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1/48 scale Type VIIC U-Boat Submarine

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  • 1/48 scale Type VIIC U-Boat Submarine

    Always lurking just out of view...
    Click image for larger version

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    Last year I posted a photo of my Heng Long Tiger 1 and Panzer IV tanks, and in the background was a 55" U-Boat... I thought someone would notice, but no one did. I suppose that's how easter eggs are supposed to work!

    Now that our Bancroft brand has been announced, encompassing RC Seagoing vessels, it's finally time to update this build thread on my 1/48 scale 1400mm (55") Type VIIC U-Boat. I'll be posting these in an odd order, based on whatever photos are on the storage harddrives I happen to have with me. #BlameCoronavirus

    In time, I'll reorganize the thread, but for now, let me know if you had any questions.

    To start off, I am not a 3DP master of patience like RCJetDude, so I didn't 3D print this kit, but rather did it the old fashioned way and bought it. It's a 1/48 scale kit molded from ABS and designed as both a static display kit and an RC-Ready kit. The "RC-Ready" aspect of the kit simply means that some areas are designed to facilitate moving surfaces and easier disassembly. For example, the main hull is divided into three sections: Forward, center, and aft. Each section is composed of a port and starboard half. The forward section and aft section screw into the center section with molded in brass threaded inserts, making disassembling and servicing the RC sub's WTC ("Water Tight Cylinder") much easier.

    The rudders and diving planes also arrive in the kit with brass inserts molded in and steel rods to hook up control equipment.

    I have notoriously little free time, so I decided to finish the boat as a static display first, then go back and install the WTC later since it only takes an hour or so to install the first time and just a couple minutes to access and service thereafter.

    The forward, center, and aft sections are shown below. The ABS kit is molded nicely and these sections aligned for the most part. Based on reference photos, I decided to grind down the panels to represent buckling under high pressure at depth, and also to pock the center sections fuel tank bulge area to represent pitting. This is an extreme example, but models' weathering and wear is typically exaggerated for effect, so I'm taking similar artistic license here.

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    In preparation for an functional RC Sub, I made the entire conning tower magnetically detachable, and did the same for the conning tower's gun deck. This aligns with the position of the WTC's solenoid which turns on the watertight system on the inside from the outside. A quick coat of primer and I'm happy how the surface treatment turned out. In real life, it's less contrasty than these photos imply (due to the studio lighting exaggerating the shadows). The deck also comes in three parts to coincide with the three sections.

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    I like how this is coming together! The shape of the Type VII U-boat always appealed to me, its bow reminiscent of a katana's kissaki.

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    I'm using enamels and lacquers on this sub for enhanced durability compared to the water-based acrylics I normally use on a foam electric RC airplane.

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    With just the primer coat and two colors (rust and custom blue/gray), the submarine is beginning to look the part. It needs about ten more colors of paint and weathering before I seal it all in, but I'll save that for the next update.
    Camp My Instagram @Alpha.Makes

  • #2
    As a 1/48 kit that was essentially scaled up from a Trumpeter, I wouldn't call this a Super Scale, but it is easily identifiable as a Type VIIC and I'd wager 9 out 10 modelers would build it stock out of the box and be happy with it.

    The ABS parts are stronger than plastic, and ideally suited for what will become a functional RC submarine. Aside from the internal WTC and hardware, the model itself builds like any other plastic kit, it's just much bigger. Measuring about 55" long, it's the longest plastic KIT I've ever assembled.

    The forward, center, and aft section halves are not on sprues, but everything else is. There was lots of flash on some of the hull parts, which isn't surprising given how large they are. Also included are some brass photo-etched (PE) parts, waterslide decals, rigging string, various metal fixtures and fittings, and a plywood stand.

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    As mentioned previously, this model is intended to be RC'd, so rather than simply gluing the large sections together, they are designed to screw together. Having converted static plastic models to RC before, I can't emphasize enough how much I appreciated seeing these brass threaded fittings molded into the ABS! I screwed everything together for a "test fit" in a couple of minutes. Brass bushings are also molded in for the steel rods that are molded into the rudders and dive planes. This saves me lots of work. If I had a WTC ready to install and wasn't worried about scale greeblies and paint, I can see this model being rushed into its first Sea Trial after one long evening or two of work.

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    Camp My Instagram @Alpha.Makes


    • #3
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      • #4
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        • #5
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          • #6
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            • #7
              Very cool! Will definitely be following this.


              • #8
                Tuning in.


                • #9
                  Following as well.


                  • #10
                    Awesome! Looking good and cool to have something a bit different to follow. Don’t know much about RC subs myself so looking forward to learning vicariously through your exploits!



                    • #11
                      Thanks, guys, I updated the second post today. More to come!
                      Camp My Instagram @Alpha.Makes


                      • #12
                        Compared to my 3D printed Redoutable it is amazing to see the number of parts but then again it is from a very different era than a more modern "Boomer". Is the WTC something that is included? How about the radio?


                        • #13
                          Always had a fascination with submarines and wanted to get an RC Akula and Type VIIC 15 years ago. Got my fix with with the Silent Hunter game series.

                          Sub'ed in


                          • #14
                            How’s the sub coming along Alpha? Looking forward to an update. Love watching stuff like this come together. Would be great to see something like this in Motions lineup in the future.



                            • #15
                              Nice! Love the U boats..... Stay safe, Jerry


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Alpha View Post
                                [I][B]Always lurking just out of view...
                                Alpha, If you've answered this before, I apologize, but who manufactured your Type VII in this forum and is this a future Bancroft offering or should we be searching the Inter-web? Best, LB

                                Captain: Got any ideas?
                                F/O: Actually not.
                                — Captain Chesley B 'Sully' Sullenberger III and F/O Jeff Skiles—


                                • #17
                                  Hi Elbee, it's something we're evaluating as an offering, based on how it performs and how interested the community is in it. With a few tweaks, I think it would be a good value for the price point. More updates hopefully later this year --2020 has been a lightning round so far!
                                  Camp My Instagram @Alpha.Makes