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1/144 Revell U-boat VIIC + Griffon photoetch

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So i have loved subs since i was a kid and i love the idea of building models of them. The more modern subs are somewhat featureless but i am sure that at some point i will build a few. My first sub will be this type 7 which i am a huge fan of.... will probably end up playing huge amounts of Silent hunter 5 and watching Das boot as i build ;)/>/>.


Having read some reviews and WiP threads using this kit AND the aftermarket griffon set i can honestly say that i am terrified of the photoetch. nevertheless it will be an experience especially since this is my first boat.

I have already made a bit of progress with the kit whilst finishing off my 109E build.

I started by opening up the flood holes. For this i initially used a technique describe in a video i found on Youtube where the rear of the holes was worn away using the wire brush on a dremmel. i did not end up with enough control and the results were less than enthusiastic.


from the other side the damage does not look as bad but it will need to be repaired.


I decided to take a bit more time over it and use an engraving tool on the dremmel to wear away the plastic with a bit more control. I first drilled out the holes so i could see exactly where i was going and to get that nice oval shape required.


then i used the engraving tool to wear the plastic down from the back.


a sharp xacto knife cuts out the thinned plasic through the front and then it is smoothed over with some dichloromethane.




If anyone has any advice/comments please contribute. I am a relatively inexperienced modeller and this is my first boat so any advice will be appreciated.



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  • 2 weeks later...

You final method for clearing the limber holes is the way I do it all the time. Came to it through trial and error myself too. Looking good. Can't wait to see more.



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All good, Sir! The best way to deal with etched brass bits depends on their type: being an air-head, I'm not familiar with Griffon; if it is quite thick you may need special etched scissors to detach it cleanly from the fret, if it is as thin as the Eduard product a curved scalpel blade will do it. Just treat it as if it were as fragile as kitchen foil and it will be fine!

A general how-to can be found here.

Looking forward to seeing more of this build...

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  • 3 weeks later...
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  • 2 months later...

Yes i have been bad. I have done very little modelling over the past year as i have lacked the time and more importantly motivation. I have done a couple of small projects but this boat i wanted to get right so i promised i would only build it when my heart was in it. I have returned.

Unfortunately i have neglected to take photos of the stages i have made progress with up until now so there will be some holes in the build once i post a proper update (a week or so).

Nevertheless i am glad to be back and i hope i can give you an update soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Although I have not been modelling that much over the past year I have still kept an eye on the forums and in particular Chucks trumpeter A-10 over on the aircraft in progress section. Wow that guy has some skills..... and also some good tips. I decided to give his salt weathering technique a try on this sub to try to add some rust effects in places.

As I mentioned previously, I have not been keeping that good a photo-journal of this build for a number of reasons. Mainly since I feel I am still quite an amateur and don't therefore have much to teach, but also that I have found this build very difficult so far. I have fingers like fat sausages and they are not too steady so some of this photo-etch has been quite a headache. To add to this I do not have a heavy duty bending tool and rely on an RB production flip R5 for my folding. For all of my previous builds the R5 sufficed as I had not worked with so much photo-etch before however now I can see the use for a good heavy based folding tool. This (and my shaky sausage fingers) has led me to having to omit some of the photo-etch though in all honesty I can not understand how ANYONE can do some of this stuff......

Regardless, the Griffon photo-etch is excellent and really brings out some wonderful detail in the kit. Having finished drilling and tidying the Limber holes a painted the inside with black primer to stop any internal reflections.



You can see some of the wonderful photo-etch from the Griffon set that will really bring the hull to life as the styrene is quite bland. There is a strut that holds the two halves of the hull together right where the torpedo loading bay is which meant that the strut had to be adjusted so that you could not see it through the hole. In the back of the second photo you can see the conning tower taking shape too and here more recently:


A lot of detail has to be removed from the styrene so that the Griffon set can be put in place. The four holes that you can see drilled in to the base are for the ladder rungs. I was initially thinking that I would paint the conning tower prior to installing the ladder and the hand rail but I have since changed my mind and will add them first. The guard rail at the back of the conning tower was not as hard to assemble as I had thought (although there was some swearing) and it looks a million times better that the thick Revell styrene.


The periscopes and guns from the Griffon kit are a particular highlight and I can not wait to see them on the finished article.






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Apart from these pieces I have assembled and painted the hull of the boat using the salt weathering technique in places to add a rust effect. Unfortunately there was some salt left behind which seems to have slightly crazed the coat of future which will need fixing.





The rust effect may look a bit harsh at the moment but I am confident it will look good once it is toned down a bit with the final weathering.

Anyway that is it for now. I am going to crack on with the conning tower now so i hopefully will have an update on that soon.



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  • 1 month later...

Ha, I have just noticed how dusty that last picture looks, oops.

I don't have a photo update although the Conning tower is mostly done. Unfortunately there won't be another update until about October as my wife and I are moving to China in August and as such have packed our lives away into boxes including all my modelling stuff. I just hope that my carefully packed hull will survive the trip.

See you then.

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