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Building the Beast!

building the beast - part one

Andrea Miniatures 1/32 Type VII-C U-boat
Back in April of this year I acquired possession of Andrea Miniatures 1/32 U-boat. The gentleman who owned it bought for a lot of money, approximately US$2000.00. I’m not sure when he bought his model, but the same kit today will cost about US$2500.00 thru Squadron Mail Order. The original owner quickly determined that the dexterity in his fingers wasn’t up to the task of such an undertaking. He put the U-boat up for sale for US$400. I was initially going to buy it, but I determined that the money would be better spent on my Harley instead. So the option of buying was out. I contacted the seller/owner and asked if he would be willing to let me build it for him, so he wouldn’t be out all of that money. He agreed and we settled on a fair price for him and I carted the huge chunk of resin home in the bed of my truck.

i need space!

Once I got the sub home, I did a quick assessment of what it was going to take to build this thing. The first thing that came to mind was room; lots and lots of room. My workshop at the time was 11’x17’ with two display cases and a lot of models. It would have to do. I pulled out my trusty Black & Decker Workmate and clamped the hull halves together for some dry runs. Everything looked okay thus far. I cut out the photo etch deck plates, all 2 pounds worth of them and test fit them as well. Again everything looked good. After removing the photo etch plates and setting them aside, I set to work on joining the hull halves together. The owner had attempted to glue them at some point using either super glue or epoxy. I wasn’t able to determine which. The glue had run out and along the bottom of the hull, and completely ruined all the surrounding detail.

let the works begin

I marked all of these damaged areas with a black Sharpie marker. I then used a Makita palm sander and began the task of removing the damaged areas, while trying to save as much detail as I could. For the most part, I was successful. What detail was lost, was on the bottom of the hull and wouldn’t be seen. I planned on replacing it with styrene bits and pieces anyway. Now that the damaged areas were cleaned, I cleaned the mating surfaces between the hull halves, and then clamped them together. I now noticed that the left and right halves didn’t match exactly. One was actually shorter than the other. Not much, but shorter none the less. I decided to align then based off of the rear of the boat. I did so and started gluing the halves. I quickly ran out of glue after only a foot or so of progress. What to do?
  • Andrea Miniatures 1/32 Type VII-C U-boat -005
  • Andrea Miniatures 1/32 Type VII-C U-boat -004
  • Andrea Miniatures 1/32 Type VII-C U-boat -003

About the Author

About Matthew Quiroz (Red4)

After a several year break from the hobby I have happily returned to it. Slowly, but surely getting my mojo back.


Hi I loved reading part one of this build. I enjoyed the authors style of writing and presentation. I can't wait to see part two. Well done Matthew. Plus I can't wait to see what he does to Revell's 1/72nd U Boat in the future. Regards Sean
JAN 04, 2006 - 07:19 PM
Thanks for the great Feature, Matthew, can't wait to read the following also...man, what a beast! Gunny
JAN 04, 2006 - 07:38 PM
Great article Matt, Interesting about the glues not holding. Now for the $100,000 dollar question. Are you glad it's done and would you ever do another?
JAN 05, 2006 - 12:30 AM
Great article Matt. Proud to have you as a modler in the 'Springs. Guys I've seen this "Beast." No pictures can do it justice. Matt should load this puppy up and take her on the road and charge addmission to it.
JAN 05, 2006 - 03:37 AM
Thanks for all of the kind words guys. Steve, if I had the chance to build one again, I know where I would change a lot of things. Do I want to build one again...not no, but hell no. Just too large to handle. I had more near death experiences with this thing that I wanted. Its nice to have it under my belt though. If I hear somebody talking about it, I will know and feel their pain...lol. Glad you all liked the first article. Hope you enjoy the second installment. "Q"
JAN 05, 2006 - 04:30 AM
good lord you must be mental :-) :-) that is a really, really incredible project and a massive undertaking - It looks amazing what you've shown so far and I take my hat off to you !!
JAN 06, 2006 - 05:53 PM
I really enjoyed part one of the article. Now that is one AWESOME u-boat! Joe
JAN 09, 2006 - 06:19 AM