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In-Box Review
172
U-Brass Photo-etch Set for Revell 1:72 U-Boat VIIC

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

Achtung Kriegsmariners!

Falling in line with the Dive! Dive! Dive! 2 Campaign here at MSW, comes the announcement of a very interesting new photo-etch set designed for Revell’s 1/72 scale VIIC U-boat kit, and the newly released VIIC/41 as well. The Revell Type VIIC U-Boat in 1/72 scale has grown to be one of the most popular choices in the submarine modeling community, with many modelers spending large amounts of money for A/M upgrade kits to increase the accuracy of their subject, but most often overlooked is the modification of the free flowing vent systems of the boat. Using this set, you can correct many problems with these two kits, and this PE set also gives many choices to the modeler depending upon which actual boat he is depicting.

Never heard of U-Brass?...well, a short while back, a news story was published here at MSW, about this up and coming manufacturer, and also discussed this new PE set in detail. U-Brass is a partnership of two very talented modelers, direct from the waters of MSW, Wink Grise’ (Rokket2001) and Dougie Martindale (dougie47). These two got together and decided to create a photo-etch set for one of their favorite subjects, the VIIC U-boat, and also give other modelers the chance to re-create a more accurate finished subject. At the time of the story’s publication, the PE set was completed, and orders were being filled. Shortly after this, the first run production of the set was completely sold out!

Due to the high demand of the set, U-Brass has teamed up with White Ensign Models to help to meet the modelers’ demands of this item. Since early July of this year, WEM has been the sole manufacturer and distributor of the U-Brass PE set, and will be available in a few weeks from White Ensign Models.




Set Contents:

CHEEK PATTERN B (or with modification PATTERN A)
CHEEK PATTERN VIIB (or with modification PATTERN C)
DRILL TEMPLATE for MAIN FLOODS (to add more)
TORP DOORS - resized with rivets to fit cheeks
DRILL TEMPLATE for SADDLE TRIO FLOODS
SIDE FLOOD (use as replacement or as DRILL TEMPLATE)
DRILL TEMPLATE for BOW ROUND FLOODS - PAIRED
DRILL TEMPLATE for BOW ROUND FLOODS - UNPAIRED
DRILL TEMPLATE for BOW SLOTS (2 HOLES STBD, 3 PORT)
DRILL TEMPLATE for SIDE CURVED ROUND VENTS
TENSIONERS (11 needed, 3 spares)
EXHAUST PATTERN 4
EXHAUST PATTERN 5 - PART A - FRAME
EXHAUST PATTERN 5 - PART B - GRILL
DRILL TEMPLATE for CONNING TOWER SIDE U201 Series pattern
S-GERAET + spare
TURNBUCKLES
BOW INTERNAL TORP BRACES (replaces kit parts 14 + 15)





Set Description


1.) In this section of the review we will highlight and discuss the correction possibilities of the PE set overall. If you study the listing above, you will notice that much of the set consists of patterns and templates for the various vent systems of the boat. These are drill templates, made for standard size drill bits wherever possible. These templates are made to fit tight against existing parts of the kit to further increase the overall accuracy of the finished subject. Following is a breakdown of the templates included:

Bow floods
Bow flood slots, port and starboard
Saddle tank trio slots
Side floods above saddle, port and starboard
Curved holes
Conning tower side holes
Main floods

Note: A complete and detailed photo-diagram instruction process for each template is provided in the kit’s manual, with helpful hints and tips for added success.

2.) The Cheek plates are a very innovative correction, as these pieces replace the torpedo door frames (which are too long on the Revell kit) and the lower floods as a one piece fix. Two different cheek sets are included, and with modifications to each, can become one of four bow flood patterns. Some of the hull flood patterns do require filling in of existing holes in the kit piece, and U-Brass recommends press fit plastic sheet, glued in place, and then filling the hole(s) with putty to prevent sinking or flaking.

