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

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  • 2 weeks later...

I started the assembly of the resin bit by Eduard. This is my first attempt at putting together a 3D printed resin kit.


I have to say that for me, this is quite different from regular plastic kits or wooden kits. The printing process leaves tons of materials to clean up and gluing the resin parts does not provide for such a nice and strong bond as the welding reaction obtained with polystyrene. I used Cyano-Acrylate glue as the regular plastic glue is totally inoperative on 3D printed resin parts. I cannot really say that I like it overall.... 


Anyway, these are the various steps of the construction. The main gun is represented as in the Submerged configuration: 








The drawback of the Eduard kit is that the gun cannot rotate or swivel. Everything has to be glued.



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Even though, the Eduard resin kit is not yet painted, I wanted to compare it with the Trumpeter/RCSubs combo kit. The Trumpeter gun is not fully finished and lots of painting details must be applied to it: 












Close-up on each gun: 






And in situ, on the deck: 






Not sure yet, which one to chose for the final model. We will see after the painting, if I manage to paint that resin easily.... :-(




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Working with resin definitely takes some adjustment in assembly. We are so used to working with styrene which is forgiving and welds together well (some plastics better than others). Resin is brittle so you can't force it into fitting. It also requires considerable clean up and it has the added bonus of lung damage if you breath the dust. But, it also has the ability of having incredible levels of detail. It's really is a give and take proposition but once you get used to working with it, you can have some very accurate models. 


Cleaning all those tiny parts can be nerve wracking for sure but the end result really is worth it. Hang in there buddy, it's looking great! Throw a coat of black primer on it to highlight the seams and flash and use you sharpest blades. It'll look fantastic. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, both guns are now complete and I still do not know for sure, which one to mount permanently on the U-Boot.....














Ideally, If I had known earlier that Eduard was offering this kit, I should have mixed parts of the Trumpeter, RCSubs and Eduard gun kits, to make the most realistic model possible. 


The Eduard kit is definitely more precise in the casting and offers some details that the Trumpeter parts miss completely. On the other hand, the Trumpeter/RCSubs kit offers a gun which can pivot and swivel. It is also more solid because of the flexibility inherent to the polystyrene. By comparison, the Eduard resin parts are very brittle and are just asking to fall apart if poorly handled. It is also completely static which may not be a bad thing.


Maybe I should design the gun bases so that they can be interchangeable, based on my mood..... 😉


I think I am going to retain the Trumpeter/RCSubs version but it is truly a tough choice. I have agonized long enough and must keep moving if I ever want to finish this model.


To end that presentation, a couple of pictures for a 3D rendering of the gun and the real stuff: 










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That is really a close call. Both look great.

As you say: choice depends on the actual part you are looking at. I prefer the Eduards-version because of the breachlock does look a bot more detailed. But taking the handwheels as your main part, the other one is (marginally) better, at least in the pics. I guess that placed on the model both will be looking fantastic..... 



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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/18/2020 at 4:25 AM, popeye the sailor said:

checking in on your progress Yves........I must say that your armament looks stellar!   so much detail.......agreed that the one you don't use,  can easily stand as its own model!  you've built quite a model........large scale subs are definitely the way to go ! :) 


Well, check this out.


Google translator working well for description.

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Well, well, well.... We are coming very close to a closure, so to speak. 


As previously mentioned, I have taken the difficult decision to use the Combo Trumpeter/RCSubs gun on my model. The Eduard is very nice and will probably find its way on another display with a couple of torpedoes and the infamous Enigma machine (at 1/48th).


All the rigging is complete and has been done in the following way: 

- Around the conning tower, all the wires are extremely thin copper wires soldered to the PE parts provided by RCSubs. Let's not forget that Trumpeter completely gave up on the rigging and most details of the deck.

- The antennas are made with 0.5 mm diameter rubber wire. This prevents any dramatic accident if a hand or curious nose was to come in contact with the rigging.

- The ceramic insulators are simply replicated with Playdo putty, painted in rubber black.












The flag is made with real fabric and was procured through England. The Svastika may be disturbing to some, but that is the price to pay for realism:











It is a big and heavy model. More details to come....




