The Kingdom of Prussia was always a land power. With a small coastline on the Baltic Sea, there was only a comparatively small Prussian Navy. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 was a catastrophe for France with the loss of the provinces of Alsace
and Lorraine, the fall of the 3rd Empire and crushing debt. On the other hand victorious Kingdom of Prussia consolidated with smaller German States to become the German Empire with the King of Prussia becoming the Kaiser. Even with victory the
new German Empire saw little need for a large navy but did expand somewhat, constructing 2nd rate armored warships. With a friendly Great Britain, initial German naval policy was for minimal spending with the vast bulk of defense funds going to the
army. The coming of age of one of Queen Victoria’s grandsons would completely change this status quo.

Queen Victoria’s first child was Victoria, Princess Royal. With close historical ties with the Kingdom of Prussia, Princess Victoria married Friedrich son of the King of Prussia, King Wilhelm. In 1871 the German Empire was formed and King Wilhelm
became Kaiser Wilhelm and Friedrich, who was Crown Prince to Prussia also became Crown Prince to the 2nd Reich. On January 27, 1859, Victoria, Princess Royal and Prince Friedrich had a son, whom they named Friedrich Wilhelm Vikor Albert,
the future Kaiser Wilhelm II. Initial construction of the Imperial German Navy involved armored frigates, more like a cruiser than a battleship. They were basically of indifferent designs and were generally inferior to the equivalent ships in foreign navies.
After the conclusion of the Franco-Prussian War, the Prussian Fleet Plan of 1867 was modified to the Imperial German Fleet Plan of 1873. There were to be 23 armored ships, of which 14 would be frigates or smaller corvettes. German shipbuilding
received a boost in the next decade, when it started building warships for foreign powers. In 1880 the Chinese government saw a threat from Japan and approached Great Britain to build armored warships there. However, the Chinese efforts were
stymied because of Russia’s objections. So the Chinese shifted their focus to the firm of A.G. Vulcan. Numerous Vulcan built warships were ordered from the German yard. They became the core of the Chinese Navy and included two battleships,
Ting Yuen and Chen Yuen, which the most powerful ships in Asia for their time. Although Vulcan was paid well to build modern warships for China, the German building program withered, as the Imperial government didn’t want to spend money on
the fleet. The 3rd rate German navy remained present for almost two decades after Germany was unified.
In March 1883 Leo von Caprivi became the minister of the navy and immediately butted heads with the Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, who was disinclined to spend money on the navy. Caprivi canvassed his officers to see what type of capitol ship
should be built for the Imperial Navy. Possible designs ranged from a 10,000-ton battleships armed with seven 30.5cm guns to 2,500-tons coastal defense ships armed with two 21cm guns.  However, as in the United States Congress, the German
parliamentary government, the Reichstag, was adverse to spending significant funds on the navy. In the 1888/1889 naval program, the low end capitol ship program was selected for construction. The Kiel Canal was funded for improvement and even
the frugal Reichstag saw the need for protecting the canal. Ten warships to be called the Siegfried Class were to be built based on the smallest option. At least there were modifications to this anemic design, Displacement was raised to 3,000-tons and
the main battery went from 21cm to 24cm (9.4-inches). Also a third gun was later added. They were originally typed as armored warships to appease the Reichstag critics of ocean going battleships. This again, was the exact scenario being played out
in the United States, where the Einsteins of Congress feared building blue water battleships as the tools of evil imperialism i.e. Great Britain.

