German U-Boat

This is a model of a WWII German U-Boat, likely of the Type VII variety, as seen in the films "Das Boot", "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and  "U-571".

The model measures just under 21 inches long and is in 1/144th scale, built from an old and fairly crude (by today's standards) Revell kit.


The model is built from an old Revell kit which I bought back in the late 1980's, but was boxed as the famous "U-505" currently on display in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. However, even a cursory look at pictures of the real 505 clearly reveals that the model kit was mislabelled on the box and instructions etc. Therefore, not being a submarine historian myself, but scouring the internet a short time for reference I figure this model is likely of the Type VII variety, although I cannot locate reference to find out exactly which ship, as all versions of even the same type were subtly different.  If any of you reading this can accurately identify the model I'd be happy to give you credit here on this page.

Update: A visitor to this page, Mete Ahiska, kindly offered the following information on July 4, 2008...

"I believe it is a Type VII-B. The detail that made me come to this conclusion is the bulge on the side of the bridge where there is a horse-shoe shape. And I checked this through some books I have and came to a conclusion after I saw a picture in Robert C. Stern's book 'Type VII U-boats'. You are right about U-505 being a mislabell because U-505 is a Type IX."

Also, another visitor, Patrick Murray, supplied the following on August  20th, 2008...

In specific it is definitely a type VIIb u-boat, as Mr. Ahiska said. What's very interesting to know, is that it is none other than U-99, equally as famous as U-505. Why so famous? This one was commanded Otto Kretschmer, the war's greatest u-boat ace. He sank over 198,000 tons of commercial shipping in that boat. The main identifier is the horseshoe on the side, which Otto Kretschmer had welded to the ship.

Thank you both for that information.

I painted the model using the references of the types I could find and therefore represents a more "generic" version of a typical U-Boat seen during WWII rather than any specific number, which is why I put no markings or emblems on the model.

The model was built with a fun feature of being properly ballasted and able to run free in the water with the help of a toy motor that can be attached to a fixture (hidden by the display stand) glued to the keel. The model runs correctly on the waterline division between the black and light gray painted areas.


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