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Italeri 1/35 scale Schnellboot

Subscriber-only extra
RELATED TOPICS: SHIPS
Kit: No. 5603
Scale: 1/35
Manufacturer: Italeri, from Model Rectifier Corporation, 732-225-2100, www.modelrectifier.com
Price: $249.98
Comments: Injection-molded, 591 parts (98 photoetched-metal; screws, nuts and string), decals
Pros: Scale; photographic reference manual; photoetched-metal parts; nicely detailed armament
Cons: Split hull; ejector-pin marks; no figures; no depth-charge cans
Issue published: April 2009
First launched in 1943, the S-100 series of World War II German S-boats featured heavier defensive armament, including an additional 20mm gun amidships and a 37mm mount at the stern. They were easily recognizable by the armored kalotte (skullcap) plating over the bridge.

The S-100 saw action in all European seas including the Mediterranean, Baltic and Black seas, but was mainly used for missions and harassment operations in the English Channel.

With a 39"-long hull, Italeri's 1/35 scale Schnellboat is mammoth!

The kit is molded in 591 gray styrene, photoetched-metal, and metal parts. Part details are hit-and-miss; some are exquisitely cast while others are simplified.

The weapons complements are the real gems. Armaments include a 37mm Flak M42, 20mm single and 20mm dual mounts, and four 21" TT torpedoes, all nicely detailed subassemblies verging on being mini-kits. However, while detailed depth-charge racks are supplied, there are no depth-charge cans included.

The 44-page, 46-step instructions are clearly illustrated using part numbers for locations, with inset illustrations for details. Painting and marking diagrams are included using both Kriegsmarine color names (as well as color names in English) and listing Model Master paint codes.

Included is a separate 24-page reference booklet, packed with 31 black-and-white and color photographs of both period and kit details. Also included are two full-color, three-view painting diagrams.

Decals are in-register, and their color appears accurate. As part of a European kit, the decals include no swastikas (not even the flag). Markings for 4th Flotilla boats Lang and Ha-Ju are included. The decals laid down nicely with a little Micro Sol.

Construction was straightforward with no problems. Most of the fits were excellent. However, cleanup was extensive: Almost all parts had heavy seam lines or pin marks in obvious places that required filling.

In Step 1, the longer screws are listed to join the hull halves. NOTE: These will go through the keel and should be swapped with the shorter screws. Also, large gaps will need to be filled for the screw cover plates (parts 5e-10e). In Step 7, the torpedo door hinge pins (Part 76D) can be easily installed upside down; keep the longer pin to the top to eliminate mistakes.

I built the kit in subassemblies, leaving off the weapons, superstructure, ammo boxes, and deck until after painting.

According to the painting suggestions, I used Model Master acrylics Schnellboot weiss for the overall color, RAL 8013 red below the waterline, and Vallejo basalt gray for the deck. Contrary to the painting instructions, my references indicated no black boot top at the waterline; I left it out of the color scheme.

The completed kit is impressive, and it was a fun build. I spent 65 hours building and painting, and it scales well to published references.

While construction was basic, the kit's diverse materials and sheer quantity of parts make it best recommended to modelers with multimedia kit experience.

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