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First Look Review
1144
1:144 Uboat Type VII-C/D PE
Griffon Model's 1:144 Uboat type VII-C and VII-D Photoetch Sets for Revell kits
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by: Anthony Kochevar [ AJKOCHEV ]

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U-Boat VIIC...


The Type VIIC was the workhorse of the German U-boat force, with 568 commissioned from 1940 to 1945. Boats of this type were built throughout the war. The first VIIC boat commissioned was the U-69 in 1940. The Type VIIC was an effective fighting machine and was seen almost everywhere U-boats operated, although their range was not as great as that of the larger Type IX. The VIIC came into service as the "Happy Time" at the beginning of World War II was almost over, and it was this boat that saw the final defeat by the Allied anti-submarine campaign in late 1943 and 1944.

Type VIIC was a slightly modified version of the successful VIIB. They had very similar engines and power, but were larger and heavier which made them slightly slower than the VIIB. Many of these boats were fitted with the Schnorchel in 1944 and 1945.

U-Boat VIID...


The type VIID boats, designed in 1939 and 1940, were a longer version of the VIIC with three banks of five vertical tubes just aft of the conning tower, rather like a modern ballistic missile submarine, except that these tubes ejected mines rather than missiles.

On the surface the boat used two supercharged Germaniawerft, 6 cylinder, 4-stroke F46 diesels totalling 3,200 bhp (2,400 kW) at between 470 to 490 rpm. When submerged the boat used two AEG GU 460/8-276 electric motors giving a total of 750 shp (560 kW) at 285 rpm.

These boats did not fare well: only one survived the war; the other five all went down with all hands.

(Infromation From Wikipedia)

1:144 Griffon Model U-Boat VIIC and VIID Photoetch/Multimedia Sets...


I obtained these sets courtesy of a friend and decided to write a review on them. I also decided on writing a combined review of the two sets since they are almost identical, the only difference is that the VIIC set comes with the decals and the VIID set includes an additional E fret of photoetch but no decals. I also have limited knowledge of U-boat equipment so my descriptions of the frets will be simple in a few cases.

Both sets come in clear plastic bags and are taped to several sheets of cardstock. The larger gun barrels and torpedo body were taped to cardstock as well. The smaller barrels, wire and ABS rod were in small ziplock bags. All frets and pieces were undamaged.

Fret A...


This fret has the bow and stern decking, anchors and several other small details for various sections of the ship. You can even model a torpedo being loaded into the bow of the sub and a small internal section and hatch is included. All embossed or half-etched pieces looked really good and are well done.

Fret B...


This set included the mine cutters and several parts for the aerials and rigging on the sub. Even though the fret has the VIIC nameplate, it is included in the VIID set as well.

Fret C...


This set includes the grab irons, handrailing and a few other supports. It is made with stainless steel instead of brass sheets for the extra durability needed for these parts.

Fret D...


This includes some more aerials, cabling that goes between the deck hand railing and a few grate pieces. The smaller grates, 6, 10L and R are so small that the etching process has marred the grate pattern and portions of the grate you can see through and other sections of them are incomplete. It probably would have been wiser to make the grating on these pieces slightly overscale, as glue and paint will likely fill them anyway. This set is also made of stainless steel.

Fret E (VIID set only)...


This set includes the mine launcher box and hatches behind the conning tower. This set has the VIID nameplate as well. Like fret A, the etching is well done and the embossed pieces and grating is perfect.

Gun Barrels-Torpedo Body-Misc...
T

his section also has the M4 piece that is really an aerial for the set. The gun barrels are well done and perfect. I found no flaws in the body portion. The holes on the end of the barrels are really shallow even on the larger ones and will need to be enhanced with paint to appear deeper. The torpedo was excellently shaped and lathed as well.

Various size diameter copper wire and some ABS rod(styrene) come in a ziplock bag to make various parts of the model. The instructions say to use some of the larger wire to make straight grab irons for the deck. Since the wires comes bent in a small bag, I found it very difficult to try and straighten it and get all the kinks out to use as a straight grab iron. Id likely use some brass rod in the proper diameter instead of trying to correct the wire in the set. There really is not a lot of the wire and ABS rod included and you may likely need more than what is provided here, especially if you make a mistake in building. Fortunataly, the manufacturer has given you exact diameter sizes in the instructions.

Instructions...


Several sheets in both sets of the instructions are identical. The only difference is that the VIID incorporates the Fret E into a few sections and the last page of the VIIC instructions has the decal instructions and placement guide. The pictures show all the VIID instructions and the decal sheet in the VIIC instructions. They are in color with the Griffon model parts outlined in blue. These are some of the best instructions I have seen. They use symbols to identify what needs done and have what set the instruction belonged to and the page numbers on each sheet which was a big help when I was compairing the two sets. There were two drawbacks that I could see. First if you missed installing a piece in a step, finding where exactly it is on the many instruction pages will be time consuming. Second, the optional symbol can be hard to spot in many steps and I got confused on a few steps.


Decals(VIIC set only)


These are very well made and include logos on the conning towers for several Flotillas in the German navy. Two types of flags are also included.

Conclusions...


These sets will be a great addition to the Revell kits. A few minor issues keep the sets from flawlessness but with so much included and so many optional configuration parts, these sets are a must for the extra detailing of the infamous U-boat VII C and D class subs.

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent embossing; Lots of Optional Parts; Good instructions in general; Very well made Barrels and Torpedo
Lows: Very small grates have marred etching; Included Wire is bent; Instructions can be a bit hard to understand in a few steps.
Verdict: Two great sets that will turn your Revell Uboats from good kits to outstanding ones.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:144
  Mfg. ID: N144001 and N144002
  Suggested Retail: $46.95 each
  Related Link: Griffon Model
  PUBLISHED: Sep 08, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.23%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 89.66%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Anthony Kochevar (ajkochev)
FROM: UTAH, UNITED STATES

I've modeled ships as a teen and started the hobby again in 2005. For some reason I got into the history of the Japanese Navy at this time and started building ships of this navy. I also do N Scale model railroading, reef aquariums and a few video games.

Copyright 2017 text by Anthony Kochevar [ AJKOCHEV ]. 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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