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Admiral Graf Spee


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First model finished for 2013, (but started in 2012) was the first ship I had built in many many years. This is a 1/700 Admiral Graf Spee released by Matchbox in 1977. It’s an old kit of course, but I think it builds up pretty well as a nice example of the German Kriegsmarine Deutschland-class cruiser which was sunk in December 1939. The Graf Spee saw virtually every part of the Atlantic from her launch in 1936 until the final days at after the Battle of the River Plate where she fought 3vs1 before retiring from the engagement.

 

The kit builds quite well out of the box. It is a second run (non-UK) mold of the kit, so I had to deal with multiple sink marks and a few warps. From a satisfaction standpoint, it was pretty cool to see it all come together during the build process. I painted her in one of the later schemes with the fake wakes on each side, and with an Arado 196 seaplane overpainted in dark grey, but keeping the green/brown floats. She is mounted on a simple board with her bow at anchor into a strong breeze from her port bow to starboard rear. Her stern churns as she slowly moves in the wind, and the waves and chop start to pick up. I made a couple of additions to the kit to improve her – firstly, all of the 11’ (28cm) barrels were replaced with metal ones, and secondly, the standard deck railings were added to the gunnels. The various antenna layouts were also rigged up. The waves were made from Vallejo “Atlantic Blue”water effects, and “foam and snow” added for wavetops and splash. The mooring anchor was added also.

 

Overall, I am happy with it. It was certainly a change from the normal stuff for me, and a delight to see the character of this famous “Panzerschiff” as the build progressed. I am sure that Kapitan Langsdorff would like her too.

 

Enjoy.

 

Adam

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Guest PetrolGator

Good looking build, especially considering the age of the kit. If you like the pocket BBs, Academy makes a decent one in 1/350 with a TON of aftermarket bits you can get fairly cheaply.

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