Siegfried Class did wonders for German shipbuilding, which had been starved through the lack of contracts, other than Vulcan. The eight ships were laid down between 1888 and 1893. They were clearly 2nd class at best compared to foreign
navies construction. Displacement was 4,058-tons normal, 4,225-tons full load, for eight of them but
Aegir and Oden (last two laid down) came in at 4,110-tons normal and 4,292-tons full load. They were 240-feet long, with a beam of 49-feet
3-inches, and a draught of 17-feet 9-inches. Armament consisted of three singly mounted 9.4-inch/35 (24cm) main guns with two side by side on the forecastle and one aft. The side by side bow mounts were in part based on the belief in ramming and
focused on axial fighting. The secondary battery consisted of ten 3.5 inch/30 (88mm) QF guns Six machine guns were also carried. Four submerged torpedo tubes were carried, which consisted of a 13.8-inch tube in the bow and 17.7-inch tubes on
the beams and stern. The armor scheme consisted of a belt of 9.5 to 7-inches in thickness, 7-inches on the conning tower and an armored deck of 1.25-inches, except for
Hildebrand and Aegir, which had 2-inch armored decks. The Siegfried Class
was the first German design to have triple expansion reciprocating engines. Eight Schulz-Thornycroft boilers provided the steam for the 3 cylinder vertical triple expansion (VTE) engines for 5,100hp and a top speed of 15.5-knots. By World War One
they had little practical military use.        
The year 1888 was the turning point for the German navy. The first of the Siegfried Class, namely SMS Siegfried, was laid down at the Germania Yard. On March 9, 1881 Kaiser Wilhelm died at the age of 90. His son was know Kaiser Friedrich III
was now Kaiser and Victoria, Princess Royal, became Kaiserin. However, Friedrich had throat cancer and ruled for 99 days until he died on June 15, 1888. The year is known as the year of the three emperors because with his father’s death,
Wilhelm, Friedrich and Victoria’s son, became the third Kaiser of the year, as Wilhelm II. Unlike his father and grandfather, Wilhelm II was a naval enthusiast. Some point out that he always admired the Royal Navy and was extremely jealous of the
fleet of his aunt, Queen Victoria. With Wilhelm II on the throne, the navy had a friend in high places. Another huge factor was the rise of Alfred von Tirpitz. In 1887 while Wilhelm was still a prince, he was sent by the family to represent Germany at
Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee., with a torpedo-boat escort. Tirpitz was the Chief of the Torpedo-Boat Inspectorate in charge of developing the German torpedo-boats and their tactics. It was during this voyage that Tirpitz first met the future
Kaiser. After that Tirpitz’s career was on the fast path. Promoted Captain on November 24, 1888, by 1890 he was the chief of staff of the Baltic Squadron. At a dinner at Kiel, the Kaiser met with high ranking naval officers, including Tirpitz. The
Kaiser sought their opinions on how to build the German Navy. Among the many opinions of other officers, Tirpitz said that Germany needed to build battleships. This was exactly the response that Kaiser Wilhelm II wanted to hear.        

With the 1889/1890 Naval Programme the German Admiralty went in the opposite direction from the previous year’s program. In the earlier program got their 3rd rate, cheap
Siegfried Class. Now it was time to go with the big boys, with going to
the high end of the previous designs. Originally the ships would be of 10,000-tons but the allowable displacement climbed to 11,400-tons. The main armament would be six 28cm/35 guns with all guns mounted centerline in twin gun turrets. Germany
was well in advance with the centerline concept. The Admiralty sought two of these battleships but in August 1888 Kaiser Wilhelm ordered that four of the new battleship should be built.  All were laid down in 1890. During construction a new
24cm/40 gun became available and that gun was used for the forward and aft turrets. The barrel of the new gun was too long for the midship turret and the new gun could not be used in that turret without an entire reworking of the superstructure,
so the 24cm/35 was used in the midship turret, as originally planned. Originally it was planned to use the 8.7cm/35 QF as the 16 gun secondary armament but the new 8.8cm/35 gun was chosen. While still under construction the 10.5cm/35 gun
became available and eight of these replaced eight of the 8.8cm/35 on the main deck. These four battleships were known as the
Brandenburg Class.
The displacement of the Brandenburg Class was 10,060-tons normal and 10,727-tons full load.  Their length was 340-feet 10.5-inches (113.9m) (waterline)(115.7m oa), beam of 64-feet 9-inches (19.5m), and draught of 25-feet 4-inches (7.9m).
Armament was six 11-inch (28cm) With twin 11-inch/40 C/90 (28cm) guns at bow and stern and twin 11-inch/35 C/90 (28cm) in the midship turret. The German Admiralty had wanted the 12-inch (30.5cm) gun but thought the 11-inch (28cm) gun
could be hand-loaded, while the 30.5cm gun could not. As noted earlier the secondary composed eight 4.1-inch/35 and eight 3.5-inch/35 (88mm) guns. Twelve 37mm light guns were also carried. They carried three 17.7-inch torpedo tubes with one
above water tube at the bow and another two submerged beam tubes. The armor scheme jumped dramatically from the
Siegfried Class. The Brandnburgs had a 15.75 to 11.8-inch belt. The armored deck varied between 3 to 2-inches. The turrets
received 9 to 5-inches of armor and the conning tower 11.8-inches of armor. Twelve boilers provided steam for the twin VTE engines that developed 10,000hp for a maximum speed of 17-knots. Two of these ships were sold to Turkey in 1910.        

In the design of the next class of battleship,
Kaiser Friedrich III, the starting point was the Brandenburg restrictions, which were still in place. Early on it was decided to eliminate the middle turret to include a heavier secondary battery. Originally, the
new design would carry four 11-inch (28cm) guns but this changed. Numerous designs were prepared with four 9.4-inch (24cm) guns and different mixtures of 5.9-inch (150mm), or 4-inch (105mm) guns and 3.5-inch (88mm) tertiary guns. Even the
Kaiser submitted a design, which had weight and stability issues that ruled it out. In March 1894 funds were allocated by the Reichstag for the first ship of the new design before the design had been finalized. The armament reverted to the 9.4-inch
(24cm) gun. The reason was the availability of a new model 9.4-inch/40 gun with a 2 ½ times higher rate of fire than the 11-inch/40 guns of the
Brandenburg Class. The German Admiralty thought that more damage would be caused by much quicker
firing 9.4-inch/40 gun. This was the start of the German construction policy of selecting a lighter main armament than new ships of other powers based on their higher rate of fire. The policy would remain for almost 20 years. At the time, the armor
piercing abilities of the 9.4-inch and 11-inch shells were similar at the shorter anticipated battle ranges but the much higher rate of fire gave the 9.4-inch gun the advantage. Finally in August 1894 the design was finalized for a ship of 11,000-tons, armed
with four 9.4-inch/40 (24cm) and eighteen 5.9-inch/40 (15cm) secondary guns, with six in single gun turrets and the rest in casemates. Other improvements included Krupp cemented armor, watertube boilers, and machinery for three shafts. Five
Kaiser Friedrich III Class battleships were laid down between 1895 to 1898. Displacement was 11,097-tons normal and 11,785-tons full load. Dimensions were 125.3m overall, 120.9m waterline length, beam of 20.4m and draft of 8.25m. Armament
was four 9.4-inch/40 (24cm) (C97) main guns, eighteen 5.9-inch/40 C97 (15cm) secondary guns, and twelve 3.5-inch/30 (8.8cm) C/89 tertiary guns. Six 45cm submerged torpedo tubes were also carried. The different ships had a different mix of
boiler designs but the three triple expansion (VTE) reciprocating engines developed 13,000hp for a maximum speed of 17.5-knots. The class had a narrow main belt of up to 300mm, barbettes of 250mm, main gun turrets of up to 250mm, single gun
secondary turrets of up to 150mm, casemates up to 150mm, conning tower of 250mm for the forward one and 150mm for the aft one and an armored deck of 65mm.        
On April 10, 1898 the Riechstag passed the First Fleet Law to allow the navy to have twelve battleships. This allowed the navy to build five new battleships to bring it up to strength. The 1899/1900 programme provided for three new battleships with
the 1900/1901 programme providing for the last two, which became the
Wittelsbach Class.  The new construction would be based on the Kaiser Friedrich III Class so the main gun battery remained four 9.4-inch/40 924cm) guns. The idea of
replacing four of the 5.9-inch (15cm) with two single gun 8.2-inch (21cm) turrets was also trashed. However, the new construction was allowed an extra 5 meters and 500-tons displacement. The big change from the
Kaiser Friedrich III ships to the
Wittelsbach ships was the armor distribution. The earlier battleships had a narrow belt that did not extend the full length of the ship. The Krupp Cemented armor had proven so effective that half the width of the Krupp Cemented armor was more
effective than twice the earlier armor. The belt of the new design was thinned to 225mm, from the previous 300mm. This savings in weight allowed a belt running the length of the ship, plus the addition of an upper belt that linked into the casemate
armor. The armored deck slopped downward to tie in with the armored belt, which had been the practice of other navies for some time. The armor scheme was comparable to British battleships, which were being constructed at the time. The design
was flush deck with the aft turret raised a level. Four of the 5.9-inch (15cm) guns were placed in single gun turrets on the upper deck but the rest were in casemates on the main deck. As with the
Kaiser Friedrich III Class, the new ships had mixed
boilers, however the engines generated 5% more power. All five were commissioned between 1902 to 1904. The
Wittelsbach Class displaced 11,774-tons design and 12,798-tons full load. Their length was 407.2-feet (125.3m) overall, and 400-feet
(120.9m) waterline. Beam was 67-feet (20.4m) with a draft of 28-feet (8.25m). Armament was four 9.4-inch/40 C/98 (24cm) main guns with a secondary of eighteen 5.9-inch/40 C97 (15cm) guns. Tertiary armament was twelve 3.5-inch/40 C89
(8.8cm) guns and six 17.7-inch (45cm) submerged torpedo tubes were installed. The main armored belt tapered from 225mm to 100mm at the ends. Turrets had armor of 250mm on the front tapering to 50mm at the rear. Barbettes were 250mm.
Casemate armor was 150mm with the secondary turrets received 150mm at the front tapering to 70mm at the rear. 250mm of armor was given to the forward conning tower, while the aft conning tower received 140mm. The armored deck was
125mm to 120mm thick with thinner slopes of 75mm to 50mm. The ships had three shafts and the VTE engines developed 14,000 hp for a maximum speed of 18-knots.                

