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U-552 Type VIIc Submersible by yvesvidal - Trumpeter - 1/48 - Plastic

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2 hours ago, jgodsey said:

And, the toilet roll is going the proper way.  Well done Sir!

I see I’m not the only one that realizes there is only one logical way TP rolls should be installed.  Can you talk to my wife?

Edited by Landlubber Mike

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On 7/18/2019 at 1:45 PM, popeye the sailor said:

no coat are coming for you Yves........can't prove you lost it yet.   to be certified,  you need to insist that the changes in your behavior is normal........and that everyone else around you are strange.   secondly........your aware of the changes,  and that would indicate that you still have sound mind.


nice try........keep modifying  ;)    nice work by the way!  

That sounds a bit like "Catch22" Denis.You are done for Yves keep working Sir ;) Kevin

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Not much progress since I was out of town. Still working on the bathroom and the Officers quarters: 



DSC03869.thumb.JPG.a6139376e715202f1b29efbb31f0569c.JPG  DSC03870.thumb.JPG.287bb276dfadbf60d04a5c2b6846f50d.JPG

The toilet apparatus was far from being easy to use. Among the crew, a voluntary sailor was in charge of operating that delicate and precious "resource", especially when submerged. It is important to realize that the flushing could only be done at periscope depths and that deeper dives required the use of the internal sewage tank or pails distributed among the crew, when total silence was required.


The following explains (in the language of Goethe) how to operate that "facility": 


For most sailors, the best was to do everything outside and it is interesting to note that the deck railing was designed for that specific need: 

vie6.jpg.9a3d0381e007f5489175c02d8e53e582.jpg  11649234123_743d1c7034_b.thumb.jpg.2158099d2288e1f7f21452b51df62a66.jpg

When nature calls.....you have to bend to it!




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20 minutes ago, cog said:

Do you have a larger readable copy of the instuctions?

Sorry, I don't. The U-Boat Owner's Workshop Manual by Haynes has a very detailed description (in plain English) on how to operate the John's. It is very complicated and that is why one sailor was responsible for its correct working. The Haynes Manual describes also the kind of chaotic atmosphere surrounding the Restroom, before or shortly after an attack. One place for a crew of 44 is not exactly luxury. The second toilet was usually fully packed with food and not accessible for its intended purpose.


I did not replicate the Haynes manual in this thread, because of potential Copyrights issues.



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Working on some more details of the Officers Compartment. It is taking a lot of time and progress are limited.


First, the lights for the Officers' quarter and the Radio/Sonar room. This is done on two separate circuits with common ground. These white LEDs requires close to 2.7 volts to work under 15-10 mA current. By placing them in series (four of them), I am getting close to 12 volts which will be the power source for this model. A variable resistor in each circuit will allow me to fine tune the light intensity of each room. When using only two LEDs, a larger resistor will be required. The reason why the Radio and Sonar rooms are not on the same circuit, will become apparent once the top floor is finished.


The putty is to prevent light leaks through the pressure hull. Once dry, it will be painted dark grey.


Then, the canon stand: 


It will be barely visible but I am happy to know that there is some of it.


Then, a few details on the front bulkhead. I have removed the door that was preventing to get a glimpse of the John's (through the food closet) and will most likely glue it shut, isolating this quarter from the noisy and stinky front torpedoes compartment.


In the ceiling, you can see the large air circulation pipes. One brings fresh air to the front Torpedoes compartment, the other one expels the polluted air from it. Air circulation is mostly done by two large fans located in the Machine compartment.


Finally, a close look at the sailor checking the contents and good condition of the ammunition. Next to him, the inner fuel/diesel tank. 


Once the top floor is installed, it will be almost impossible to see anything down there.



Edited by yvesvidal

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lol i vowed never ever ever to build a Sub, but i dont know now,


The heads again brought back memories of living at sea and the agro they caused, as the sanitary tank had to be blown overboard not pumped, and had to be done at periscope depth during domestic routines, if the toilet/head was not shut off properly the sewage tank would be emptied into the compartment


we even had showers on them, but in 8 years i never saw them used once, as they were a beer stowage

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Finally, the Officer Quarter is almost finished. I was starting to run out of steam on this one....

The roof is the only part that needs to be glued but I wanted to leave it open so that I could show you the interior. I made two mistakes on this module, despite some improvements: One cabinet is not in the right location, but that was necessitated to allow the viewer to see more easily inside. The second one was by drilling a hole in the sonar equipment and destroying the micro-LED located inside. So, the Sonar screen no longer lites. I could not fix it....too many part to un-glue.....


First, a recall of what the compartment should look like: 


The following is what is provided in the kit:


As you can see, there is a lot of empty space and an oversized table in the middle of nowhere. Overall, it is quite a departure from the original blue-print. Therefore, using the extra parts I have, I decided to pimp up this compartment a little bit. Here are a few pictures of the construction phases: 


Radio compartment. As you may remember, because of my way of building that section, I have to allow the floor to slide between the two bulkheads. Therefore nothing close to the bulkheads can be assembled.


Sonar compartment with the sonar screen (no longer working).


Radio equipment. Micro-LED behind the large dial.  Basically, the part is grind to open completely the screen, a clear piece of acrylic is glued and the decal is placed on top. The same was done on the sonar screen, with an unfortunate mishap.


