All naval warships in World War II had their own type of camouflage depending on their surroundings Some were just rectangular shapes along the sides of hulls, and upwards over the guns and bridge, or curved designs to represent waves. The most unique camouflage was on the sister ship of the Bismarck.....the DKM Tirpitsz. Her camouflage consisted of triangular shapes side by side to form an intricate pattern. I have tried to find the name of this camouflage, and I think it is called “Camos”, but whatever the name doesn't matter.
This is how how I applied this camouflage to the 1:350 scale kit from Tamiya.
The hull is a one piece, full hull. It has “dimples” along the sides of the hull for portholes ......17 at the bow and 38 at the stern, on both sides, which I drilled out. The hull was then sanded lightly with 320 paper just to take the sheen off the plastic. The instruction book had pictures of the both starboard and port sides and the colors. I used four colors, Dark Sea Grey, Dark Grey, Light Grey and Flat White. The portholes in the pictures lined up perfectly with the hull. I simply counted the portholes on the pictures, then counted the portholes on the hull, and marked both top edge of hull and at waterline. The deck consisted of three pieces......bow, stern and center deck. First, I taped the bow deck to the hull so that I could line up markings on the front turrets. With a soft pencil I then joined the lines from top edge of the hull to waterline, following the design on the instructions. I did the same for the stern deck and turrets, and also the center deck. Once this was completed, the hull was just a mass of triangular shapes. So I named my colors A, B,C and D, and following the pictures I applied the corresponding letters to the different shapes. Each letter, as above was then painted the appropriate color, until the starboard side was completed. Since the painting was done freehand, I was not able to make the sharp lines. So, with narrow strips of yellow Frog Tape that was very fine, I applied the tape over each joining edge and with fine brush, and filled in appropriate color. And now the bad news! Once I started to carefully remove the tape, it pulled the camouflage off as well!! Back to the drawing board; after removing all the strips of tape, I joined the lines again and repainted the camouflage. After drying thoroughly, I sprayed the whole side of the hull with Dullcote. This sealed the camouflage and the strips of tape were attached as before, lines were painted, the tape was removed and, finally, I had straight lines. The port and starboard sides had different outlines, but my procedures were the same. Once the camouflage was finished, the rudder, shaft, and props (3) were attached and the hull from waterline down was brush painted Hull Red, and the waterline was applied. Once the hull was completely dry, it was sprayed with Dullcote again to seal all the paint colors. DONE!!!!
Bow with anchor chains
Funnel, launches and Arado
Launches with Arado ..... 196 on catapult