Plans for the follow on design to the
Wittelsbachs began even before the last of the class was laid down. The main point of discussion revolved around the size of guns of the main armament. The admirals thought that the 11-inch (28cm) gun would
be suitable. They continued to think that an 11-inch shell could be manually loaded and preferred the 11-inch gun, now produced in a new model, over the 12-inch (30.5cm) of foreign contemporaries because of the higher rate of fire. The new gun
the model C01, which had a far greater rate of fire than the 11-inch (28cm) gun used in the
Brandenburgs. It was pretty well fixed, early on, that the new battleship class would carry four 11-inch/40 C01 (28cm) guns in twin turrets but a deck
lower than the main guns of the
Wittelsbach. The big debate came over the secondary armament. The value of a new 17cm secondary gun was that it would give longer range, and greater penetrating power was countered by the slower rate of fire,
and reductions in quantity of guns. Finally the 17cm gun was chosen with four in single gun turrets on the upper deck and eight in main deck casemates. Although the 4-inch (10.5cm) gun was considered for the tertiary armament, the 3.5-inch
(8.8cm) gun was retained. Twenty 3.5-inch/35 C01 (8.8cm) were placed on the new design. There were also adjustments to the armor scheme. The main belt was depthened and the casemate armor thickened. The beam and length of the hull were
increased from the
Wittelsbach. This new design would become the Braunschweig Class.
The five ships of the Braunschweig Class were laid down, two in 1901 and three in 1902. The displacement was 13,208-tons design and 14,394-tons full load. The length was 415-feet (127.7m) overall and 409-feet 6-inches (126m) waterline. Beam
was 72-feet 9-inches (22.2m) with a draft of 25-feet (8.16m). Armament consisted of four 11-inch/40 C01 (28cm) guns in twin turrets, fourteen 17cm/40 C01 secondary and twenty 3.5-inch/35 C01 (8.8cm) tertiary guns. Six submerged 17.7-inch
(45cm) torpedo tubes were carried. The armor scheme had a main belt of 225mm tapering to 100mm. Main gun turrets had 280mm in front tapering to 50mm at the rear. Casemate armor was 150mm. Conning tower armor was 300mm for the
forward one and 140mm for the aft one. The armored deck was 140mm. There were twelve watertight compartments. Eight Schulz-Thornycroft boilers plus six cylindrical boilers provided steam for the three reciprocating VTE engines, which
developed 16,000hp and a top speed of 18.7-knots. The
Braunschweig Class were the first German battleships to be close to par with foreign designs and the first German battleships with three funnels. All ships in the class were painted in the home
fleet gray scheme introduced on April 15, 1896. This scheme consisted of a gray hull up to the main deck and light gray superstructure, funnels, masts and turrets. Any bow and stern ornamentation was painted yellow-gold.

