by: Anthony Kochevar [ ]
The U-boat VII subs were the backbone of the Kreigsmarine of World War II. While alot of manufactures release kits of these subs in the larger scale, Hobby Boss has made a kit of the sub in the smaller 1:700 scale. I saw this kit for sale at a local toy store and thought I'd give it a try. It only contained 14 peices including the base so i knew it would be a simple build.
703 of this type were built in many different variants. The Type VII B began production in 1936 and ran until 1940. The B variant added 33 tons of extra fuel storage, the largest improvement over the A models. Other changes over the A model was the change in location for the aft torpedo tubes and the inclusion of a second rudder fro improved handling.
The Type VII B included some of the highest scoring boats of the war, Prien's U-47, Kretschmer's U-99, and Schepke's U-100. Also included in this list is the highest scoring U-boat of the war, the U48.
Displacement: 781 Tons Surfaced
885 Tons Submerged
Length: 220’ 2” Overall
165’ 8” Pressure Hull
Beam: 20’4” Overall
15’5” Pressure Hull
Speed: 17.7 knots Surface
7.6 knots Submerged
Test Depth: 750 ft
Estimated Crush Depth 970 ft
Crew: 52 Officers and enlisted.
Armament: 5 x 21” torpedo tubes
1 x C35 88mm/L45 Deck gun
Box and Packaging...
The box is nicely illustrated and sturdy. The back contains the assembly and painting instructions. Upon opening the box I was pleased to find one of the best packaged kits I've ever seen. Each fret was in its own sealed bag, with the conning tower fret wrapped in foam as well. All these bags were in a larger sealed box that was slightly inflated to provide an extra degree of cushioning. All frets were undamaged and I could see no loose peices in the bags.
After unpacking the frets, I was amazed at the detail the hull peices had on them. They had even molded the mine cutter on the bow of the underside peice. The deck was equily as good. There was even deck rails with openings, though very overscale and square shaped. These will need removed if you plan on using most realistic photoetch railing. Since the lower and upper peices are separate, you can make a waterline or full hull version.
Conning Tower Fret
Type B and B2 conning towers are included with the kit. While I'm no expert on the Kreigsmarine I noticed a few subtle differences in each. The presence of the molded railings with a fair bit of flash on them were the only negatives.
This fret has the rudders, aerials, support base and armorment for the kit. While the rudder pieces were molded well with high detail, the guns, particularly the C4 peice, seemed way overscale. The inclusion of a scale torpedo was a nice option as well.
The base came prepainted with the lettering on it already. It looked good but you will still have to pant and add the upper supports from the C fret.
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