Twenty or maybe even more years ago when I was a schoolboy, I encountered my first WWI book with nice photos of Bayern Class battleships. I wanted to build the ship I liked so much and still like more and more.

SMS Bayern
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Well, dreams come true, all you have to do is buy the kit. OK, it's not so easy, especially if you want an exact replica but I've decided to try. WSW kits are very detailed, so even out of the box the model looks great. However, this time I took my Bayern as a craftsman kit, as the starting point. That's why the final result is rather a mixture of scratch-built and original parts. My model is based on the following references:

1. Large scale (1/100, some details even in 1/50 or 1/25) plan from MZ Modellbau
2. Vom Original zum Modell, Die Linienschiffe der Bayern-Klasse - book by Gerhard Koop, Klau-Peter Schmolke.
3. Die Linienschiffe der Bayern- Klasse - another excellent book by Gerhard Koop, Klaus-Peter Schmolke.
4. Planmappe: Die Linienschiffe der Bayern- Klasse - cutaway profiles and plans by Gerhard Koop, Klaus-Peter Schmolke,
5. Lots of pictures, from various WWI books and magazines.
6. Other sources: internet, friends with special thanks to Jacek Nienartowicz and Kent Crawford.

First of all, the WSW model offers a 1916 fit with torpedo nets. However in the box you'll find an optional late war tripod center leg and aft mast, which was mounted in 1917. I wanted to build a 1918 version, with two masts, four 8.8-cm AA guns. The enclosed plan was not correct, as Bayern as built carried only two 8.8-cm guns, the remaining pair were mounted during post Operation Albion repairs.

SMS Bayern
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Using precise hobby knife I removed nets and then corrected the hull shape, including the net shelves restoration. Finally I decided to use only the following parts from the box: hull, main turrets which were corrected and super-detailed, 8.8 cm guns mounts plus lots of miniature parts, motor-boats which were super-detailed and the range finders. I added photo-etch parts which included: ladders and accommodation ladders, anchor chains, watertight doors, cable reels from Gold Medal Models, railing, stairs and more ladders from various producers, plus numerous miscellaneous details from obscure sets, which even included parts from an 1:35 scale tank, found by accident in local store. Boats are super-detailed from Modelkrak resin ones. The rest is entirely scratch-built. Just call it a crazy idea but I built my own searchlights, masts (yes, the tripod also), funnels (I do not like solid funnels, a 1/700 standard), cranes, platforms, bridge structure, platform supports, coal scuttles, deck lights, portholes and lots of other parts. For rigging I used hair-thin copper wire, as I don't like stretched sprue. For water I used acrylic paint, basically Prussian Blue, just the right shade for German WWI ship, with acrylic varnish. Note the lack of weathering, as I prefer clean, fresh paint look of my ships. Initially I've planed to mount an army of naval figures but later decided to leave decks clean. Anyway some doors and hatches are open. Finally, I decided to add minor vessels to the Bayern diorama, the boats and M-50 minesweeper from a modified H-P kit. I prefer vintage, black and white style for the photographs as I hope some pictures look like the real thing.

SMS M-50 Minesweeper
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Dariusz Mazurowski
Gdansk Poland