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A U-Boat In Ireland

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  • The main component of the aerials are the five groups of three insulator with two tensioners at each end, these are made first.

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    The rest is making lengths of rigging to go between these five sections.

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    The single forward aerial is made with the split to each side of the tower, and the looped centre line to the fixed tensioner in the tower is made with a small length of elastic thread.

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    The safety wires at the sides of the tower are fixed with the bottle screws and brass rings (they will darken with age).

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    On to the jumper wires from to the aerials to the tower, I'll wait till the aerials settle before tackling those.

    The Boattrainman
    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 01-27-2019, 03:29 PM.
    ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

    Comment


    • Absolutely stunning work! You certainly have raised the bar.

      Comment


      • Tell me about your paint scheme, the photo of another u-boat has the hatch painted black. On yours, you painted it gray (grey). Tell me more about why you did that?
        If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

        Comment


        • Hi Tom,

          It's rare but not unknown for the ready use ammo hatches to be the same colour as the tower. I have a photo of one such, but it's unknown what U-Boat it is, unlikely to be in the U557 build batch.

          My rationale is this. U557 had a short life, launched in late 1940 it lasted for just one year. Many early boats had the vile black preservative on the wooden deck areas, however not necessarily on the metal deck hatches, bollards and ammo hatches. This happened on subsequent re-fits when the deck re-painting was more rushed and certainly later boats had the black colour all over when launched.

          I've chosen to go with U557 as it may have appeared in mid/later 1941, on the second patrol after the first re-fit, spray rail and net cutter removed, upper deflector on the tower but with the ammo hatches and bollards still in original light grey, however all the hatches (both wooden and metal) on the deck are in black. Had it lasted longer and had more re-fits, I would have gone for all over black as later in the war re-fits were more rushed, resources were dwindling etc etc.

          Of course this is an aesthetic choice on my behalf, given the law of averages, all over black would be a better guess/bet. My ID plate on the boat stand should probably state 'Kriegmarine U557 May - December 1941 (possibly)'.

          Well spotted buddy.

          Rob
          Last edited by The Boattrainman; 01-28-2019, 08:05 PM.
          ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

          Comment


          • Thank you! I like your thinking!
            If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

            Comment


            • Some lighter coloured hatches etc.
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              Last edited by The Boattrainman; 01-29-2019, 10:54 AM.
              ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

              Comment


              • Incidentally, two points come to mind.

                A number of otherwise excellent models have used the Laboe Boat U-995 as a reference for U-Boats in general. This is a mistake. While U-995 is very useful in some regards, it must be treated with extreme caution as it is atypical in some regards and has some retro-fitting to make it suitable as a museum and weather resistant.

                I came in to this project with very fixed ideas about Type VIIs, however I'm finishing with a whole new appreciation of the subject especially the idea that one can make definitive statements about any given boat.

                Unless there is a clear, dated and verified picture (pref in colour), it is next to impoosible to say what any particular boat looked like such was the variation between yards, the re-fits, the improvments, combat damage, modifications etc. etc.

                I was stuck with making one of the batch of U551-U558 from the Blohm and Voss yard as the Wikinger tower most resembles these boats (with mods). There are plenty of pictures of U552, the one with the red devils painted on the tower, but it has been done to death at this stage. Also Wink and Dougie at AMP had made an attempt at a definitive U557 in 1/72 as a static model, so they had laid the groundwork saving months of research. But even they had to make a number of leaps of faith regarding minor details, and in my view made at least one serious compromise.

                In summary, run a mile if you hear someone state with difinitive authority that U??? had this tower, this colour scheme etc. unless they can whip out a decent photo! It's part of the fascination of Type VIIs, there's always more info required, and sure as anything, just as you get a decent model done, a photo appears with something you missed..............

                Rob
                ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

                Comment


                • I plan on doing my U505 with grey hatches. The photos of it's capture it appears to have the grey throughout the deck.
                  Love this information. You are a ROCK STAR!
                  The same statement for Fleetboats about the variances and setups. I think it is safe to say, the only rule I have found about both is they did not have red on the lower hulls (during the war).
                  Last edited by trout; 01-29-2019, 02:45 PM.
                  If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

                  Comment


                  • Great, will be looking forward to the U505 build, that's the Chicago boat I think. If so AMP have the Axe and Olympic tower art as decals in various scales. You've a long career with U505, lots of choices in relation to when you model it, you could even make it post capture when used for training.

                    Don't get me wound up about the red anti foul on U-Boats esp Type VIIs, all recent research indiactes that no boat EVER had a red bottom and/or a black boot line, yet you see still very good models ruined with these colours, in fact there's one on Ebay at the moment going for silly money with bright red anti foul and a thick boot top and the seller thinks it's very authentic!!!!!


                    Rob
                    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 01-29-2019, 07:29 PM.
                    ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

                    Comment


                    • The jumper cables form the three fittings with insulators on top are installed.

                      I abandoned the twisted metal wire, although more to scale, as the aerials are removeable (from the hull but not the tower), they will eventually break, so rigging thread was substituted.

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                      The ends going into the insulators was pre dabbed with superglue and allowed to dry, then the hard end is shoved into the hole as an interference fit, if they get broken I can just pull them out and make others.

                      The anchor is fixed into the hawser, I gave it progressive coats of red and black primer and then a dry brush in rust and white.

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                      The underwater hydrophones and sonar were left unpainted bronze, so I hand painted these and dry-brushed with the dark hull colour.


                      The aerials (just like surface vessel rigging) transform the boat in my view.



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                      The forward and rear hatches are held down with 5mm M2 brass bolts in the bollard holes. I could have disguised these better, but as I have brass rings and fittings on the aerials I'm not pushed.


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                      Up next, my per hate, DECALS!

                      The Boattrainman
                      Last edited by The Boattrainman; 01-29-2019, 04:03 PM.
                      ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''

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