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German U-Boat Type VIIB

AFV Club 1/350 German U-Boat Type VIIB Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review June 2009 Manufacturer AFV Club
Subject German U-Boat Type VIIB Scale 1/350
Kit Number 73502 Primary Media 71 parts (64 in olive drab, 7 etched brass)
Pros Choice of waterline or full hull model; very petite details; optional “lift-off” feature for pressure hull Cons Very petite parts easily broken
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $TBA

First Look

Normally ships are not on my plate, but this one arrived slipped into a number of armor kits from AFV Club and caught me off guard. But on opening it up, it appears to be the first of many new kits along these lines from AFV Club (the first one was apparently going to be a Japanese I-19 class boat).

The kit is tiny – no other way to describe it at less than 19 centimeters long when complete – but at least is much larger than the 1/700 scale ones which went before it (ah, the joys of being an ageing “boomer” and having model companies take pity on us by making models larger!)

AFV Club has used their skills at making incredibly detailed armor kits and applied them to ships. The molded detail on this submarine is amazing, and it offers the ability to open up the completed hull and view the pressure hull and conning tower protrusion once finished. The kit comes with a choice of two different conning towers, one with original ventilation ducting and one with the modified ventilation added during refits.

The model provides a wealth of tiny details in the form of most of the braces, brackets and guards found on the original and even provides for rotation of the deck gun on the finished model. All parts appear to be nearly scale, which causes a normal problem with AFV Club kits of very fragile and tiny parts requiring extreme care in handling them. Four torpedoes are provided for diorama fans wanting port details to go with the model.

The reason this kit was chosen was to make the Type VII B of Gunther Prien, captain of U-47 and the “Bull of Scapa Flow” who sank HMS Royal Oak at anchor there in October 1939. It may also be built as Herbert Schultze’s U-48; no markings for the other truly famous VII B, Otto Kretschmer’s U-99, are provided.

Overall this is a neat little model and one which should fit right in with the rest of the 1/350 kits out today and coming out in the future. It should be followed by the more common Type VII C model.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 10 Lower hull, pressure hull,
  • B 45 Base, deck guns, hull details
  • C 9 Type VII B upper hull, details, conning towers
  • MA 7 Etched brass