Monday, March 28, 2016

Channel Dash - Prinz Eugen

I'm finally getting around to posting the photos and information on the Prinz Eugen. I've actually been done with the ship, I just haven't had time to take some pictures and post them.

Prinz Eugen was the third, and last, of the Admiral Hipper class cruisers. In many ways she was a lucky ship, surviving a number of actions without suffering major damage. In 1941 Prinz Eugen was with the ill-fated Bismarck on the battleship's single combat voyage and returned to Brest, France after leaving the damaged battleship behind. In 1942 Prinz Eugen was part of Operation Cerberus, the part I'm most interested in, with the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Once again Eugen was able to avoid any major damage. After that it was off to Norway to take part in actions against the convoys to Russia and then on to the Baltic to cover the withdrawal of German troops. After World War II the cruiser was taken by the U.S., studied (especially her passive sonar), and eventually used as a target in the atomic bomb tests.
Starboard side of Prinz Eugen
My 1/700 scale Prinz Eugen comes from a Tamiya kit. One really nice thing about this kit is that is has parts for both the 1941 Bismarck sortie and the 1942 Channel Dash. The main difference is the addition of 5 quad 20mm AA guns. While I'm sure no one would have said anything if the guns were missing from my model, but it is a really nice touch to have them in place.
The Tamiya kit box art
 Overall the kit went together pretty easily. I had to drill out the points for mounting the extra 20mm guns, but the holes were well marked, so that wasn't really an issue. The final model seems quite sturdy and I probably will not mount it on a base.

The camouflage was pretty basic, an overall mid-gray hull with a darker gray pattern on the hull and irregular dark gray on the superstructure. All the books I have, and even the model kit painting guide, only show the starboard side of the ship with the pattern used for Operation Cerberus. My internet searching came up with one port side view that I based my paint scheme on, but I'm not really sure how accurate it is.
The hard-to-find port side view
Both sides are very similar, so I probably could have done up the port side in pretty much the same lines as starboard and no one would have been the wiser. I did paint the funnel cap black, even though no guides show it that way. I really just like the look of the black funnel cap, so it is a bit of artistic license.

I originally used a much lighter faded wood color for the decks. But I just wasn't happy with the way it looked, so it back to the paint cabinet. I came back with a light tan color that seemed to look better.
A port-forward view to show off the deck a little better.
And an aft-starboard view, you can see the deck mounted quad 20mm guns in these photos
The irregular pattern on the superstructure was a little hard to see in the full profile photos, so I took got a little closer view.
A closer view of the superstructure. You might need to click on this one to get a better view
I think the ship turned out well and should look pretty good with the aircraft and MTBs swarming around.

Here is the paint scheme image for the ship from an earlier post, just so you don't have to search too hard for the image.