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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:23 pm 
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The Graf Zeppelin, Germany's first and only aircraft carrier during World War 2.
Laid down on December 28th 1936 she was to be the first of Germany's aircraft carriers in an attempt to make a well balanced naval fleet.
Like the Japanese the German Engineer Wilhelm Hadeler modeled his design for the Graf Zeppelin after the British Courageous class carriers built in 1921 to 1929, like the British Hadeler realized the importance of an armored flight deck to protect the carriers vital interior from dive bombers, along with a 100mm (3.6 in) armored belt to defend against torpedos.

At this point the vital role of the aircraft carrier had not yet been fully realized by any navy, who where still convinced that the battleship was the ultimate power on the sea.
It wouldn't be until December 7th 1941 when Japan launched a daring attack on the US Pacific fleet using mostly aircraft carriers that the full potential of the power of aircraft carriers would be realized.

Unfortunately for the rivalry between the German Navy and Herman Goering the head of the Luftwaffe (Air Force) the construction of the Graf Zeppelin would hindered by delays and her eventual cancelation. Goering had Hitler convinced that his Luftwaffe could handle any mission with absolute superiority, and yes at the time and with the experience gained in the Spanish civil war the Luftwaffe was a force to be reckoned with. Goerings big mistake was not realizing the physical limitations of his aircraft, crossing the English Channel was easy but missions beyond that where not possible due to range.

Had the Graf Zeppelin been given the priority it needed and completed on time may naval engagement would have ended very differently, the slow lumbering British Swordfish would never have scored the fatal hit that crippled the Bismarck. The impact of operational aircraft carriers in the German navy is a debate left for historians, enthusiasts and the imagination of many talented model builders who have waited years for a 1/350 scale kit of this ship.

Technical stats:
Displacement: 33,550 long tons (34,088.4 t)
Length: 262.5 m (861 ft 2.6 in)
Beam: 36.2 m (118 ft 9.2 in)
Draft: 8.5 m (27 ft 10.6 in)
Installed power: 200,000 shaft horsepower (149,140.0 kW)
Propulsion: 4 geared turbines
Speed: 33.8 kn (62.6 km/h; 38.9 mph)
Range: 8,000 nmi (14,816.0 km; 9,206.2 mi) at 19 kn (35.2 km/h; 21.9 mph)
Complement: 1,720
Armament:
16 × 15 cm SK C/28 guns
12 × 10.5 cm SK C/33 guns
22 × 3.7 cm SK C/30 guns
28 × 2 cm FlaK guns
Armor:
Belt: 100 mm (3.9 in)
Flight deck: 45 mm (1.8 in)

Aircraft:
During the development stage of the carrier the German war ministry presented two aircraft manufacturers with requirements for a carrier based aircraft that can function as a dive bomber and a torpedo bomber Fieseler and Arado produced two aircraft the Arado AR195 and Fieseler Fi 156 Storch. Fieselers entry was vastly superior, it had double the weapons load and its low speed capability almost made it capable of vertical landing on the carrier deck. The other two aircraft where marine versions of the JU 87 and the ME 109. As production and development continued however the final air wing was to consist primarily of JU87 and ME109s.

So now with out further delay here is the open box review of Trumpeters 1/350 scale Graf Zeppelin.

On first impression of the box is that it seems a little small.

The kit:


Attachments:
File comment: Interesting combat scene, nice typical German navy paint scheme.
IMG_0978.JPG
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File comment: This is why the box seems small, everything is tightly packed.
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File comment: Everything is packed in its own sealed bag.
IMG_0981.JPG
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File comment: The two hull halves and the hangar deck.
Detailing is very nice, crisp and clean, it does not appear that there will be a lot of cleaning.

IMG_0982.JPG
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File comment: sprues D as shown there are four of these that have the main body of boats main weapons including shaft and rudder for the boats, detailing here is good as well just like the other line of German ships they offer.
IMG_0983.JPG
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File comment: This is sprue E that had the fore deck and stern deck along with the stack and the hangar elevators, detailing is nice except for one thing, they left out wood deck lines that are usually molded into the deck, this is unfortunate, so now I'm stuck with the debate of wether I include the lines myself or not!
IMG_0987.JPG
IMG_0987.JPG [ 95.16 KiB | Viewed 5752 times ]


Last edited by Build Mon$ter on Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:53 pm 
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Here is the continuation of my open box review.
What you have seen so far is pretty standard for a German warship produced by Trumpeter, the kit looks great even with the few omissions.