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5 hours ago, amateur said:

Looking good.

Is there a way to get the flag hanging somewhat more realistically? "Hanging" like this it does no justice to the realism of your model.




Most definitely, I agree with you and I am not too happy with that flag, even though it is made of fabric and expensive. The fabric is definitely too stiff.

I will try to go back to aluminum foil and the decals provided by Trumpeter. It may look better.



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Chuck explains it here. (In his log of Cheerful) Printing on very thin paper. Sounds easy. But I guess some trial and error is needed before it works.


On 4/25/2017 at 5:12 PM, Chuck said:

Thanks guys.


The flag was made from the tissue paper you use to pack a gift with.  Its white....you can buy this stuff anywhere but this particular stuff is very thin.   I dont have a brand because I literally went into some old boxes we use to wrap up Christmas presents and took some out of the box.  But you should experiment with different brands and thicknesses.


I basically use a jpg. image of the flag which has been sized in Microsoft word.  You could skew your flag ahead of time in the program to make it easier to shape but I didnt do that.  I just printed out the standard rectangle.  


First you print out the flag on normal paper so you can see where on the paper the flag will print.  Then you carefully tape the tissue paper over that image on all four sides...the tissue paper being slightly larger than the flag.  Then print the flag again after placing the paper in your printer again.


Cut the flag free from the tissue paper after it dries.  Cut it right along the edges with no white space showing.   This next step is important.  The tissue paper is so thin that the ink will soak through to the other side but NOT entirely.  So the first thing you need to do is flip the flag over and spray the REVERSE side with some Krylon Matt fixative.  Dont be afraid to spray too much.   This will facilitate the ink soaking through to the back side further and it will look like it is literally printed on both sides.   Then after it dries flip it over and spray the front side.


Shape it to suit with various size dowels.  You can also spray the fixative more to really soak it because this makes it easier to shape...you can do this several times if need be.  Once dry it holds its shape.


Then I poke a hole with a sharp awl in the two corners so I can lash it to the flag halliard.  Done!!!:)


Hope that explains it well.


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Yves, this is absolutely incredible work.  Just caught up on your log and I'm just completely astounded.  I would have given a thumbs up to every one of your posts, but I didn't want to blow up your notifications box :)  Nice job!  


For flags, you can also see if you can find a cloth/vinyl flag.  They are easy to fold and add PVA to hold the creases in place.  I've seen some take aluminum foil and paint it but my guess is the flag is too complicated in design to do that.

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Fantastic work Yves. Every time I get to look at your progress I am even more amazed than the time before.

I would think that the flags on submarines would remain in pretty good condition as I don't think submarines in any country flew them very often while on the surface. You normally only see them when they are entering or leaving the harbor to and from patrols. Of course when returning from patrol they would often also fly flags indicating number of "Kills" and sometimes a broom from the periscope. This also seemed to be the practice of a number of countries. 


Have you decided where you are going to display this masterpiece?  

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11 hours ago, yvesvidal said:

Well, I followed the Chuck Passaro's recipe (thank you Amateur) and came out with something which is more realistic than the plain fabric flag. Not perfect, but a lot more palatable: 






Slightly worn out by the harsh Atlantic weather....




Hi Yves,


the flag looks way better now - but it hangs on wrong side. The small cross must be near the pole. Here is an original.



happy modelling!


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2 hours ago, Veszett Roka said:

Hi Yves,

the flag looks way better now - but it hangs on wrong side. The small cross must be near the pole. Here is an original.

happy modelling!





That was my first impression.... but then I saw a picture where the little cross was away from the pole.... and that created the confusion. I will fix that mistake.

I am trying to find the picture that misled me....



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I am trying to find a good place for all the spare parts I have. If anybody is interested,please drop me a Personal Message or take a look at this: 



I'd rather send these rare parts to someone who will do good use of them.




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I am waiting for a professional photographer friend to come over and do some nice quality pictures, but he is struggling with the software of his Sony cameras or too scared to come to my place.... Go figure. In the meantime, here are a few low quality pictures I took of the finished model.















































I will try to add more pictures taken at night, as it is more dramatic.



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