Review Mirage Hobby 1/500 MS Batory

M.S. Batory was an ocean liner of the Polish merchant fleet, named after Stefan Batory, the famous sixteenth-century king of Poland. She was en route to New York when the war broke out. She was converted to a troopship and took part in many military actions, including evacuation of the French-Polish-British corps from Narvik (1940), evacuation of allied troops from St. Nazaire and St. Jean de Luz (1940), invasion of Algier and Sicily (1942), military voyages to India (1943), six months services as a troop carrier from Egypt to Italy (1943), and the invasion of southern France. The liner survived World War II and became known as a “Lucky Ship” due to her wartime successes.

During many years of service, Batory carried out 222 round trips across the oceans, first on the New York City run, later the India Line and finally the Canadian Line, carrying over 270,000 passengers altogether. She also performed about 75 cruises, tourist trips, and transportation of children to Poland for summer holidays with over 30,000 passengers taking part. During her wartime service of over six years, she carried about 120,000 soldiers.

Tonnage: 14 287 GRT
Length: 160.4 m (526.25 ft)
Beam: 21.6 m (70.87 ft)
Draught: 7.5 m (24.6 ft)
Speed: 18 knots
Capacity: up to March 1940: 760 passengers
from March 1940: 1650 troops
from February 1941: 2200 troops
from April 1947: 832 passengers
Crew: up to December 1939: 313

The kit is in a top opening box. All the parts are mounted on 4 sprues which are sealed inside a single bag which in turn is wrapped in bubble wrap. Attached to the front of the instructions is a resealable bag containing a small decal sheet. The instructions have one page of background information, 4 pages of build instructions in black, white and red and the last page is a colour sheet of painting instructions.

The box contains:

  • 317 plastic parts on 4 sprues
  • 2 small decal sheets
  • 1 instructions booklet with 6 A4/letter sized pages.

This is Mirage-Hobby’s kit of the MS Piłsudski from the 90s. MS Piłsudski is the sister ship to MS Batory. This kit is a re-box with new parts and decals from 2014. It’s easy to see the passenger liner is the 2 larger sprues and the 2 smaller identical sprues have been added to modify her for her wartime career as a troopship. This kit builds her as she was from the summer of 1942 to August 1943. She had quite a few variations in equipment through the war.

The sprue attachment points are not too bad, a little large in places, but nothing that will be a problem. The ejector pin marks are either out of the way or on the sprue and not a concern. The level of detail on the parts of the kit is fair with subtle recessed panel lines and raised detail where appropriate. The newer sprues have solid sprue runners and a lot of small parts on them which might make for some careful work in removing them. The older sprues show a little sign of flash in some places, but not excessively so. I suspect there may be several parts not used on the original 2 larger sprues.

The instructions are clear and are shown in black, white and red diagrams. The kit is built in 14 steps. Steps 1-8 are for the new parts added to make her a troopship. Steps 8-13 are drawn differently and look to be the original instructions with extra red text added to show the placement of the new parts and the sub-assemblies you made in steps 1-8. Note that I’ve included step 8 in both the newer parts and the old parts, this is because step 8 actually appears twice. There is actually 14 steps even though the numbering only goes to 13. The actions for each step are described below:

Steps 1-6: assemble various guns to form 13 assemblies
Steps 7-8: assemble 12 boats and 1 landing craft
Step 8: start building the ship – hull, stand and fore and aft decks go in place.
Step9: main deck and superstructure go in place.
Sep 10: small parts on the superstructure, LCM and first of the guns are fitted.
Step 11: Several of the assemblies made in steps 1-8 go in place along with the mast.
Step 12: many davits go in place along with the cranes.
Step 13: all the boats go in place.

Paints and Decals
You’re given one colour painting guide and a 2 small decal sheets. The decal placement is also shown in the painting guide. It seems as though the larger of the 2 decal sheets is the passenger liner version of the kit and only the smaller of the 2 sheets is actually used. The paints are named and referenced to the Vallejo and Lifecolor ranges.

This is a nicely detailed kit of an unusual subject. The details on the plastic parts look fair, although some might be a bit thick. The sprues are closely packed with parts at times which might make getting them detached undamaged a little tricky for the smaller parts. You will end up with an interesting kit of a ship you don’t see often though. You can upgrade the level of detail with generic 1/500 rails which are available from other manufacturers.

I found this kit available at Mirage Hobby for $18.50 plus shipping which is a good price.

Many thanks to Mirage Hobby for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International

Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.


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