The one part of this kit I was looking forward to was the airwing, finally something different, they have included the four aircraft they had originally planed to operate of this carrier, the AR 195, JU 87, BF 109 and the FI 167. They have included 5 of each aircraft.

The detailing clean and they offer some additional pieces like a drop tank for the BF 109 and for the AR 195 the have opted with a full photo etched frame of the canopy along with photo etched arrestee hooks for al the aircraft.

Conclusion,
I am very impressed with this kit and am thouroughly excited to work on it, yes there are a few things , deck plank lines, bridge windows and I was hoping the aircraft where of clear plastic. All this just offers a challenge, how far do you want to take this kit, I already know I will be making clear casts of the aircraft canopies.

My info sources are Wikipedia and the Siegfried Breyer encyclopedia book 42 Graf Zeppelin

I would like to send out a special thanks to SCALEhobbyist.com who is my main supplier of kits.


Attachments:
File comment: Main island superstructure.
IMG_0989.JPG
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File comment: The bridge, there is one problem with this part, they did not include the forward windows, this I will have to add as I build this kit.
IMG_0991.JPG
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File comment: Here is a bonus surprise, not only have they included the photo etching for the ship but they have included a real anchor chain and some photo etching for the aircraft.
IMG_0990.JPG
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File comment: The six AA guns same mold as those for the Admiral Hipper class ships.
IMG_0992.JPG
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File comment: Comparing to the blue print I have the detail seems very accurate and the ship is to scale.
IMG_0993.JPG
IMG_0993.JPG [ 92.49 KiB | Viewed 5754 times ]
File comment: FI 167
IMG_0994.JPG
IMG_0994.JPG [ 107.88 KiB | Viewed 5754 times ]
File comment: BF 109
IMG_0995.JPG
IMG_0995.JPG [ 103.02 KiB | Viewed 5754 times ]
File comment: JU 87
IMG_0996.JPG
IMG_0996.JPG [ 106.19 KiB | Viewed 5754 times ]
File comment: AR 195
IMG_0997.JPG
IMG_0997.JPG [ 110.13 KiB | Viewed 5754 times ]
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:38 pm 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
I am not a 'rivet counter' so cannot comment on the dimensions etc of the hull but this kit does have a couple of the other usual Trumpeter problems/issues:-

1. The armament is pretty bland looking especially the 15cm SK C/28. Hopefully there will be PE/resin/3D print products to replace them. It appears Trumpeter has also left off a 3.7cm SK C/38. The kit instructions has you building 10 but from references I have seen there should be 11.

2. The ship's boats have the usual 'dimples' and not much else detail. Although on a couple you do get to add a rudder and a PE prop!

3. The single crane looks terrible and is another candidate for PE etc replacement.

4. The SL-8 rangefinders could be replaced by ModelMonkey's more detailed 3D printed parts.

5. The aircraft!! 3 or the 4 types provided have the grey plastic canopy that looks terrible. The AR-195 gets a PE canopy, why not do the same for the others?

I will enjoy building this kit but will wait a while to see what the after market suppliers come up with before I make a start.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:43 pm 
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Location: Downey, California
One big disappointment is the large quantity of ejector pin marks all over the hangar and side gallery decks (same big piece) If you have all your elevators up the hangar deck ones will not be visible, but all the side galleries will be quite visible. There are both "innies" and "outies", and it will be a bit of a hassle to clean up all of them. It should be feasible to run sanding sticks in the hangar itself, but I'm thinking of maybe just scraping them flush and gluing down pieces of paper or very thin plastic over them at all the side compartments.

- Sean F.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:45 am 
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Got my kit today. I'm very pleased with it and will get a wooden deck for it. I don't think the ejection marks on the hanger part will be too much of a problem. Compared to the Blucher kit I also got today this kit is really good. It is strange how Trumpeter can put out a great kit like this one and then make such a mess of another kit.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:02 am 
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Hello,
unfortunately the Messerschmitt 109 representations in this model appear to be E versions rather than the T. The fuselage measures out OK but the wings are too short, they should be just under 32mm. Poor research here!
Francis


