the part down. Here, I’m using a common jewelers anvil to assist in the process so I can move on to other steps.

Two light blue Excel clamps on the mid bow
Two light blue Excel clamps on the mid bow

Adding a slight amount of pressure at the forward heavy turret is also wise. The plastic is very thick and because of that there will be some minor warping which you will need to address. It isn’t catastrophic, yet if you want the right look then you must invest some time, trust me it’s worth it and fun.

Clamps blue glove and anvil on forward deck area
Clamps blue glove and anvil on forward deck area

Once the cement has seeped in all the seam lines it only takes a minor bit of persuasion, and some hobby tape, to get it to stay put. I know I harp on this, but pick up some rubber gloves from the store. On a model this size finger marks are easily noticed.

Blue glove and tape holding down the forward deck section
Blue glove and tape holding down the forward deck section

Please go back through the previous work and ensure the deck plate is solid. You can always do little paint touch-ups here and there later. The shape of the entire hull is determined by the end sections and affects the mid-ship part.

Note on deck plate
Note on deck plate

The stern plate requires the same amount of attention. Make sure not to shave off too much material from the edges though. The cement will melt the excess and help conform the part to the hull. Be sure to use some clamps to draw in the sides of the hull.

Clamps on the stern
Clamps on the stern

You’ll need to rinse and repeat the process for the midsection of the stern plate as was done on the bow. Be mindful of the small parts added. Their connection points were super skinny and fragile. Two broke off on me were an absolute pain to get back into place.

Clamps and anvil on the stern plate part
Clamps and anvil on the stern plate part

Now that the forward and aft plates are firmly in place you can now look after the slight rise of the mid deck section. In nineteen seventy-eight this area was meant to be removed in order to swap out batteries and parts. The fit was never that important in those days, but being this is a static replica which won’t be going in a kid’s pool or bathtub the fit issue has to be fixed. Use a curved Excel blade to carve away a half millimetre of plastic from the resting lip. Be prepared to connect one end prior to moving to the next. On this model the mid section rocked back and forth. And, again, use clamps to pull the sides into the edges of the deck plate.

Primer paint and plastic removed from resting lip
Primer paint and plastic removed from resting lip

Now I’ll finish up Step 19 and to the highlight painting points later. It is a small section of the replica, yet adds to the overall detail Tamiya put into the model. Use your fine needle Excel tweezers to place the parts and you won’t have a problem.

Mid ship searchlights completed
Mid ship searchlights completed

The “crows’ nest” in Step 20 has to be finely sanded to fit right on the mast. Consider using a file. Sunward Hobbies have these in stock and they work great for all sorts of projects. Test fit these halves repeatedly until you’re happy.

Parts D5 and D6 cleaned up
Parts D5 and D6 cleaned up

After you join the two halves clamp them. Now your model may be different, but this one has bends inward on the edges. An easy fix, as you’ll see later. Also, note the AK chrome on the light standard. I can’t tell you if this is accurate, it just looks nice.

Part D13 attached on the main mast with the clamped crows’ nest
Part D13 attached on the main mast with the clamped crows’ nest

The boat launches in the mid deck area are much like the others. They need to be primed along with test fitted. Again, don’t scrimp out on the cement. Any excess ooze can be removed later or used to help seat them in place.

Blade pointing to boats on the instructions
Blade pointing to boats on the instructions

It’s up to you if the insides should be filled to make the decks look flat. Remember, you’ll be hard pressed to even see that level of detail on a basic build such as this one is. Focus on the obvious, in my opinion, to make your project stand out.

Blue glove holding a boat at Step 20
Blue glove holding a boat at Step 20

The parting lines of the crows’ nest were filled and need half a day to dry properly prior to sanding. The rear hanger section must have the inside edges of the plastic honed down by one half of a millimeter in order for it to fit over the raised plastic on the deck. It is way easier to shave away the material from the inside of the sidewalls as opposed to the deck.

Main mast resting on the hangar
Main mast resting on the hangar

To achieve a crisp look for the boats, please consider masking off the hulls and airbrushing for the Tamiya XF-1 flat black. The hobby tape will cling well to the primed and painted surface with little pressure, plus the result looks great compared to hand painting it.

Masked and sprayed boat hulls
Masked and sprayed boat hulls

As you’ve seen I blend a drop of retarder in the cap of my paint jar. The pigments self level but take longer to dry. The retarder also turns flat paint into a semi-gloss look. A light dusting of flat clear coat will knock that down, should you choose to have that appearance.

