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Jasonb13

U-260 Revell 1:144

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Hi everyone...

First ever GB for me, and a bit of a subject that's close to my heart. I can only hope my modelling skills, or lack thereof, don't make a mess of it!

I'm gonna build the U-260. This Type VIIC U-Boat was commissioned in March 1942, had 9 patrols, sinking 1 ship, and was scuttled by the crew in March 1945 after being damaged ( originally it was thought by a mine, but it's now thought she hit a rock pinnacle ). All the crew survived and were interned in Ireland until the end of the war. The wreck was discovered about 30 years ago, and is now a very popular dive site, with torpedoes still in their tubes and the lens still in the periscope! I'm a diver, but haven't dived this wreck myself ( though I will after all of this work! ). I'm building this model for a good friend of mine who has dived the wreck several times.

Once I decided to build this boat, I did as much research as I could to find out what model would suit the best. I was very lucky, I found some pictures of the U-260 taken by a crewman, and got lots of help and advice from the forums here, on uboat.net and ubootwaffe.net. I also found quite a few videos on You Tube of people diving on the U-260.

Once I knew that the U-260 was a Type VIIC, that got me looking at the Revell Kit. I really didn't want to go too big, so 1:144 was fine. But once I found some pictures of U-260, I hit a problem. There were a lot of differences between the Revell Kit and the pictures I found, specifically on the tower, which was bigger and had more AA guns on the U-260. More research showed me that U-Boats got a lot of upgrades during the war, and U-260 was 'lucky' enough to survive for 3 years, so she had her fair share of them!

I started looking at the two available Revell Kits ( the Type VIIC and the Type VIIC /41 ), firstly at the instructions online, and secondly when I was lucky enough to get my hands on the two kits themselves. I soon figured out the main 'differences' between the two kits :

Type VIIC : 'Standard Bow'. Slatted Deck. Turm I Tower. Deck Gun. No Schnorkel. No extra Pressure Hatches.

Type VIIC /41 : 'Atlantic Bow'. Planked Deck. Turm IV Tower. No Deck Gun. Schnorkel. 4 Pressure Hatches in the port deck.

So, then, I looked at some pictures of the real thing :

U2601-Winter1942.jpg

U-260 in Winter 1942, showing the Aft deck with the 'slatted' type of deck, which it was built with.

U2603-Winter1943.jpg

U-260 in Winter 1943, showing the upgraded Turm IV Tower.

PressureHatches.jpg

A still from someone diving on the U-260, showing the 4 Pressure Hatches ( it's easier to see if you actually watch the video! ).

Now I had to decide, how to build this U-Boat, which parts of which kits to use, and what could my skills handle? It seemed to me that the ideal was to use the Hull and Deck from the standard Type VIIC kit, and then the Tower, Schnorkel and Pressure Hatches from the /41 kit. That would give me a very good approximation of the U-260.

More to follow! :)

J.

Edited by Jasonb13

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More background!

Looking at the kits, I soon realised that a kit bash wouldn't be easy. The hull of the Type VIIC kit would need to be widened to match the wider area of the Turn IV Tower :

Type41Hull.jpg

/41 Kit with a second widened section of the Hull.

Also, the mid deck of the Type VIIC would have to be cut to pieces to get it to take the Turm IV tower and the Schnorkel :

Type41Deck1.jpg

/41 Mid deck, showing wider section for Turm IV Tower and space for Schnorkel

StandardDeck.jpg

Type VIIC mid deck, showing smaller Tower placement section

And the 4 Pressure Hatches are on the Front Deck of the /41 Kit, so that would have to be cut out and go into the Front Deck of the Type VIIC :

Type41Deck2.jpg

/41 Front Deck showing Pressure Hatches.

All this work is very much beyond my skills I have to say, and I couldn't see how to do it without ruining two perfectly good kits.

All the upgrade sections that I needed ( Turm IV Tower, Schnorkel, Pressure Hatches ) really needed the /41 deck for it to work, which in turn needed the /41 hull for it to work! So I was looking at building the /41 kit on its own, and seeing what needed to change to make it more like the U-260. I was lucky to find an article that said that some U-Boats got deck upgrades when they got the Schnorkel / Pressure Hatches. A lot of the later ones didn't ( due to money ), but some did. The picture below, taken in Autumn 1944, after the Schnorkel was fitted, shows the deck, but it's in the distance ( bottom right hand corner ) :

U2604-Autumn1944.jpg

U-260 in Autumn 1944

It's impossible to tell for sure what kind of deck it is, but I can't really see any of the 'port to starboard' lines showing the sections of the slatted deck, so it could be taken to be the more 'bow to stern' planking deck. I stress *could be*. Basically, I can't prove either way what type of deck the U-260 had near the end of the war but it's possible it was planking!

That only leaves me with the 'Atlantic Bow'...

Part 3 coming up!

J.

