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Revell 1/144 scale U212A

Kit: No. 5019
Scale: 1/144
Manufacturer: Revell Germany,
Price: $30.50
Comments: Injection-molded, 53 gray parts, 2 clear parts, decals
Pros: Ease of assembly, large scale, interesting subject Cons: Minor flash, tough to hide seams
Revell Germany continues to release interesting submarine models in 1/144 scale. Following on the company's excellent Type XXI boat a few years ago is the new U212A class of diesel-hybrid attack boats. The six boats, four German and two Italian, use an advanced hydrogen fuel cell in addition to its conventional diesel electric powerplants, enabling the subs to remain submerged for weeks.

The kit I received was a pre-production sample, so it lacked decals and instructions. Assembly was simple and straightforward. Each of the hull halves fit well and include the integrally-molded sail.

After gluing the hull together, I assembled the upper-deck pieces. One part forms the upper half of the forward hull up to the sail, another forms the after half. It took some effort to clean up the seams these parts produced, and I was forced to rescribe some of the panel lines in the surrounding areas. The sub's nose cone is also attached in this method, and presents the same problems, although the fit is good.

I filled and sanded each of the seams, followed by an overall wet-sanding with 1,500-grit wet-or-dry paper. I assembled and attached each of the fins at the stern, and filled each of those seams. Once satisfied with the seams, I used a razor saw and scribing tool to replace the panel lines removed by sanding.

The port side of the sail has an opening for a large hatch, which requires some filling and sanding, and I attached the contoured top of the sail that contains the periscope and antenna housings. Revell Germany provides two parts for the sail top, one with the scope and antenna openings closed, the other is open. I chose to show them open.

I painted the model with Tamiya flatblack acrylic, then scrubbed the panel lines with a small flat brush. This burnished the flat paint enough to give the appearance of shading. I finished by applying black India ink into the panel lines with a liner brush, then sprayed the model with Future floor polish mixed with Tamiya flat base (X-21). I painted each of the scopes and antennas with Vallejo dark gray, and attached them to the sail. I chose not to use decals since the subs I saw in photos I found on the Internet lacked numbers.

This is a simple model to build, and the only special attention it requires is rescribing the panel lines. Beginners will find it an easy first sub kit, and experienced modelers will enjoy the detailing potential it offers.

- Jeff Herne


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