U-Boat Laboratoriumís 1/350 Austro-Hungarian SMU-10 submarine
KIT #: 350-01
PRICE: 15 Euro
REVIEWER: Kyle Bodily
NOTES: Built as the A-H SMU-10


The K.u.K. SMU-10 started life as the German SMS UB-1.  She was the first boat in the new UB-I class coastal submarine.  In the Austro-Hungarian Navy she was the first of what was called the U-10 class of boat. 

The SMU-10 was built in Germany at the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel.  After completion she was shipped by rail to Pola where the final assembly took place.  One of the advantages of the UB-Is were that they could be broken down into components for shipping and then reassembled in about four weeks for the entire apportion. 

On the 22nd of January 1915 she was commissioned as the UB-1 in the Imperial German Navy. On the 26 Jun 1915 the UB-1 sank her one and only ship.  The 120 tons Royal Italian Navy torpedo boat Torpediniere 5 Pn.  She had no other success in the war.   

On the 4th of July 1915 the UB-1 was handed over to the Kaiserliche und KŲnigliche Kriegsmarine and was commissioned as the SMU-10.  She served in the Imperial Austro-Hungarian Navy until the end of the war. On 9 July 1918 she hit a mine and was heavily damaged.  Her captain was able to beach her with no loss of life.  The heavily damaged U-10 was towed to Trieste to undergo repairs but the war ended before they could be completed.

Austro-Hungarian boats carried two torpedoes just like the German boats but had different deck guns.  Instead of the German 8mm MG 08 the Austro-Hungarian boats were reported to mount a 37mm L/23 SFk quick-firing gun or a 47mm L/44 SFk quick-firing gun.  The only problem here is that I havenít been able to find any pictures of Austro-Hungarian UB-Is that are clear enough to determine the type of deck gun that they had.  Oh well, Iíve also seen many pictures of boats without guns mounted so may be Iíll do mine without a deck gun stowed.

Before the end of the war the Imperial Austro-Hungarian Navy operated five UB-I type boats. The U-10 was the ex UB-1, the U-11 was the ex UB-15 and the U-15, U-16, U17 were commissioned directly into the Austro-Hungarian Navy.  After the war the U-10 was handed over to the Italian government as war reparations and scrapped in 1920.


If you read my first build of the German UB-6 you will know about all there is to know concerning this kit.  Nothing has changed here except this copy had two little air bubbles on the bottom of the hull.  All I did here was add a little putty to fill the holes and sand.


The build was about the same, the only thing different was that this build was much faster.  This one took three evenings.  The first one took about five evenings.  The only thing that really takes time is that I like to let the superglue dry before I add the next part so the first part will be as solid as possible.  I find that it takes about three to five minuets for things too solid up enough for the next part.  And I donít seem to knock off parts as often. 

I always mount a brass tube in the hull that will become part of the stand when I finish.  This is what I use to handle the model while I build it.  In other words this little handle helps me hold and manipulate the model with out my big monster fingers knocking off all the little parts.

When I built the German boat I had to build the very tiny deck gun, a little 8mm machine gun.  The picture of the U-10 that I used to build this model did not have a deck gun so I built this model without a deck gunÖÖ  There now wasnít that easy. 

I added the little periscope and antenna mast. Then I drilled two little holes for the rigging, then painted. 

After painting, I added the rigging and radio antennas and finely weathered the whole thing.  Iím kind of wedded to the same weathering process that I use for basically everything.

To add a little more to the build I used my printer to make an Austro-Hungarian flag for the flagpole and a little nameplate.  I liked this so much that Iíve started to make flags and name plates for all my ship models.


This is where the K.u.K. KRIEGSMARINE web site was indispensable.  From this I could see that the Austro-Hungarian Navy, as a rule of thumb painted their U-boats with a very light gray color on the conning tower and the upper hull was a very dark color.  Iíve not seen a photo of an Austro-Hungarian submarine out of the water but from all of my research Iíve found that the Austro-Hungarian Navy painted the part of the hull in the water a kind of yellow-blue-green color.   I think the colors look very much like Lfd. Nr.11 Deckfarbe Grun/Chromgrun for the Hull below the water line.  Above the water line I would say Lfd. Nr.33-3 Dunkelblau and I would call the conning tower Lfd. Nr.4 Deckfarbe Hellgrau/Silbergrau.  I had to mix all three colors so donít ask me how I did it or what colors I used.  The whole operation was a little of this and a drop of that until I was happy with the color.  I did find when I had finished mixing the colors that I had enough for a couple of Battleships or should I say Schlachtschiffen.

So I painted the boat very light gray for the conning tower, dark bluegray for the upper hull and that very unique shade of yellowgreen for the lower hull.  A very striking and interesting mix of colors if I do say so myself.

Many of the Austro-Hungarian Navy subs had a red white red flash on their bows to help identify them.  But I couldnít find a good picture of this boat with a flash so I chose not to do one on this model.

I touched every thing up with a fine paintbrush and added the rigging.  Finally I weathered the whole thing. 

For the weathering I start out with a very diluted color like rust.  The paint is so diluted that only one coat is almost undetectable.  I just add coats to darken it as needed.  I really like this method, as any one coat is really not noticeable.  So if you make a mistake you will not see it unless you make the same mistake several times.  It is the addition of coats that make things get slowly darker and grungier.


Well there you have it.  This is now the second time that Iíve built this kit and I still love it.  It is simple with just enough difficulty to make it interesting and with the fact that more than one country used this type, there is the opportunity to research diverse boats.  I had a lot of fun researching this build and like the way it turned out.  The colors may not be perfect but I think that they would look close.

I highly recommend this kit.  1/350th is about as big as you can get and still have a good number of other ships in scale that you can compare size with.

One thing that I hope to convey is that like many models you donít have to always build it as it was intended and that you can have a lot of fun researching some of the different options that are always present in a kit.



ďK.u.K. KRIEGSMARINEĒ  http://www.kuk-kriegsmarine.at/ This site is a German language site and the best that Iíve found on the Imperial Austro-Hungarian Navy.  Itís just full of good stuff including high quality photographs. 

ďU-boats of the Kaiserís NavyĒ Osprey New Vanguard #50

ďThe U-boat netĒ www.uboat.net lots of information here.  I consider this site the single best reference on the web.

Many Internet searches

May 2010

Kyle Bodily

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