Samstag, 19. November 2011

"There is something under water" - german submarine "SEEHUND"

Well, maybe you know this feeling – building armoured vehicles again and again can be a little boring or makes no longer fun as in the past. I had exactly this feeling and I thought its time to liven up into my modelling passion. For this I bought the kit of the german midget submarine Type XXVII, called “Seehund”.
Some background information’s:
The midget submarine Type XXVII, better known as “Seehund” ("Seal") had a small raised platform amidships with the air intake mast, magnetic compass, periscope, and a clear dome which could survive depths of 45m. The submarine's fixed periscope incorporated lenses which let the commander check the sky above for aircraft before surfacing.
The first contract for “Seehund” construction was placed on 30 July 1944. Enthusiasm for the submarine was so high that most of the contracts and hull numbers were allocated even before the design was completed. A total of 1,000 boats were ordered, Germaniawerft and Schichau-Werke to build 25 and 45 boats per month respectively.
A total of 285 Seehund’s were constructed and allocated numbers in the range U-5501 to U-6442. From the Allied point of view the “Seehund's” small size made it almost impossible for Asdic to get a return from her hull, while her very quiet slow speed running made her almost immune to detection by hydrophone. As Admiral Sir Charles Little, Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth put it, "Fortunately for us these damn things arrived too late in the war to do any damage". Seehund’s operated mainly around the German coast and in the English Channel, and could attack on the surface in turbulent weather, but had to be almost stationary for submerged attacks. From January to April 1945 Seehund’s performed 142 sorties, during which they sank 8 ships for a total of 17,301 tons and damaged 3 for a total of 18,384 tons; 35 Seehund’s were lost in action.

The kit:
Bronco released this overall nice looking kit under the item no: CB35035 some months ago. I’ve never build a submarine before, but as I saw this boxart I know it: This will be my next project.
The kit comes in grey styrene parts. Also in the box Bronco provide a base which is moulded in black plastic and a very nice brass name plate. A decal sheet is provided which has markings for four vessels, some of which are quite colourful. The instruction is very easy to understand. There is also one item moulded in clear plastic, this is the dome that sits on top of the conning tower.
The kit comes without flash at all and shows very few seam lines, the hull surface has got a very fine texture moulded.
Building was straightforward with no problems. Only the two halves of the submarine hull and of the torpedos required a little attention. The dividing lines were filled with filler and several times sanded until I had an absolutely smooth surface. Then the whole kit received a basecote with Mr.Surfacer 500 to get an even surface overall. With Tamiya X-1 black I added fine preshading lines at the panels to generate subtle contrasts. The grey tone I mixed with Tamiya XF-63 and XF-66. The spots are carefully sprayed with XF-2 white. After some layers of blue filters the whole boat looks more harmonious. Weathering was made completely with oils. This job was made unobtrusive because I think the submarines had not a heavy worn appearance.
Here finally the pics for you:

and some more detailed pics:

All in all I had really fun during the assembling / painting. Some change on the workbench – seems there is no harm in trying. Hope you like the “Seehund”.