So very sorry to see of his passing. These are truly unique designs, well out of the realm of more well known “never-weres.”
I wills end a separate e-mail to get on this list. Are there plans to publish something with the designs he had?
Detlef Hartwig has died. I last spoke with him on Saturday October 19th at his Schwerin, Germany home. I knew his health was very bad because he asked me last spring if I would handle all aspects of his modeling hobby should his heart finally give out. Like most of us, his good wife let him pursue this hobby which was incomprehensible to her. He had technically died three time during open heart surgery about 7 years ago while living in Arkansas. He seemed to get better this summer, but by September he knew that his condition was getting progressively worse. Detlef was scheduled to see his cardiologist the next Monday, but that Saturday night a stent failed while he was sleeping and he never woke up.
Most of those who knew him via SteelNavy or ModelWarships likely do not know his family once owned a shipyard in Germany. The Schichau shipyard produced ships for the Kaiser including the battle cruiser Lutzow and battleship Baden. It was located in the Baltic Sea west of Danzig and is located in what now is Poland. His family was openly not keen on the Nazis so they were only given contracts to build small ships for the Kriegsmarine. Two of Detlef’s uncles went down with the Scharnhorst. His ashes were placed in the Baltic Sea between Germany and Poland near islands he loved.
He had a tremendous room-sized 1/700 harbor that was filled with High Seas Fleet and Kriegsmarine ships of all kinds. He even transported it to Germany when he moved there from Arkansas. It was a magnet for many in his neighborhood and especially the children. When he died, those neighbors organized a memorial gathering for him. Some of whom are assisting me by inventorying his many books, drawing and documents in addition to his models. None of them are ship modelers. He is survived by his wife (who followed him to Germany), a German daughter from his first marriage long ago, and his American daughter and six-year old grandson who live in Arkansas.
He was a fountain of knowledge about the Imperial Navy and the Kriegsmarine and a good friend to many. He will be greatly missed by those of us who are fans of the Kriegsmarine and especially those that want models of Kriegsmarine Never-Were or never completed warships.
He persuaded Harald Popcke to offer almost all the Never-Were, and not completed, Kriegsmarine warships that HP has produced. The most recent of which is a model of the 5-turret Berlin-class cruiser. Also included were HP’s:
1) proposed reconstructed Gneiesanu with 15” guns.
2) proposed Scharnhorst conversion to 15” guns and dual purpose secondary turrets,
3) battlecruisers OPQ
4) carriers Europa, Elbe (ex Potsdam), Wesser (ex Sydlitz), De Grasse
5) cruiser M, Spahkreuzer 1939, Leichter Kreuzer "O"
6) Spahkreuzer SP-1 1938
He even persuaded Harold to offer an H-Class battleship with triple 15” main guns (Schlachtschiff N) and a Germanized conversion (the KH-1 ) of the Dutch light cruiser De Zeven Provincien.
In addition, he persuaded others to produce a number of kits but with Detlef funding the projects by committing to pay for building the masters and the initial production run all while hoping he could find buyers. In short, he took the financial risk for us. Among the projects were the following:
1. Hugh Letterly, of Loose Cannon West, started to build a master for the M-Class cruiser but that effort was never completed because Harold Popcke, much to Detlef’s surprise, came out with HP’s kit. Hugh Letterly never charged for his efforts.
2. Mike C, of Corsair Armada, produced 30+ kits of Schichau Werke Zerstoerer 1934. Bandon Lowe, of Freetime Hobbies, committed to purchasing enough of these kits of these kits to insure they would happen. This was a complete kit less the box,
3. Peter Markhardt, a German friend, produced triple 20,3 cm turrets of two kinds (based on recently discovered sketches Detlef had found) and other parts.
4. Hugh Letterly built the master and David Angelo, of Loose Cannon East, cast the T-62 large torpedo boat. These torpedo boats were Dutch ships captured on the building ways by the Germans. One was completed only to be destroyed by the Allies. This was a high quality “craftsman” kit without any guns as these can be obtained by purchasing excellent ones from 3DModelParts or Micro Masters’ 3D printed resin parts.
He persuaded, and provided drawings, Rudolf Vogel of Bird Models to produce many obscure subjects including:
1) Modernized battlecruisers Mackensen 1942, Yorck 1938 and Moltke 1943
2) Modernized battleship Bayern 1938,
3) Panzerschiff “D”, Panzerschiff "E" and other variants of the first pocket battleships
4) Munchen Kreuzer Q, Sydlitz/Lutzow conversion with four triple 15.9 cm turrets, Dresden II 1938,
5) Small aircraft carrier 1942 based on Dr. Drager’s papers
6) Hybrid carriers Goeben 1942, Waldersee 1940, and IIA
7) And many other cruisers (including the Moltke which is based on Krupp Design Bureau plans for an enlarged Prinz Eugen with 8 11” main guns), a number of destroyer versions and other ships, some of which Rudolph Vogel may have just made up for fun.
I left out a number of the Bird Model kits. The Bird kits vary in quality but can be easily improved with 3D printed parts by the parties I have already mentioned along with those of Model Monkey. Keep in mind Rudolph Vogel’s specialty is aircraft so we should be happy that he offers these kits. I have purchased all of those mentioned and many more.
I would like thank Hugh, David, Mike, Peter and Rudolf, and anyone I’ve left out, that contributed to Detlef’s desire for the German never-were models. They did it because they are fellow model builders.
The Future of German Never-Were Models
When Detlef died, he was working with another excellent builder to produce more ships. Detlef provided detailed drawings for 22 different ships. A 1941 Torpedo boat master has been finished as has the master for a diesel cruiser. Detlef was seeking preorders, but these projects are now on hold. Next in line was the WWI era L-20a battleship (6 have already been presold) and a WWII escort carrier but these too have been suspended because of his death.
A Call to Action
I know a number of people had signed up for some of these latest (but yet to be produced) kits. I have contacted those folks that I know about and have email addresses, but I have no idea of who else wanted these ships. Unfortunately, Detlef’s wife does not use a computer or have his passwords. For example, I have no contact information for a “Harold in Ottawa, Canada” or anyone else who may have signed up for these latest kits. If you are one of them and or want to be on a “interested” list for these kits (or the T-62 which is still available) then please contact me at Len.Fricke@gmail.com as I am in discussions with this excellent builder who is interested in going forward on these project ships.