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Special Navy 1/72 U-Boat Type XXIII Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2006 Manufacturer Special Navy
Subject U-Boat Type XXIII Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72001 Primary Media Styrene, Resin, PE
Pros Exquisite detailing in the conning tower Cons
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $79.00

First Look


The Type XXIII was a smaller U-Boot (U-Boat) variant initially launched in April 1944. The type only carried two torpedoes, and these had to be loaded externally, that is how cramped the interior of this type was!

While 61 boats were commissioned, only six were operational during 1945. Seven more were in various stages of work-up when they were lost to accidents, mines, or in one case, to an enemy aircraft.

Of the six operational examples, four were responsible for the sinking of five ships before the end of the war.

Special Navy is a new line of kits from none other than MPM of the Czech Republic. Their first offering is this 1/72 Type XXIII U-Boot which is a nice companion to the far-larger Revell/Germany 1/72 Type VIIC U-Boot.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on two parts trees. The kit includes a small bag of resin parts and a fret of photo-etch to replicate some of the finer details.

I'm rather impressed with the details in this kit. We have one of the most detailed snorkel assemblies I've seen so far. The details of the rest of the conning tower are equally well-done.

As you can see in the images, the conning tower halves have vent holes nicely replicated, but you'll have to blank most of these out from the inside to replicate an interior, otherwise you'll see daylight through those vents where you're not supposed to.

Believe it or not, the vast majority of work will be the fitting and detailing of that conning tower as there are not many parts needed for the remainder of the hull. One resin part replicates the sonar array under the bow, and of course the installation of the bow and stern planes, rudder, and propeller.

The kit includes a pair of stands to display your completed project.

This isn't a complicated build for the experienced modeler and there really isn't that much detail to worry about on this particular type. If you've been hesitant to embark on your Type VIIC project, especially if you've invested in any of those great CMK detail sets, then this is just the project to get you started.