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Jeddahbill

1/72 Scale Pre-War Type VII B U-Boat U-45

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Greetings!

Commissioned in June 1938, U-45 was the prototype of the Type VII B class which comprised a total of 24 submarines including some of the most successful U-boats of the war. There are several excellent photographs of U-45 taken at the time of her commissioning which show the pre-war characteristics of the early Type VII B U-boats. Rather than build another wartime U-boat, I wanted to capture the unique prewar appearance of these early VII B boats in 1/72 scale from the Revell and Amati kits using the abundance of clear photographs of U-45 as a guide. The Revell hull parts required a great deal of modification to adapt them to a Type VII B and I had to compromise in a few places. Surprisingly, the Amati photoetch deck fit very nicely into the Revell hull and was a great enhancement. A major challenge was constructing the early type VII B conning tower which involved significant modification to the Revell kit parts along with a great deal of scratch building. I also scratch built an inner pressure hull which is almost impossible to see on the completed model. Several other details such as rescue buoys, 20MM gun mount, KDB canvas cover, and many others were all scratch built from a variety of materials. Painting included enamels, lacquers, and acrylics applied with airbrush, rattle cans, and some brush work for small details. At the time of commissioning, U-45 was immaculate so I avoided any heavy weathering and just applied some subtle hull streaking and a hint of brown to the wood areas of the deck. I decided to place the 20MM gun on the deck mounting rather than leave it unmounted as shown in all of the photographs as it seems to look better. Decals were designed and printed on my inkjet printer. I struggled with several frustrating techniques to scratch build the rigging insulators and would have liked to have done these better. The completed model is mounted on brass pedestals secured to the wooden display base and protected with an acrylic display cover which I made from pre-cut panels. Many thanks for having a look, questions and comments always welcome.
Cheers,
Bill

 

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Very impressive model Bill.

 

I've only ever thought of U Boots during World War Two - not in a pre-war role,

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Cracking job Bill very well done indeed.

 

All the best Chris

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Many thanks everyone for the comments!   The early VIIB boats do represent a nice change from the more commonly seen wartime U-boats.  Most everything available in the modelling world involves the VIIC, especially in larger scales.   Amati has an early VIIB in 1/72 scale, but it is a difficult build and suffers from some accuracy issues.  Robbe offers an early VIIB in 1/40 scale, but it too has accuracy issues.

 

Bill

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Recently received a request in another venue for a frontal view of the conning tower, so I will post here also . . . .   Apologies for the focus - a bit fuzzy . . . . .

 

Bill

 

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Beautiful work Bill! I hope one day one of the major manufacturers will come out with a decent sized VIIB, but until then we can ogle yours. Wouldn’t it have been easier to modify the Amati conning tower than the Revell since it’s a B and the Revell’s is a C?

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Many thanks everyone for having a look and commenting!

 

13 hours ago, iSteve said:

Beautiful work Bill! I hope one day one of the major manufacturers will come out with a decent sized VIIB, but until then we can ogle yours. Wouldn’t it have been easier to modify the Amati conning tower than the Revell since it’s a B and the Revell’s is a C?

Initially I did consider using the Amati part, but decided that modifcation of the Revell parts would be easier and yield better results.

 

1 hour ago, Fridrih said:

But this VIIA. Not B

U-45 was the prototype Type VIIB, not a Type VIIA.   This build depicts U-45 at the time of commissioning in 1938 with a deck mounted 20mm and smaller wintergarten which were similar to the VIIA boats.

 

 

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Superbly done, an excellent conversion. The tower is spot on, very convincing.

 

Must get my Silent Hunter profile up and running again...

 

Alan

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