SMS Lothringen was the 5th and last of the Braunschweig Class to be laid down and completed. Laid down on December 1, 1902 at the Schichau Yard in Danzig, Listed as Battleship M, the funding for Lothringen was authorized under the
1903 Program.
Lothringen was launched on May 27, 1904 and completed on May 18, 1906. As completed the funnels of the Lothringen were 2.5m shorter than her sisters but they were soon raised to the same height.
On June 14, 1912 the Fleet Law of 1900 was amended to create a third squadron of battleships in the main battlefleet with eight battleships in each squadron. The first battleships assigned to the new 3rd Squadron were Braunschweig and Elsass as
the V Division in late 1912. Fresh from the yards, the new
Kaiser and Friedrich der Grosse, the new fleet flagship, joined in early 1913. With new first rate battleships coming into service, there was no need for the 10-year old prdreadnoughts to be
placeholders in the 3rd Squadron.
Lothringen, Preussen, and Hessen were part of the 2nd Squadron. The 2nd Squadron, which contained the Deutschland Class and the three mentioned Braunschweig Class battleships was removed from the High
Seas Fleet on December 1, 1916 and disestablished on August 10, 1917. With the loss of
Pommern at the Battle of Jutland, the Admiralstab saw that predreadnoughts were not suited to confront the Grand Fleet. The battleships of the 2nd Squadron
were assigned to various guard and special duty missions. In 1916
SMS Lothringen became a guardship, until replaced by Hannover in September 1917, at which time Lothringen became a drill ship and an engineers training ship at Wilhelmshaven.
In the immediate aftermath of the war the
Lothringen became the headquarters of the 4th Squadron from November 17 to December 16, 1918.

While other members of the class had their armament landed between 1916 and 1917,
Lothringen was the exception. She kept ten 170mm guns for another year. However, the 11-inch (280mm) guns of the ships of the Braunschweig Class were
landed and installed into railway mountings. Under the Treaty of Versailles, Article 193 required that Germany clear the German coast of mines. In 1919 the
Lothringen, along with the Preussen, Wittelsbach and Schwaben, were converted into depot
ships for minesweeping motor boats, known at F-boats to complete this mission. Skids in the form of flying boat decks were installed on the decks of the ships to store the F-boats above the decks of the old battleships. Although
Preussen retained
her goose neck cranes to handle the F-boats,
Lothringen and the other two had new cranes fitted amidship. Lothringen was the best of the group in performing her new mission as she could carry fourteen F-boats, two more than any of the other
three old battleships with this mission. Each F-boat was 17m long and displaced 19-tons. The F-boats themselves were built in 1917 and 1918 and were powered by gasoline engines driving two shafts for a maximum speed of 10 to 11-knots.
Lothringen remained a home for the F-boats until March 1920 when she was paid off and placed in reserve at Wilhelmshaven.
Also under the Treaty of Versailles Germany could retain six of her predreadnought battleships and in March 1920, two more were allowed. This allowed Germany to retain all of the surviving Deutschland and Braunschweig Class battleships, except
for the
Deutschland herself, which was sold for scrap. However, the postwar Weimer Republic was poor and crippled by reparation payments. Germany could never afford to have more than four of these predreadnoughts in commission at one
time. A prime mission of the Riechsmarine was to show the flag to build up the new navy’s moral from the depths that it had sunk from the numerous mutinies before the end of the war followed by the capitulation at Scapa Flow.
Lothringen was
never chosen to be restored to her role of battleship. On March 31, 1931 the
Lothringen was stricken and broken up in the rest of 1931 by Blohm und Voss at Hamburg.

(Bulk of history is from:
Battleships of World War I by Anthony Preston, Stackpole Books 1972; German Warships 1815-1945 Volume One: Major Surface Vessels by Erich Groner, Conway Maritime Press 1990; German Warships of
World War I
by John C. Taylor, Doubleday & Company 1970; The Kaiser’s Battlefleet by Aidan Dodson, Seaforth Publishing 2016.)
The Combrig 1:700 Scale SMS Lothringen - The following review of the Combrig Lothringen is identical to that of the Combrig 1:700 scale Elsass (Combrig SMS Elsass Review), as the parts are identical. The two kits do vary in some
searchlight placement. The
Lothringen carries more searchlights with additional platforms. On Elsass searchlights are found at the tops of both masts and on each starboard and port ends of the amidships flying deck. The Lothringen has these same
positions but in addition adds platforms with searchlights on both sides of the forward funnel, an additional platform with searchlight on the forward face of the foremast, and a double platform with searchlights arranged on the main mast with one
searchlight in the forward starboard quadrant and another in the port aft quadrant. Another difference is the location of a signal lamp tower. On
Elsass this centerline position is just aft of the rear funnel but on Lothringen it is on the crown of the aft
conning tower. I am very happy that
Combrig has started producing a line of Imperial German predreadnought battleships. They have produced the initial Brandenburg Class years ago but the new Braunschweig Class are delightful models. This is
SMS Lothringen, 5th and last of the ships of the class. However, Combrig produces all five ships in the class, although at this time I do not know of the differences among them, other than the Elsass and Lothringen. Combrig also produces an
1:350 scale
Elsass. The 1:700 scale Lothringen is a multimedia kit, with fine, sharply cast resin parts and a full brass photo-etch fret. When I measured the waterline of the hull, it came in at 7.06-inches, which would equal 411.8-feet waterline. Since
the actual waterline length was 409.5-feet, it would appear that the hull is very slightly overscale. The casting quality is very good. I couldn’t find any voids. The only significant qualm that I have is the finish of the anchor chain run plate upon which
the anchor chain ran from the windlasses and chain locker fittings to the deck hawse. The model is finished with wood planks in this area, which runs counter to the standard of metal run plates. The anchor chain would tear up any wooden planking
upon which it ran. However, these may represent steel panels, as they are wider than the normal wooden planking found on the model.

