by: Randy L Harvey [ ]
** The coastal Type II U-Boats were became the first vessels of this class, that were built in Germany after the end of WWI. The improved IIB series submarines were built in Deutsche Werke (U13-U16) and Germania Werft in Kiel (U7-U12, U17-U24). They all were included to the Kriegsmarine in 1935-1936. To flotillas were formed with those vessels – the 1st Weddigen and 3d Lohs. In the end of 1942 six Type IIB U-Boats were transferred to the Black Sea. They were used there up to September 1944. **
** Quoted from the side of the kit’s box
ICM Holding has released U-Boat Type IIB (1943) German Submarine, model kit number S.010 in 1:144 scale. The modeler is provided with decals for two different U-Boats as well as two different conning towers which allows the modeler to build one of five different U-Boat Type IIB (1943) submarines.
The five different U-Boat options are:
The kit number is S.010 and the kits bar code is 4823044402229.
THE BOX AND PACKAGING:
The box that the kit comes in is the typical soft cardboard box with artwork of the U-boat on the lid. The three sprues are sealed within a clear re-sealable plastic bag.
THE INSTRUCTION SHEET AND KIT ASSEMBLY:
There is a 4 page instruction booklet included in the kit. The four page instruction booklet is in black and white with the steps and important items in red and the part numbers in black. The instructions are shown in an exploded view to aid with the assembly. I personally would have liked to have seen a larger instruction booklet to allow for larger print and larger images.
Step 1a and Step 1b covers the assembly of the two different conning towers. Step 1a is for the conning tower for three different U-Boats; they are U 18, U 19 and U 20. Step 1b is for two different U-Boats; they are U 23 and U 24. The assembly steps are very basic and easy to follow.
Step 2a and Step 2b covers the assembly of the two deck guns with the modeler having the choice of which pedestal to use. This is where I discovered my first complaint with this kit as there aren’t enough parts to assemble two guns. There are only enough parts to assemble one. There are only enough hand wheels and shoulder braces for one gun. I found this to be disappointing and something that ICM should have noticed.
Step 3a and Step 3b covers the final assembly of the two conning towers. For this review I went with Steps 1a and 3a. The assembly was straight forward and fairly simple. Personally I would have like to have seen two views for each of the conning towers; one from the front and one from the back. ICM provides a front view and this leads to some dry fitting and guess work for attaching all of the pieces.
Step four covers the assembly to the two halves of the hull as well as the rudder. Easy to follow instructions and no complaints in regards to this step.
Step five covers the assembly of attaching the deck to the hull and attaching the stern planes, bow planes and the propellers. Fairly simple to follow but again I personally would have liked to have seen larger and more detailed instructions for the stern planes and propellers.
Step six covers the assembly of the display stand. Not too much to say about this as it is only three pieces and the instructions are very easy to follow.
I assembled the U-Boat straight out of the box without doing any work on it, other than to clean up the spot from where I removed the pieces from the sprue, to show the seam lines, flash, gaps and how all of the pieces fit. I feel this is a good way to show the work required. This has become my standard for reviews and it has met with praise and appreciation from my fellow modelers.
All in all even with my few complaints about the instruction booklet the kit wasn’t too difficult to assemble. There are very few gaps to attend to and the amount of flash is very low as are the seam lines. I also didn’t find any push out/knock marks in a bad location.
There is one sheet of water slide decals provided (please see attached scan) which allows the modeler to depict one of two U-Boat Type IIB (1943) submarines.
Version 1. U 20, Obit.z.S. Grafen, December 1943
Version 2. U 23, Obit.z.S. Wahlen, Summer 1943
THE PAINTING GUIDE:
There are eight Model Master colors listed for painting the kit. They are:
Model Master Color
1768 – Flat White
1723 – Gunship gray
2034 – Engine Gray
1728 – Light Ghost Gray
1795 – Gun Metal
1782 – Brass
1790 – Chrome Silver
1705 – Insignia Red
The kit comes with 3 grey styrene sprues which contain 67 total pieces. The sprues come sealed in a clear re-sealable plastic bag. All of the pieces are attached to the sprue with a minimal amount of contact points. Please refer to my photographs of the front and back of the sprues so that you can see the individual pieces and their layout and location on the sprues.
Sprue A – This sprue contains the two hull sections.
Sprue B – This sprue contains the deck as well as the majority of the detailing pieces and the base for the finished kit to be displayed on.
Sprue C – This sprue contains the two conning towers and some of their pieces as well as one of the deck guns.
As I examined the individual pieces I found what I would consider to be a normal to minimal amount of flash however there are seam lines present. I did not find any push out (knock out) marks on the individual pieces. The detailing on the individual pieces is nice.
There are some extra pieces left over after the kit is assembled depending on which conning tower and gun pedestal the modeler chooses as well as a few pieces that not to be used with this kit. The pieces that are not to be used are highlighted in red in the instruction booklet.
Thanks to ICM for the review sample. Please be sure to mention that you saw the kit reviewed here when ordering.
All in all this is a decent scale representation of a U-Boat Type IIB (1943). I liked the detailing on the separate pieces as well as with the molded on details on the larger pieces. I was disappointed in the missing pieces and some of the items on the instruction booklet. Other than my few complaints I would recommend this kit to others; I would just make sure to point out its shortcomings.
The ICM web site: