Having previously built Revell's 1/144th scale version of the German Type VIIC U-boat, I decided to tackle its big brother, the 1/72nd version. While my build is still in progress, I have more than enough information by this point to write a fair and thorough review. In short, this is a VERY good kit, but it can be made even better with attention to detail and possibly the use of some aftermarket accessories available out there.
First, the quality of the parts: Overall, they're sensational. I WAS a bit underwhelmed by the two hull halves. For one thing, there are large pieces of flashing to remove, and this has to be done very carefully to avoid chipping the model. I worked slowly using a combination of sprue cutters, modeling scalpel, and sandpaper to remove them.
Also, the two hull halves are far from a perfect fit -- getting them glued together requires patience and good supplies, including modeling tape. I use Tamiya masking tape for all my sub builds, as this problem tends to be nearly universal. I start by applying a very thin bead of glue, then work my way from each end toward the sub center, taping as I go. Do NOT deviate from the instructions, which actually call for using tape -- let the cemented, taped halves dry for at least six hours or, preferably, overnight, then carefully remove the tape.
I decided to use White Ensign's photo-etched parts kit to increase the model's realism. That kit includes, to cite one example, hatches for the torpedo tubes (important if you're going to build the kit with some of the forward tubes open, which is an option).
I also bought a sheet of aftermarket flags. Revell and Revell of Germany will NOT produce authentic Nazi flags, so if you want your boat to be truly authentic, you have to get them elsewhere. I am sorry if this offends anyone, but its my model, and pretending that this ugly emblem did not exist is, in my opinion, absurd.
Paint and decals: Decals are minimal, and pose no problem for the experienced modeler. Paint: You can choose several schemes based on which exact U-boat you decide to build. NOTE: For a model this size, I DEFINITELY recommend airbrushing or using rattle cans. Handpainting a model this size is very time-consuming, and it's awfully hard to hide brush strokes when dealing with such a large surface.
Weathering: Steel boats rust. I strongly recommend Rustall or a similar product to produce that weathered, sea-ravaged look. Use sparingly; you can always add more coats.
Revell is one of the industry leaders when it comes to sub models, and this large example is quite welcome. The company also has released a 1/72 version of the USS Gato WWII sub, and it's even bigger, since the real Gato was about 90 feet longer than the German Type VIIC. If you attempt either, take your time and enjoy the experience!