Monday, June 3

We review the new Kagero “Topdrawings” book on the Bismarck.

Kagero have given us plenty of their “Topdrawings” series on aircraft and a few tanks – but now the ship guys get a break with a book of line drawings and a rather large surprise with this – a title on probably the most famous battleship ever – the Bismarck.

The Battleship Bismarck
Waldemar Góralski
• 28 pages
• 4 renders
• 23 drawings
• 82 drawn objects
• colour profiles
• 2 double sheet B2 with the colour scheme
• Format (sizes): (210x297 mm)
Available from Kagero Directly for €16.46 + P&P

Well many modellers would be anticipating this – a book of line drawings on a very popular maritime subject the Kreigsmarine’s battleship Bismarck. This book promises drawings on all of the outsides of this massive war machine – and some extra stuff we didn’t expect as well - but more on that when we get to it.

This is an A4 (210x297 mm) book with a glossy softcover, the book itself is only twenty eight pages long – and there is not any writing to take in – this is all drawings – it does everything it says on the tin. The text that describes what is in the picture is in English and Polish and the drawings themselves are straight black and white.
We look at every part of the ship in isometric drawings, starting with the major parts of the vessel the lower fore and aft hulls and go from there towards the centre of the ship. I am sure the Allies would have loved this information in the war – as everything on the ship is detailed in very sharp drawings. From pictures I have of the ship and that I have found there is everything here – and there is so much of the ship that it must have been a massive task to render it all to a drawing.
Along the way through the major sections of the boat we look at the details that we see in the subsections, Anchors, life rafts, optical and surveillance gear, rangefinders, depth chargers, searchlights, cranes, masts and gangways, guns from large to the main guns as well as the Arado Ar196 that the mighty ship carried.

There are also three 1/620 scale line drawings from the top down, and from the port and starboard views of the ship – these are in the centre pages, and on the other side of these pages the same profiles are in full colour. It is nice to see these in a straight on angle as well as the isometric views elsewhere in the book.
The second surprise (after the Arado) was the centre large sheets of massive B2 paper with the similar colour drawings to what you have seen in the book – both a top  down and an isometric view are offered as well as a front and rear view of the ship. The drawings look great and they really are massive on the two combined pages. These slightly overlap as well so you can join them up easily.

One thing I would have liked to have seen is the swastikas on the big red and white flag on the deck – I know and understand why they are not portrayed but if you want a book of accurate drawings then be accurate and don't leave things out.
This is the only gripe I could think of in this otherwise really helpful and well put together title.  The detail drawn is amazing and this book is a dream for ship building scratch builders.

A welcome addition to the series

Adam Norenberg

 Thanks to  Kagero for this book on this historic warship