Saturday, September 20, 2008 - 09:44 PM GMT+7
MSW Crew-mates Wink Grise and Dougie Martindale, owner/operators of aftermarket accessory producer Accurate Model Parts (AMP) have a new, super accurate, upgrade kit in the makings!
Designed specifically for Special Navy's 1/72 scale Type IIA U-boat kit, this new set from AMP corrects any accuracy issues that are now apparent in the original kit.
This will include PE parts to correct and improve the free-flooding holes on the hull. Note that SN used the Vesikko in their design, and their kit hull holes are a hybrid of the IIA and Vesikko. There will be resin parts to replicate the ventral area, which is missing from the SN kit. There will be a few other resin parts, and a number of PE parts to improve the tower.
The photo-etch (PE) will be in two different thicknesses. One normal one and a thin sheet for the small detail parts. There are three main areas – deck, hull and tower.
1 - PE deck
This has taken a great deal of time to design. The AMP deck was designed with reference to four sets of deck plans - Vom Original, Jeff LaRue, Beck and Sievers. Jeff LaRue is a well respected modeller and former editor of the SubCommittee magazine. He has completed a number of R/C sub models, and is working on an excellent scratch built Type II in 32nd scale. Jeff has been of great help with the deck, allowing us access to his own deck design. Our thanks go to Jeff for his very kind assistance.
The greatest priority has been on using period photos of Type IIA decks as well as the plans. A great deal of care has also gone into calculating the correct main slot sizes (width, length, and space between slots). When these are gauged correctly, the pattern of main slots can be used as reference guides for the positions of all the other deck details. Incidentally, the slot dimensions and spacing was the same on the Type II as on the Type VII slots.
Special Navy made two significant errors with their deck design. One regards the slots themselves, the other the metal sections at bow/stern. Once our set is released I can explain in more detail. Going by the info on their website, I am guessing that the Nautilus deck for the Type IIA is very similar to the incorrect SN deck. (Note that the Nautilus Type VIIC deck was very similar to the Revell deck and didn't correct its problems)
A lot of time and patience has been spent on making sure the AMP deck will fit on the SN kit. Time and again the design has been checked to make sure it will fit. When the test sheet arrives in due course, it will be similarly checked (again!) to make sure it fits.
Our deck will come in 4 sections. Two sections will be in the thinner brass, and these will be for the metal sections at the bow and stern on the real boats. We are hoping to depict the anti-slip bumps that were on the metal sections of the real boats. The main deck (which was wood on the real boats) will be in two parts, in the thicker brass. There will be something on the edges of the deck sections to allow the deck to sit at the right height, and hold the deck in place too. There will be a resin wedge to make sure that the deck and the hull sides are held together properly. There will be another resin wedge to correct something about the SN deck (the details to follow upon release). Note that the modeller will be able to depict the step between metal and wooden sections of the Type II deck.
There will be a lot of smaller deck details that are missed out of the SN deck. There will include :
Pole ends, pole fasteners, wooden seat, 8 metal hatches (including something to depict the anti-slip bumps), bollard tops and base, deck markers, identification semi-circle, fairleads, jumping wires supports on the aft deck, deck supports for the netcutter, deck support for the forward jumping wire, jumping wire splitter and jumping wire tensioners.
Some details will be in the thin PE, some the thick PE.
PE deck hatch hinges
There will be 26 thin PE pieces for all the hinges for the deck hatches. Some hatches were wooden, others metal. The design of the hinges were different for the metal and wooden hatches. Included in the set will be a plan of the deck so that the modeller knows where to position the hinges.
2 - PE hull pieces
SN used the Vesikko as a reference guide when designing their kit. The free-flooding holes on the SN kit are a hybrid of the Type IIA and Vesikko. There are quite a number of holes that have to be added so we are including drilling templates to make this task easier. The other flaw with the SN hull holes are that the holes were paired, not evenly spaced. This isn’t that easy to fix without something to help. We will include pieces that can either be used as drill templates or fitted to the hull. There will be around 27 pieces for this purpose.
There will also be smaller details (in the thin brass) for other hull pieces. These include – bow number plates for U 2, U 4, U 5, U 6, several oval plates, 2 UT circles, 14 GHG circles, and exhaust outlet pieces.
Side profile plan:
These hull pieces are all very well, but not too useful if the modeller doesn’t know exactly where they should be fitted. To help we have designed a side profile drawing. This will be printed out in 72nd scale and included in the set. This will allow the modeller to accurately position the parts on their SN hull. Naturally the plan has taken a while to design. But it was deemed necessary to assist the modeller.
3 - PE tower pieces
The design of these parts is not yet complete. The following parts will be in the set :
Corrected vents on tower sides (3 different styles), scribing templates for the tower hatches, hinges for all the hatches, markers, support to keep cook’s hatch upright, removable tower seats and a few small details.
Assuming we can fit everything onto the brass sheet then we have about 190 PE pieces.
Ventral area (X2 – port and starboard)
Deck spacing wedge (mid-hull)
Deck spacing wedge (near stern)
Normal red Kriegsmarine flag
Early tricolour with cross
The normal Kriegsmarine flag is already part of our range. The tricolour is a new design, and was often found on pre-war Type IIAs. Now and again the party flag was used, but we have decided against releasing this as it was specifically a party flag.
The decals will include waterline numbers and white tower U-numbers. These have been designed. We also had to include some other designs on the sheets to try and make the production cost worthwhile. This was annoying as it took time to research and design them. At present we are trying to get an acceptable quote for the decals.
Due to the size of the set and the amount of time required in the design, the AMP set isn't available yet. Most of the PE design is done, with only some parts of the tower still to design. The decals, flags and side profile are designed. The masters for the resin parts have been built and the test casting produced. Hopefully it won't be too long before it is all completed.
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