STRAIGHT OUT-OF-THE-BOX….. I told myself, as I started on this kit, but my good intentions lasted for about 10 minutes! After having removed and cleaned all the parts needed for the construction steps 1 through 5 in the booklet, I realized, that I had the option to open the stairway from the combat bridge to the interior of the ship. I cut open the door in the back bulkhead of the bridge and added door profiles to the inside walls of the bridge made from plastic scratch (Picture "005"). What the heck! ...I’ve done it again, I thought. Out-of-the-box doesn’t seem to work for me. Next I removed the stairs to the targeting platform and replaced them by a scratch hailing platform 1/350. (Picture "006") The steps up to step 5, I did by the booklet just leaving the armored bridge cover off the hull. (Picture "007") As I didn’t have any spare parts at hand, I did not replace the stairs on the outside of the bridge. While the glue dried on the bridge section, I cleaned up and spray painted the quarter-deck part all over with (Deck and camouflage light gray: Light Gray(XF-66) + 5% White (XF-2) + 5% Medium Blue(XF-18)(All paints are Tamiya)
You are asked by Revell to drill positioning holes in the aft quarter-deck for the mine/depth charges’ rack and remove the two center holders for fog cans! In case you don’t want the racks, you may skip both of the above steps. I have chosen an accurate third way, which you will see later on, but I still had to drill.
Developed by "Bauwerft, Friedrich Lürssen / Vegesack" since beginning of WW2.
DIMENSIONS: Length: 34,94m; Width: 5,28m; Height:
2,9m; Draught: 1,67
Armament: 4x Torpedo G7A, 533mm, by two hull mounted launching tubes* or 2x Torpedo G7A, 533mm + 6 mines or 6 depth charges; 1x20mm AA-gun on a rotary mount on the forecastle*; 1x20mm twin AA-gun with armor plate on mid quarter-deck*; 1x 37mm cannon with armor plate on aft quarter-deck*
*Armament supplied for this model kit; historically the armament varied with weapon development and requirements as well as assignments
Then I firmly glued the bridge section to the quarter deck. (Picture "008") giving me time to take care of the torpedo launching equipment. (Picture "009") using (Deck and camouflage light gray: Light Gray(XF-66) + 5% White (XF-2) + 5% Medium Blue(XF-18), Gun Metal and Brass colors.
Before uniting the hull parts and the deck, I drilled the positioning holes for the trim rudders and propeller shafts. If you really want to go into detail, you might want to cut out the exhaust pipes below the water line and insert tubes. To close the hull parts, I glued the deck/bridge section to one part of the hull, but wouldn’t let the glue dry completely before attaching the second half of the hull, profiting from the remaining flexibility. (Picture "010"). This is a tricky part, due to the dimensions of the parts. Quick hands are needed. I was glad not to have added the armor to the bridge at this stage, which would have made the process even more difficult. Still I couldn’t make the deck fit 100%, so I had an uneven edge at the stern. The time needed to allow the hull and deck to bond, was filled by painting all wood applications on the quarter-deck and bridge armor cover. Finally I added the bridge armor (Picture "011") and the already pre-painted forecastle (Picture "012"), not forgetting the embedding of the forward 20mm gun. I then masked off the decks, bridge and the waterline, after having fixed the torpedo tube flaps. (Picture "013"). Followed by spray-painting the under-water-ship Flat Black, the main rudder and propeller shafts were installed. (Picture "014")
Camouflage - First I had to figure out how many stripes I would need of each color. On the order off applying the color I went the usual from-light-to-dark rule of the airbrushing. Due to the lack of picture references, I decided to apply some 25 Stripes of 0.5’’ up to 1’’ of yellow stripes on each half bow and another 3-5 for the bridge and stern. So I spray-painted all the hull and bridge armor with Camouflage yellow (Yellow(XF-3) + 20% Deck Tan (XF55), and applied about 55 irregularly cut stripes of tape. Now your S-100 looks like a disfigured banana. To get the masking stripes right, I stuck 30’’ of 6mm masking tape onto a glass platter, cutting close along the