These are some photos of my newest addition to the 1/400th scale Flotilla. This is the HMS Ursula, from the Mirage Undine kit. The Mirage kits have been around for a while, so I won't rehash their history. Other than to say I feel they are well worth the money, and can be made into a decent model of the "U" or "V" class Boats of WWII. Needless to say, these were boats of the Royal Navy, Free French Navy, Dutch Navy, Norwegian Navy, and the Polish Navy. Plenty of modeling there. I will not attempt a definitive history of the U Class here. Suffice it to say, in this computer age, "Google" is your friend. For this project, I contacted the "Master" of Royal Navy plans....John Lambert. I purchased copies of the U Class plans in 1/400th scale which are terrific, so any errors are mine alone, Folks. The Mirage boats aren't too bad. Granted they are a basic shape, but it is a decent place to start from and the price is right. One thing I noticed quickly was the upper deck size. In my opinion, Mirage molded this much too small. I chose to rebuild this with plastistruct sheets with slots. This also gave me decent flood holes for the upper deck assembly. The resin nose provided by Mirage in this kit was cleaned up and grafted on. As you can see in the photos, be prepared with your favorite filler. I prefer to use a product called Metalset A-4. This is an epoxy resin which is impregnated with aluminum. The plus to this is absolutely no shrinkage, and after drying it is so hard it can be drilled and tapped. The minus is drying time of 24 hours, and if you don't preform it while wet, you'll be sanding forever!

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After this was accomplished and blended came the interesting part. Mirage included some small etched parts for the Undine. I studied all the photos I could find, and added details from my spare etched box for the deck details. Admittedly, this is brass "Gizmology" if you will. But it resulted in a decent replica in my opinion, anyway. Most parts, such as the deck gun, conning tower, etc. were detailed in this way. The finishing was accomplished with Model Master paints, Artist's gouache, and pastels for weathering. I wanted to show the boat as she returned from a patrol. The periscopes are modified brass rod, and the cables are surgical steel wire. Well, another boat joins my 1/400th scale Flotilla. As always, criticism is appreciated. Keep 'em coming Mirage!

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Bruce Simard

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