Revell 1/72 Type VIIc U-boat (1941)

KIT #: 5045
PRICE: $98.25 SRP
DECALS: Eight Options
REVIEWER: Dietmar Carstensen
NOTES:  

HISTORY

 In WWII German VII C submarines operated all over the world. Most of these U-boats were destroyed during the last years of the war by attack from the air. In total the German U-boat fleet had 40.000 crewmembers, of which 30.000 died.

THE KIT

 The kit is well known and frequently used by aircraft modellers, who wanted to build something different from aviation. The kit contains 190 parts and decals for 8 versions, and it is quite big due to its 1/72 scale (length 934 mm).

The detail is good, but can be improved a lot by aftermarket resin and etched parts. Unfortunately the kit does not contain figures, which have to be purchased from different makers.

I used a set of superb figures from Andrea Miniatures, made from white metal casting.

CONSTRUCTION

Since I want to build a waterline model, I had to cut the hull below the waterline. To identify the cutting line, I studied a lot of photos of the real U-boat in action. It is important to glue the hull halves together before cutting the underwater part. I used a motor tool (Proxxon) with a circular saw.

 Unfortunately Revell only does indicate the flooding holes without real openings.  I opened these holes one by one by first drilling, than sanding them into shape, a lot of work and very time consuming, which I did not expect.

The hull has been masked and airbrushed using Humbrol colors.

 All plastic gun barrels have been replaced by metal barrels from Shatton Modellbau (German supplier).

The etched parts from Eduard are great to improve the decks (the metal sections fore and aft) and hatches on tower and deck.

The etched parts are also very useful for detailing the flak guns and the radar antennas.

 The figures are painted with water based paint from Revell. This paint is very suitable when it comes to hand brushing.

 A lot of weathering (rust, salt) all over the boat (hull, decks, tower) contributes a lot to a realistic overall appearance.

The radio antenna wires were made from copper wire.

I used Tamiya weathering master (works great) and MIG products to represent rust, saltwater splashes and little dirt to the wooden decks. The flak guns and other metallic equipments are weathered by dry brushing, using silver enamel or acrylic paints.

To imitate the sea I used as a base a piece of polystyrene foam. This plate first was painted with water colours in blue and turkey. Near the hull of the ship due to the water extremely mixed with air turkey coloured water looks most realistic; the more the distance from the ship increases, the more the colour of the water tends into dark blue. After the paint is dry, a coat of silicone was applied by using a palette-knife. Before the silicone dried, the waves were moulded into the fresh silicone corresponding with the direction of the wind, using a tea spoon. The foam and splashes in the water at the bow and alongside the hull can be moulded into the silicone by using a tooth-pick. When the silicone is dry the white crests can be painted with a touch of white enamel color.

COLORS & MARKINGS

 Of the 8 versions possible I choose the painting and marking for U-1002: one decal on the foreside of the turret. U-1002 operated from 30/11/1943 until 8/5/1945 with no successes.

 Photos have been made using an Olympus E-520 camera with macro lens 105 mm and several wide angel lenses by flashlight as well as artificial light and daylight. As a background I used a poster, which I bought in a shop for railway accessories.

CONCLUSIONS

 The kit would look very well when carefully building out of the box, however, with little extra work it is a real challenge.

REFERENCES

 I suggest the following reference book when modeling Revell's VII boat :

David Westwood: "The Type VII U-boat (Anatomy of the ship)",

US Naval Institute Press; Revised edition (July 2003)

This book contains detailed drawings of the boat and all its equipments as well as photos and descriptions.

Dietmar Carstensen

April 2012

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