- Published on Sunday, 20 November 2011 01:30 Robin Jenkins
The German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, the third vessel of the Admiral Hipper class, entered service with the Kriegsmarine in August, 1940 and served through out the whole of WW2. Armed with 8 eight inch guns (20.3cm), displacing nearly 19,000 tons, with a length approaching 700 feet (208m), having a crew of 42 officers and 1340 men and capable of 32 knots, she was a member of a class of heavy cruisers that were accepted to be just about the best in the world at the time of her launch, with only the older Japanese Myoko class cruisers probably shading them in terms of fighting ship ability (albeit with a much smaller and thus much more hard-worked crew complement). Prinz Eugen was described on more than one occasion as having a "purposeful, shark-like appearance" by her enemies (below).
Prinz Eugen had an interesting wartime career, being involved in two "days of shame" for the British nation. In May, 1941, she accompanied the battleship Bismarck on Operation Rheinübung
during which the 2 vessels fought against the battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser HMS Hood, the former being heavily damaged and the latter, the pride of the Royal Navy, being sunk with the loss of all but 3 of her crew. Then, in February, 1942, along with the battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, she took part in a daylight dash from Brest to Germany (the "Channel Dash", or Operation Cerberus, to give it its proper title) under the noses of the British, who were unable to prevent their passage by either naval or aerial attacks.
After being damaged in a torpedo attack off Norway later in the year, she returned to Germany and then saw action in the Baltic supporting land forces for the rest of the war. She surrendered in Copenhagen at the end of the war, was passed to the US Navy, survived both of the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946 and was towed to Kwajalein Atoll in the central pacific where, at the end of the year due to her poor condition and a hull leak, she capsized and sank.
In 2010, Trumpeter released a very good 1/350 model of Prinz Eugen (above) which, apart from issues with the length and shape of the bow of the kit, is generally accurate and has been well accepted by the modelling fraternity. Now, Eduard has released a pair of etched detail sets to complement this kit and these will now be discussed.
Set 53048: general detail set
This is a two-fret set, the likes of which Eduard do extremely well. Just as with their previously released set for the Admiral Graf Spee in the same scale, previously reviewed on the site, it complements the model it is designed for perfectly. The first, larger fret (below) contains a whole host of items, including anchor chains, water tight doors, ladders, gun platforms, AA gun shields, mast fittings and details for the ship's boats.
A close up of this fret (above) shows Eduard have maintained their usual excellent standard of etch in this scale with no errors or mistakes. All of the etching held detail very well. The second fret (below) holds the remainder of the parts including the radar arrays, more doors and ladders and the funnel cap. One omission, I felt was, although parts were provided for the ship's catapult, there were no details for the enhancement of Arado 196 seaplane that was sometimes carried. Apart from this, I could think of no other items that could have been included.
Set 53060: Prinz Eugen railings
This too is a 2-fret set. The first, much larger sheet (above) the vast majority of a fully dedicated railing set for the Trumpeter kit. A close-up (below) confirms that this set too is perfectly etched and holds the detail precisely.
The second, much smaller, fret (above) gives the modeller a series of lengths of mesh railing, which will need to be cut to length to fit on the kit, as well as the last few 3-bar railings.
Of course, to buy both of these sets will cost around £50.00 in total, but I am a strong advocate that for warship models in this scale, etched enhancement is vital to improve the look of the finished model. Purchasers of either of these sets will not be disappointed.
So What Do We Think?
2 new sets that will add to the excellent Trumpeter model and improve its finished appearance considerably.
Excellent enhancement sets.
Our thanks to Eduard for the review samples. To purchase directly, click the catalogue numbers at the top of the page.