3.) Next, we have PE part #18, the Torp decks, which replace Revell kit parts # 14 & 15, with added accuracy. These deck parts are either soldered or glued to the inside cheek pieces, which also will increase the overall stability and strength of the bow, overall. The torp doors may be positioned open or closed, but must be braced from behind with plastic strips. The new torpedo doors are shorter than the kits doors so there must be a slight modification made to the top hatch bulkhead, moving it forward approximately 10mm to be accurate. Edge adjustments will also have to be made as well for allowance of the anchor well.

4.) You can also accurately modify and customize the exhaust ports of your kit subject, with proper research as to which pattern your particular boat had, that is…there are five separate and different exhaust patterns that can be achieved with success with this kit.

5.) There are three additional little gems included in this set, ratchet box tensioners (for cable tension adjustment), turnbuckles (another rigging tensioning device), and the “Sonder-Gerat fur active Schallortung”, or “Special Equipment for active sound location”, which was a complete system for detecting targets. Most of the system was located in the Conning tower, and was a primary part of the upgrade of the VIIB to the VIIC. Note: By 1943 the system was dropped in favor of more advanced radar systems…so, if you are depicting a pre-1943 U-Boot, you’ll need to attach one of these to the bow for accuracy. To use this PE part on your model you must first create a mounting block from styrene, photo’s included in the instructions. A spare is included in the kit just in case there is damage done to the first (you must form the S-G in a curved fashion to be accurate, using a ball shaped device, possibly a ball bearing, maybe?)


The PE set was shipped to me packed in a heavy index card sleeve for protection, and sent in a bubble envelope, which completely protected its trip from Oz. The brass sheet stock used is very sturdy and good quality, compared to other PE sets, quite heavy, in fact! Sure to withstand rough handling by fiddly fingers (such as mine!!) The parts separated very easily and cleanly with both nippers and x-acto blade, equally. The etching and fine detail of the parts is superb, very clean and clear. Parts description and identification by both parts name and number are provided as etched onto the set for easy finding.

SPECIAL NOTE: Pay close attention, here, mates! There are two key documents that you will need for the successful use of this PE set, both of which are provided free of charge as downloadable PDF files at the U-Brass Website. One is the complete instruction manual for the PE set, four pages in length complete with photo’s and diagrams, and the other is a very concise 18 page document entitled “Type VIIC Free-Flooding Vent Patterns”, written by Dougie Martindale (dougie47).
These two documents are absolutely essential for proper accuracy, and trust me, well worth the effort of downloading, saving, and printing for future reference; there is a wealth of information in these two documents!




Conclusions:


Overall, this new PE set from U-Brass-/White Ensign Models is complete satisfaction, through and through. The quality and detail of the brass and etching is top notch, accuracy is 100%, and the background documents are complete, and easy to understand. This PE set will greatly improve not only the accuracy, but also the overall looks and appearance of any type of VIIC, VIIB, or VIIC/41 boat. A well thought out set of photo-etch enhancements well worth every penny! Highly recommended from this modelers’ point of view.



Many thanks to Wink Grise’ and Dougie Martindale of U-Brass, for providing this excellent review sample.



Keep Modeling!
Gunny

SUMMARY
This new photo-etch set from U-Brass, will aid the modeler in correcting the inaccuracies of Revell Models’ 1/72 scale VIIC Submarine model kit, and the newly released VIIC/41. Nearly any type of VIIC, VIIC/41, or even the VIIB U-boats, will benefit from the addition of this PE set to their build up.
  OVERALL VALUE:90%
  ETCHING AND DETAIL:90%
  ACCURACY:95%
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: WEM PE 7232
  Suggested Retail: GBP 16.13
  Related Link: U-Brass Official Website
  PUBLISHED: Jul 30, 2006
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.23%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.15%

Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • U-Brass/WEM 00
  • U-Brass/WEM 01
  • U-Brass/WEM 02
  • U-Brass/WEM 03
  • U-Brass/WEM 04
  • U-Brass/WEM 05
  • U-Brass/WEM 06
About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)
FROM: PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright ©2017 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.


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