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SMS Szent Istvan
WSW resin - 1/700

By: Shane Jenkins

The Szent Istvan was the fourth ship in the Austro-Hungarian Tegetthoff class of battleship but the only dreadnought operated by Hungary. Hungary got her battleship in return for agreeing to the immense funding of the Tegetthoff class and named her after Hungary's first Christian king (Szent Istvan/St Stephen). The lead ship of the class, SMS Viribus Unitis was the first battleship to be commissioned with triple gun turrets.

The Szent Istvan was built at Fiume and was commissioned in 1915. She spent most of her time in commission at her berth in Pola. She was sunk by Italian MAS boats on the 10th June 1918 whilst on sortie out in the Adriatic. She is immortalized along with HMS Barham as one of the only two battleships to have had their demise captured on film.

The kit is moulded in a grey resin with a waterline hull and scales out rather nicely. The deck has fine brass rods inserted to help with the placement of the upper decks. I have not seen this done by any other manufacturer but it looks to be a good idea though only time and building the model will tell. All parts are nicely moulded with no noticeable pinholes at this stage.

Care will be needed when removing the small resin parts from the "wafers" of resin. Attention to references will enable you to add the small details (such as the funnel covers) which have been left out. There are no decals or photoetch supplied although you should be able to source these through the "usual suspects".

Note fine brass supportsWSW is to be commended for both their choice of subject and their excellent kit. I very highly recommend this kit. With careful study of the instructions (which are ok but could be improved), a modeller with a few resin kits under their belt will have a very impressive model of a little known battleship with little effort. I would recommend Falk Pletscher's article on Austro-Hungarian Naval colours in Plastic Ship Modeller and the excellent article on the Szent Istvan in Warship International 2/1991.

Plastic Ship Modeler
International Naval Research Organisation (Publishers of Warship International)