Edited by Jasonb13

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Last section for now, I promise! :)

Well, the Atlantic Bow was basically a taller / wider bow. Some ships that weren't /41 types had them, but only the later Type VIICs built in later 1943, and as far as I can find out, none were ever upgraded. So if I'm using the /41 kit to represent the U-260, I have to get rid of the Atlantic Bow.

Thankfully this isn't a big job ( hopefully even for me ). As the pictures show below, the bow in the /41 Kit is only a mm or two wider and higher, so a bit of sanding will take care of that!

StandardBow1.jpg

Standard Kit Bow

AtlanticBow1.jpg

/41 Kit Atlantic Bow

StandardBow2.jpg

Standard Kit Bow from above

AtlanticBow2.jpg

/41 Kit Atlantic Bow from above

So, what does all this mean then, all this research, all this typing, all these pictures?! :) Basically if I build the Revell Type VIIC /41 kit, and sand off the Atlantic Bow, I've got a pretty good representation of the U-260 when it sailed from Norway in February 1945 on its last patrol. The decking *could* be wrong, but it *could* be right too, and that's as close as I can get, without destroying two models and my sanity. There are some differences between the patterns of holes in the hulls of the two kits as well, but research online has shown that many different patterns were used, even two boats built one after the other in the same shipyard could have different patterns, so I'm not worried about that!

I will be doing a 'decal-bash' as the /41 Kit doesn't have a number '6' for the U-260, but the standard kit does. :) The only known Emblem for the U-260 was when it was with the 6th Flotilla, and it was in the 9th when it was scuttled, and the pictures I have don't show it with an emblem, so that's that taken care off. As it happens, there are a lot of suspicions that it was doing covert work ( what U-Boat wasn't! ) when it was scuttled, so having no emblem suits that too!

Now, after all that research, I'm itching to build this thing. That's where I'm in trouble, brush painting this is going to be tough! But I'll do my best, once I get rid of the build currently on my desk. And at least there's no bloody canopy to mask!

Thanks for hanging in there anyone who made it to the end of this. I've read so much in the last few weeks my brain was full and I had to dump it somewhere...

J.

Edited by Jasonb13

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Ahh the fun of u-boat research...gets messy and inconclusive don't it?

The atlantic bow is 20cm longer than non-atlantic, haven't worked out how much that is at 1/144.

I look forward to the build

Cheers

Adam

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Oh yes, very messy & inconclusive! I've learned so much about U-Boats in the last 2 weeks it's unreal. But I guess the uncertainty can be useful too, like me being able to use the /41's planked deck!

20cm is approx. 1.4mm for this kit. I know it's probably hard to believe looking at all I typed above, but I'm not that much of a rivet counter ( well, maybe a little, but not a lot! ) so I'm just gonna sand down the bow to look as much as possible like the one in the standard VIIC kit.

Have to finish a Hind E so I won't get near this build 'til next week unfortunately. I really hope I can get it to turn out well, especially as I'm building it as a gift for someone. Will be looking for a lot of advice... :)

J.

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Well, while waiting for the Klear coat on my Hind E to cure, I thought I might as well start looking at the U-260. There are a few of this model already in this GB, but as it's my first ever GB sure I have to include the kit and sprue shots! :)

TypeVIIC41Kit.jpg

Contents1.jpg

Contents2.jpg

I'm tempted to drill / cut / sand out all the Free-Flow Holes. There are a lot of them, so sanding from the inside might be easier, I'll have to think about it. I don't think I'll do the long central one ( above the saddle tanks ) as that's just a hell of a lot of work at this scale, especially as I'd have to leave bits of plastic between each hole to try to represent the real thing. Some of the free-flow holes are also very close together ( especially near the propellers ) so they might have to stay as is.

So, once I've figured out the best way to do it, the first steps are opening those holes, washing the hull & all the sprues, painting the inside of the hull black ( just to help with light etc as the hull will be quite thin in places ) and then the first part of the assembly...

J.

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Ah glad to see you've joined in the fun! You've done some nice research into U-260, I'm looking forward to your unterseeboot taking shape. :)

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Thanks! Your invite was too tempting to ignore! I'm pretty happy with my research actually, it's the model making that'll let me down...

Have decided to go with drilling / cutting the holes, sanding wasn't doing it too well. Will probably only do the larger ones, the smaller ones, at 1:144, are just too small!

J.

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agreed! It's alot of work but I'm sure drilling the larger holes out will be worth it. It's not a bad kit that Revell have made, just a shame there aren't alot of options with the towers. I really wanted a quad 20mm on my U-boat. ah well!

Will be watching yours with interest :popcorn:

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From the pics so far, yours is looking excellent! The painting and weathering is really gonna let mine down I fear, especially as a model like this is almost more about the painting and weathering than it is about the build itself. Am hopeful that using Revell paints will give me better results than the Tamiyas!

Nearly have one half of the hull fully drilled, but it's time to put it to one side and get the final few steps done on the Hind E so I can clear it off my bench...

J.

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Well, the Hind is finished and off the bench ( the less said about that the better ) so now I can turn my full attention to U-260.

