Monday, January 24

Preview: Forehobby's second launch - 1/72nd scale German Navy Schnellboot S-38b

A second bite at the E-boat fleet comes with Fore Hobby's new 1/72nd scale "German Navy Schnellboot S-38b " as the second in their new series is about to launch into your local hobby shop. We have art, colours, features & sprues in our preview...

Preview: Forehobby's second launch - 1/72nd scale German Navy Schnellboot S-38b 

German Navy Schnellboot S-38b 
From: Fore Hobby
Kit Number: #1003
1/72nd Scale
19 sprues + hull, Photo-etch, masks & thread for rigging.
Approximately 48cm in length.
Price: $117 USD from Hobbylink Japan
The Subject: The S-38b Schnellboot
Identified by the British sometimes as an "E-boat" (Enemy boat), the German Schnellboot, or S-Boot, differed considerably from its Royal Navy counterpart the MTB (Motor Torpedo Boat). The S-boat was built mainly from wood upon metal frames and received a round-bilged hull form. The hull was based on an advanced design principle of the time called the "Lürssen" effect. This was a design that reduced the wave-making resistance of the boat when at speed. In the case of the Schnellboots, this effect was provided by two small rudders mounted on each side of the main rudder and turned outboard. These rudders force the water under the hull outward, lifting the stern, thus reducing drag, and lowering the wake height, which “requires less energy, allowing the vessel to go faster.” The effect was discovered by the German shipbuilding company Lürssen Werft based in Bremen-Vegesack. 

A picture showing the controllable-pitch-propellers, main-rudder, and "wing rudders"
Guido Hop's diagram of how this worked in real life
An S-boot (the earlier S-38 type with unarmoured bridge) at speed showing the low profile and relatively low nose height.
Over 200 S-boats had been built, of which about 50% made it to the end of WWII. This famous fast attack craft was used by the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) during the Second World War with some great successes that often outshone the larger ships of the German Navy. 
The S-boats had their two fore torpedo tubes positioned forward from the wheelhouse, providing room for two more skid-mounted torpedoes to sit on rails aft them, ready to be loaded. It had been then a minor design move from S26 onwards to increase the forecastle by 1 m (3.28 ft). Quieter, faster and with a lower water profile than their British counterparts, the S-boats also were built with a profile that was difficult to spot without radar. 

The development of the S-Boats here simplifies things a little for the uninitiated
As for the difference between the S-38 "b" class to the earlier S38? Well firstly the designation "b" is not Kriegsmarine nomenclature, it originated in a post-war American hobby publication we have been reliably informed. That kit had the additional armoured bridge called the ‘Kalotte’ (skull cap) along with various armament changes including 40 mm Bofors or 20 mm Flak 28 aft, an MG-34 "Zwillingsockel" midships.

Later built boats of this type were given a dome bridge to provide some protection for the bridge crew.
The Bofors gun is a feature of this kit...

Fore Hobby is making the second offering in their new series of plastic injection moulded E-boats. Their first launch product was the Schnellboot S-38 1942 in a 1/72nd scale. This one is the slightly later version of the boat, the S-38b that looks just as nice as the first release with altered parts on the base we have already seen.

The Parts in the box:
An unassembled plastic model kit in 1/72nd scale of a German WWII fast attack craft Schnellboot S 38 class comes in nineteen sprues of plastic plus the large two halves of the hull split down the middle. Metal parts for gun barrels, railings and photo-etch are included, as are thread for rigging, and masks for the included transparent parts.

Nineteen sprues including the two hull halves are included, with the boat broken up into a lot smaller parts than many of the competition kits of this type in this scale...
The decals for two boats, a nameplate decal, five sheets of photo-etch, gun barrels in metal, masking sheet for the windows and railings are included.
Transparent parts are included for the windows of the wheelhouse and other portholes
The test kit built up...
Here is the test kit built up, showing the many features of the real thing shown in pretty good detail. The metal barrels on the Bofors 40mm and Flak 20mm are evident, the latter, armoured bridge style is evident.
The kit in closer in detail...
This kit is not yet available in hobby shops, We found the previous kit at Hobbylink Japan at this link - We would suggest this kit will turn up there also...