Cover the eyes of the Wee Ones, For this Halloween tale is not for the young, faint-hearted or squeamish!High on the shoulder of Benn Nevis in the Scottish Highlands stands the imposing edifice of Castle Hall. Wreathed or is it Wraithed, in storms for half a year and in clouds for the other half, its gnarled spires or not frequently seen by the public. During the day it appears as a gray tomb monolith but on any lightning-wracked night, lights dance along its parapets, as this is when the Mad One concocts his creations. In some areas October 31 is called All Hallows Eve or All Souls Eve, in others it is Halloween. There is a very strong clue in that name. Notice the prefix of the word, Halloween. For this evening is not just for ghouls, goblins and the undead, but also it is a fixed point in time each year for the Mad One to breath life into his creations.
Bolts of lightning flicker from the purple clouds to the spires of the decaying castle as Herr Docktor Hall sets about his insane endeavor of bringing life to the base atoms of common elements. The Mad Doctor has been very busy this year and one of his creations, his creatures of brass if you will, has been a two fret brass photo-etched set for the Revell 1:72 scale German Type VIIC U-Boat. There are other mad scientists working on bringing this kit to life. There is a warlock who resides near Salem, Massachusetts, who is concocting a resin pressure hull for the kit and a Sasquatch from the pine forests of Georgia, who is busily carving wood decking for the kit with his rusting chainsaw but this tale concerns the creation of the original mad scientist, Mad Pete of White Ensign Models.
White Ensign Models WEM PE 7203 is not a garden variety creation for it exhibits all of the unearthly skills and artifices of the Mad One to the fullest degree. After reviewing the contents of this photo-etch set, the only question remaining will be if you have the courage and skill necessary to turn the creature to your advantage. Armed with wolfbane, garlic cloves, silver bullets and holy water, not to mention a hobby knife and tube of superglue, you will! And now, on to the insanely detailed creature from the original Mad Pete.
Of course WEM had to enter the lists for creating after market accessories for the large Revell kit. How could they not? One of the White Ensign Models specialties has always been into breathing life and detail into the plastic models released by the big commercial companies. WEM is recognized throughout the world for their brass creations of extraordinarily fine detail and WEM PE 7203 is no exception. Indeed, considering the kit that for which this set is designed, it could easily be foretold that the mad genius of Peter Hall would be unshackled on this subject. No chains, no bars, no governor of any type or description would place artificial limitations on Mad Pete for this one. After all, the subject was one of the gray wolves of the Atlantic, Mad Pete’s children of the night. A Type VIIC U-Boat that prowled at night looking for innocent victims, defenseless merchant ships to send to a watery grave. The Revell Type VIIC U-Boat kit is no ordinary model, at 1:72nd scale it is as monolithic in size as are the talents of Mad Pete. The laboratory of Mad Pete crackled with electricity as was permeated with the smell of ozone as WEM PE 7203 took shape. In common with many other of his creations, it was shaped and developed into a two fret set.
WEM Type VIIC Fret Part A
However, access hatches are not all of the detail provided by WEM, even on this one fret. No dentist could provide more care for the teeth of your Gray Wolf than that provided by the Mad One. Mad Pete provides for five separate torpedo tube doors, four for the bow and one for the stern. All of them come to life with three-dimensional relief on the doors. This 3D relief is not just confined to these parts but is seen throughout this fret. Other relief etched parts include Ballast Tank Vent Valves in three shapes, circular, large oval and small oval; retractable bollard heads; retractable bollard plates; Conning Tower Hatch Mechanism; Attack Periscope Compass Repeater; Deck RU Locker Hatch Hinges; Diesel Exhaust Plates; and a large Diesel Air Vent Duct that displays individual bolt heads. How could any Halloween review of one of Mad Pete’s creations not have bolt heads sticking out from somewhere on the surface? Yet still the tally is not complete. You receive a complete set of brass replacement rails for the sides of the conning tower in four shapes, hatch handles, torpedo aiming sight footbars, torpedo aiming sight bevel & handrail, hand holds and foot bars for the attack periscope, 20mm and 88mm gun handwheels and a conning tower radar antenna stowage box. Although one might think that this list of parts would exhaust the possible detail parts for the U-Boat kit, they would be wrong as there is yet another fret in this set.
WEM Type VIIC Fret Part B
The very fine grillwork of air ducts is readily apparent in many of the parts on Fret B. This grillwork includes parts for the central diesel air vent duct grill and side duct top grills. For variation there is a selection of louvered grillwork, which includes the ballast intake grills and diesel duct side grills. To keep the annoying Short Sunderland at a safe distance, WEM provides all of the parts for your 20mm AA gun with a subset of five super-detailed parts, not including the handwheels on Fret A.
Mad Pete’s Recipe of Creation