German Type VIIC Submarine
Arkmodel, 1/48 scale
Reviewed by Luke Pitt
The Grey Wolves of the Atlantic - nothing instilled as much fear during the first years of World War II, than the German Submarine, roaming and sinking anything seemingly at will.
The signature warship of the German Kreigsmarine was the Type VIIC U-Boat (the most numerous type of submarine produced by any Navy). 565 of these U-Boats would be commissioned between 1940 and 1945 as well as 90 of the Type VIIC/41. The Type VIIC was developed from the prewar Type I and Type VIIA and VIIB classes.
The Type VIIC was powered by two supercharged, 6 cylinder, and 4-stroke M6V 40/46 diesel engines producing between 2,800 to 3,200 horsepower which gave the boats a 17.7 knot maximum speed on surface. For submerged operations the boats were powered by one of a number of different electric motors whose batteries were charged by the diesels. The electric motors produced 750 horsepower and could drive the boats a maximum of 7.6 knots. In 1944 many of the surviving boats were equipped with the Schnorkel apparatus which allowed them to use their diesel engines underwater at shallow depths. The type had a range of 8190 miles which in turn, gave them a vast amount operational flexibility for their Atlantic operations.
Arkmodel from China has generally been known for their remote control tanks in 1:16 scale and smaller scale remote control ships. This is their second 1:48 scale submarine (the other being, the modern German type 212). The kit is intended to be built as either a remote control or a static display piece.
When opening the box the first thing that strikes you is the sensible approach the designers have taken in designing the hull. The hull is moulded in three sections split horizontally. Each section is joined together with the aid of hex screws into which are inserted into nuts that have been moulded into the hull at strategic points. The approach is both ingenious and simple.
When the hull is assembled it measures a whopping 1400mm from bow to stern so, the model is big, very big.
The detail on the hull also note worthy as it is strikes the right balance between accuracy and “handling toughness” (I say this as the kit is designed to be both a static and R/C piece).
The deck is handled much the same way and comes in 3 sections. One of the nice things on both the hull and the deck is that all the grating is moulded open which is in stark contrast to the Revell 1:72 offering which are moulded as depressions. This makes the Arkmodel much more accurate in that regard.
The rest of the boat is made up of seven sprues comprising some 198 fairly well moulded plastic parts. The kit allows for four variations of the VIIC and all are handled quite well. The bridge and conning tower have almost all the detail you could ask for, while the deck guns are a little sparse (detail wise) but perfectly acceptable.
Six marking choices are provided for on a waterslide decal sheet and colour profiles on the instruction sheet.
You know, I have the Revell 1:72 scale Type VIIC in my stash and I have compared this new 1:48 scale offering to the Accurate Armour 1:35 scale kit and I have to tell you that this kit is better than both. It combines ease of assembly with greater detail.
I like this kit. While not a techno moulding marvel it delivers and ticks all the right boxes.
Thanks to Arkmodel for the sample
Text by Luke Pitt