Review: Flyhawk 1/2000 Tirpitz

Flyhawk 1/2000 Tirpitz

Tirpitz was the second of two Bismarck-class battleships built for Nazi Germany’s Kriegsmarine during World War II. Named after Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, the architect of the Kaiserliche Marine, the ship was laid down at Wilhelmshaven in November 1936 and her hull was launched two and a half years later. Work was completed in February 1941, when she was commissioned into the German fleet. Like her sister ship Bismarck, Tirpitz was armed with a main battery of eight 38-centimetre (15 in) guns in four twin turrets. After a series of wartime modifications, she was 2,000 tonnes (2,000 long tons) heavier than Bismarck, making her the heaviest battleship ever built by a European navy.

After completing sea trials in early 1941, Tirpitz briefly served as the centrepiece of the Baltic Fleet, which was intended to prevent a possible break-out attempt by the Soviet Baltic Fleet. In early 1942, the ship sailed to Norway to act as a deterrent against an Allied invasion. While stationed in Norway, Tirpitz was also intended to be used to intercept Allied convoys to the Soviet Union, and two such missions were attempted in 1942. This was the only feasible role for her since the St Nazaire Raid had made operations against the Atlantic convoy lanes too risky. Tirpitz acted as a fleet in being, forcing the British Royal Navy to retain significant naval forces in the area to contain the battleship.

In September 1943, Tirpitz, along with the battleship Scharnhorst, bombarded Allied positions on Spitzbergen, the only time the ship used her main battery in an offensive role. Shortly thereafter, the ship was damaged in an attack by British mini-submarines and subsequently subjected to a series of large-scale air raids. On 12 November 1944, British Lancaster bombers equipped with 12,000-pound (5,400 kg) “Tallboy” bombs scored two direct hits and a near miss which caused the ship to capsize rapidly. A deck fire spread to the ammunition magazine for one of the main battery turrets, which caused a large explosion. Figures for the number of men killed in the attack range from 950 to 1,204. Between 1948 and 1957 the wreck was broken up by a joint Norwegian and German salvage operation.

There’s lots of information available about her and here’s a couple of links to follow if you want to know more.

This is the second kit in this scale by Flyhawk. It is obviously going to be very similar to the Bismarck, but there are differences on the 2 main sprues and the superstructure part is also different. You will end up with a faithful reproduction of the Tirpitz. There are basically only 2 other kits of the Tirpitz in this scale, a Heller kit from the 70s and one by EKA from about 15 years ago that was re-released by Aoshima and The Works.

I can see on the box there is mention of the next 2 ships in this series; Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau.

The box is an end opening box, with the parts securely packaged inside. In fact, I can safely say the packaging is excellent, as you can see in the video.

So, inside the boxes we have:

  • 44 plastic parts on 3 frets
  • 3 larger parts.

The level of detail in this kit is up to Flyhawk’s usual exceptional standards. The sprues with the finer parts have raised edges so the delicate parts are off the table when the sprue is laid down.

The colour scheme is shown in colour diagrams on the box side and the paints are called out by name. There are no decals.

This kit is currently a future release at LuckyModel for $10.99.

Conclusion
This is a new scale for Flyhawk and they have brought their usual attention to detail to it. The only downside for me personally is the small parts. Highly recommended.

Many thanks to Flyhawk for sending along the kit for review.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
Scifiantasy
HobbyLink International

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