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Batory Kit

Prozapol 1/500 M/S Batory Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review March 2007 Manufacturer Prozapol
Subject M/S Batory Polish Ocean Liner Scale 1/500
Kit Number 2001 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice kit of one of the few ocean-liners ever done as a kit Cons Out of Production
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

Batory Kit
Batory Kit
Batory Kit

Before WWII, the “Batory” and the “Pilsudski” were the first modern passenger ships under the Polish flag. As a result of an invitation for entries into a competition, there were 6 offers from ship building firms to build a passenger ship for Poland. Finally, on the 29th of November, 1933, the shipyard in Monfalcone undersigned with Poland a contract for the delivery of two motorships. The agreed price of 25 million Zlotys later increased to 37 million.

On the 19th of  December, 1934, “Pilsudski” was launched first. During it’s first voyage to New York, numerous defects were discovered. These were rectified with the “Batory”, notably in structure reinforcement and stability.

The shipbuilding of “Batory” started on January 5th, 1934. The ship’s launching was celebrated on the 3rd of July, 1935. The first voyage of the “Batory” was the trip around European waterways, called “The Seaway of the South”. This voyage ended in Gdynia on May 11th, 1936. Then, “Batory” began regular trips on the route: Gdynia – Copenhagen – Halifax – New York.

The ship suffered repeated explosive fires. The most dangerous one was a fire in the engine room on June 3rd, 1937. The fire was extinguished by the ship’s crew and the “Batory” finally reached New York, where repairs to it took 3 weeks.

When WWII began, the “Batory” was in New York. At the end of September 1939, until December 1939, she was in Halifax. During the war, “Batory” was chartered by the British War Transportation Administration to transport soldiers to Great Britain, Norway and France. She also transported Polish national treasures, British gold and English children to Australia for safe-keeping.

M/S Batory was called “Lucky Ship”, because of her safe passages during the war. Her first captain was Zygmunt Deyczykowski, who piloted her safely. After the war, “Batory” navigated under the British flag from June, 1945 until April 1945, but with a Polish crew.

After this, she was under the flag of GAL and the ship came back to voyages to North America. However, for some reason not disclosed then, “Batory” was prohibited in 1951 of landing in New York. Up until 1969, “Batory” changed, many times, the destinations of it’s voyages.  During February of 1969, in London, there was a celebration that commemorated “The Voyage of the Children” during WWII. During 1969 to 1971 “Batory” was moored in Gdynia as a floating hotel-restaurant, were she was sold to Hong Kong on June 2nd, 1971. The Polish flag was removed from her for the last time.

The kit is manufactured in Lodz, Poland. It comes in a sturdy tray and lid type box. The date “2001” appears on the lid, but I’m not all that sure that was it’s original issue date.

Inside the box are two large chalk white trees of parts, the decal sheet and the instructions. Both trees are in a single cello bag.

The instructions consist of a large single sheet that is folded in the center to create four pages.

The first page gives the history of the “Batory” in Polish and English. This is followed by blow by blow written instructions on how to proceed to build the kit and what to paint parts as you proceed through the assembly steps.

Pages 2 through 4 give 3 exploded assembly drawings. There are no parts tree drawings or part numbers molded on the parts trees. This means extra work trying to identify parts from the exploded assembly drawings. This may become tedious for sure.

There is also no illustration of the ship in it’s final color scheme in the instruction sheet.. However, the boxart does have a poor illustration, in black and white, that can be used, and another side profile on a side panel, that shows the smoke funnels in yellow and the hull, below the waterline, in gray. Following the paint instructions of individual parts, found on the first page (as text) will take care of the deck color (mentioned as STRAW) and other colors needed.

The first big tree holds: the two hull halves, fore and aft deck parts, life boats, anchors, davits, railings, masts, flag staffs, propellers etc. (128 parts)

The second big tree holds: the central deck piece, the model’s support cradle parts, the smoke funnels, bridge house parts etc. (17 parts)

The decal sheet has the “Batory” name for the bow and stern, ship line insignia for around the smoke funnels, and a couple of flags.

The kit is recommended for modelers over the age of 10. Because of the need to identify parts from assembly drawings only, I would recommend this kit only to modelers who have a few other ship models under their belts.

The molding of the kit is quite good. Only some rigging will have to be added, using the profile painting on the side panel of the box. Super detailers, amongst us, will probably opt for some PE railings etc. I found no flash on the parts and mold push-out marks are mostly hidden on things.