edges in a waved line and again cutting the tape criss-cross into the desired lengths. The stripes I applied in a pretty regular pattern, taking care to have the stripes horizontal. Then I spray painted Deck and camouflage light gray: (Light Gray(XF-66) + 5% White (XF-2) + 5% Medium Blue(XF-18) all over. Now I applied some 60 stripes of 6mm masking tape, cut as above, but 1’’ to 1.5’’ long. I painted Camouflage medium gray: Light Sea Gray (XF-25) all over. Finally I masked off another 50stripes made of 10mm tape, 1.5’’ to 2’’long. These were the most difficult, because now I had to "organically" fill the gaps, so there were a lot of adjustments to be done. I recommend to really take your time here, because you want your camo to be scattered but without any gaps. As I applied the finishing color , (Decks, accessories and camouflage dark gray: Dark Sea Gray (XF-54) I got cold feet. What, if it doesn’t look as you expect it to be? What, if the boat still looks like an old banana? Remove all the color and settle for an over-all light gray instead? What, if…
Schnellbootes on Postage Stamps
In 1943 (left) and 1944 (right) the German Government released two different sets of semi-postal stamps, covering all branches of the German armed forces. It is interesting that the Kriegsmarine was represented in each series by S-Boats & U-Boats. No major combatants were shown.
... To calm down myself about the possibility of having ruined my kit with the stripe camouflage pattern, I turned to something completely different. The propellers of the torpedoes supplied by Revell are a mess. First I tried to scratch build them by cutting their shape out of a brass sheet, but it didn’t work out, because I couldn’t achieve shaping even blades on them with my set of tools. So I turned back to the propellers supplied in the kit. By cutting and sanding I made them usable, even though the keen observer will see that the screw’s blades are not counter-rotating. (Picture "015").
Now it was time to reveal the product of my masking and spraying orgy. Removing the roughly 150 masking strips took quite some time, but the result was very satisfying. (Picture "016"). The surface of the hull was kind of uneven, because the color had built up in layers of varying thickness. Spray-painting the hull with flat coat solved that very nicely.
Fittings on the forecastle were done following the instructions by adding various fittings, railings, anchor, gun mount hood and forward 20mm AA gun. (Picture "017"). Application of some chain to the anchor and rigging yarn to the anchor and gun mount hood, as proposed by the instructions, added some nice detail depth. At this stage I decided on the following paint scheme:
All decks fittings I would paint in Camouflage dark gray: Dark Sea Gray (XF-54). Exceptions to this rule would be:- compass house, fog cans and major horizontal surfaces like the gun mount hood, all gun mounts and gun mechanics painted in Deck and camouflage light gray: Light Gray(XF-66) + 5% White (XF-2) + 5% Medium Blue(XF-18); guns and anchor - Gun Metal (X-10); wooden structures and details like boat hooks and wooden platforms- Wood: Flat Earth (XF52) + 5% Deck Tan (XF55), thinned by 1:2 Thinner(XF-20A & Brass color); Torpedoes (Brass color/ Gun Metal (X-10)/ Black). Major vertical structures like gun shields and engine hood sides would be done in the camouflage scheme, the same as the hull, excluding the sides and back of the bridge to avoid a too crowed look.
As I went along to fit out the with bridge armor I came across a very common problem with Revell’s kits: Sooner or later some part is not going to fit (Picture "018"), but a little putty fixed that right away. At this stage I decided to save for later attachment the platforms and antennas on the bridge, because the are too prominent to stay in place until the end of construction. Leaving the order of the construction manual, I went right on the main structures on the quarter-deck such as deck’s boxes and engine hoods (Picture "019") and (Picture "020"). Torpedo racks, struts and life-raft (Camouflage yellow: Yellow(XF-3) + 20% Deck Tan (XF55) + a few more drops of Deck Tan (XF55) came next. Again following the recommendation of the manual, I added some rigging yarn on the life-raft. (Picture "021").
