Just released by Revell-Germany, their latest model kit of the German S-100 class comes in the well-known sea-green box with the usual box painting and built-up shots. The box measures 54 x 21 x 6.5cm (sorry for staying metric) and is surprisingly heavy at 560gr (metric again), which promises a lot of contents. The 1 to 5 range of difficulty/complexity level indicates a top end 5 (indicating to me, that it is not made for total novices on the glue and paint front. I can tell by my not-so-nice "Flower-Class"-experience!). As usual, the painting range of colours -shown on the outside of the box- is given in Revellís in-house code of colours for their own colour products line.
As you open the box, you find the construction menu, a decal sheet, a spool of rigging yarn (echoing "Flower-Class" again?) along with the object of desire: The big, welded bag of light gray, injection molded plastic that is to become a 486mm long vessel. The instructions, printed in black on unbleached paper, show a built up photo and gives a short history of the vessel in German and English.
Following the paints and mixes list, there is a partís display (but I can not see the sheet for the bridge armour or wind shield; whatever it is, this part doesnít even have a number in the display list!). On the following 15 pages we can see our S-100 grow in 57 clear steps, including 4 decal/rigging schemes. The decal sheet was in fair condition, even though it was protected by nothing more than the instructions. The rigging yarn looks just like miniature grayish brown rope. Test-burning the rope indicates natural fibers, maybe it will need super glue for attachment.
After browsing through the frames, I felt a little disappointment: There are no ship's personnel figures in this kit: A definite set-back for the Diorama-men and -women among us! I still can not find the sheet for the bridge armour/wind shield! The partís frames are very nicely shaped. The 140+ pieces are flawless. Even after close checking I canít locate more-than-necessary amounts of flash, given the injection mold method of production. The bridge part is protected by two small poly-foam pads. (How thoughtful!). By holding the two pieces of the hull together, you will get a good idea, how nice this model will be. The kit supplies two spare torpedoes, to be placed on mid-quarterdeck racks. There is no option for having the torpedo tubes open, displaying torpedo heads. Even though you can install mine/depth charge racks, there are no parts for mines or depth charges supplied. Another set-back for the Diorama faction? (Attention: in case you decide to leave off these racks, you do not need to drill positioning holes, as are required in the early stages of construction.)
The decks and superstructure are crafted very nicely and show a lot of detail as do most other parts. Personally, as I am not much of a painter, I would have liked more details provided as separate parts, rather than cast integral with the larger parts. The solid railings seem to be just a little bit too solid and the torpedo propellers are definitely out of proportion, owing to the injection mould, I guess. Still, the railings will definitely do,as will, with a little careful sanding, the torpedo propellers. (Oops! ...there goes one part. All others stay firmly in place!) The 20mm and 20mm twin AA-guns are very accurate. The 37mm cannon has a lack of detail. Maybe one should consider replacement with a 37mm gun from a Tamiya armor kit if cheaply available. Other nice details, such as targeting binoculars are supplied.
Conclusion: Revellís Fast Attack Craft S-100 class is a fine model kit. The inclusion of additional equipment and build-up options would have made her superb. Anyway, at half the price of her sister S-100 by Airfix, she is a very nice alternative.
Opinion: I bought this kit as a Christmas present for my brother. I could hardly stop myself from starting to build it. After I will have finished my current project (1/350 Yamato, Tamiya + GMM + Eduard) I have to get a S-100 for myself. Even though it does not fit in with my plans of 1/350 collecting, it is going to be a lot of gluing and painting fun.
I havenít done any research on available literature, yet. If you know good reference literature, please let me know. (Editorís Note: Morskaya Kolletsia 2/1999 "DKM SCHNELLBOOTS" covers the German fast attack boats and Classic Warship Publishing will have a title on this subject within a matter of months. An interesting web site on Schnellboats is found at: http://www.prinzeugen.com/SBOATIND.htm)
Guido Hopp, Duesseldorf, Germany firstname.lastname@example.org