1/350 German Kriegsmarine 40.6cm/52 (16") SK C/34 x4 w. Blast Bags (H Class)
1/350 German Kriegsmarine 40.6cm/52 (16") SK C/34 x4 with Blast Bags (H Class). These are highly detailed and are based on the Bismarck 38cm (14.96”) SK C/34 Guns using Turret armour angles and known data on these proposed weapons. Ideal replacements for the poor quality and inaccurate versions in the Trumpeter kit. See renders for size comparison with Bismarck Class 38cm (14.96”) SK C/34.
- 4x Highly detailed turrets, Anton, Bruno, Caesar and Dora Turrets
- Anton, Bruno/Caesar Turrets and Dora Turrets are unique: Anton and Dora (Higher Side Awning Rail), Bruno and Caesar (Lower Side Awning Rail). Underside hatches on Anton & Dora are located towards the rear of the Turret whilst Bruno and Caesar are located close to the Barbette Ring.
- Details include: Rivet detail, Periscope and Open Sighting Hatches
- Correct Stanchion placement (based on 38cm (14.96”) SK C/34 Guns) on Turret Roofs (in lowered position) different location on Bruno and Caesar Turrets.
- Accurate underside detail including shell ejection ports and hatches.
- Barrels are printed at an elevation of 3º with authentic canvas effect Blast Bags.
These guns were intended for the “H” class battleships which were laid down in 1939 but never completed. This weapon was a good design, but it could be said that it had an excessively high muzzle velocity, hence giving it minimal deck penetration even at long ranges.
Accounts differ as to the actual number of guns completed, but there appears to have been twelve. There were three versions of this weapon; the original prototype for proof and experimental testing; three guns built to the naval pattern and intended for the “H” battleships; and eight finished to a modified design for coastal artillery use and also known as Adolph. The coast artillery version had a similar construction to the naval version but with a larger chamber. The naval guns were completed as one left hand and two right hand. Only one of these had power ramming.
These naval guns were placed on BSG (Bettungschiess-Gerüst - “Platform firing framework”) mountings and sent to the Hel Peninsula in Poland to become Battery Schleswig-Holstein. All three guns were emplaced and test fired, but shortly afterwards they were dismantled and were sent to France where they were made part of Battery Lindemann, named after the Captain of the battleship Bismarck. This battery was located near Sangatte in France where they often fired across the Channel at Dover.
The eight coastal artillery guns were sent to Norway to be employed to protect Narvik and Tromsø, with one gun being lost in transit. Of the remaining seven guns, three were emplaced as Battery Dietl on the island of Engeløya and the other four were mounted as Battery Trondenes near Harstad. At the end of the war, the guns were taken over by the Norwegian Army along with 1,227 shells. A German gun crew trained the Norwegians in their use and the guns were actively used for about a decade. The three guns at Battery Dietl were decommissioned in the early 1950s and then scrapped in 1956. The battery at Trondenes was last fired in 1957 and formally taken out of commission in 1961. The guns then sat idle and were placed on sale for scrapping in 1968, but they still remain in place and one of them is currently open as a museum at Trondenes Fort.
As these guns had a rather thick barrel for their size, during the redesigns of the “H” class battleships in 1941 and 1942 (H-41 and H-42) it was proposed to bore them out and convert them into 42 cm/48 (16.54”) weapons. One of the reasons behind this conversion was that this change would give these ships a larger caliber weapon than those planned for any known Allied battleship. None of the guns already built were ever converted and no new guns were started. The SK C/40 model year for this version is my estimate.
Constructed of a loose barrel, which was universally interchangeable between production guns, a loose liner which only fitted a particular gun, B tube, a jacket over the rear end of B tube, a breech end-piece thrust over the jacket and kept in place by a threaded ring, a breech block supporting piece inserted in the breech end-piece and secured by a threaded ring. A retaining ring with two fittings for transmitting rotation forces was screwed onto the rear of the barrel. Used a horizontal sliding breech block, similar to other large-caliber German naval guns.