Sunday 25 December 2016

Sub Scrap (1/35)

A few weeks ago a friend of mine suggested I build a Billing Boat wooden kit of a small Danish fishing boat in 1:30 scale. I thought the project a bit too large for my Nystrup setting. The idea of some kind of a ship had caught my mind, though. No place in Denmark is more than 50 km. from the sea and despite Nystrup not being directly at the coast line, I began to wonder how something like a miniature boat could be squeezed in near Nystrup.
Two German miniature submarines being towed along a Danish road in May 1945. The Germans planned to operate the subs from Danish harbours. A large depot was established at the air field at Mellemaaen, near Nystrup.
The smallest 1:35 boat I was able to find was a German miniature submarine of the type Biber (Beaver). Luckily the Biber was one of three types of miniature submarines (Molch, Neger and Biber) found on the German airfield not far from Nystrup. Most of them were taken away for scrap in 1946-47 after evaluations by the British. In this way the presence of a rusty sub on a lorry around Nystrup wouldn't be completely out of the question.

The kit is from Italeri and quite easy to assemble although I put in some time getting rid of a seam along the top of the hull. As submarines really isn't what turns me on modelling wise I kept my own modifications to a minimum. I opend up a few of the bolted covers in the sides of the boat. To conduct technical examinations I suppose the British technicians removed them for easier access.
The two main hull parts ready for assembly.
The Biber assembled and ready for primer. Posed on a track panel the boat will most likely end up as a load on a lorry.

On my visit to the Berlin Technical Museum I had the opportunity to see a real Biber. Apart from its small size I was struck by the fact that the rudders were made from wood. As a weapon the Biber wasn't a success. Most were lost at sea because of mechanical failures, rough sea or because their 'drivers' died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a badly designed exhaust system.
The Biber in the Berlin Technical Museum. Not much of a submarine at barely over six tons.

Also the Biber in Berlin is missing a cover. Notice the somewhat buckled surface of the boat.

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