Sunday, February 27

Construction review Pt I: 1/72nd scale Schnellboot S-38 (1942) from Fore Hobby

When seeing that there was a new tooled, finely detailed kit of the Schnellboot S-38 from Fore Hobby 1/72nd scale, Adam O'Brien was very interested to see how it went together & how it compared to kits of the same boats released in the past. See just what he thought & how this kit went together in the first part of his review.
Construction review Pt I: Schnellboot S-38 1942
From: Fore Hobby
Kit Number: #1001
1/72nd Scale
New tooled kit
19 sprues + hull, Photo-etch, masks & thread for rigging.
Approximately 48cm in length when completed.
Price: $83 USD from Hobbylink Japan
Next up - Part One – Construction...

The subject: Schnellboot S-38 (1942)
The S-38 E-boat was a German fast attack craft, used by the Kriegsmarine during World War II. They were used primarily as anti-submarine motorboats. The S-38 was an evolution of the earlier versions, all prefixed by the “S–Schnellboot”. 
The S-38 had a length of 35m, a displacement of 84 tons or 104 tons at full load. Propulsion consisted of three Daimler-Benz, 12 cylinders, liquid-cooled diesel engines that could reach a top speed of 40 knots. The Schnellboot’s main armament consisted of two 53cm torpedo tubes, and would go into action with a torpedo ready in each tube. 
Cradles for two extra torpedoes were positioned immediately behind the forward units. E-boats first saw action in 1940 – during WWII they sunk 187 Allied ships.
The kit:  1/72nd scale Schnellboot S-38 (1942) from Fore Hobby
We have a preview of the subject and the kit here on TMN from late last year after the surprise showing from this new company and their new kit...

Late last year the kit made its debut at a model show in Asia...
The parts of the kit:
This unassembled plastic model kit in 1/72nd scale of a German WWII fast attack craft Schnellboot S 38 class comes in the form of 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. 
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. 

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...
Transparent parts are included for the windows of the wheelhouse and other portholes
The A4 sized glossy instruction booklet consists of 3D line drawings. The construction process is spread over 35 sections, with over 400 parts in the kit. The construction looks reasonably straightforward on the exploded views, with exact location points looking quite precise – I’ll comment on any part locations that are unclear as I progress through the model. There is one coloured profile on the last page, along with a paint call-out chart for the model.
The kit is housed in a very sturdy, top-opening box, covering an internal fully closed box. The boxart itself is a splendid piece of artwork illustrating the S-38 cruising out of a port.
Pt I: Construction...
Construction begins with the basic hull assembly, port and starboard sides with two large deck pieces. There are three braces internal that will not be seen on the finished model. As large as these initial parts are, there is absolutely no warpage to be seen, they fit together perfectly – a good start!

Section of the basic hull showing the location of the cabin and torpedo firing areas.
The large hull parts had a couple of mould lines along the upper edge of the fore-deck area. Sanding these lines down will remove some of the fine rivet detail present. 
To replace this detail, I used Archer resin rivet decals, a simple operation that looks quite convincing under a coat of primer.
There are a total of five photo-etch sheets included in the kit. Most of these parts however are meant to replace plastic parts already included. You have the option to use the PE or not. 
I have generally opted to use the plastic parts as (to my eye) they are just as good, if not better than the PE options. The very few PE parts not duplicated in plastic were of course used.
The bridge is a one-piece, slide moulded part that exhibits some very fine riveting and very thin edges for a nice scale effect. A lot of the superstructure on the deck is made up as individual sub-assemblies, bridge, guns, lifeboats, depth charges etc. The bridge is the first major sub-assembly to construct and is made up of around 60 parts! 
Everything fits together quite well, although be prepared for a lot of cleanup on some very small plastic parts. I would say that constructing this model, 80% of the time involved is part cleanup and preparation.
The prop shafts and rudders were attached early on. I’ve left all props and the centre shaft off until final assembly after painting – just to aid in painting and weathering the props in their brass colour.
If the instruction’s order is followed (which I did), the detailing of the upper hull/deck is done front to rear (or is that fore to aft ?). There are many small plastic parts to deal with as you work your way over the hull, all of which require careful cleanup and inclusion either directly to the deck, or as part of a sub-assembly. 
This kit really does not require any after-market at all.
Photos of the partially completed amidship area.
The torpedo firing mechanisms are beautifully detailed sub-assemblies.
The torpedoes themselves are made up of 6 parts each and are beautifully detailed. To remove the seam lines, I used my mixture of CA glue and VMS Glue Filler. This creates a putty that sets rock hard, gets into the tiniest crevices, and can best easily sanded and re-scribed.
A shot of the cabin internals showing the wheel and other instruments. The main cabin and bridge itself will be left unattached for painting.
Fore, mid and aft sections of the completed boat. Note that I have left all handrails off the model until final assembly occurs after painting and weathering.
The 40mm Bofors Flak 28 cannon on the aft deck. It is made up of twenty-five parts and is a very nice representation in 1/72nd scale. The plastic barrel was removed to make way for the turned metal replacement included in the kit.
The completed mid-section of the hull. Note that I have used several small masking circles to mask off the clear sections of the many hatches as required. The lifeboat is a lovely little assembly, complete with super-fine plastic rope.
The Rheinmetall 20mm MG C/38 cannon on the bow. Another beautifully detailed sub-assembly right out of the box.
All clear parts have been masked (on both sides) ready for primer.
A couple of overall shots of the completed construction (sans handrails)
A final construction photo showing how I’ve broken down the model for painting.
Next up - Part Two – Painting & Weathering at this link...
Adam O'Brien

Thanks to Fore Hobby for sending us this kit to build and review for you - This kit is now available in hobby shops, the cheapest we found was at Hobbylink Japan at this link...