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Revell's 1/72 scale U-Boot Typ VII C
U-552

by Chris Wauchop

 

U-Boot Typ VII C - U-552

images by Brett Green


Revell's 1/72 scale U-Boat Type VII C is available online from Squadron

 

Introduction

 

The end of 2003 brought us a truly remarkable model - Revell's 1/72 scale German U-Boat Type VIII C "Wolf Pack".

The inescapable first impression of this model is its size. The box is huge, and every centimetre is required to squeeze in the hull halves diagonally. At 933mm, this model is even longer than Trumpeter's Essex carriers.

The next impression is the quality of these enormous mouldings. Structural details are raised where appropriate, and deeply recessed for the mass of flooding holes. Looking more closely, rivet detail is also present. These lines of rivets are raised but beautifully subtle.

On the real boat, the flooding holes were open but they are moulded solid (but quite deeply) on the model.

The remaining parts are extremely nice too. The deck and conning tower components are especially noteworthy. Wintergarten railings look to be in-scale, while smaller features such as the deck guns are adequately detailed. However, there is plenty of potential to super-detail the 88mm gun in particular.

 

 

Options and features abound. The forward torpedo doors are supplied as separate parts and may be displayed open. Two styles of conning tower are supplied. An optional cable cutter for the bow is also provided. Periscope and vents may be positioned up, down or anywhere in between. Hydroplanes are movable. The list of goodies is long!

A spool of thread is supplied for the aerial rigging, with plastic parts for the floats.

A stand is also included - essential for the display of this full-hull vessel.

For such a big model, the overall parts count of 135 is quite modest. This approach will ensure that even modellers with only a moderate amount of experience will be capable of finishing the U-Boat..

Markings for five boats are supplied (with one of these including early and late versions). There are some differences in conning towers, fittings and rigging between these boats, so make your decision about which version you are building early in construction, and pay close attention to the instructions!

 

 

Construction

 

Chris Wauchop built Revell's 1/72 scale Type VII C U-Boat over a period of only around 2 weeks. He found that some of the railings were broken in the box, but these were easily repaired before construction. Apart from some cleaning up of flash, the model did not present any real challenges - very creditable for such a large model.

However, Chris did mention that it would have been nice if the locating points for the railings were deeper and more positive.

Chris made a number of additionss and modifications. These included:

  • All handrails and steps on the conning tower were replaced by brass wire.

  • Extra detail was added to the 20mm anti-aircraft gun using stretched sprue.

 

 

  • A lanyard for the deck gun plug was added from fine wire, painted with Tamiya XF-59 Desert Sand

  • A few other details were also added to this area, including the stowage hole for the 88mm gun plug.

 

 

  • The antenna rigging was added from smoke coloured monofilament (invisible mending thread) instead of the supplied thread which Chris thought was overscale and too hairy!

  • The forward three flooding holes were drilled out, but next time Chris says that he will drill out all of the hull side flooding holes.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

The model was sprayed using the Testor Aztek airbrush fitted with the fine line, tan coloured nozzle.

The following colours were used:

The decks of the hull and conning tower were painted with a mix of 60% Tamiya XF-24 Dark Grey and 40% XF-64 Red Brown.

The conning tower and hull sides were painted with a 50/50 mix of Gunze H324 Flat Light Grey and Tamiya Gloss White. Unusually for Gunze acrylics, the light grey was genuinely flat, and in fact the Gloss White did not effect the flat final finish.

All woodwork was Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow.

 

 

The lower hull is painted Tamiya XF-24 Dark Grey.

The larger sections of rust were brush painted Tamiya XF-10 Flat Brown, then airbrushed over with a thin mix of the same colour to represent the characteristic "bleeding" of the rust into the paintwork. Other sections of rust were airbrushed only using Tamiya XF-10 Flat Brown.

The general streaking on the lower hull was a combination of XF-10 and Chris's usual mix of Tamiya Flat Black and Red Brown, thinned and sprayed with the Aztek airbrush.

 

 

The screws were brush-painted the recently released Tamiya X-31 Titanium Gold enamel.

Kit decals were used and they performed flawlessly.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Revell's 1/72 scale U-Boat is impressive in the box, and Chris Wauchop's superb painting skills really bring out the character of this fabulous model.

The sheer size of the kit is also noteworthy. You'll need a big mantlepiece to display this boat!

 

 

With a wide selection of after-market decals, crew figures and accessories becoming available, I expect that we will start to see U-Boat Wolf Packs resurfacing at model competitions and meetings any time now.

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

 

Kriegsmarine U-boats 193945 (1)
New Vanguard 51
Author: Gordon Williamson
Illustrator: Ian Palmer
US Price: $14.95
UK Price: 8.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 May 25, 2002
Details: 48 pages; ISBN: 1841763632
Shop cart
Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model by Chris Wauchop
Text Copyright 2004 by Chris Wauchop and Brett Green
Images Copyright 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 10 July, 2004
Last Updated 11 July, 2004

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