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SMS Hindenburg (1915) 4:1 Scale

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ConfuseACat avatar ConfuseACat
Level 48 : Master Engineer
Imperial German Battlecruiser SMS Hindenburg (1915) (4:1 Scale)

I’m back again with the third and final of the three Derfflinger-class sisters. If you think this looks like familiar ground for me, then you’re right – it is! I’ve already done SMS Hindenburg in 1:1 scale and her sister ships SMS Derfflinger and SMS Lützow in 4:1. (as well as in 1:1 as part of Project Jutland). It was nagging at me that I hadn’t finished off the whole class in the larger scale yet. So here she is, SMS Hindenburg in 4:1.


The Fourth Naval Law, passed in 1912, authorised three new dreadnoughts. They became the Derfflinger class battlecruisers, a response to the British Lion class. They formed the ‘second generation’ of German battlecruisers, with several improvements over the preceding SMS Seydlitz. Notably they moved all of the main armament onto the centreline and upgraded the main guns to the excellent 30.5 cm SK L/50. The secondary armament was fourteen 15 cm guns in casemates, with an anti-torpedo boat armament of twelve 8.8 cm guns. They could make 26.5 knots on four screws.

The first two ships, Derfflinger and Lützow, were laid down in 1912, launched in 1913 and commissioned in 1914 and 1915 respectively. Hindenburg followed a little way behind. Her design was updated compared to her older sisters, to the extent that she is sometimes placed into a sub-class of her own. Notably her hull was about 2 metres longer and her engines more powerful. She was also built from the beginning with a tripod mast, something which was retrofitted onto Derfflinger after Jutland.

Named after Paul von Hindenburg, the prominent general, she was laid down in October 1913 at the Kaiserliche Werft in Wilhelmshaven, launched the best part of two years later in August 1915 and the commissioned again nearly two years later in May 1917. The extended construction time when compared to her sister ships can mainly be put down to shortages of labour and different construction priorities through the war diverting resources to other projects.

This meant that Hindenburg was the last capital ship completed by the Imperial German Navy in WWI and as a result she had a very short and uneventful service life. By the time she entered service, all of the major naval engagements of the war had been fought and she hardly had to fire her guns in anger. In November 1917 after she had been in service for about 6 months, Hindenburg became the flagship of the I Scouting Group – the main battlecruiser force of the German Navy. In that capacity she served as the flagship for first von Hipper and then von Reuter. She would therefore have been an important ship in the planned ‘Death Ride’ of the High Seas Fleet, which Admiral Scheer had planned as a last-ditch attempt to win Germany a better bargaining position by causing as much damage as possible to the Royal Navy – no matter the cost to his own fleet. However, the sailors of the fleet, sick of war, started to mutiny en masse rather than carry out the suicidal attack and it was called off.

She was one of the ships interned in Scapa Flow following the armistice, and was scuttled there along with the rest of the German Fleet in June 1919. Of all the ships that sank, Hindenburg was the last to go down.

The Build

I’ve represented SMS Hindenburg as she appeared when interned in Scapa Flow in 1918-1919. This is because the fore topmasts would put her substantially over the height limit, however when she was interned in Scapa Flow the topmasts were taken down and so this version fits.

For her service version 1917-1918 she would appear effectively the same but with taller topmasts and with some visible flags of the Imperial Navy. When interned, she flew no flags because the Royal Navy forbade it.

SMS Hindenburg (1915) 4:1 Scale Minecraft Map

Class Comparison

So, how does she differ from her two sisters? The main differences are thus:

  • Hindenburg is approximately 2m longer.
  • She is equipped with the full 14 secondary guns (like Lützow; Derfflinger carried 12).
  • She has a large tripod foremast similar to the one that was fitted to Derfflinger in 1916, however the legs are not spread out as much as on Derfflinger’s.
  • Her funnels are of a different design to her two sisters.
  • She has a more substantial forward superstructure than her sisters.

For a visual comparison between the three ships of the class, I've put the following image together. Note that Derfflinger is represented twice here, since she had a substantial refit in 1916.

SMS Hindenburg (1915) 4:1 Scale Minecraft Map


SMS Hindenburg (1915) 4:1 Scale Minecraft Map

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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10/29/2017 10:39 pm
Level 48 : Master Lemon
T0NG avatar
well i though you built Hindenburg in WOWS T10 cruiser but this is amazing build :)
05/27/2017 4:46 pm
Level 52 : Grandmaster Sailor
LostInSpace avatar
Great building. Also to make the sister ships and showing their differences !
05/28/2017 11:28 am
Level 48 : Master Engineer
ConfuseACat avatar
Thanks. :)

The class differences are one of the things that intrigue me about the Derfflingers, since they're more substantial than in a lot of ship classes. It's made for an interesting experience trying to dig out all the little areas where they differed, on top of the more obvious ones like funnel and mast designs.
05/24/2017 2:01 am
Level 49 : Master Lad
Wooouh avatar
Finally a thing from you! You know I've always been your huge fan! Btw, you promised a warspite (dont remember in what scale exactly) How is it going?
05/24/2017 5:25 pm
Level 48 : Master Engineer
ConfuseACat avatar
Sorry about the slow posting, I've not been on minecraft much. Too many other things to do, and not enough time in the day.

I haven't done anything for Warspite, but since I've built her sister ship Queen Elizabeth, there aren't many differences. If I get around to it, I'll update QE to show her inter-war refits, and then do the same for Warspite since the refits make them a bit more distinct from each other and worthy of separate project pages.

However given that I've now done 3 of the Kaiserliche Marine's 7 battlecruisers, it is becoming very tempting to start working on the other 4!
05/24/2017 1:42 am
Level 41 : Master Sailor
D a v e
D a v e avatar
looks really nice , keep working :) !
05/24/2017 5:22 pm
Level 48 : Master Engineer
ConfuseACat avatar
I'll see what I can do! Not been on minecraft much recently, but I'm always tempted back every so often.
05/24/2017 1:00 am
Level 56 : Grandmaster Architect
squirrel-friend avatar
05/24/2017 5:22 pm
Level 48 : Master Engineer
ConfuseACat avatar
Thanks good sir. :)
05/23/2017 11:19 pm
Level 46 : Master Blacksmith
Suntius Rex
Suntius Rex avatar
It always impresses me when i see 4;1 ships i myself build 4;1 vehicles but ships are way to much for me in such scale! great work!
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