Hobby Boss 1/350 Type IXA U-boat
KIT #:  83506
PRICE: $19.99 MSRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo etch parts

HISTORY

The German Type IXA submarine was a sub-class of the German Type IX submarine built by the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) between 1937 and 1938. These U-boats were designed between 1935 and 1936 and were intended to be fairly large ocean-going submarines. The inspiration for the Type IXA submarine came from the German Type IA submarine, which had a similar diving depth and identical submerged horsepower.

Two of the eight Type IXA submarines (U-37 and U-38) would become the 6th and 10th most successful U-boats that saw service in World War II, sinking 53 and 35 ships respectively. All of the Type IXA submarines were sunk fairly early in the war except for U-37 and U-38, which survived to become training boats in mid-war and were scuttled in May 1945 to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Allies.

All Type IXA submarines were ordered by the German Kriegsmarine between 29 July 1936 and 21 November 1936 as part of Plan Z and the overall German plan of re-armament in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. The design of the IXA submarines was derived from the German Type IA submarine. All contracts for the construction of the submarines were awarded to AG Weser, Bremen. The first U-boat to be laid down in the Bremen ship yards was U-37, whose kneel was laid down on 15 March 1937. The last U-boat to be laid down wasU-44, whose construction began on 15 September 1937. By November 1939, all eight submarines had been fully constructed and commissioned into the Kriegsmarine.

The Type IXA submarines were the first German submarines to have a double hull. This allowed for a greater chance of survival in the event of an attack and gave them better seaworthiness on the surface. The Type IXA submarines had a test depth of 230 metres (750 ft). The class had two MAN M9V40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines that produced 4,400 shp (3,300 kW) as well as two SSW GU345/34 double-acting electric motors that produced 1,000 hp (746 kW) and allowed them to travel at 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h; 20.9 mph) while surfaced and 7.7 knots (14.3 km/h; 8.9 mph) submerged. The Type IXA submarines had a range of 19,425 nmi (35,975 km; 22,354 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) while on the surface and 144 nmi (267 km; 166 mi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) while submerged. The fuel capacity was 154 tons. The maximum crew capacity was 56, though the number on board was usually around 4548.

THE KIT

Hobby Boss has been producing a number of these nicely done 1/350 submarines. This one is similar to the recently previewed Type VII in that it comes with a pair of photo etch frets. One is for the display stand and the other is to enhance the kit. Most of the photo etch are for the conning tower and this includes the deck, gun railing, flag mast, DF antenna and side marker lights. Those items for the hull are mostly optional and included the cable cutter, anchors, side railings and some staffs on the rear of the deck.

The plastic is superbly molded and though there is a separate lower hull, this cannot be built as a waterline kit per se as the mating surfaces of the upper and lower sections are curved. A lot of parts this kit does not have. There are no optional parts, but this isn't surprising since so few type IXA boats were built. The kit parts are superbly molded and have more than enough detail to satisfy most builders.

Instructions are a single sheet of paper with a single construction step. A full color three view is provided for a painting guide. A multiple of paint references are provided. The boat is basically a dark grey deck, lighter grey upper surface with a hull red lower waterline. The one set of markings is not identified, but since it is for boat 38, I can assume it is for the U-38.

CONCLUSIONS

Many modelers like 1/350 submarines as they often provide a quick and easy build; just the thing if one has been spending time tacking some challenging short run kit.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_IXA

September 2010

Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.

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