Feeling rather nervous about ruining a perfectly good kit, I started by drilling out all the larger Free Flow holes ( the smaller ones are just too small ). I also tackled the 'Atlantic Bow', taking some of the height off the top of it, rounding off its 'pointy' nose, and also taking off some of the width. I then had to try to 're-scribe' the indent on the inside of the hull that the forward deck will sit on, as the hull itself is now at the same height of the original indent ( if that makes sense ).

It's not perfect ( especially the 'indent' on the bow ) , and I'll probably fiddle around with it some more, but I'm happy with the general look of the free flow holes and the bow. I'd love to be able to sand a couple of the free flow holes that are looking rough ( the larger ones were done by drilling a few holes and then using a blade to try to smooth them out ), but have no idea how to get sandpaper into something that small ( a couple of a mm wide ), so I'll just have to make do. At this scale I probably shouldn't worry too much! For my first ever foray into changing the shape of a model, I'm just glad I haven't ruined it. And it'll be covered by filler and paint anyhow!

Next will be gluing the hull and decks together properly...

J.

DrilledHull1.jpg

DrilledHull2.jpg

DrilledHull3.jpg

DrilledHull4.jpg

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looks super with the holes drilled out. I'm jealous!

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Thanks! Wish it was a little smoother but it'll do. Still trying to decide if I need to paint the inside of the hull in case light bleeds though the hull, but with paint on the outside anyhow it probably isn't needed....

J.

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I'd go for a flat black, just incase you can see through and see bare plastic. :P

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My thoughts exactly! Nice to be able to just slap on some paint and not worry about the finish for a change. Still took an hour though...

J.

PaintedHulls.jpg

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A bit of a progress report on this...

Have finally started painting with my new Revell Aqua Colour paints and so far so good. Have the decks done and the upper hull as well, along with the schnorkel. Have a few bits painted on the sprues as well. Thanks to my surgery on the bow, it and the fore deck will need some tidying up so that it all fits together well, but I should be able to get it decent enough. Haven't glued down the decks yet, I want to get the thread for the cables threaded into the deck before gluing. So far I'm pretty happy with it though, I think it's turning out well for my skill level. And most importantly, I'm enjoying it!

J.

HullDeck1.jpg

HullDeck2.jpg

HullDeck3.jpg

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Moving along nicely there...I think you did a pretty good job on the drain holes

Cheers

edited for typo

Edited by Madam I'm Adam

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Thanks! They're a little rough, but at this scale they'll do. Will hopefully have the decks properly in place & all tidied up soon...

J.

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Well, it's only the first coat on the lower hull, and the section of the conning tower is only a dry fit, but it's beginning to look like a U-boat!

J.

PaintedHullDeck1.jpg

PaintedHullDeck2.jpg

PaintedHullDesk3.jpg

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Hi J

The front and rear of the deck section are the same colour as the upper hull colour, coming along nicely

Regards

Paul

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Thanks to you both!

And yes Paul, that's an option I've just discovered ( by reading an article online & looking at the Revell 1:72 instructions online, there's no mention of it in the 1:144 instructions )! In fact, I've got a thread open about removing Acrylic paint here on BM and a piece of sprue with the current deck colour on it drying as I type so I can test removing the paint from it tomorrow, before I move onto the deck itself.

I think it'll actually look better with the upper hull colour on the two ends of the deck, it makes the 'wood' deck stand out more. AND, as a happy bonus, it'll really help mask a couple of very small fit and filler issues I have at the bow due to the reshaping I did.

Have the day off work tomorrow & can't wait to get my hands on it... :)

J.

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Some more progress on U-260...

As mentioned above, after painting the whole deck one colour, I found out online that the very front and rear of the deck was normally painted the same colour as the upper hull. This was because these sections were steel, not the wood decking painted with wood preservative. So, after a bit of testing, I got some cotton buds and Revell Aqua Colour Clean and stripped back the paint on those sections. Then I repainted them with the upper hull colour. I also finished the rear diving planes / rudders / propellers...

RepaintedDeck.jpg

Up until now, all the pieces of plastic I'd been working with were fairly large ( 2 pieces for the hull, 3 for the deck etc. ). But I was quickly brought back to 1:144 scale with a bang once I started on the AA Guns! As I'm used to 1:72, it took me a while to get my head around the 1:144 scale when I started on the guns; I didn't realise at first that those two flat sections on the main gun were seats! :) Here's the unpainted main gun, all 9 pieces of it. This was the first part of this build where I had some inherent fit issues. Nothing major, just fiddly...

MainGun.jpg

Next was the conning tower, another section that was made up of a lot of small pieces and had some fit issues. It still needs a few more bits attached ( radar etc. ) and still needs to be painted on the outside as well. It's still dry-fitted to the deck in these pictures :

ConningTower1.jpg

ConningTower2.jpg

So that's where I am now. Next steps are finishing the painting on the Conning Tower, getting it glued in place and then moving on to painting the guns and then doing the railings etc. Getting there slowly, coming into week 3 of this build now...

J.

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