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In-Box Review
1/350 SMS Elster
1/350 SMS Elster, torpedoboat of the Austro Hungarian Navy
  • Elsterboxweb

by: Kenny Loup [ GATOR ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

Intro, and a bit of history...

Elster was a 1st Class Torpedo Boat built in Germany's Schichau yards for Austria Hungary. She was a unit in the 4th batch of construction, a batch that included sister ships Kukuk, Star, Krahe, and Rabe.

Sisters: Sperber, Habicht, Bussard, Condor, Geier, Uhu, Wurger, Kranich, Reiher, Ibis, Gaukler, Harpie, Flamingo, Secretar, Weihe, Marabu, Kukuk, Star, Krahe, Rabe, Kibitz

Launched September 19, 1888, reached Pola February 7, 1889. Blockaded Crete 1897, collided with Rabe in 1901, collided with rock and sank in 2 meters of water in 1902. Torpedo school 1907, and fitted with a Yarrow boiler 1909 which gave her 2 funnels and 2 masts. Renamed "24" in 1910. Converted to oil firing in 1911. Rammed by steamer 1914 and converted to a minesweeper in 1918. Transferred to Italy in 1920 and stricken in 1925.

The ships were of 39.88m overall length with a beam of 4.80m. Their design displacement was 78 tons with a full load displacement of 83 tons. Powered by a 3 piston steam engine producing in excess of 950-1000 hp driving one shaft, they were able to achieve speeds of up to 22.8 knots. Their armament was two 37 mm L/23 guns and two 35 cm torpedo tubes, one mounted in the bow and one moveable tube mounted on the stern deck.

Inside the box...

The kit comes in an end opening style box, featuring a photograph of the Elster sailing in heavy seas. Inside the box you will find the hull, one small self-sealing bag, one small white paper envelope and the instruction sheet.

Bag A contains the small resin parts including deck fittings, spot lights and the funnel.

Bag B contains the photo etch frets, a tapered brass rod and brass rod for the mast.

The photo etch frets contains all the needed detail parts to super detail the Elster. Included are railings, shipís wheel, hatches, anchors, mast support, deck plates and torpedo mount base.


This is one of the smallest 1/350 ships Iíve ever seen. That being said, its hull is beautifully cast with very little flash, good details, for such a small casting.

The added photo etch details will make this a show stopper. The only drawback I see is that the small search light are a bit frail and some of the small deck fitting had air bubbles.

Overall, a nice kit, quite unique in itself, surely to make for a very interesting display alone, or in a small dio or vignette.
Highs: Excellent hull casting. Nicely etched photo etch frets.
Lows: Some air bubbles in small resin parts.
Verdict: One of the nicest 1/350 small ships I've seen. The photo etch details are sure to make this a show stopper. Recommended!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:350
  Mfg. ID: WMM 135002
  Suggested Retail: $46.88 US
  Related Link: Wiener Modelbau Manufactur
  PUBLISHED: Dec 10, 2007

Our Thanks to Wiener Modellbau Manufactur!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Kenny Loup (gator)

I was the kid that his dad would say "Hey, there's a war movie on." and come running. As a kid, I dived head first into military history. We would always have to stop at the USS Alabama on our way to Florida. I also got to visit the Seawolf Park and the Alamo on vacation, too. All things I want ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Kenny Loup [ GATOR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


That is a decent looking "little" ship. Thanks for the review!!
DEC 10, 2007 - 12:18 AM
Interesting little ship. By the look of the kit I would think this might be a good choice for a first time resin builder to try their hand? She is a smaller kit, so probably less expensive, relatively few parts, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of resin over pour to remove. Would you say that would be the case Kenny?
DEC 10, 2007 - 01:26 AM
Yes indeed Rodger. Gator
DEC 10, 2007 - 02:00 AM

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