I'm in the middle of building their HMS Kent. A lovely model that fits well and had sufficient detail without needing the services of a watchmaker. Their HMS Exeter was just the same. I would love to do a Dido or an Arethusa but I just can't face Flyhawks parts count.
I'm hoping Tamiya will re-do the Scharnhorsts but I think it's unliely.
...video presentations to know that this kit is definitely not for me. There are far too many tiny pieces, and I find that a barrier I simply cannot cross. Kudos to those of you who can still handle the minuscule. Many of us cannot.
It is a question of casting tech. To capture the "Nth" degree of detail in plastic is not easy. The
alloy-based 1/1250 models are exquisitely detailed due to the material used and the casting tech. Plastic casting has come a long way, but the material itself and mass-production moulds have limitations. Ergo, lots of details demand lots of pieces...or massive costs. Or does it?
I think some bright person will come up with a way of making 100-150 piece kits that are every bit as detailed as these current 600-700 piece monsters. I suspect the process will involve a different material and mould-making process, but I won't live long enough to see it. Still, one can hope...
The latest release from Flyhawk is the 1/700 scale WWII German battlecruiser Scharnhorst as she appeared in the Battle of North Cape in December 1943.
The box features a dramatic painting of Scharnhorst being illuminated by flares while she fights through stormy seas. The box art is also on an included card which has a short ships history and technical specifications on the reverse.
The side of the box has the box art of the upcoming Gneisenau 1940 kit
There are 706 plastic pieces on 39 sprues, 13 single parts are not attached to any sprue. There are two small photo-etch sheets with supports for the bridge tower and small cages for the underside of the searchlight platform located on the mainmast. A decal sheet includes markings for the AR-196 and the main deck aircraft recognition markings. There is a small mask sheet for masking off the red surrounds of the deck markings. Many sprues are common to the earlier Bismarck and Kφngisberg kits.
The hull and deck pieces are wrapped in foam to protect the bow and stern.
The lower hull features bilge keels and a separate piece for the forefoot.
The upper hull has portholes with eyebrows (rigoles), indentations for the forward anchors, an anchor cut-out for the port side stern anchor, degaussing cable, and the indention of the hull plating along the top of the well-defined armour belt. The instructions show where to file off external attachment points (presumably for the boat booms), and some portholes which need to be filled in. There are mould seams at the bow and stern which will need to be sanded away.
The main deck is a single piece with individual deck planks, anchor chain, hatches, bulwarks, bases for the forward and after 11in turrets, boat chocks, and the bases for the twin 5.9in secondary turrets. Raised edges are clearly defined for attaching the superstructure pieces. The forward breakwater is a separate piece.
Each 11in turret is unique: A turret has no rangefinder, B turret has small vents on the roof, and C turret has an additional piece at the base. Each turret has separate gun barrels with moulded on blast bags, range finders or covers, gun house, and a base plate; the gun house has raised detail including ladders and rivets. There are four complete assemblies included in the kit.
The twin and single 5.9in secondary guns each have separate barrel(s) with blast bags, a base plate and the gun house with raised detail. The two forward 5.9in turrets have a quad 20mm in a tub mounted on the roof.
The 105mm twin guns and the twin 37mm guns are made up of three pieces: gun barrels, gun mount, and a base.
The superstructure pieces have detail on every face: pipes, vents, handrails, and hatches. There is bracing on the underside of overhanging decks. The windows are clearly defined on the bridge front piece.
The forward bridge tower has 4 main pieces, with the main director and attached radar on the top level. The smaller platforms have non-skid patterns moulded on. The bridge is topped with a non-skid deck and the top of the armoured conning tower which features raised rivets. There are many small fittings such as single 20mm, binocular sights, cable reels, and navigation gear.
The funnel is hollow with moulded on steam pipes and intake vents; it is a very intricate single piece. The funnel cap is a separate piece with moulded in grill. The searchlight platform has separate pieces for the quad 20mm, ammunition lockers, and the searchlights.
The deck for the six twin 105mm mounts amidships has a non-skid pattern and separate ammunition lockers. A large cradle is also fitted to this deck for the boats.
Each amidships boat crane is composed of four parts; the after ones have six pieces.
The hangar on the after superstructure has a two piece roof, one of which could be left off to show the interior detail. The after superstructure is as well detailed as the forward, with several decks and many small fittings such as paravanes, ammunition lockers, vents, and cable reels.
Very detailed triple torpedo tube mounts.
Two AR-196 made up of 10 parts with detailed panel lines and flaps. Can be built with wings extended or folded.
Boats with oarlocks, wood decking.
The forward mast is a single piece. The mainmast is also a single piece, with separate tripod legs and searchlight platforms. Each mast piece is well detailed.
Two pages of full colour instructions with sixteen sub-assemblies.
Full colour painting guide for the camouflage pattern worn by the ship at the Battle of North Cape which matches the one found in Volume Two of Leon and Asmussens book on German Naval Camouflage.
Flyhawk has scored amazingly well with this very impressive kit; it really captures the sleek lines of the real ship and its complex and elegant superstructure. Well-engineered, the kit is packed with extremely fine and subtle detail on all components and will fit together with a minimum of fuss. Admittedly there are a lot of parts, many of which are small such as the ammunition lockers and navigation gear. Having built several Flyhawk kits, I can state that the kits go together very easily; they just require some patience, a fine pair of tweezers, and some CA glue to fit the smaller parts once the main assemblies have been constructed and painted. I have found that the overall amount of effort is actually much less than with other comparable kits that require a lot of filling and sanding. This kit of Scharnhorst will be no different, and will provide much building enjoyment and will result in an incredibly detailed model at the end of the process. The kit is a great addition to the Flyhawk line and will hopefully provide some brand recognition to those modellers who are just interested in the more famous warships.