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U-Boat

Modelcraft 1/150 U-581 Type VIIC U-Boat Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2005 Manufacturer Modelcraft
Subject U-581 Type VIIC U-Boat Scale 1/150
Kit Number 150-001 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Inexpensive Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $16.98

First Look

U-Boat
U-Boat
U-Boat
U-Boat

The Type VII U-Boat was the transitional type for the German Navy in the early days of pre-WW2 re-armament. The VIIA and VIIB were designs that which could operate in a littoral environment while the VIIC was the first design which could operate at sea. While other U-Boat types were developed during WW2, the Type VIIC was the principal wolfpack hunter.

Andrea Miniatures produced the ultimate Type VIIC in 1/35th scale (which likely requires a room-addition in your home to display this masterpiece), and Revell/Germany produced their ambitious 1/72 Type VIIC. If you have been picking up all of the great resin and photo-etched parts for this kit, you'll soon have as much in your Revell kit as the Andrea model!

At the end of the day, these models will be too delicate for any sort of handling. What you need is a surrogate Type VIIC that you can enjoy with your kids. Modelcraft to the rescue!

This Type VIIC is scaled at 1/150, but scale representation is not its primary mission. This model is designed for blue water operations in your swimming pool. The kit has been structured to be powered by a single screw and features an adjustable rudder and a controllable stern dive plane.

The periscope is designed to allow for dive plane control while the sub is in the water. The boat is ballasted by three of C-cell batteries that are in a watertight battery box.

While many parts are assembled with standard glue, the kit allows for access to the motor and power components with screws. Ballast is also included to keep the submarine upright and to allow for proper height and trim adjustments.

Keep in mind that this is one of those times when Acrylic paints or Future gloss coats are a bad idea. Consider using enamels or Tamiya's spray can lacquers to finish this kit.

Modelcraft provides markings for the U-581. A display stand is also included to display or drydock your model.

If you have kids, this will be a fun project for you to supervise and then go test. If you don't have kids at home, go borrow some. If you've build the Modelcraft Oriana or Perry-class FFG kits for pool operations, then you'll definitely need this U-Boat for some hunting.

At the price, this is a fun break from the serious modeling you're doing on the Revell/Germany project. Lighten up and go sink something!

My sincere thanks to Modelcraft for this review sample!

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