Thursday, April 5, 2018

Revell 1/125 Günther Prien U-47 Commission Build

My brother's 6th grade teacher had the Revell 1/125 U-47 with interior, but felt he was too old to build models anymore. He commissioned me to build it, but he wanted it closed up. Closing up those hull openings was going to be quite a task. Revell's U-99 uses the same molds mostly but is closed up with no interior, so I bought one on ebay for about $12 with shipping. Most of what you see is this kit, though I used some bits from the U-47 kit, such as decals. One of these shows the tonnage claimed on the sixth patrol, so I decided to model U-47 at this date, 6 July 1940. By this time, the 20mm flak had been moved up to the conning tower. The U-99 kit has this feature, which the U-47 kit lacks, which makes the former kit a better starting point. The U-99 kit also has deck railings that differ from those on U-47, so I used the U-47 ones. I printed my own flag and tonnage pennants, added fishing line for rigging and fabricated insulators from styrene, filled a few holes that weren't on U-47, and weathered it, making a point of showing the diesel exhaust stains near the stern and the "grass-weeds line," the green band that forms below the waterline. had a lot of useful photos that made my job easier, but sharp-eyed U-boat experts will notice inaccuracies that I didn't bother to fix. I did surgery on a few of the figures to make a variety of poses. The German inscriptions I painted on the base read, "Kiel, July 6, 1940" and "at the end of the 6th Patrol."

Once I was done modifying the figures, I painted them and superglued them in place. Hopefully I took enough photos, since I may never see this model again after I drop it off tomorrow.
I like figures for adding some story interest to a model. Captain Prien his XO stand together looking three or four points off the starboard bow. In the "Wintergarten" ("greenhouse," the nickname for the flak platform with its wide railing), two others who are happy to come home are waving to someone off the starboard beam. Meanwhile, another officer with his hand on the hatch looks down at someone climbing the ladder dressed in engineer's overalls.

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