Academy Bismark

I notice that the 1/350 Academy Bismark is substantially cheaper that the Trumpeter, Revell or Tamiya kits. Is it really that bad?

The Academy Bismarck may be cheaper, but it is notorious for its soft details and poor fit. I’d say bite the bullet and spring for the Tamiya or Revell, both of which are excellent kits.

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Are not the Academy and Tamiya kits the same?

RUN AWAY!

If it’s the MiniCraft/Academy kit from 1987 and based on Scalemates, I bet it is, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

Scalemates History - MiniCraft/Academy 1/350 Bismarck

Back then MiniCraft/Academy disregarded copyright and ripped off terrible low quality copies of Tamiya kits. The one kit from Minicrap/Academy Bismarck I saw opened in a hobby shop was pretty nasty with sink marks, flash and fuzzy detail…but it was cheap.

Later on Academy started doing their own projects.

Are not the Academy and Tamiya kits the same?

No, they are distinct kits. I wouldn’t exactly say Academy is a knock-off of the Tamiya kit, but there are hints that it was “inspired” by Tamiya in many places. For example, even though Academy’s kit isn’t motorized, the main deck is sectioned in three pieces exactly as with the Tamiya kits to allow for access to the motorization parts inside. Academy also provides several parts for motorizing the kit (like Tamiya), but there is no frame for the batteries inside the hull, and no metal shaft, propellers, and switches as with the Tamiya model.

Despite the Tamiya influence, what the Academy kit most clearly lacks is the sharpness of the Tamiya moldings both in detail and fit. I agree with Wade’s comment above - run away from this one!

Saying it with music:

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I thought it was a knock off and they were able to pick and choose what they wanted on their kit