Personally, I'd think you could scratch build that dry dock from scored
Evergreen sheet stock and foam board for a LOT less than the asking
price for the kit...
That's sort of what I'm planning to do for mine, except I was only going
to build the floor of the dry dock - the supporting timbers and such.
One of the best items I have gotten hold of so far is the turned
aluminum periscope and gun barrel set from Houshinya. Cost me $25 US,
but some very nice peices. The set includes both periscopes (one may
not actually be a periscope, not sure - still researching) and barrels
for both the 88 and 20mm guns. The profile of the barrel at the muzzle
end of the 88mm gun is different from the kit part - not sure which is
actually "correct", but the Houshinya part does look good. Hard to find
this one right now in the states - I know a buyer for our local Naval
museum that only knows of one source in Georia to get them from, and he
got them for me...I "need" two more sets now. (They also make a set of
20mm barrels for the Schnellboot - don't make the mistake of purchasing
both sets if all you need are the U-boat items...the U-boat set is
There are also some very nice metal crew figures out from Hecker and
Goros, connning tower and gun crew sets. CMK also has a set which
includes three resin crew figures "at rest". Some surfing around gives
the impression that at least two more sets are planned to be released -
more suitable for dockside dioramas. There is a note on the White
Ensign site that says CMK originally announced the release of a set of
ten figures - so they may have broken that original set down into a
series of smaller releases.
The ULAD decal sets are also very nice - some very interesting schemes
included, as well a nice write-ups on the combat/service careers of each
boat. I have sets 1 and 2, and so far I have at least three boats in
mind that I'll "have" to build...I already have two more kits waiting
I've also heard tell that at least two individuals/companies are working
on sets of etched decking for the 1/72 Revell U-boat. I wasn't too
interested in this at first, but now that I've decided to open up all of
the spill holes on mine and scratch build some of the features between
the deck and the pressure hull I think I'm going to get keen on grabbing
one of these sets if they do come to market. I'll be keeping watch.
BTW - as to opening the spill holes; it seems to me that the easier way
to open them up would be to sand the back side of the plastic thin with
a Dremel drum sander until the holes open rather than try to carve/drill
them open; as some people have done. I plan to try this method where I
think it will work, and after looking at the deck parts again I may also
try this with the plastic parts for the deck plates to open them up.
I'm also thinking of replacing all of the plastic railings with scratch
built ones made from soldered brass wire.
I'll be layed up for servicing next weekend...rode my remaining miles
off between here and Bishop on Saturday. Have been planing a trip that
way, though. Might be able to make it on Sunday if I have any energy left.
One of the boats I may "have" to build is U-96 from "Das Boot" - it's
included on the Part 1 sheet from ULAD. I could find myself doing a
more elaborate dio for that one seeing as I have a copy of the movie for
FWIW You can buy all the aftermarket in the world for this kit but the
thing that will make or break it will be the paint job. Rust and streaks
in the paint and worse if it's depicted as winter time and she has been
plowing through the ice in the North Sea and ... You get the idea!
I was looking at the part 2 decal sheet. It includes a later boat with
the enlarged "Wintergarden" with a 20 mm."Flakvierling", that quad 20 mm
installation. I wonder where to get a 1/72 version of that gun? I could
build the enlarged wintergarden with sheet styrene, but that 20 mm quad?
And that was one impressive gun!
One of the reasons I'm interested in building so many of them...
As an aside, I haven't really done a lot of looking at pictures yet, but
I'm guessing that from what I've read of the service histories of some
of these boats that one could easily over-do the weathering on them.
Most of them didn't live that long before being sunk, and I'm beginning
to wonder just how much rust and staining would actually be evident on
one. Most of the pictures I've seen so far don't seem to show all of
the rust staining that people are including on the spill holes on their
models, for example. Maybe I've been looking at pre-patrol pictures,
Yet another reason for doing more than one - young ones, old ones,
different configurations. But mostly different paint. And some fun
scratch building. I was skeptical about opening up the spill holes
until I saw it done...now I'm thinking about the deck plating too.
There's a book from the Naval Institute Press, in their "Anatomy of the
Ship" series; on the Type VII U-boat. I plan to use it as my main
building guide once I get hold of a copy.
That, and to look at as many pictures as I can find...as I've mentioned
elswhere, I'm not convinced that U-boats actually lived long enough to
get "heavily" stained/weathered/rusted.
Also - check:
LOL! I see I'm not the only one playing that game. I'm coming up on my next
service stop and staying on a short leash in the meantime. A really tough
thing to do this time of year.
To reply, get the HECK out of there