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:21 pm 
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Nice review..If I may pick up on one small point in your lead in info...it wasn't Pearl Harbour that the power of the aircraft carrier was first realised, it was the British attack on the Italian fleet in Taranto where the danger of aircraft carrier launched aircraft was first fully appreciated and noted. In fact the Japanese took great interest in the details of the attack when planning their own against the US fleet more than a year later.

regards

Pete


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:50 pm 
greenglade wrote:
Nice review..If I may pick up on one small point in your lead in info...it wasn't Pearl Harbour that the power of the aircraft carrier was first realised, it was the British attack on the Italian fleet in Taranto where the danger of aircraft carrier launched aircraft was first fully appreciated and noted. In fact the Japanese took great interest in the details of the attack when planning their own against the US fleet more than a year later.

regards

Pete


Actually, it was Fleet Problem XIII that foreshadowed the power of carrier based aircraft. However, only a few people in the USN and, possibly, the IJN took notice (the Pearl Harbor attack followed XIII more closely than Taranto).


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:05 pm 
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DougC wrote:
greenglade wrote:
Nice review..If I may pick up on one small point in your lead in info...it wasn't Pearl Harbour that the power of the aircraft carrier was first realised, it was the British attack on the Italian fleet in Taranto where the danger of aircraft carrier launched aircraft was first fully appreciated and noted. In fact the Japanese took great interest in the details of the attack when planning their own against the US fleet more than a year later.

regards

Pete


Actually, it was Fleet Problem XIII that foreshadowed the power of carrier based aircraft. However, only a few people in the USN and, possibly, the IJN took notice (the Pearl Harbor attack followed XIII more closely than Taranto).



hmm..sorry I have no idea what you're saying...according to google Fleet Problem XIII was an exercise in 1932? or at least that's all I saw, I've not heard of it before ...Japan did take note of Tarranto and based their own attack on Pearl Harbour from info gathered after the Tarranto attack, these facts are recorded. Only after Tarranto was it finally realised by battleship die hard's that the Aircraft carrier had now replaced the Battleship as the most powerful weapon in the fleet.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:35 pm 
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Rear Admiral Harry E. Yarnell pioneered carrier tactics in an exercise that later came to be discussed as Fleet Problem 13. [Yarnell] commanded the carriers Lexington and Saratoga in an effort to demonstrate that Hawaii was vulnerable to naval air power.

At a time when air warfare waged from ships was radical thought Admiral Yarnell fully supported the idea.

The expectation was that Yarnell would attack with battleships, but instead he left his battleships behind and proceeded only with his carriers to the north of Hawaii where it was less likely he would be detected. With a storm as cover, at dawn on a Sunday, February 7, Yarnell’s 152 (some sources state 153) planes attacked the harbor from the northeast, just as the Japanese would ten years later. The army airfields were first put out of comission after which battleship row was attacked—with multiple hits on Navy ships. No defending aircraft were able to launch. The Navy’s war-game umpires declared the attack a total success, prompting Yarnell to strenuously warn of the Japanese threat.

The Navy exercise became known as Fleet Problem 13 and the results were largely ignored by Navy brass while the Japanese….the revisionists declared... paid close attention.
http://historyiselementary.blogspot.ca/ ... arbor.html


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:40 pm 
It is suspected that the Japanese studied FP XIII only because their own attack was so similar. There does not appear to be any surviving records that they did so. However, XIII would have been easily observed by their resident spies in Hawaii.

The attack on Pearl Harbor in FP XIII was built upon the pioneering attack on the Panama Canal in FP VII.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:11 am 
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thank's for the info guys...very interesting..

Pete


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:04 pm 
Between the two world wars, the USN staged annual war games utilizing the entire navy. These were referred to as "Fleet Problems." They alternated between the Atlantic and the Pacific. When held in the Atlantic, the Atlantic Fleet was the defender and the Pacific Fleet was the attacker. When held in the Pacific, the roles were reversed. The passages of the Fleets through the Panama Canal were standard fodder for the newsreels of the time.

The FPs were used to provide 'real world' test of tactical and strategic theories developed by the Naval War College as well as a test of readiness and skill of the Fleet.

Battleship admirals have known that the battleship was vulnerable to air attack since Billy Mitchell's (unrealistic) demonstration. They allowed the development of aircraft carriers primarily to provide the fleet with air cover. Taranto was excused as the battleships there were sitting ducks. The same with Pearl Harbor. The end of the dominance of the battleship wasn't driven home until the destruction of Force Z.


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