He's Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Posted by Somnium Exertus | Posted in , | Posted on 18:31

After a long time away from the blog, I'm back! Consider this an example of what happens when life gets busy, you're moving around a lot and get off-kilter with your schedule! On the plus side, this means there's a bunch of crap I can write about that you have no clue about! Let the writing begin!

First item up for discussion: U-Boats!

I was running into a problem with my model in that the things I wanted to do with it required some detailed plans... I have a source for those, but quite literally it's a guy completely digitizing them for a hobby, so I'd have to wait for him to finish first. The plus side is that when he's done, I can go into as much detail as I want! On the realistic side, I wandered into a hobby shop and bought a 1:144 scale Type VII-C kit.

I was debating between two kits there but a guy, obviously a modelling junkie, told me which one was way better and why, so I took his advice. Taking a look at the model it's pretty nice, I must say. There are only a few little things I'll want to modify to make it look better, like actually make holes be holes, not just recessed parts painted black. Other than that it should come along nicely and tide me over until the plans I need are completed and/or I acquire what materials I'll need.

The U-Boot type VII-C is the best known German submarine from World War II. It was built in large numbers and upgraded several times. This type represents the ultimate high point of the submarine era. Equipped with four bow and one stern torpedo the VII-C was a fearsome weapon. The task assigned to the German submarines was trade warfare. They were designed to disrupt England's supply lines and innumerable sunken ships bear witness to that. The "Grey Wolves" of the Atlantic made war on escort convoys and hunted in packs. Accustomed to success, however, the period from 1943 was devastating for the German submarines: the hunters became the hunted. New search equipment tracked the German submarines mercilessly and turned them into steel coffins for innumerable German submarine crews. The type VII-C submarine illustrates the rise and fall of German submarine warfare.

Coming in at $30 after taxes it's a nice little piece of work. Since I'm a fan of details, and seeing how this might be my only sub model for a while, I'm tempted to do a really nice job on it, including aftermarket parts for it. Yes, you can actually buy kits for kits! Due to the fact that these model kits are a type of plastic, there's a limit to how small they can make things with accurate detail so you end up with a trade-off between leaving a part out, or having it on there but not looking too great. These aftermarket kits are usually thin sheets of brass that have been photoetched (a process to create small, clean cuts) so that the small parts carry enough detail. This is great for certain problem areas like hatches, hinges, grills, antennae and little wheels. The other great aftermarket parts you can look for are gun barrels (nobody likes a soft, limp barrel!) and torpedoes. I don't think I'll have any use for the torpedoes as shown in the kits, but I might mess with my kit and show one mid-firing. I'm not going to go Crazy Mad Scientist level 55 on this or anything, but maybe once my existence on the planet results in acquiring more money than gets spent on me...

For reference's sake, here's what you can do with sufficient skill, aftermarket parts and a large detailed model: Amazing 1:72 Type VII-C

If you want to achieve Crazy Mad Scientist level 99 then you have to drop $1500-$2000 into parts to convert a model for remote control technology, firing torpedoes, dive tanks and onboard cameras:

Luckily I'm still a net burden on the economy rather than a contributor, so attaining anything past Crazy Mad Scientist level 10 isn't feasible! For the sake of my sanity, I'll refuse any donations made to me for values over $250. As amusing as it'd seem to give me a giant budget and watch me turn into a model-making hermit, I'll opt for a 'normal' life for now.

Song of the day: Korn - Shoots and Ladders
Page of the day: Tuned Pale Ale
Pocket change: $6.20

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