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AFV Club 1/350 scale U-boat Type VIIB submarine

Subscriber-only early access review
AFV 1/350 Club U-boat Type VIIB submarine
Kit: No. 73502
Scale: 1/350
Manufacturer: AFV Club, from Merit International, 626-912-2212,
Price: $21.50
Comments: Injection-molded, 68 parts (7 photoetched-metal), decals
Pros: Excellent detail (especially on deck); good fit; photoetched-metal railings
Cons: TIny parts can be frustrating and easy to break or lose taking them off the sprue; parts mislabeled in the instrusctions (errata sheet included)
Issue Published: December 2009
AFV 1/350 Club U-boat Type VIIB submarine
AFV 1/350 Club U-boat Type VIIB submarine
AFV 1/350 Club U-boat Type VIIB submarine
AFV 1/350 Club U-boat Type VIIB submarine
AFV 1/350 Club U-boat Type VIIB submarine product box
The parts may be few, but AFV Club's U-boat Type VIIB sure does pack a lot of detail into a 1/350 scale kit. Rendered in olive styrene, it contains 61 flash-free injection-molded parts plus a fret of seven photoetched-metal pieces. A stand is also provided, so the model can be displayed nicely. The detail of the molded parts is fantastic, especially in this scale.

The front page of the instructions includes a brief history of the U-boat. Also provided is a parts breakdown and a color listing that references five different paint brands. My kit came with a revision sheet to correct mislabeling of parts in the original instructions. You will need this sheet to find the correct parts.

The fit of the hull parts is perfect, with no filler needed. Adding the deck (part C01) to the hull leaves a tiny seam that needs to be filled and sanded. Be very careful when sanding to avoid losing raised panel-line details.

Assembling the tower is pretty straightforward. Careful: The railings (parts A7, A9, and A6) are very fragile; take care in removing them from the trees. I lost Part A9 when it dropped to the floor and was eaten by the carpet monster sometime during the hour I spent on my hands and knees searching for it.

The photoetched-metal railings add a very nice touch of detail to this tiny model. Parts B20 and B21 are very thin; again, take care cutting these off the tree.

Three different U-boats can be built with this kit: U-47, U-48, and the one I chose, U-99. I used Tamiya neutral gray for the upper surface, Floquil grimy black for the lower hull, and Testors Model Master copper for the propellers. I added rigging with 1-pound fishing line to give the boat just a little more detail.

The model took me about eight hours to complete, much less than what I had anticipated. The fit of the parts is great, even if the tiniest ones can be frustrating. I would highly recommend AFV Club's U-boat to any maritime modeler with a kit or two under his or her belt.

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