"THE PRINZ - ROYAL MEMBER OF A SMALL FAMILY A shortcoming of the German war machine in World War II was its lack of a powerful surface navy. However, the small number of major vessels that composed the German surface fleet were inferior to none. Among these was the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, one of the few large German ships to survive the war. She entered service in August, 1940, taking her training cruises in the Baltic Sea. Her first combat voyage began May 18, 1941, when she accompanied the superdreadnaught Bismarck on her fatefull journey into the Atlantic.
BRITAIN'S HOOD A VICTIM OF PRINZ EUGEN'S GUNS As the two German warships steamed through the Denmark Straits between Greenland and Iceland they were intercepted by two British cruisers. These were soon joined by the battleship Prince of Wales and the cruiser Hood. In the ensuing battle the heavy armament of Prinz Eugen proved its worth as a well placed salvo of 8 inch shells shattered Hood. A second round from Bismarck, minutes later, completed the destruction of the British cruiser.
For a brief period following the loss of the British ship the Germans evaded their enemies. In spite of very poor weather, a determined British force of planes and ships relocated the fleeing Germans and attacked again. Bismarck, suffering some damage from the previous assault, was forced to counterattack, and her captain ordered the Prinz to retreat southward to France. The huge German battleship then faced alone the superior British forces that finally bested and sank the famous Bismarck.
THE CHANNEL DASH On February 11, 1942, after a nine month layover at Brest, France, Prinz Eugen again attracted world wide attention. Slipping under the very noses of the British Blockade at Brest, the Prinz led the battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in a suspenseful run up the channel in a bid for freedom. Although the British fleet was successfully eluded, both of the battlecruisers were severely damaged by mines. A few days after the channel breakthrough, the Prinz safely escorted the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer north to Norway.
STERNLESS - BUT STILL AFLOAT Less than two weeks later, on Feb. 23, the captain of the British submarine Trident watched quietly as the Prinz cruised down Trondheimsfjord, heading back to the Atlantic. The serenity of the fjord was suddenly shattered as one of Trident's torpedoes tore into the aft section of the German cruiser. The entire stern of the Prinz broke away as a result of the explosion. Only the quick action of her crew and the remarkable strength of the vessel kept her afloat. By mid May of 1943, Prinz Eugen was back in service. Following artillery training in the Baltic, the Prinz saw action against Russian coastal targets until the war's end.
A PEACETIME SACRIFICE The Prinz was surrendered to the allies in May, 1945, at Copenhagen, Denmark. She joined the U.S. Navy for a brief period, then on June 17, 1946, she reported for her final duty. Anchored at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific, the Prinz became the target for the devastating atomic bomb tests. On November 15, 1947, her hull battered by the force of many infernos, Prinz Eugen sank into the depths of the Pacific Ocean."
This build is of the Revell GMBH reissue in 1991, made in Poland. However, the parts did not look as bad as I remember them, with quite good detailing on the guns. There are 70 parts in the kit, with 6 additional parts to build the sister ship DKM Blücher. I got my kit from KingKit for £5.99 in 2004. You can build the kit either as a waterline or as full hull which is my preference.
|Revell GMBH reissue|
The guns are moulded with the turrets in a fixed horizontal orientation. As expected with a mould of this age, there were a small number of sink marks, flash and imperfections. All are easily fixed with some sandpaper, putty and plastic card.
|The hull half above shows you how much bigger the Airfix 1/600 kit is|
To detail the model, I used the White Ensign Models photo-etch detail set, designed for the 1/700 Tamiya kit. I found all the parts fitted the slightly smaller Revell kit without any problem. I also used WEM paints, Hellgrau 50 KM01, Dunkelgrau 51 KM02, Schiffsbodenfarbe III KM04, Dunkelgrau 2 KM06 and Teak C01. This matched the 1940 time frame I was modelling the kit on.
|After some assembly|
The superstructure and detail parts were gradually added, brush painting as I went. I prefer not to use washes, as I think washes gives a very ugly and unrealistic finish. For the bridge, there are some walls that I added using plastic card. The wings were also cut off and replaced with WEM PE replacements.
For the Arado Ar 196 floatplane, the Revell parts needed quite a bit of cleanup and some repair. I printed my own decals using my ALPS printer, scaled down from the 1/72 decals in the Airfix kit! The pontoons had to be cut out off from the plastic launch rail, which is replaced by photoetch from the WEM set. I also cut off the plastic canopy and replaced that with a clear piece of plastic cut and sanded to shape. To paint the floatplane I used Humbrol H149 matt dark green and H91 black green for the upper surfaces. The lower surfaces were painted with H65 aircraft blue. The PE propeller and machine gun parts were painted matt black.
|Arado Ar 196 Seaplane|
After assembly, I then added the rigging using Aeroclub stretch thread. This detail along with the PE handrails really makes the ship come alive. The last detail parts, being the 4.1" guns, cranes and boat davits were then added. The handrails around the perimeter were then added. Unfortunately, there was not enough rails to go around and I had to buy some more rails from WEM. At long last, I could remove the tape around the hull. The propellers were painted bronze and glued on.
For the stand, I attached a strip of plastic card to display the ship's name. The stand was then painted in satin black. The name was printed using my ALPS printer in gold ink in Encient German Gothic font. Finally the stand was glued on followed by the flag pole at the stern. This is a little high and I will make this shorter. Some touch ups and the model was done!