This kit was reviewed in the box in the July 2002 issue of Internet Modeler so I will just dive right into the build review here. Loving MTBs in general, I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on this new Revell (Germany) jewel. When the box kindly sent by Rosemont Hobbies arrived on my doorstep I was ready to dive into this one! If you are in to large scale ship building read on.
Building the S-110 Class Schnellboot
Revell AG provides generous instruction in their multi-page booklet. (53 steps!) I will provide the highlights as we build up this elegant boat.
Following steps one through five, I built up the boat bridge. Clean fit and lack of flash throughout make this build an enjoyable one. All bulkheads and floor pieces are separate. I toyed with painting the wooden slatted deck fittings prior to assembly but there was plenty of room to do it later. The exposed fighting bridge was used for torpedo aiming exclusively so there is no ship's wheel evident. The actual bridge is completely enclosed in an unusual armored structure to wrap up assembly.
In steps 6 and 7, I assembled the two torpedo launch tubes. Again just minor seam sanding and these are ready to go. You could really go to town here adding tubing and wiring.
Steps 8 and 99 have you assemble the bridge and tubes on the quarter deck and assemble the hull. To simplify the painting I left all components separate for painting. Speaking of which I chose light sea gray for the hull and euro I gray for the deck. Before assembling the hull parts I drilled the positioning holes for the trim rudders and propeller shafts. If you really want to go into detail, you might want to cut out the exhaust pipes below the waterline and insert tubes.
I taped the large hull parts together and applied glue the whole length of the seam using capillary action. The hull seam required just a touch of filling and sanding to make things ship shape. I then skipped over to steps 14 through 18 and added the propeller shafts, rudders, and trim tabs to have them in place for painting. I then assembled the port and starboard torpedo hatch assemblies and placed them on the hull. (Again nice fit.)
I then drilled out the indicated holes in the quarterdeck and was ready for basic painting. I sprayed all assemblies, hull, and deck pieces light sea gray. As is my habit, I sprayed most of the other ship's fitting the basic gray color while still on the sprue. Once dry, I masked the hull and painted the hull underside flat black. I then masked the quarter and fore deck detail and shot both with euro I gray.
After dry fitting the decks to the hull I ran into a fit trouble with the foredeck. Though not warped by any means there was a slight gap between the foredeck and hull. I had to clamp the assembly to minimize the gap. The large quarterdeck went on without a fight. I then assembled the ship's stand and dry fit it to the hull. A nice snug fit kept it in place during the rest of the build. I then painted all wood applications on the quarterdeck and bridge armor cover wood brown.
Going back to the directions I added a myriad of ships fittings to the foredeck following steps 19 and 20. Nice detailed moldings here. A circular shield for the forward gun tub is provided. I suppose you could use it to cover the tub as it was normally there as a sea barrier unless in action. I placed it on the deck. That forward 20mm is just too cool! Following steps 21 through 28, I added handrails, shields, hatches, flagpoles, and antennae to the bridge and bridge armor. Once assembled I touched things up with light sea gray and dry fit to the deck. Minor fit problem here. With sanding and test fitting, I got things reasonably together but I had to do minor filling and touchup to fill the gaps.
Step 28A has you cut out and apply the nifty clear bridge spray shield. I chose to make that one of my last steps. I assembled the ship's life rafts and sprayed them dark yellow. Steps 29 through 38 (whew!) have you add loads of ship's fittings and railings to the quarterdeck. Having pre-painted them I simply added them to the deck without much fuss. The two aft gun positions both have firing restriction rails that are a tad heavy as are the ship's railings. I understand WEM has a nifty PE set for this boat that should shape things up in that area.
And now for my favorite part; working up the ship's guns and torpedoes! In step 39 I assembled the forward 20mm AAA gun mount. The gun is mounted in a very interesting mount that allows it to be fired form the gun tub under the foredeck. The 20mms were very nice. Steps 41 through 44 have you assemble the mid ship double 20mm gun and mounts. Note that in the twin mounting the guns are assembled in a mirrored way to each other to facilitate loading. There is an unusual appendage meant to engage the gun restrictor rails to prevent an excited gunner from taking the captain's head off.
I assembled the two torpedoes in step 45. They have good shape and the longs seams disappeared with minor sanding. The kit supplied props are poor but I cleaned them up a tad and used them. Here again PE would be nice! Spare torpedoes were rarely carried on missions due to their weight and lack of time to reload. I like their looks though so I painted them using metalizer gunmetal on the body and brass for the tail and warhead.
Steps 46 and 47 have you mount the midships 20mm, torpedoes, smoke generators, and aft 37mm gun railings. The kit comes with four smoke generator mounts in the aft area. If you wish to mount the mine racks later in step 52 you need to leave off the inner two smoke generators. That of course leaves two unused mounts on the deck. I wanted plenty of smoke available so I mounted them all and later trimmed the railings to fit.
Steps 49 through 51 assemble the aft 37mm gun, mount, and shield. The gun is a bit crude though accurate for the boat. The shield and gunners positions are better though PE would be nice here too. I wrapped up assembly by mounting the gun, trimmed mine rails, and aft lifeboat in steps 52 and 53.
Decals and Weathering
The kit comes with decals for three or four boats. I combined markings to use the large back panther with some ship's numbers. I applied them using the Future method to prevent silvering. I placed the KM ensign onto aluminum foil and induced some furls after drying. The flag comes with a big white circle where the illegal rune should be, though small swastikas should be available from the decal bin.
I did a light acrylic dark wash to deepen shadows and followed that up with some dark pastels. I used read and brown pastel to simulate light rusting on the hull. I then sprayed the boat with dulcote to hide the shine and seal things up. I then lightly drybrushed things over with light gray to bring out the details.
I went back to the nifty clear bridge spray shield at this point. A black outline is printed on a thin piece of acetate. It looks kind of sharp! You are left to cutting it out, shaping it, and placing it on the bridge. I used a #11 point to crease the multiple panes so that they would fit the complicated shape of the bridge shield. Take your time here and do a lot of test fitting. I glued the clear shield to the bridge in a series of steps using clear part adhesive. I wrapped things up by rigging the handhold ropes from the kit provided twine. I added lengths of rope to tie down life rafts and various other things on the boat. I coiled some heavier twine into a naval circle at the bow.
There are a lot of parts and steps to this build. Fit is overall pretty good so I can recommend this kit to the average ship builder in the crowd. More advanced modelers would definitely want to take advantage of WEM's PE fitting for this build. Many interesting camouflage schemes were also used on S-boats of the period. My research told me that none were used in the S-100 class however. But hey, this baby would definitely look cool with a mottled dark gray pattern! This is another well-executed and reasonable kit form Revell AG. Our thanks go to Rosemont Hobbies for providing this review sample.