I was in my local model shop recently, and I found myself overcome by a mad impulse to buy a big naval kit. They have a wide selection of large-scale WWII ships, mostly on the top shelves and covered in dust. I spied a 1:72 Type IX kit for a bargain price, and quickly snapped it up. But what then? I already have a small-scale U-boat kit from last Christmas. I decided to turn this one into a diorama of a U-boat arriving back after a successful patrol. This would involve cutting the hull in half, and setting it in plaster or some other such water substitute - a suitable challenge!
I spent far more on the bits for the diorama than the actual model, in part because of the cost of the Andrea Miniatures crew models. These were soul-rendingly expensive for their size, and I initially baulked and got some cheap plastic 1:72 crew. However, when they arrived they were of very low quality, and I decided to get the Andrea ones. I was glad I did, despite the cost, as they were some of the most detailed sculpts I've ever seen, period. Including FW kits.
|You can see the basic plan here. U-boat, on a plank of wood, with a beam to represent the harbour.|
|The kit itself was remarkably easy compared to the 1:350 version - all the parts were all much easier to handle at this scale, and the most complicated parts (hydroplanes and propellers) are all safely underwater so I could ignore them.|
|Six tubes of adhesive putty - expensive and heavy, but easy to work with and incredibly durable when it (finally) dries. It does crack very badly when it dries, but no matter, because ...|
|... I used water-based surface filler for the water. I'm going to seal it with a nice thick coat of PVA.|
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