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ICM 1/350 German WWI Battleship Großer Kurfürst Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2006 Manufacturer ICM
Subject German WWI Battleship Großer Kurfürst Scale 1/350
Kit Number S002 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice details, unique subject Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $90.00

First Look


The battleship Großer Kurfürst (pronounced Grosser Kurfyurst - translated means "Great Elector") was the second Imperial German warship to carry that name, the first was an armored frigate lost in a collision with the ironclad König Wilhelm in 1878 with the loss of 269 of her crew. The battleship Großer Kurfürst was one of four battleships of the König class commissioned in 1914 and served the Imperial German Navy during World War One.

The König class was the first of the German battleship designs to mount her main guns along the centerline and she was able to bring all ten of her guns to bear in a broadside engagement. The Großer Kurfürst and her three sister ships all participated in the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of World War One and the largest battleship clash in history. The Großer Kurfürst was damaged in that battle, was repaired, torpedoed by a British submarine, repaired, damaged by a probable mine on the way to engage the Russian fleet, repaired, and survived the war only to be scuttled by her crew during its internment in the Scapa Flow in 1919.

Großer Kurfürst was the only one of the four König class battleships to be subsequently raised, and in 1933, it was recovered and scrapped.

ICM has re-released their 1/350 König class battleships and while I missed them the first time around, I am impressed with the kit. Molded in white styrene, the kit includes a one-piece hull, main and focsl decks, and nine parts trees.

Assembly begins with the main gun turrets. Each of the 12 inch guns can be moved in elevation independently (if you choose) and each of the five turrets can be built to rotate.

Next, the three propellers and two rudders are installed and the main hull is mounted to the display base. The main and focsl decks are installed onto the hull along with the five main and 14 secondary 5.9" inch gun turrets.

The superstructure, main stacks, masts, launches, life boats, and other deck gear are installed in logical increments to make painting and assembly easier.

The instruction sheet is very nicely laid out clearly showing placement of all of those parts. The centerfold of the instruction booklet has a nice painting diagram using Humbrol paint numbers for color reference.

Markings are provided for the generic König class as evidently the Großer Kurfürst did not have any distinctive markings.

Straight out of the box, this kit will build up into a beautiful model of this tough warship. If you're experienced with photo-etched parts, this could easily be a contest winner with the addition of a photo-etch detail set from any one of several naval aftermarket companies.

If you're a ship modeler looking for a unique subject to add to you're 1/350 collection, one of these König class battleships is just what you're looking for. If you have other modeling interests and you want something different to try your hand on, this is also an interesting segway into naval modeling.

My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!