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Best kit to convert for U Boat type VIIa?

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Hello all,

I have never built a U-Boat model. 

Nevertheless, I would like to. I am

interested in all things Spanish Civil War.


To this end, U-33 was involved in 'Operation Ursula'.


It also survived until 1940, the end of its days being not too far from where I once lived on the Clyde. Also a fascinating end given the retrieval of Enigma machine rotors.


Here is the Wikipedia entry on U-33:




Unfortunately I can find no type VIIa U-boat kit of any kind. I can find type VIIb kits as small as 1/700. 


I have downloaded and read read a few documents.


The type VIIa was a little shorter than the VIIb. It had a torpedo tube quite external to the stern, the mark VIIb had this incorporated into the hull contours (please correct me on my lack of correct terminology here).


There are differences in fuel storage and more that I feel will affect the appearance of a Mark VIIa external hull compared to a Mark VIIb.


The VIIa has only one rudder, not two like the VIIb; it looks to be quite a different construction arrangement overall.


I don't want to take on anything vastly complex, no interior, just exterior. It seems Revell do a simple but accurate (1/250?) kit that could be a good basis for a conversion, even Heller a far older kit.


There are so many kits of the VIIbs and VIIcs that it is a little overwhelming.


I have other questions, for example regarding colours at launch, where it would appear the vessel has quite a light colour conning tower with dark identification numbers (?).


This also would seem to apply to U-34.


Later photographs show a darker hue conning tower for both, possibly White identification numbers.


I have left spaces above to paste in pictures; Flickr is giving me problems preventing this at the moment 


It is probably insane if me to consider a conversion for my very first Submarine model, but it's one of the models I would like to build. Kits don't seem to exist at all for some of the other Spanish and Italian vessels I am interested in, but maybe they do.


Any advice on a good starting point kit, good value, nice accuracy, not too small (my eyes are shaky and my hands don't focus very well any more :clif: ) would be really very much appreciated.


All best regards 


Edited by TonyTiger66
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Thanks chaps :).

One of the great things about this forum; I put a post on asking for help and advice and receive it the same day!


Fantastic :).


I have a kit on the way now from the UK (Hobby Boss). Can't wait to get stuck into it.


I've some wingy things on the go and a poorly airbrush, but I'll get the U-boat started as soon as it arrives. It's been a model I've wanted to make for a long time.


If that goes well, it will be looking at sourcing Italian (originally called Evangelista, Torricelli and Archimede) and Spanish sub kits (B and C series made at Cartagena) for ones that were involved in the same conflict :o ! 


I think the Italian ones are Archimede class, Perla class and Irede. These were hired by the nationalists. The B and C were Republican.


There's some great stuff on the Spanish subs here.




I might change the thread title to encompass 'Spanish Civil War' submarines.


Some pics; B class:






C class:




I'm not sure how to reference them as the Geocities site I originally got them from is gone :(.


Happy to remove them or credit copyright.


Thanks again folks


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