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MONSTER German Type XXI

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  • MONSTER German Type XXI

    I get to meet a lot of fascinating people through my website and projects from all walks of life and from all over the world.

    Joe was one of those people. He's done a ton of amazing things over his lifetime and one of his journeys brought him down the path of RC submarines. Being a worldly gent, he came across a very unique submarine project in Germany and decided he had to have it. The project in question was a German Type XXI.

    Not a common subject to begin with, this particular boat also stood apart based on its size. Nearly 9ft long, this boat was a beast! In accurate measurements, it came in at 101.25" in length, or 257cm, putting it at right around 1/30th scale (or close enough to 1/32 scale that those parts should fit just fine). The hull was made from thick fiberglass with aluminum reinforcement at critical areas. The previous owner had gotten aluminum sheeting CNC cut to address many of the floodholes for a very precise finish. The hull weighed in at around 25lbs itself and was exceptionally rigid.

    Not to trust shipping companies, Joe took it upon himself to fly to Germany pick up the boat from the owner, drive it across Europe to Belgium, and then fly it home on the airplane (I'm guessing it wouldn't fit in the overhead bin).

    Fast forward a few years and I find myself on the other end of Joe's email where he let me know he was getting out of the hobby but wanted to make sure his precious boat saw its way to completion by someone up to the task of doing it justice. Once the blushing receded, we ended up striking a deal for the big XXI and a nice OTW Type XXIII coastal sub kit he also had.

    Last night, I'm very happy to say it found its way to my shop and I got the chance to take a good look at it.

    Wow.

    Big is an understatement, and I don't know that the attached pic does it justice. I'm a big guy at 74" tall, and this boat still looks big next to me. The hull is between 3/16" and 1/4" thick throughout and is solid enough to cause serious damage if it hit an object while under full steam, I'd warrant. The CNC inserts are very well done and for the most part are installed nicely flush with the hull.

    The boat is set up as a dry hull but shouldn't pose too much of an issue to convert to accepting a large diameter cylinder. The upper deck opening ranges from 4" at the ends to 7" in the center of the boat. A 5" cylinder should be easy to install with room to spare.

    There were quite a few extras such as beautiful scale brass props, masts, antennas and even a scale metal torpedo included with the deal as well.

    All in all I'm very happy with the deal we struck and I'm looking forward to taking this one on once it hits my build queue. I'm envisioning a large low-pressure pump ballast system. There were also a pair of large Engel piston tanks included with the deal, so perhaps I'll use those at the ends to provide precision trim.

    For now, I need to find a home for an eight and a half foot long submarine until I get the chance to put it on the bench.

    Thoughts and comments are very welcome, and if anyone knows the origins of this boat, please pass it on!

  • #2
    Holy Crap!!@! What a beauty, Bob.

    Those aluminum inserts gotta go -- first big temperature excursion and the seams between metal and glass will pop up like dueling scars. Either replace them with GRP inserts or use the hull as a plug and make a new set of tools. Do that and you can get the wall thickness down to a reasonable 3/32" or so. This beast is too frig'n THICK! Have you worked out the above waterline displacement yet -- this things gonna have to be all ballast tank!

    M
    Resident Luddite

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    • #3
      That's a beast!!!, seen the way it has build it remembers me of those german guys when i started with subs, dryhull with hatches, wallthickness the same as my 80's type VIIC, size of the ballasttank has to be around 1,5/2 liters.<br />
      <br />
      Manfred.
      Fertig zum unterwasser.

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      • #4
        I'm not sure about epoxy glass, but polyester glass has an extremely similar expansion coefficient to aluminium. Fillers would be another matter, although those contain a lot of aluminium.

        Source of info

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/li...ents-d_95.html
        DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON! http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Subculture View Post
          I'm not sure about epoxy glass, but polyester glass has an extremely similar expansion coefficient to aluminium. Fillers would be another matter, although those contain a lot of aluminium.

          Source of info

          http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/li...ents-d_95.html

          Good stuff, Andy. Thanks.

          M
          Resident Luddite

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          • #6
            Bob, do you think a 5" cylinder will be big enough?
            IT TAKES GREAT INTELLIGENCE TO FAKE SUCH STUPIDITY!

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            • #7
              This will not be trimmed in a bathtub for sure
              US Submarine Force: Making the Navy worthwhile since 1900

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              • #8
                I don't see any reason why a 5" cylinder won't work. I did some math over on the SC boards and it looks like I'll need a 12" main tank with a pair of 750mL Engel piston tanks for fine trim.

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                • #9
                  Just seems kind of small, but a 5" cylinder ,12" long will have quite a bit of volume. What are you going to drive it with? Brushless?
                  IT TAKES GREAT INTELLIGENCE TO FAKE SUCH STUPIDITY!

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                  • #10
                    That's giant scale. Needs its own trailer in the garage. Large enough to have to register as a motor vessel, then you need tags for the trailer, and tie it up at the dock.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Von Hilde View Post
                      That's giant scale. Needs its own trailer in the garage. Large enough to have to register as a motor vessel, then you need tags for the trailer, and tie it up at the dock.
                      No kidding Von Hilde, That scale does create some issues that hamper going out for a run. Will one man be able to load it, be able to launch it pond side and get it out? If anyone can come up with solutions, Bob is the man that can. With all the setbacks my mind can come up with, it still is a flippin' cool sub and will be amazing to see sailing around. Because of the size, there will be plenty of add-ons that can be done and it will be an eye catcher to all those around. Great advertisement for our hobby. Heck, put your logo on it Bob and it becomes an advertisement vehicle, plus a tax deduction for the business. HAHA
                      If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

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                      • #12
                        If Bob did decide to use it as a plug and produce a GRP kit, it would surly be a have to have for a few people. Pricey, Im sure, but so are Rolexes and Lambros and old Martin guitars. I have contimplated a 1/24 type VII, for some time. Always liked big scale models. 9ft3 is big, but I live on the water, so transporting and launching is not much of a factor, in my case. Some sort of davit arrangement on the dock might be in order for single handed operation. Even thought about constructing a small submarine pen incorperated on the dock.

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                        • #13
                          When I coughed up enough to buy it, the small demographic of people who'd be interested at that scale was high on my mind. Having said that, I'm hoping that there are at least a few who, like me, just think it's too cool not to own.

                          We're starting at 35lbs dry weight. I'm betting we'll be at around 50 to 55 when done. Not overly bad for heaviness, but awkward due to length. A launching dolly would be a good idea, and I think even a standard hand truck could be a good solution with the proper cradle as you can either roll it into the water or else roll it down the side of a pool or concrete edge.

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                          • #14
                            Im not sure that I would fit the requisite tax bracket for such a beast but I would definitely be interested nonetheless. It is truly impressive and am looking forward to witnessing the transformation of this project build in the future. It is certainly in the right hands!

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