by: Karl Zingheim [ ]
The Type VIID
The Type VIID was essentially a lengthened version of the Type VII u-boat, the workhorse of the Kriegsmarine’s submarine arm in World War II. The added length allowed the deployment of mines arrayed in five vertical chambers arranged behind the conning tower. Just six were built in 1939-40 and only one survived the war.
AFV selected a double-ended wrap around box to contain the kit which requires the sprues and instructions to be slid out for access and can be inconvenient for storage during construction. The color box art on the front of the box is repeated on the back without any titles or other information.
The kit is arranged in three sprues and the upper hull as a separate molding, all in olive green. A small decal sheet and photo-etch fret are also included.
The instructions are printed on a lengthy, single tri-folded sheet. Recommended paint colors and their equivalents in the Gunze, Humbrol, Revell, and Life Color brands are listed in a table. The construction diagrams are well executed, comprehensive, and logically sequenced. Various marking recommendations are illustrated at the end.
The plastic parts themselves are well molded and crisp, though many smaller parts are necessarily delicate. An especially interesting feature is the inclusion of the upper pressure hull with a detachable upper hull. This provision enables the modeler to pop off the upper hull to reveal the pressure hull casing, including the five opening for the mine racks.
A small photo-etch fret is included for the railings topside and around the wintergarten as well as antenna supports and even tiny victory pennants for ships sunk. The fret is thin and the parts are amongst the most delicate brass parts I’ve encountered.
The tiny decal sheet includes the famed sawfish u-boat logo in various colors.