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A U-Boat In Ireland

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  • The Boattrainman
    started a topic A U-Boat In Ireland

    A U-Boat In Ireland


    This build thread will detail the building of a R/C static diving 1/40 scale U-Boat with working lights and sound.


    Following my build and test bed for ideas detailed in my 'A Skipjack in Ireland' thread, I'm commencing a 1/40 (ish) U-Boat build using the old warhorse of a Robbe 1/40 'semi-scale' kit.......

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    ..........long out of production, I found this perfect example on Ebay for 380 Euro.

    Combined with a 900ml Engel Piston Tank and their Bayonet Lock with Accurate Model Parts decals and the Modellbau-Wikinger upgrade parts.....................

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    ............ which includes scale decks, flood/drainage holes, conning tower, railings (Wintergarden), scopes, and a 'Tech Rack' designed for Engel internals (total 320 Euro).


    Now before anyone chimes in with the comments about the Robbe U47 kit and it's flaws, let me quote from the staggeringly researched work 'The Wolf Pack: A Collection Of U-Boat Modelling Articles' free to download from:-

    http://amp.rokket.biz/docs/the_wolf_pack_compr.pdf


    The Wolf Pack




    ''This semi-scale kit is an ideal starter kit for radio-controlled submarine modellers, and fulfils this

    remit successfully. It bears a passing resemblance to its intended subject the VIIB U 47 but is

    inaccurate in almost every respect to the real boat. This effectively precludes the building of an accurate

    replica''


    This is a harsh and mostly accurate verdict, however having built one of these kits into a fairly decent U-203 in 2006/2007, time has moved on and we have a huge amount of assistance from small suppliers with accurate upgrade parts. Also, this is the only large scale U-Boat I can get into my vehicle as it breaks into two smaller parts.

    So I will be disarding the Robbe decks, tower, flooding slots, props, prop shafts, tech rack and other parts for better commercially available versions or scratchbuilt items.

    Two major hurdles have to be crossed before I can begin, firstly choosing a boat from over 700 examples at an exact time period and trying to get a handle on the details contained in the above book. Using this source and other material I will narrow the choice over the next few weeks based on the available research and hopefully some good images of my chosen boat if discovered.

    I expect I will need 18 months to 2 years to complete this project.

    Secondly, as no good deed goes unpunished I recently fractured my hand helping my niece fix up her new house........


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    ............so it's mostly parts acquisition and research for the moment!!!!


    The Boattrainman
    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 07-27-2017, 09:02 AM.

  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    More flood holes are added by drilling and filing, the three on the rear of the saddle tanks.......

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    The eighteen in an arc pattern on each side under where the deck gun will be mounted........

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    Finally starting to look less like a generic boat, have to take a break from drilling holes, will start on the decks next.

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    The Baottrainman

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    Thanks to DrS I got my work buddy to make a large 3 X 1.5 foot blueprint set on plastic, much easier to take measurements and see details.

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    The slot masks continue to be added. Here the flooding holes at the hull break are modified adding more and moving the single one on the top to the right place, the hull is cut to accept the final mask.

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    Great care was taken to ensure both parts of the hull where the holes are match carefully.

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    There are small flood holes on the bow, seldom modelled correctly (the Revell kit and most others are wrong), there are three on the port side and two on the starboard side. God help anyone who has to drill multiple holes in their kits, these five holes took a whole night of measuring and filing/sanding!


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    The Boattrainman
    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 10-25-2017, 05:55 PM.

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    Next up is the horizontal flood/drain holes in the forward section, after the nightmare of the ones around the torpedo doors these were a doddle.

    The slot is opened up to take the masks with the holes.

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    The only issue here is that the kit wants them aligned with the upward slope of the bow, this is wrong, they should be in line with the central drain slot. They have to be glued at an angle and trimmed when set. The marked area in the photo is where the central drain area will have to be extended forward thus making both port and starboard side asymmetrical.

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    There's more holes on the starboard side than port side, so I removed some holes for the port side mask, but caught a break with the starboard side, by simple removing three from the lower row and adding them to the end of the upper row,it gave me the exact right number of holes for U557 on that side on both upper and lower rows, lucky.

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    A comparison of photo six and photo three gives an indication of how the number of flood/drain holes affected the length of the central drain slot, with the additional slots on the starboard side going back beyond the fix point of forward and middle hull sections (the vertical line of filler).

    The only issue here is the masks had to be set a bit high, it was not possible to set the masks lower as it would mean removing a huge section of the hull and also having a mismatch at the top where I want a clean finish to hide the removeable deck section, a compromise I have to live with.

    I wonder why there was this difference in port/starboard sides?

    The Boattrainman

    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 10-08-2017, 03:46 PM.

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    The bow is finished with the remnants of the net cutter which was removed at the time the model is set from square plastic rod and 1mm holes and the open fairlead.