The hull side detail is ample with the details expected from current Combrig releases. The hull hawse fittings are a raised oval with significant depth. The same is true with a hull hawse for a stern anchor. The casemate positions are notable with oval
recesses and a locater hole for the gun barrel. The also have vision ports for each casemate position. The 88mm tertiary gun positions on the hull are shown closed with armored shutter plates and a gun barrel locater hole. The shutters have hinge
detail. I love the cut-water, which has a very sharp foot. On either side of the bow are small rectangular fittings. I did find a photograph showing a chain running from the front point of the forecastle to one of these fittings but I don’t know its
purpose. The deck edge fittings start at the top of the cutwater and continue aft. These are a series of open chocks. At the waterline is a series of waste-water scuttles, running the length of the hull. The portholes are deeply cut. At the bow, there is a
line of slits between the lower level of portholes and the waterline. I do not know their purpose but their presence shows you the lengths to which
Combrig went in designing this model. Likewise, the bulkheads of the 01 level, which is integral with
the hull casting, has small details. This includes what appears to be wind hoods for interior ventilation. This is joined with a series of box ventilators located at the junction of the deck and 01 level bulkhead.
Deck detail is plentiful. At the bow is a single bollard and two other fittings. Behind those are very good deck hawse, a windlass plate, and detailed anchor chain guides. Other forecastle deck fittings are two deck access coamings on the starboard side,
a couple of unique triangular fittings and a centerline twin bollard. There are locater holes for the anchor chain windlasses, chain locker entrance fittings and another twin bollard centerline plate. The deck planking does not have butt end lines. At the
base of the superstructure are twin bollard fittings, a deck access coaming with hinge detail and locater squares for separate square mushroom ventilators. Detail midship starts with the characteristic square metal panel deck but there is plenty more.
Deck access coamings with inclined ladders descending into the interior of the hull are a nice touch. Coal scuttles appear in incised circles. Other details include square ventilators, centerline supports for boats, locater lines for the boat chocks, insets
for attaching the superstructure parts, and locater squares for winches and other deck machinery. On the main deck are a series of coal scuttles. The quarterdeck detail is similar to that of the forecastle but also includes two centerline skylights.

The smaller resin parts are poured in the familiar
Combrig pattern with larger parts cast separately on pour tubes, a thin wafer for platforms and other thin items and runners for most of the smaller parts. The only parts cast separately are the turrets.
Both the main gun and secondary turrets have a great deal of detail. Gun openings are very good with a lot of crown detail, including turret commander cupolas. On the crown there are fine lines running the width of the turrets on the forward crown.
The very front of the crown and the aft portion of the crown don’t have the lines. I don’t know about these lines. I looked a photographs of ships of the class to check the turret crown detail. In the photographs I did find, I couldn’t see the lines but I
was hampered by the oblique angle of the photograph or their mediocre quality. Also the turret crowns are painted a very dark gray, instead of the light gray of the sides, making it further difficult to distinguish detail. There are rear access doors and
rivet detail along the edges of the gun openings.
In addition to the various platforms, the resin wafer also has substantial parts for the superstructure. The two largest are for the forward and aft superstructure. On both of these parts there is good detail on the bulkhead with 88mm gun openings on the
aft part and a secondary casemate on the forward part and porthole fittings. Both have splinter shields rising at deck edge. I noticed from the instructions that the decks of both upper superstructure parts are crowed with 88mm guns, shielded guns on
the aft superstructure and unshielded ones on the forward superstructure. A third large superstructure part is the deck house at the base of the 2nd and 3rd funnels. The bulkheads of this part have porthole fittings, doors with hinge and dog detail and a
series of ventilator louvers. On the top is the locater well for the 3rd funnel. Both the 1st and 2nd funnels have detailed deck house bases. Another part is a metal deck flying deck, which connects the forward and aft superstructure. It has metal panel
lines, louvers, rectangle openings, as well as openings for the cranes and 3rd funnel. The other four parts are the fighting tops and their overheads.

