Thursday, January 27, 2011


1:144 scale model makers can home in on the latest Revell nautical kit, the World War II-era U-2540 (‘U’ stands for ‘unterseeboot’, or undersea boat btw). Revell’s kit of this Type XXI submarine - now known as the Wilhelm Bauer - is a neat and tidy rendering of the 76.7 m (251 ft 8 in) original that was launched in January 1945.

Details, details...
The kit reissue contains 163 components, which build up to make a model some 532 mm (20.9 in) long, and for display purposes the U-2540 can sit neatly on the included stand. On deck, anti-aircraft guns, antennas, periscope and snort mast are included. But it’s the cutaway port side that turns this model into a desirable addition to a miniature naval force. As you can see in the pictures, the torpedo compartment, crew quarters, control room, diesel engines, electric motors, and batteries are all present.

U-2540 in German Navy service

U-2540 was built by Blohm and Voss in Hamburg, but was scuttled at sea after little more than four months active  service. The Type XXI design was very advanced indeed, and had more of them been available earlier in the war, they would have been a deadly threat to Allied forces. As it was, the sub sank to the bottom of the Baltic Sea, where it lay undisturbed until 1957, when it was raised and repaired, then relaunched with the new name Wilhem Bauer, then being used for research purposes. 

Since 1984, the Wilhelm Bauer has been on display as a floating museum in Bremerhaven, Germany. The sub is open to visitors, and info is available here.
See various submarine kits here.

The pictures show:
1-4 Revell 1:144 scale U-2540.
5  The Wilhem Bauer is now a floating museum.