Well, she has finally been done in 1/350. This is without a doubt my #1 wanted ship of all time. I feel she is a beautiful ship and Eugene happens to be a family name, my middle name and my gradnfathers first name. So, when the kit was announced I was very excited. Then when we received the review sample I moved into high gear digging up reference material and histories on the ship so everything that was said was correct or as correct as can be. So, let’s get into the review shall we,
DKM Prinz Eugen
The Prinz Eugen was the third ship built in the Admiral Hipper class. In reality each ship was built differently and should be considered their own class of ships. The ship is named for Prince Eugene of Savoy, the German spelling is Prinz Eugen. He is possibly one of the greatest military leaders in European history. He held allegiance to the Austrian Habsburg family, this is how the ship came to bear his name. This was done to cement the ties between Germany and the newly annexed Austria. The four main gun turrets were named after the Austrian towns of Graz, Braunau, Innsbruck and Wien(Vienna).
The ship was laid down at the Krupp Germania shipyard April 23, 1936. She was launched in August 1938 and commissioned August 1 1940. Her fist deployment was with the Bismarck. Both ships were to slip into the Atlantic and take part in Commerce raiding then return to Brest France. The events of this deployment are well known, so I will skip those.
After evading the British she eventually did make the French port. While there she was attacked several times by British bombers. She remained in Brest until ordered back the Germany by Adolf Hitler. On February 12, 1942 she along with the battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau took part in one of the most audacious moves of the war, the Channel Dash. All three ships sprinted up the English Channel past the British blockade and into German home waters.
From 1942 until the end of the war she took part in few operations other than shelling Russian forces as they advanced along the Baltic. During this time she was attacked by the British submarine HMS Trident. Her stern was severely damaged and had to be replaced. She also collided with the cruiser Leipzig requiring her bow to be replaced. She made her way to Copenhagen harbor where she remained fro the rest of the war.
On May 8 1945 she was placed under British control. She sailed for Wilhelmshaven where she was placed in dry dock and handed over the US Navy. She sailed to Boston as the USS Prinz Eugen in January 1946. After being examined at the Philadelphia Naval yard she headed off to the Bikini Atoll. During the summer she was a target ship during the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests.
After surviving the Able and Baker tests she was too radioactive to have leaks repaired. She was towed to she was towed to Kwajalein Atoll and capsized on December 22, 1946 over Enubuj reef.
Displacement: 15,000 tons, 18,400 fully loaded
Length: 212.5 m
Beam: 21.8 m
Draft: 7.2 m
Installed Power: 136,000 shp
Speed: 33.5 knots
Range: 7,200 miles at 20 knots
Crew: 1,600 officers and crew
Armament: 8 x 20.3 cm /L60
Armor: Belt 80mm, Turrets 70-120mm, deck 30mm, conning tower 150mm
Aircraft: 3x Arado Ar196 floatplanes.
The kit comes in a lidded box with a painting of the Prinz on it cover. Inside you will find several bags of sprues, the hull, waterline plate, decals, 3 frets of PE, instruction booklet, and full color fold out for painting. You will also find a sprue with one Schnelleboot.
The kit represents the ship as she was in 1945. The late war fit of the Prinz has her beefed up AA armament. This has been criticized by modelers wanting to build the ship as she sailed with the Bismarck, or even in her Channel Dash fit. But after comparing the fit outs between 1941, 1942, and 1945, it seems like it would be easier to back date the ship than it would be to forward date her. But more on this as we look at the sprues.
The hull comes in full and waterline version. Just like previous Trumpeter kits the lower portion is molded in red, as is the waterline late, and the upper section grey. The lower portion does have a mold seam running down its middle, so you will have to take care of that.
The upper section is loaded with portholes. Each port hole does have its rain guard molded about it. Looking at the port holes you will notice groups that are slightly higher than others. If you look at pictures of the ship, they match.
I dry fit the two sections together and they fit really nicely. So, with minimal work you should get a nice smooth seam running around your ship. The lower hull is missing something. It is not so strange because many ship kits are missing the same thing, but I guess I was hoping this one would be different. Every ship has some sort of seawater intake, or sea chest. There are none on the bottom section of the hull. Although I will say the bilge keels are done nicely and match up with published blue prints. Another omission is her passive sonar array.
The main deck is split into three sections. All three have the wooden planking molded into them. They are split at nice convenient locations. The forward section starts u forward at the bow and goes back to the breakwater. The seam here matches perfectly. The breakwater is nicely molded. The forward anchor chains are also present.
The stern section meets the center section at the aft end of the 01 level. The seam here is mostly hidden by the superstructure, but it does show on both side. So, take care to assembly these with care.
The final deck part is the 01 deck level. This deck has both wooden planks as well as non-skid surfaces. The two turrets barbettes for turrets B and C have mold lines on then to be taken care of. The center of the 01 deck has a set of rails molded on the outside.
Sections of the ships upper decks are present here. These two have their respective surface decking molded into them. The undersides also feature the gussets for the above decking as needed. The decks also have heavy ejector in marks in them.
More of the superstructure sections are here along with the ships shafts. Also present are the main and secondary fire control directors. The radar antennas are both done in plastic, thus are not reproduced too well. You will also find a basic name plate for the ship.
