Seehund XXXVIIB/B5 Midget Submarine

Kit: GERMAN SEEHUND XXXVIIB/B5 MIDGET SUBMARINE – Manufacturer: Bronco 1/35

Model by Lukas Kasuba

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 HISTORY (thanks to Wikipedia)

This little submarine started the journey after savage of two British X class submarines HMS X6 and X7 which had been sunk during Operation Source – attempt to sink German Battleship Tirpitz. Type XXVIIA, named Hecht, was designed to carry explosive charges to be laid beneath enemy ships, but it was markedly smaller and had substantial differences from the X class.

TSeehundhe 53 Hechts were constructed between May and August 1944: in the event, none saw active service but were instead used to train Seehund crews.

As the orders were being placed, Hecht variants were under construction. The first was the Type XXVIIB, which had a greater range, could carry two G7e torpedoes, and had diesel/electric propulsion. The design was completed at the end of June 1944 and resembled Hecht but had a better boat-shaped external casing for improved seakeeping while surfaced, and saddle tanks. Additional room had been made inside the pressure hull by moving the batteries to the keel, while the two torpedoes were slung externally in recesses in the lower hull. A 22 hp diesel engine was fitted for surface use and was estimated to give a surfaced speed of 5.5 knots (10.2 km/h; 6.3 mph), with a 25 hp electric motor providing a submerged speed of 6.9 knots (12.8 km/h; 7.9 mph).

The final variant of the Type XXVII was the Type XXVIIB5, better known as the Seehund (“Seal”) or Type 127. Seehund had a small raised platform midships with the air intake mast, magnetic compass, periscope, and a clear dome which could survive depths of 45 m (148 ft). The submarine’s fixed 3 m (9.8 ft) periscope incorporated lenses which let the commander check the sky above for aircraft before surfacing.

Built version No.17 saw service between January and May 1945 in German coasts waters. This actual submarine is still on display in the Museum Sinsheim-Speyer .

seehund BoxMy experience with the kit

It has been five years since I first saw this kit build in Czech model magazine and I got hooked straight away. Funnily enough It was rather difficult to obtain this box when released. I have been planning another submarines ever since. Finally, last year I happened to be offered this kit instead of the other one (it was temporarily sold out) and I agreed to it. Content of the rather large box is magnificent. One of the best fits I have experienced. I managed to put it together in less than one day, including making welding seems out of thin plastic – definitely my personal best. As my favourite part of this hobby is painting/airbrushing this made it almost too easy.

Choosing specific submarine wasn’t easy. Kit offers four variants. Internet offers few others – even those that never existed but very good looking. After all I decided to go ahead with no.17 and personalise it a little bit. I changed colour of torpedoes which I wanted for creating big contrast between well maintained torpedoes (according to what I read on internet, torpedoes were kept sparkling clean until the moment when they put them on the submarine) and as this one was only “grey” I went ahead with what I called salt method on “fifty shades of grey” style. Started with surfacer and traditional preshading then applying first layer of grey. Then did postshading with lighter grey and bit of a darker grey over seems on the body of Seehund. After it was well cured I applied salt. Next step was change shade of original colour a bit and repeat steps in the same way as with first layer. I did repeat this until I was happy with results. Weathering was done with washes and pigments from Mig Production and creating wet patches was done using Tamiya X-19 Smoke.

Seehund imageIt was great experience and next time I will do few things bit differently. Definitely planning to build another one as I have an idea for diorama, also have my eyes on Bronco’s bigger submarine and Merit’s British HMS X-craft submarine and few more – Italeri and Mikro-Mir makes few other types of these midget submarines in 1/35 which I think will make a nice company to my Seehund. This model is a great part of plastic modelling that is still rather undiscovered.

 

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