by: Ted Hayward [ ]
Originally published on:
AFV Club 1/350 scale Kit No. 73503; German U-Boat Type VII C
Following the release of the Mk. VIIb kit (item SE 73502), comes the much-anticipated Type C U-boat. This review being written by an Armor modeler, please forgive my ignorance about all things naval. This is the first naval subject I've ever attempted. I'm much more accustomed with 1/35th scale, so working with something a mere tenth of that was, at first, foreboding.
63 parts are in AFV Club's familiar green plastic, the remainder being in finely-etched brass. Included is a lovely display stand with name plaque and four torpedoes. A nice addition is the inclusion of victory pennants, radar ariel, and railings, and ladder, also in PE brass.
A simple one-weekend project, my fears about working in this scale proved unfounded. A pressure hull, complete with fore and aft torpedo openings, is first laid between the hull sides. although a pin-wash of oils will nicely bring-out the exquisite deck and hull detail, I opted to carefully scrape though the inside of the upper hull to expose some of the hull vents. (see photo, RIGHT). The conning tower is particularly complete, with very well-defined floor details.
My inexperience showed when attempting to join the upper and lower hull halves together: do not, as I learned, firmly cement the lower hull halves solid before placing the upper deck! One not confident in working with PE brass has the option to instead fit the railings provided in plastic. To say I was impressed by the detail possible in this scale is an understatement. One will find subtle details not found even in the big 1/72nd scale Revell kits. Even the deck gun rotates! For a beginner like myself, I highly recommend this kit. For the expert, I can see the potential for some interesting scratch-built details.
Markings are included to depict U-96, U-201, and U-558.
Finishing this tiny gem has whetted my appetite to try other naval subjects. Luckily, AFV Club continues to provide more releases in this scale. The company strategy during these uncertain economic times will be to offer value and great detail at an affordable price. The few hours I spent on this kit provided an enjoyable change from building armor.