As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t want to settle on the choices of mine rack/fog can configuration given in the construction menu. Instead, inspired by the ship’s plans given in my reference book, I cut away the end of the racks (Picture "022") to fit right behind the stern engine hatch (Picture "023") and giving me enough space to place all four fog cans provided in the kit (Picture "024").
The twin 20mm twin AA-gun with armor plate on mid quarter-deck I did just by the instruction. (Picture "025"). Even though it’s showed properly in the menu, it took my a while to figure out that the right 20mm gun was to be placed laying on it’s right side, while the left on is to be positioned upright. (… that’s what happened to you on late night modeling sessions!) (Picture "026"). There some cutting and necessary to make the guns fit into their bedding.
The stern 37mm cannon supplied in the kit didn’t satisfy me. Given the large scale and the overall finely shaped and equipped parts of this model, the gun shows disappointingly little detail. Bugger! Shame on Revell for this one! As I had gone through most of the construction without changing and adding, I now felt compelled to search the market for a cheap way to upgrade this piece of junk.
Finally I found the Hasegawa’s 1:72 German AA-Tank "Flakpanzer IV Ostwind" equipped with a nice 37mm cannon. As the box was already preyed open, I got it for the kit for about US$ 3! Lucky me! So took the gun from this kit. (Picture "027") What a remarkable difference not even counting the beautifully cast gun mechanics, which fit right into the mount. (Picture "028") (Note the seat for the lead marksman) Having studied the various plans and pictures inside my reference book before, this upgrade would be historically accurate as well as impressive. To fit the mount to the shield was little trouble: I cut away the right positioning pin of the mount and placed the left positioning pin into the right positioning hole of the shield. The only flaw about using this configuration is the lead marksman of the gun crew would be sitting very, very close to the edge of the shield. (Picture "029"). Only a little later I realised the ammunition supplied with the tank kit. That dried my tears about the position of the marksman seat pretty quickly. (Picture "030")
So I got to the finishing effort on the model: Adding antennas, platforms and air inlets to the back of the bridge. Attention: install the platforms first. That is important to make the air inlets lean slightly to the outside in the next step. I messed that up, by gluing the air inlets first and so tightly, that I was afraid to damage the kit on removal. I had no choice but to cut away some part of the platform railing, leaving the inlets perfectly vertical. (Picture "031"). Before I attached them I had hollowed out the heads of the inlets with my Dremel tool. As the last step, I added the portside railings. antennas, windshield and rigging (Picture "032") as described in the construction menu. I applied the matte coat and was…Finished! (Picture "033").
As you may have realized I did not rig up the railing on either side of the vessel and stern. Also, I have not yet installed the propellers and side/trim rudders. This is because I will set up a dry-dock diorama. Pictures are to follow! The last picture shows my S-100 along with Revell’s 1:72 Vosper MTB to give you an idea how big the S-100 is compared to other fast attack craft of that time (Picture "034").
Opinion: I had a lot of fun with this kit. I asked myself, how long I
will be able to resist, building her again and using WEM’s after market
product designed for this kit. Even though you can build it out-of-the-box and
by the booklet, I strongly recommend novices in this hobby to gather some
practice and experience, before tackling this kit.
Conclusion: Let’s face it: Revell’s Fast Attack Craft S-100 class is a mass-product. In Revell’s home market, Germany, you can find their kits in literally every Supermarket with a toy section, so they’ll have to bow to the efficiency rules for mass products in a price guided market and the limitations of the injection mould technique. Still, besides some minor flaws, which can be easily handled, it is a very fine model with even more capacity for added detail. A couple of additional options in equipment would have made it superb. Anyway, at less than half the price of Airfix’s sister, S-38, she is a very attractive alternative, isn’t she?
(Guido Hopp wrote an initial in box review of the Revell S-100 last December. Click here fore that review.)