|Revell 1/72 scale U-boat Type VII C/41 Atlantic|
|Eduard PE Set for the Atlantic U-boat|
|Nautilus wood deck for the Atlantic U-boat|
|Reviewed by Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653|
MSRP: U-boat: $80.75|
Nautilus Wood Deck: $42.00
Eduard PE Set: $39.95
When Ed Sexton and Revell gave IPMS/USA the new version of their U-boat to review, I thought that it deserved the royal treatment. Thanks to Eduard and Nautilus, I was able to add PE bits to it and a laser cut wood deck.
First, let's look at the U-boat itself. This kit represents a later incarnation of the U-boat; in this case a Type VII C/41. There are several differences between this and the first release. The deck gun is gone and the conning tower has expanded to contain three separate AA guns. Also, a schnorkel has been added to the front of the conning tower along with lots of extra radar equipment. Lastly, the hull shape is different in the bow area in that it is slightly extended. One point I also want to state up front is that Revell did a excellent job packaging this large kit. As owners of the first kit know, many came with broken railings and small parts (which Revell did a nice job of replacing). This kit was packed tighter, foam was used to keep the end of the hull secure, and there was not a single part broken when I opened it (not to say I didn't break a few of my own!).
The Eduard set contains dozens of parts with great relief engraving, which are used to enhance all the radar parts, decks, and especially the guns. The Nautilus Wood Deck consists of laser cut wood decking for the main deck and both sections of the conning tower.
For this review, I am going to concentrate on the sub and the addition of the PE set and wood deck and specifically the changes in this kit versus the first U-boat (read original kit review here).
The parts to this kit are as well molded as the first and construction started with the hull. I (again) elected to drill out the limber holes and drainage slots with a Dremel and sharp knife. One warning for later- the slot which is on both sides under the CT (conning tower) - if you cut it out, it would be best to really reinforce it as it supports the deck near the CT. I didn't, and got some flex in it. Eduard has some very nice PE grills and details that can be added and went on with no issues. Adding the wood deck offered some options. The forward and aft sections of the deck were metal with wood planking in between. Nautilus offers some options to this by trimming their set and using the kit parts to represent the metal or using their set and painting. I elected to use the Nautilus deck and the Eduard parts for the metal sections. One precaution noted by Nautilus is that the wood decking is susceptible to moisture pickup. They recommend a lacquer primer on the wood so I used Floquil. Before adding the deck, you need to cut the schnorkel recess from the plastic deck and glue it to the bottom of the Nautilus deck- it isn't difficult but does consume time. I reinforced the recess with extra super glue. The deck fits well and I added all the davits, lights and small PE bits. I then added the diving planes, rudders and prop shafts without issues. I added lots of PE deck access hinges that give the deck a nice look. I went through several prime and fill stages and set the kit aside to await painting.
The CT was next. Using the Nautilus decks requires sanding away the built in decking - this was done with a Dremel and patience. In the end, the fit and look were excellent. I primered again with Floquil. The CT needs to be built in stages as it contains three different levels- the lower gun platform, upper gun platform and the bridge. All the parts fit well and there are no issues. For each of the railings and handrails (and there are a lot), Eduard supplies small rectangular plates meant to replicate the parts holding the railings on. The way I got these to work was to prep the rails, slide the brace on and then glue the railing in place with Tamiya thin cement. Once dry, I added a small drop of CA and slid the brace into place. The Eduard set also enhances the CT detail with additional parts for the periscopes, hatches and brackets for almost all parts. These are relief etched in most cases and excellent.
On the periscope housings, I cheated a little and borrowed some parts from the White Ensign Model sets to duplicate the footrests. I didn't use the Nautilus wood parts for the planking on the sides of the CT- I didn't want to grind off the detail but it could have been done. The whole thing was primed and allowed to dry.
It was time to consider a scheme, and there are 9 to choose from, ranging from the basic to the very camouflaged. I looked over the schemes and chose U997 that has a unique scheme with painted swirls in between the camouflage. It actually survived the war and was sunk in Operation Deadlight when the boats were scuttled at the end of the war. I used Floquil Grimy Black for the bottom and masked and tried Testors Model Master Acryl colors for the camouflage upper decks- I used Hellgrau 50 and Dunkelgrau 52 for these colors and they painted well. The wooden deck was painted with Floquil weathered black. Now for the fun- the squiggles in the camouflage were brush painted with a fine brush and thinned Acryl. Slowly. Once done, the entire thing was double flat coated and set aside to dry thoroughly.
While that was going on, I turned my attention to the small bits. There are three guns to be built and there is lots of PE going on these but if you take your time, it is worth it as the detail increases the look. I also built the Naxos radar and FuMo radars from the replacement Eduard parts. The FuMo alone consists of 19 pieces and looks great. I added the small bits and flat coated again and started weathering. Thanks to the great recommendations, I did the rust by using Liquitex tube acrylic burnt umber and putting in the appropriate places (at least appropriate to me). I always had a problem with rust being too red. Thanks to an excellent modeler in Portugal, I went dark brown. I then showed fresh rust using MiG weathering pigments and then streaking the light rust away from the weathered spots to give it a light yellowish-orange look. I finished weathering by using light colored pastels and MiG weathering powders dust to streak the boat. U-boats accumulated a lot of streaks due to the salt water. I finished with some washes and pastels and applied multiple layers of flat coat. I added the rigging from fine nylon and painted the lights on the CT. The rear light was routinely removed or painted over and I did that too. I added the props and was done.
I love this kit (I have three more to build) and cannot recommend the newest incarnation enough. OOB, it is a thing of beauty and I can also highly recommend the Eduard set and the Nautilus decks- they definitely enhance the look and feel of the decks and add detail to the guns, radar and deck. I would like to thank Ed Sexton and Revell for their kind donation - well done and keep them coming!
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