THE KIT
Artitec
provides a very clean, well-cast resin hull that required only minimal sanding. The sail and deck gun came as separate resin pieces and were easily removed from the pour rails. The photo-etch fret in the Artitec kits is excellent. It seems a little think for the scale, but it provides extra stability when shaping and cutting, a tradeoff of which I am in favor. They also provide a small length of plastic rod for the propeller shafts and the periscope, although I replaced both with proper diameter brass rods and the periscope with the end of a guitar G-string. No decals are provided and the crude stand is better replaced with the brass rod-mounting scheme that most subs of this scale receive. The kit has excellent instructions that are helpful in construction as well as paint schemes for u-boats of the type and period.

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CONSTRUCTION
I did everything pretty much per the instructions...at first. I did replace the propeller shafts with brass rods and the periscope with the guitar g-string. After construction and after priming, I realized the rudder control assembly was missing! I must have lost it during the trip between my bedroom and the basement where I airbrush...After giving up hope of finding the pieces, I scratch-built the entire assembly using brass rods and a piece of aluminum. I used WOLFPACK by David Jordan as reference. This was my first u-boat, so I did my best with the rigging. I know it's probably not 100% accurate but it looks decent. This is not a contest piece.

PAINTING
As I mentioned, I airbrushed the model with PollyS Light gray primer. I then masked the top of the sub as per the scheme noted in the instructions and painted the bottom hull a mixture of PollyS Dark Panzer Gray and light gray. After drying, I masked the bottom hull with BLUE masking tape, low adhesive, and painted the deck PollyS 63 Light Gray. I then applied a wash of 2 parts dark gray, 2 parts NATO black, 2 parts dark brown pastel dust and 10 parts water. The water and rust stains were done with pastels. I thought at first it was too weathered, but an expert friend of mine said there's no such thing as a "Too weathered U-boat".

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Overall, this is a very nice kit. Artitec provides indentions in the hull to show where pieces go, a guide for bending railing, and exact lengths of rod to cut for the shafts. I've never found any of these things in a BWN kit. I wish Artitec made more military based kits. At $21.95 this is a steal.

Brad Crisler
Florence, AL

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