Excluding runners with ship’s boats, the kit has 15 resin runners of smaller parts. The largest of these are the three funnels on a runner. The funnels have a nice top apron, good depth into the interior and horizontal reinforcing bands. Another runner
with superstructure parts includes a very nice forward conning tower with vision slits, the aft conning tower, small deck houses and deck machinery. Another runner has the thick military masts, a detailed deck house, the 11-inch gun barrels with
hollow muzzles, and a couple of booms. Secondary gun barrels and various fittings are on a runner. The tertiary 88mm guns and more fittings are on two runners, while the 88mm base mounts and mushroom ventilators are on another runner. The
armament parts conclude with two runners of gun shields for the 88s. The two prominent goose neck cranes share a runner. Square mushroom ventilator fittings form the bulk of anther runner. Four anchors are on runner, while a fifth anchor on a
runner that is dominated by small midship platforms. Boat davits and pipes are on a runner and the last runner with the smallest of the parts, including navigation equipment. The numerous ship’s boats re cast on single or dual runners. These boats have
good detail, as is standard for
Combrig’s boats. Unfortunately, neither the runners nor the instructions have the resin parts numbered to help find their attachment locations. I consider this a step backward because Combrig did this on many of the latter
released British dreadnoughts.
The kit comes with a long brass photo-etch fret. The fret has part’s numbers next to each part with the corresponding number in the instructions, showing the attachment location. Some of the parts are relief-etched. My favorites of these are the
ornate bow scrolls for each side and coat of arms shield at the top of the cutwater. Other relief-etching is found on parts for ladder platforms, and ships doors in two formats. There are various small platforms on the fret as well as their pre-measured
railings. The upper navigation platforms gets foldable bulkheads with open windows. Also included are varios boat cradles with chocks; crane rigging; inclined ladders with trainable treads and safety railing; a host of support gussets; cable reels; flag
staffs; 88mm gun shields; and multitudes of smaller brass parts. The fret has three runs of anchor chain but no deck rails, so you’ll have get 3rd party railing for almost all of the decks.

There are fourteen pages on instructions on seven back-printed sheets. Page one, which is unnumbered, is the plan and profile of the ship. Page two has the resin parts laydown, while page three has the photo-etch laydown and template for masts,
yardarms, spars, booms and steam pipes. Page four (numbered 3 on the sheet) is the initial hull assembly with three insets on assembling inclined ladders with platforms. Page five continues with hull assembly with insets on main and secondary turrets
assembly. Page six concludes hull assembly with an inset on anchor crane assembly. Pages seven and eight concern attachment of fittings and equipment to 01 deck-house midships. Page nine has modules on the flying boat deck assembly, boat
cradles and an inset on assembly of binocular towers. Page ten concludes assembly of the midships 01 level with attachment of funnel bases, boat cradles, and other deck houses, as well as two insets on 88mm gun assemblies. Page eleven concerns
assembly of the forward and aft superstructure. Page twelve has three modules on the mainmast military tower assembly, another for the foremast military tower and funnel and crane assemblies. Page thirteen finalizes superstructure, flying boat deck,
funnel, crane and military mast assembly. The last page is a plan showing boat placement. As I mentioned earlier, I regret the absence of numbering the resin parts on the resin runners or instructions. Thank goodness the brass parts are numbered on
the fret and with corresponding numbers in the instructions.        
The Combrig 1:700 scale SMS Lothringen is a very good kit. Very similar to the Combrig kit of sistership SMS Elsass, the Lothringen kit has more platforms and searchlights. The kit comes with excellent resin cast parts and a medium sized brass
photo-etch fret.        

Steve Backer
Huntsville, Alabama