Here we have the admirals launch and a couple other of the ships boats. The Prinz had three separate screws. They are done nicely and seem to match up with pictures. You will also find the ships main mast. Just be careful cutting it from the sprue.
The ships funnel halves are here and they are molded nicely. Other sections of superstructure are on this sprue along with more masts and yards. One part on my sample was broken, so again take your time removing them from the sprues.
Here we find more of bulkheads for the superstructure. They have the watertight doors molded onto their surfaces. You will also find drain pipes, ventilation grating, life rings, and portholes. Both circular and rectangular portholes are present. These all have their rain shields over them.
Well a warship is no good with out weapons. This sprue starts to bring the Prinz,s to life. There are two of these sprues. The main gun tubes are molded with hollow ends. The tubes seem to have the proper profile. Other weapons present include the ships torpedo tubes. These are very nicely detailed, but will need some clean up. You will also find the 40mm and 105mm AA guns.
Bases for the ships cranes and the cranes themselves are here. The bases are again nicely done. The typical German square life raft is also found here. A couple more of the ships boats along with one of the racks for holding the boats.
OK now we have the turrets. First there are several smaller parts on this sprue. These are for the 40mm and 37mm AA guns, range finders, anchors, and other various small parts. You will find the AA gun mount base that goes on top of B and C turrets. There are two different turrets on the Prinze Eugen. One is a regular turret and the other “super firing” turret. The regular turrets were in postions A and D on the Prinz. B and C were “super firing” and thus different. They have optical range finders and actually a different shape all together.
The two types of turrets also have different positions for the ventilation systems, just as they should have. The turrets also have the external rivet detailing and side ladders molded onto them. Even the forward sliding doors are on the fronts of the turrets.
There are three of these sprues with two each 105mm AA mounts. These are loaded with details. You will need to take your time and do your clean up on them as needed.
This is the stand for the ship. The stand is really nothing to brag about just your typical stand as seen in too many kits.
Ar-196A Float Planes…
The kit also included 2 of the 196 float planes. These were the standard float plane used by the Kriegsmarine during the war. They are molded in clear plastic and cane be assembled with both folded and flight ready wings. The detail seems to match up correctly with the plane shown in “Jane’s All the World Aircraft.” So, if you think you are up to the task assemble one ready to fly and one stowed in the hanger.
There is one sprue holding the S100 class boat. This is a nice little kit in its own right. It is also sold as a separate stand alone kit as well. The boat comes with separate torpedoes, 40mm AA guns, life rafts, and other small arms.
There are three frets of PE included with the kit. Two of the frets are for railings used all over the ship. The other hold many of the smaller items which can be used during your build to replace plastic parts.
The sheet has deck markings and flags for the Prinz. But, they decals do not have intact swastikas. This is in keeping with the requirements for various countries around the world. There are also markings for one float plane. Marking fro the S-100 class boat are also included.
The instructions are printed in a 20 page booklet. They follow construction through a logical process and are easy to follow. They point out optional parts, but do not make it clear as to which should be used for the 1945 fit of the ship. There is a full color painting guide supplied as well. Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol colors and their corresponding numbers are provided on the paint reference chart. However, keep in mind that no one company listed carries every color needed.
I decided to leave this until the end. As we all know, no kit is perfect, and this one too has some issues. First off the rudder is located in the wrong position. It needs to be just a shade closer to the center screw. Judging from pictures and images posted on line I would say move it closer maybe .125”-.200”. Also the shape of the rudder looks to off a shade compared to the actual ship. I could only find one picture of the ships rudder. It is as she rests after sinking.
The turrets all have the forward sliding doors molded on them as mentioned above. But the port door should be slightly lower on each turret.
Although the kit includes enough railing to finish out the entire ship, there are no references provided to help you with this.
Many parts have heavy ejector pins marks on their undersides. This is fine for those that will be hidden, but there are some that are raised platforms that will need to be cleaned up. Plus there are several parts that will need to be cleaned up. Most of these are the small parts, so take care.
The ship is presented in her 1945 fitting. Since her most memorial actions were in 1941 and 1942 respectively this seems a little strange. At first I thought this was as strange until I started to look at things. It would be far easier to backdate the ship by removing the extra guns and filling on the holes where they belong.
The portholes on the main deck are missing their covers.
Make sure to double check the rivet pattern on the turrets. Some of the photos show fewer rivets in certian areas.
Well, I was hooked before I received the review sample. I am even more so now having seen the kit first hand. Sure there are some issues, but overall Trumpeter did a very good job bringing the Prinz Eugen to life. Nothing that is wrong with the kit will detract from a final build of the ship. If you are a fan of the Germany Navy this kit will fill a long empty spot in your collection.
From my research this kit measures up very closley to the actual ship. The layout and number of the added AA weapons matches the ship as she sailed in 1945. Look over the below sources and compare the pictures to the images of the parts.
I did wrestle with the final rating. One part said higher, one said lower, so I split the difference. With the current PE sets available you will be able to make up for some missing details. Just imagine what we will have in 6 months now for the Prinz.
Prinz Eugen .com
Jane’s All The World Aircraft