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FlyHawk 1/700 scale SMS Derfflinger 1916

Kit:FH 1300 // Scale:1/700 // Price:$59.95
FlyHawk Model
Good fits; terrific instructions; posable guns
Just enough photoetched metal railing, so no room for errors
Injection-molded, 308 parts (47 photoetched metal), decals

SMS Derfflinger was the lead ship of a class that, along with Lützow and Hindenburg, comprised three battle-cruisers built at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, a century ago. During the Battle of Jutland, Derfflinger contributed to the sinking of two Royal Navy battlecruisers while absorbing 17 large caliber shell-hits and was still able to steam back to port. In November 1918, the SMS Derfflinger was interned at Scapa Flow and, the following June, scuttled there. The ship was raised in 1939 and by 1948 was broken up in Scotland.

The kit comprises a waterline hull base, 10 gray styrene sprues, and one fret of photoetched metal. The molding is clean with no flash and no sink marks. The 10-step instructions are printed front and back on a single page with several six-color sections for photoetched metal, decal placement, and painting. There is a single, printed correction to Step 2 for parts 37 (originally identified as B31). Building progresses in a logical fashion and will not present any issues (provided you can see your work in this scale).

The two-piece waterline hull fits well with a flat bottom section and weight, but mount it carefully so you don’t splay the hull and prevent the deck from sitting flush with the hull. (I speak from experience.) 

The four turrets, a dozen 5.9" casement guns, and four 88mm casement guns can be placed and left unglued to allow later movement, a nice feature if you’re planning a diorama.

You will find one of the greatest innovations of this production at steps 8 and 9: a color-coded reference guide for placement of wee parts and the boat deck, followed by Step 10, which numbers and color-codes railings, ladders, and other photoetched metal that fits perfectly to length for different areas of the deck and deckhouses. A word of caution: Follow the guidelines and the railings will fit true — but there are no extra lengths provided.

Decals for this kit include the ship’s coat of arms forward, a nameplate and eagle aft, turret-top recognition circles, and flags for the flagstaff aft and jack staff forward.

This is a finely detailed plastic model enhanced with a lot of photoetched brass. If I were to upgrade the kit, I would just beef up the flagstaffs and the upper mast sections.

The model’s dimensions (300mm long with a 39mm beam) scale out exactly, and the deck detail is fine. Although the fits are very good, after a 42-hour build I would recommend this one to fairly experienced modelers who wish to add a bit of unique history to their collection.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the September 2014 FineScale Modeler.


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