The SMS Graudenz and her sister Regensburg started a new generation of German light cruisers. Both were actually prototypes of the next classes, all with a similar three funnel silhouette, armor scheme etc. Graudenz was also the last German light cruiser with 10.5 cm main guns. These guns were later replaced by seven much more powerful 15 cm guns during the War.

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H-P Models has released pretty nice, detailed 1:700 resin kits of both sisters. I've found several minor and only one major flaw, reversed position of second funnel, all very easy to fix. I don't know why, but I've never built a light cruiser before. To be honest, initially I had ordered a tug set. Then I received a mail from Germany, "This set is temporarily out of stock" ouch ! The kit had been prepaid, so they offered me a replacement, any item from their catalogue. My choice? Yes, You're right - SMS Graudenz.

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The cruiser is pretty easy to build, even with necessary addition of photo-etched parts of railings, ladders, stairs, deck and stern anchors, anchor chain etc. and the addition of scratch-built details, including new masts and platforms, funnel railings, deck fittings, coal scuttles, cranes, davits, boat fittings and oars. Rigging was made of super thin copper wire and the bridge and platform supports of photo-etched scraps. Water is acrylic paint with varnish. I decided to add a couple of boats with naval figures and a seaplane, which is the famous Friedrichshafen FF 33e, reconnaissance version, which was an entirely scratch-built model. Note distinctive white circles on the ship's deck, which are the standard German WWI aerial recognition marks.

Dariusz Mazurowski
Gdansk, POLAND