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    Plus the hole in the nose using a short brass tube and the fixing point for the forward aerial.

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    The aft section gets the closed fairlead from a half round piece of tube.

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    The Boattrainman
    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 10-06-2017, 04:47 PM.

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    A much tougher task is the flood drain holes around the forward torpedo doors.

    The upgrade mask is wrong for U557, it nees another double vent on the top row and two single small vents added to the row between the doors plus the doors lengthened to match the start of the vents.

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    The fix for this was to split the mask into sections and make the alterations to each piece, here the top row gets two additional slots.

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    By chance one of my files was the same size as the holes.

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    Now there are some fixes which you plan and make meticulous alterations to get a finished result. Not so this time. Fixing the altered masks in place was a four day journey into modelling hell, with bits of plastic and piles of filler required to get them all aligned. The inside is a horrible and embarrasing mix of filler pieces and plastic supports, there was just no option for neatness given the complex curves and the fact the mask had to be set lower than the Robbe mask on the hull resulting in 1mm, 2mm and even 3mm thicknesses around the piece. A nightmare.

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    At least I got both sides aligned!

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    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 09-30-2017, 12:06 PM.

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    Ba - dum Tish!

    There's a fair bit of both types of getting one's shot away in the book.

    Interesting read, as it's written in the late 60's it's free from a lot of introspection and self analysis that would be in a modern book and he's unashamedly proud of the Kriegsmarine's capabilities. But it's tough going in parts between the damage done to allied convoys and then the almost complete destruction of the U-Boat fleet in 44-45. A sad book in many ways...................good pics though.

    Rob

    (PS Hope you still get the occasional shot away, down periscope)

    Image result for iron coffins

    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 09-28-2017, 07:10 AM.

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  • HardRock
    replied
    just a reference to the Captain getting a shot away...........! When I was a young Captain all I could think about was getting a shot away!

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    What intrigues me is how the rear tube was used, there was no answers in the book Iron Coffins, just a reference to the Captain getting a shot away...........!

    I can get the idea of lining up a target using the front tubes, but surely lining up the rear tube was counter intuitive, or was it used to get a torp away when going away from a Convoy Group?

    I think there were torps developed later that did a Z pattern in the water when launched so that it gave a better chance of hitting a target when fired into a group of ships, and there were developments towards ones that honed in on the targets prop sounds much later in the war, so the actual aiming of the rear torp may have been moot. I just don't know!

    Rob

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  • trout
    replied
    I was wondering if it was like a Type 9 door that rotates upward to open.

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  • DrSchmidt
    replied
    Found a good one......the hatch is welded shut, but the shape is accurate.

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    One thing I've had to absorb in the last few months of studying Type VII U-Boats, is that with approx. 700 boats, no two are exactly the same.

    Perhaps this is the fascination with the subject, but given they were built in several different yards, over many years, with numerous in-service modifications and design changes to the conning towers, all one can do is say here is U-Whatever , at this time with these features. The artwork that appears on the conning towers is a field in itself and was highly distinctive to each boat.

    Another issue which I still find incredible, is that as well as the above, Type VII's are not 'symetrical', the port and starboard sides are not the same in terms of flood/drain slots, even the very larger central drainage slot is longer on one side than the other!!!! There is ample photographic evidence for this.

    There are some features on this kit which have to be modified to get a reasonable likeness (especially the easy mods) and others which can be ignored (this model is around 29mm too long for 1/40 scale- no one will notice). I've seen some stunning builds of basically very flawed models, where had the builder spent even a few evenings work, a much closer to the original model could have been achieved.

    So to try to skew the U47 hull around to U557, a start has to be made on this area.

    This is a picture of both the kit supplied and upgrade set for the flooding holes above the torpedo doors.

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    They are both wrong for U557, I've just stuck a piece of 1mm styrene around this area, a torch is placed inside the model to indicate where the hull is cut out

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    U557 had a row of twelve paired round holes which extend further back, and are much smaller that than those supplied, progressively drilled starting with a tiny 0.5mm drillbit.

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    A very easy fix which transforms the nose of the sub.

    Luckily, this feature is the same on the other side.

    The Boattrainman
    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 09-26-2017, 09:23 AM.

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  • DrSchmidt
    replied
    You're lucky, as I currently work on the stern section (rear torpedo and e-machine compartment) of my cutaway VIIc and have the info available.

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    Wow, great plans, just what I needed.

    The rear tube outer door is at an acute angle, I'll have to modify what I've done.

    Thanks my friend.

    Rob

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  • DrSchmidt
    replied
    If you look at the side view, you can see that the torpedo tube has an outer hatch that slids inwards (circular dashed line) into the stern dive bunker. Behind that the torpedo tube has a muzzle door.

    http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-570/U-570GeneralPlanA.jpg



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