Tower action II

Railings for the crew

To keep my boat's crew from falling into the sea too easily, the vessel required some railings. One set was installed to the base of the conning tower, while another was installed to the top.

While I was working on these, I noticed that the tower's connection to the hull on the left side of the U-Boat wasn't as pretty as they were on the right side. Therefore I slapped unhealthy amounts of (Tamiya) putty to hopefully remedy the situation. The next afternoon I filed/sanded the excesses off with some success, I would like to believe. Maybe I have to return to some sections, if they didn't end up as fine as the engineers demanded.

A scale demo

My photos may not deliver the immense size of the U-Boat, not even with the help of an earlier comparison shot. So I hired Hans from the Deutsche Afrika Korps to pose a bit.

That may not be enough. So I decided to offer a helping hand for those interested:

Back to the business as usual

I wasn't missing much anymore so I proceeded on to the missing parts of the conning tower. With their support blocks I installed four antennae, one of which I actually lost for a few hours but found later before I got to make a new one out of streched sprue. After this I drilled three holes into the planks and attached the rope-holding rods into them.

Setting the cables is going to wreck my poor nerves

The photoetch subset

Apparently my sprues were missing the torpedo hulls, so I didn't get / have to work on the tiny propeller blades. One of those other pieces was to be bent a bit and glued to the rear of the ship. Another one had to be bent into an U-shape and glued onto the snorkel device. There was supposed to be another pe-setup, a cylinder wrapped around a plastic cylinder - but for some reason my kit missed the whole D sprue and therefore the aforementioned cylinder as well. I'll survive.

Waiting for the painting to begin

As I'm writing this the sub is waiting for me to start priming. My assumption is that in the best case that will be done in two sessions and hopefully no more than that. But that depends on if I have ample time and if I notice any missing spots while I'm working or not.

The real paintjob is going to take many more sessions, especially as the lower hull alone will require two, the upper hull may go in one, and the conning tower needs the white stripes as the first layer before the first light gray layer. And following the noblest of Project Mumblings traditions I'm not going to use those decal stripes provided by the kit.

I guess that the safest assumption is that getting the actual paintjob done is going to take a good work-weekful of hobby time. Maybe even more, but that depends on how much time I have available, as setting up the airbrush, painting even a tiny bit and then cleaning up is a much slower process than it sounds like.


Enjoying the profile

There was absolutely nothing special about setting up the conning tower. While I was at it, I prepared and glued on the front and rear planes that I had skipped before. Yes, it'll be a proper-looking u-boat one of these days.

Later on I took a couple of photos to see it from various angles, of which only one makes sense in the scope of this blog post. Sadly, it didn't occur to me earlier that I could've had Das Boot running on the background. Maybe I'll remember that idea when I'm finally taking the wrapping up photos?


Tower action

Important subassemblies

I glued the tower halves together and stepped out of the suggested construction order. My reason for this deviation was that as a couple of (very much) protruding pieces were to be glued into the sides, they would only be badly on the way while I would be twisting, rolling and turning this chunk around. They would also be in a grave danger of being knocked off or even broken, so I thought it'd be much better if I just glued them on a few iterations later.

Being a semi-obedient builder, I attached the UZO device supports to the inside front of the tower, but left the clear plastic binoculars off. That was to keep them both out of the way and protected during the airbrushing stage. Then I glued in the direction finder antenna loop and snorkel parts, on two different afternoons, so these mostly unsupported pieces would not interfere with each other while their gluings were being cured.


As the last thing you can see in this set of photos I glued on the rungs of the ladders as well as the handle and the hinges of the hatch in the front. While they were curing I grabbed a good hold of the rest of the hull and filed/sanded the putty mess and the ugliest seams away.

My next step shall be to glue the tower onto the hull and whenever that has been set I guess I'll finish up with the antennae and last details of the conning tower. After that I'll resign myself to fighting the photoetch pieces, hoping I don't end up swearing like a drunken pirate.


Up scope!

Small updates

For some reason I've really been low on hobby time lately. Therefore my advances haven't been mentionable, but I did get something done despite the challenges. Of course it's a bit amusing to see that the twenty-minute stint I did only resulted in a periscope and a couple of other tubes attached together.

I don't think anyone'll ever see this piece, either.
I really, really have to remember to clean up my puttyings before I go and slam the conning tower onto the hull. If I try to file & sand the seams afterwards, the result will be much more suboptimal and that's not beneficial to anyone.

The invisible interior space

For some curious reason the instructions suggested that I glue the transparent cylinders into the whateverboxes of the upper tower, but becaues the appendix said that they should be painted transparently (I assume that in the real world they're some sort of lights), I'm not going to glue them in to be only on the way of painting and making things more bothersome than things need to be.

Of course the fine details of the periscope and other such things will be somewhat pointless, as the sub can't be left open-hatched with this lack of interior detailing. Nonetheless I'll set up everything, such as the ladders and whatnot, because they do belong inside that tube inside the tower. I think I'm going to skip the "unnecessary" painting, though.

This week and maybe the next one are going to be more productive, I believe, as I think I can do (really) short stints in the afternoons after work. That's what I guess, at least. But as usual, we'll see what happens and how, as the calendar rolls on.