When Trumpeter announced they were releasing a 1/48 scale Type VII U-boat, many were amazed and skeptical. The kit would be huge and Trumpeter has had delays in the past. The U-boat has come out and I am pleased to say it is large and well detailed for a plastic kit with a full interior. One part of the kit is its 8.8cm deck gun and it’s nice. Eduard saw an opportunity for a great upgrade and issued a full resin and photoetch deck gun for the massive kit. This set consists of 38 excellent resin parts and a small photoetch fret of 22 small pieces. Casting is top notch- no air bubbles and the resin Eduard uses is tough and a little flexible which is excellent to handle.
Preparation is the key to this project and speed is your enemy. There are lots of small parts and thin parts. The great casting helps with minimal lines. The larger base pieces need to be prepped square so the gun and its mount sit at the correct angle. The smaller pieces just need care to not lose them. The arms for the braces which are used to help hold and position the people are where care is needed. First, be sure to cut these loose at the correct place. Second, I cut away from the actual part slightly and used a sanding stick to get close. Lastly, keep the part numbers straight as some look similar but are not and will interfere with construction later.
Before you start, you need to decide. The gun can be built either in its ready to shoot configuration or in submerging configuration. This affect the supports, plugs for the barrel, and the position of the rests. The parts are not moveable so it is one or the other. I elected for ready to shoot.
I started with the barrel and breach which are simple to prepare and put together. The aiming device is next and the parts are right and left handed so be careful. There are 20 or more parts just to this and several are small photoetch parts. I added the gear at the bottom also.
Next comes the base. The parts fit very well and were added with small parts first and the supports second. The side support arms are to scale and well done but very fiddly. They are also left and right handed so keep that in mind. I first added the side arm and secured it with thin super glue and kicker to fill any seams. I added the top braces and added the assembly to the base. There are four small photoetch handles on each support and I added these when the rest was already mounted on the base for ease (and it helped). Various plugs and adjusting knobs were also added. 0.2 mm line is added to represent the lines holding the tampion for the barrel and the plug for the breach. Once done with all the adds, the barrel is added and glued into place.
To start the painting process, I primed the kit with Alclad gray and let dry overnight. I then air brushed the entire gun and base Tamiya Ocean gray mixed with a little black and thinned with lacquer thinner. One dry, I used black washes to highlight areas of the gun followed by washes of Flory rust. Lots of seawater needs some rust! Finally, I painted the black parts to the viewfinders and to the support pads. I also added a light staining to the end of the gun to make it looked used.
There are two lines that need to be attached at this stage and I used black EZ Line. They are the lines to the plugs for the front and rear of the gun barrel. I glued one end of these and the wound the cord around the stops to duplicate the very good pictures in the instruction. Another dab of glue to terminate, and lastly, a flat coat and done.
I quickly glued together the kit gun. The comparison is night and day. While the kit gun is good and well detailed, the Eduard set is head and shoulders above. It has accuracy and detail from the gun sight to the base to the barrel itself, this is a winner. The Trumpeter kit is impressive and expensive BUT, the Eduard gun needs to be added to any ship you build. It is very well done, accurate, and a definite upgrade from the kit parts. Highly recommended.
My thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review sample and opportunity to review it.