Flagman 1/350 Type VIIc U-boat

KIT #: 235006
PRICE: $15.00 MSRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Kevin Powers


U-81, under 2 different Captains, sank a total of 27 ships, during it's 3 year career.  The most famous of it's victims, was the HMS Ark Royal, the British Aircraft Carrier that contributed to the hunting of, and final sinking of the dreaded German Battleship Bismarck.  The Ark Royal, was sank on November 13th 1941.

  The U-81, is the only German submarine, during WW2, to never had lost a man until it's final destruction, by a B-26 Marauder, on 3 January, 1944, with the loss of 2 lives.

 The emblem for this particular U-Boat, is a black shield with a Roman Gladius in the center, surrounded by a gold ring around the blade.

  The U-boat was commanded by Oblt Friedrich Guggenberger April 1941-December 1942.  Oblt Otto Grieg commanded the Sub from Dec 1942 until it's sinking on Jan 1944.  Both Captain's were the winners of the distinguished Knight's Cross.


Upon opening the kit, I noticed that it had the typical amount of pieces for a sub kit of this scale. There were three different conning tower schemes you could build on this one.  The parts had very little flash, except a little bit on the smaller parts.  Practically no sink holes or injector pin marks, made for a putty free build.

 You had the option to build one u-boat with the typical 88mm deck gun and 20mm AA gun on the weather deck. Or possibly the all AA gun configuration with the 'quad 4' turret.  The kit also had the option of 3 different conning tower builds.


The kit went together rather trouble free, considering the several different sub-assemblies(no pun intended).  Minimal dry fitting and minor sanding was all that was required to take care of the rough edges.  The instructions were somewhat vague with a couple of misleading steps. One of the steps would have you build the 'cable cutter' as a sub assembly and then mount to the bow of the main deck.  Having tried this, I found it to be a lot easier simply premounting the "arch" and then cutting the v braces to fit underneath.

  The most difficult of the construction, was the aft rudder/props/diving planes assembly.  I had a hard time believing a simple kit as it was, most of the parts were located in this part of the build.  One of the main supports for the elevator and twin rudders was either 'shot short' or simply was mis-designed.  I had to cheat a bit to get the part to fit halfway decent.  Perhaps some stretch sprue would have made a better substitute instead of using the misshapen part.


I painted the kit in 2 shades of RLM Gray paints from Gunze.  I dull coated the sub and let that dry.  I then added some aluminum dry brushing to bring out some of the deck details and to give the sub a well used look.  Finishing off the kit with a hardy helping of some simulated rust from a mixture I purchased from a Walther's Catalog a few years back.
I added the ship's emblem as a after thought to the conning tower, but, the decal was so small, it darned near disappeared after sealing it with future floor wax.  The decal went down without any setting solutions.


Except for the fiddly bits in the stern and the troublesome cable cutter, I would be more than happy to build another kit such as the one I just finished.




Kevin Powers

January 2009

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