And now some views of the almost finished section: 

DSC03883.thumb.JPG.1ee02e11558db80b56a03a052a2ad754.JPG  DSC03895.thumb.JPG.232240825ed2bba4eaa6d46bc3ad8ac4.JPG

The captain quarter still needs to be detailed below: 





Captain Quarter completed:


On the bed, two big binders published by the Kriegsmarine secret service, describing the characteristics and appearances of most known enemy ships. On his desk, the booklet containing the Enigma machine codes. The Captain had the only bunk with a curtain for some privacy. The location of his cabin was also across the hallway from the Radio and Sonar officers, for immediate response and actions.


More views of the finished module: 






A piece of square styrene has been placed beneath the main floor to give it a more realistic look. I just cannot stand these flat floor provided by Trumpeter: they look so fake and unrealistic.


I will be placing the roof soon, connecting all the electrical wires and call it a day, for that long and complicated module. Our next efforts will most likely be centered around the main hull, for a change.









Edited by yvesvidal

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1 hour ago, Landlubber Mike said:

Excellent work!  The pinups appear to have been well researched 😉

Yes, it is all WWII era German material  approved by the Kreigsmarine 😉


On the desk of the Captain, is a 1/48th scale reduction of the following book, used to enter the Enigma codes: 


On his bed, are the two official U-Boot Target Recognition Manuals, specifically used while using the periscope or binoculars: 


For the girls, you can find them easily on the WEB as well as the Adler magazine:


Thanks for all the encouragements and Likes!!




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On 5/30/2019 at 2:16 PM, yvesvidal said:



I am afraid there won't be much updates for a while. I am debating how to build the rear electric motor compartment and wish to present both motors.


Trumpeter really simplified this compartment with just one motor and very few other parts. I suspect that this was their last module and they probably had too much rice alcohol in their system, when designing it. They could have included both motors, both clutches and both shafts but decided to go cheap and not provide them. 


I am trying to obtain spare parts from Trumpeter and that is a major challenge. Some people have made it, most could not get anything. I have also contacted one person who built that same kit, without the interior and offered to purchase the internal parts. There, again, no response.


I may have to fabricate the parts myself, but it will never reach the level of precision of the molded injected parts. So, I am revamping the compartment, to place in the front what would have been relegated to the back of the module (a la Trumpeter). 


If anyone has a lead to purchase sprues X, Y and V, please let me know. Ideally, and if I could afford it, it would be worth buying two kits, keeping some sprues and re-selling the rest for someone who wishes to build the external hull only.


Decisions, decisions......



Hello, to obtain a complete engine do I need one of each x,y and v sprues or are there multiples of each and what combination please?

I have been in contact with Joanna at trumpeter spares and ordering the parts is quite reasonable in cost.

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On 8/17/2019 at 4:59 AM, amateur said:

I already knew that subs are not very spacy things, but the way you modl yours does show the living space very convincingly.


Yes, these type of Submersibles were really tight and small. The watching of Das-Boot movie will convince you of the almost inhuman conditions these poor sailors were enduring.



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Major progress on the hull: the paint, or at least the first phase.


As indicated before, I decided to go with Humbrol acrylic paints for the hull. These paints are getting a very bad rap on the Web and in the forums, because they are a far departure from the Tamiya and Vallejo paints. They are very thick, almost gooey in their appearance and require a significant amount of thinner to airbrush them. The good part is that they have the right color, that is very hard to find anywhere else. In retrospect, I should have used the enamel paints from Humbrol but decided to stay "green" as most as possible.


The paints were ordered from Europe as they are not yet easy to find in the USA.


The top of the hull requires the Matt 64 from Humbrol, which is one of the closest color to the Hellbrau used by the German.


The bottom of the hull has been determined by a few Expert European modelers to be the following mixture: 

Two cans of Humbrol Matt 96, plus one can of Humbrol Matt 33 and one can of Humbrol Matt Black Green 40.


Now, for the thinner, Humbrol recommend of course their own thinner. The problem is that it cannot be shipped to the USA. Therefore, I tried different mixtures before committing to the paint on the model: 


- Water....runs too much and makes the paint translucent almost. It would require a lot of layers which is not the easiest thing to do on such big hull.

- Tamiya thinner..... Worked alright, but somehow, my airbrush clogged a lot. I suspect that the Tamiya thinner was not strong enough  to thin the clumps of that very thick paint.

- 70% alcohol ..... I suspect that this was too much alcohol and the paint was dry before hitting the surface.


After searching the various foreign forums, I finally found the ideal thinner: Vodka! Yes, Vodka is 40% alcohol and mostly water. Some people are claiming that it works very well after a glass or two....

Not wanting to run to the local ABC store, I fortunately had a left over of 50% isopropyl alcohol and decided to use it. With about 35 PSI of pressure on my Paasche, the paint sprayed very well and did not cause many runs. Needless, to say, you need a very large bottle under your airbrush to contain 4 cans of paints and the equivalent in volume, of Vodka.


The top portion of the hull was done first: 




A lot of masking has to take place: 


And finally: 






Now, I need to learn the skills of weathering and rust.... The Deck will be painted last, as it still needs a lot of work and details.






Edited by yvesvidal

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