Airfix Humbrol’s 1/72 “E” Boat.
After all the "wingy" things I decided for a change of pace with an Airfix 1/72 scale E-Boat. I’ve always wanted to build one of these ever since they first came out in the early 1970’s, as they fitted in nicely with the 1/72 aircraft. When the “E” Boat came out my mind was made up, but at that time I had other things on my mind. Then in about 2005 I saw the Humbrol release in a local model shop and at R 400 thought it a bargain. My original idea was a sort of diorama with a Fieseler Fi 156 Storch Opel Blitz truck at some fictions jetty. This has now given way to a simple sea scape with he E Boat modelled as a water-line model.
This kit is imprinted as 1975 and the instructions as a Humbrol Product 1989. The model is quite large being nearly 18 inches long and the kit having almost 300 parts. It is offered in both water-line mode and full hull with the usual Airfix stand. The sprues came bundled together in one large plastic bag with the clear parts in a separate bag with the rest. All the parts are numbered, but no numbering diagram is supplied. This is a huge problem as the numbering system seems to resemble a random numbering sequence; like parts number 46 & 47 are next to each other, but numbers 48 & 49 which are needed to complete the sub-assembly are on completely different sprues & the sprues are huge. If you try this kit you’re going to spent quite some time searching for parts, and on mine numerous parts had become detached from the sprues Which didn't help. The clear parts are very good being very clear and with quite thin surrounds, and if you wish to detail the bridge the surrounds being easily removed so the windows fit the window frames flush.
When I opened the box I saw I’d already started it by gluing the two halves of the hull together together with the stern transom. the fit being far from perfect, the stern was OK but the bow was so far off that I’d left it un-glued. The bow was first glued up with plenty of heavy duty clamps and loads of forcing to make the bow fit as best I could, and left to really set solid. I usually don't like using clamp as it's all too easy to warp parts even more, but in this case I had no option. Next came the one piece deck and again the stern was OK but the bow was out about 2 or 3 mm. Loads of sanding, more clamps, and I some-how got it to fit, sort-of. But with some large gaps especially around the torpedo cut-outs. I’m not really one who likes using fillers especially for such large gaps, so I used stretched sprue and liquid cement to fill the gaps, being able to burnish the sprue pieces into the gaps to help save sanding later. The bow opened up again when the deck was finally filled so that gap was also filled with sprue and sanded to shape. All-in-all it came out looking quite good, but it didn’t bode well for the rest of the parts fitting as they should.
When I was happy with the hull & deck I added a few of the deck fittings that needed painting the same colour as the deck such as the torpedo mounts and brackets and the break-water, all of which fitted with-out any problems, which sort-of gave me faith that the fit problems were confined to the hull.
That’s it for now I’ll post more as the build progresses. Just a few shots of the repaired bow and some of the hull to show the size of this thing.
Starboard side repaired this side fitted the better of the two.
Port side. This side needed several goes at filling the gap as I'm sure yo can see.
The bow with repaired port side gap.
The hull with some fittings assembled. Those tall vent things on the stern are just pushed on; not glued.
This is to showthe size compared with Airfix's Ju 87 & Me 109E.
Again another for size with the 600th scale KG V and the Graff Spee hulls.
Remember we do this for fun John the Pom