Deck tan colour and white added to the boat parts
Deck tan colour and white added to the boat parts

In Part 21 the holes in the base of the aft bridge need to be reamed out slightly. You can pick up a round file from the store to get this done. The thick pins are difficult to get at, hence opening the holes a bit is far wiser and more convenient.

Step 21 rear bridge parts
Step 21 rear bridge parts
Round file next to holes
Round file next to holes

I spruced up the look of the radge finder and radar parts with some Tamiya X-10 Gunmetal. Even though this is a basic build you can still do some little things to add more life to your project. Put on the lower parts of this superstructure first, save for the guns, prior to adding the upper pieces.

Lower rear bridge section next to X-10 paint
Lower rear bridge section next to X-10 paint

The upper radar section of the aft bridge must be clamped; however, you can save yourself some time by filing level the very base. Note the chrome on the collector, again one more small detail that helps this replica pop.

Clamps holding down the radar section
Clamps holding down the radar section

Now I’ll switch back to the launch boat and hangar area. The resting places at the hulls are not shaped right. Scrape the paint and primer away from where these hulls sit. I wouldn’t fret about removing the paint from each hull to have a decent bond. The cement will take care of that.

Four completed launch boats
Four completed launch boats

Due to the number of the many fine parts you must be extremely cautious where you place your clamps at the aft bridge. The subsection on this kit had a slight warp which needed to be corrected, even after filing and sanding. It wasn’t much, but I didn’t like the gap.

Clamps holding in place the aft bridge radar array
Clamps holding in place the aft bridge radar array

I would leave the launches dry for a good eight hours. After they harden in place you will need to press on them to get the hangar to seat flush with the deck. After that is done you can do your desired touch ups.

Four boats on top of the hangar
Four boats on top of the hangar

These tiny Arado aircraft were airbrushed with the XF-66 Light Grey on the belly but had to be hand painted the XF-26 Deep Green topside. Use the advice mentioned for the name plates to get crisp edges. Don’t over flood the wings since you’re going to be painting the flight insignias.

Two planes on instructions with retarder and XF-26
Two planes on instructions with retarder and XF-26

With most of the big items attached to the middle component you can finally attach it. Condition the mating surface of the section that falls on the forward deck area with cement. Just run the wet part of the cement applicator along the edge and wait a few seconds. Next, slip the part into place and flood the edges with more cement. Clamp it down and hold any misbehaving spots. It might take five minutes or but it’s so worth it.

Blue glove and clamps holding fast the mid deck area
Blue glove and clamps holding fast the mid deck area

Here you see the warp in the middle deck area. It has to be left alone until the forward part of the deck has completely dried and hardened. Keep in mind, you’ve already test fitted this section repeatedly, so it’s just a matter of patience to get it nailed down.

Mid plate lifting up at the stern deck part
Mid plate lifting up at the stern deck part

Use a sponge in the middle of the midship to assist your large clamp and make certain there is some soft material to protect the hull from being scratched. The blue block is common packaging material, regardless employ what’s on hand to force the part into place.

Fingers and clamps connecting parts at the center hull
Fingers and clamps connecting parts at the center hull

Be super careful with how much material you remove from the connection points of the float pods to the wings. These little flyers are well crafted and need hours to harden for the upcoming fine painting. Let them sit to one side for six hours.

Planes being set for finishing
Planes being set for finishing

The aircraft sit in the launch runways very well. The amount of detail is something else! The hand painted flight wing insignias were done under a magnifier, yet you can do this too with a fine brush and then run some deep green along the edges to hide any over-brushing.

Planes boats and mid deck assembled
Planes boats and mid deck assembled

Here’s some shots of the current progress.

Starboard view on white backing
Starboard view on white backing

Please excuse the over lighting. I wanted this shot to show you the details. For a kit from the late seventies it sure is measuring up to today’s standards.

Mid section close-up
Mid section close-up

Now for a beauty shot. You will definitely enjoy these Steps on page 10. Sure, there’s work to be done of course and that work will provide countless hours of viewing enjoyment.

Upper starboard view on white backing
Upper starboard view on white backing

If you have any questions about the products or methods used in this article, please feel free to ask the staff when you pick up or place your next order from Sunward Hobbies.

H.G. Barnes is a former voice-over artist and retired sales and marketing professional. He’s the author of two large volume science fiction adventure romance novels with many more in the works. For well over 40 years he’s been building scale model replicas and now does commission work for clients in Canada and the USA, plus completes projects for companies in Asia and Europe.
Currently H.G. is involved as an Associate Editor with KitMaker Network’s Online Magazine Channels.

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