In March 2008 I started my project
"U-564", a VIIc U-boat under
command by Kapitaenleutnant Reinhard "Teddy" Suhren.
I decided to build U-564
because I found ideal references in
“U-boat War Patrol: The
Hidden Photographic Diary of U-564” (ISBN 1591148901)
In summer 1942 a war
correspondent attended a war patrol of U-564 and took lots of photos of all
areas of the Uboat. These photos were stored in a shoe box and discovered about
60 Years later in England. Lawrence Paterson collected and presented them in his
This is my most complex project, because I've
used almost all accessories available on the market
following CMK sets were used:
was supplemented by various parts and figures from the CMK sets:
All sections were supplemented by various scratchbuilt parts, for example:
diesel control station including controls, instruments and engine telegraph.
and indicator valves were added to the diesel engine, sink and water taps were
added to the Galley, the lavatory used as provision store was newly built, a
table, alarm bell and open bulkhead were added to the officers ward room and the
battery room was supplemented by bus bars and maintenance platform.
and torpedo section with additional valves, handwheels and tubes, handholds,
compass, engine telegraphs, rudder angle indicator, speaking tubes, helmstand,
torpedo tube, air and waterpipes, firing lever and torpedo loading device.
For all rooms, an illumination of 16V bulbs was installed.
are supplied by a 9V battery, which gives a suitably subdued light.
Not missing of course, the crew
at rest, the machine operators, command and torpedo room crew.
following interior colors were used:
Interior above floor:
(Revell 5 matt white with 2% Humbrol 41 Ivory)
Interior below floor:
(Revell 5 matt white / Revell 69 gray granite 98% / 2%)
Interior other parts : RAL 7000
(Revell 57 dark grey)
Various ModelMaster Metalizer, Washing / Weathering with pastel chalks and
artist oils in brown and black tones.
Engine room, officers and command section were glued into one complete unit.
advance I prepared the cut-outs in the starboard hull half. The halves and
interior were fit together without glue at first, to make corrections. Here it
had to be kept in mind that the visible part of the pressure hull (Upper
Pressure Hull by Yankee Modelworks) would be installed later.
Many phases of construction are to plan ahead and you need to think very
carefully before you stick something together!
Before the interior was glued in, I did all the work on the hull halves:
upper flooding holes were opened, they partially had to be filled and redrilled.
lower sections of the flooding holes were cut out of the hull and replaced with
the correct detailed brass parts from the U-Brass
whole area of the torpedo doors was removed and rebuilt, the upper starboard
torpedo door is shown openly.
The indicated doses of the sonar device were sanded off, drilled out and
replaced with pieces of copper wire. The anchor bay was moved forward
7 mm, because its position was wrong (left as it was before, the anchor would
have fallen onto the forward dive plane ...).
The inspection hatches of the saddle tanks (Model Brass Deck Set) were gently
countersunk with a hot soldering iron and sanded over, various parts from
the Eduard Photoetched Set were used.
All sanded rivets were pierced again by using a special tool. Archer
Transfers now supplies resin rivet heads , which are glued on a decal
sheet in correct distance. I think, this would give a much more realistic
Finally, the two hull halves were primed, some now visible gaps and errors
were corrected and the halves were primed again. Then
the interior sections were glued into the left fuselage half and finally both
halves were glued together.
The Upper Pressure
Next the pressure hull was adjusted. As provided for installation without
interior sections, it had to be adapted completely, ground down to a
thickness of about 3 mm (with a grinder, dust mask ... and do it outdoors !) and
cut into separate pieces.
In addition, parts from the CMK Kit Winch For Loading Torpedoes and Rear
Torpedoes Loading Hatch (by the way, the name is wrong, it is not at the aft
torpedo loading hatch, but a pressure-proof deck tube) were fit into place. As a
result of this, the exhaust system had to be rebuilt too.
attachment for the windlass has been redesigned and equipped with a chain.
lower part of the conning tower pressure hull
was missing and therefore rebuilt.
assembling the individual parts of the upper pressure hull,
89 bars were made from plastic sheet
glued in, because the long horizontal flood hole was previously opened, so the
bars are now visible from outside.
images below to see larger images
Time for the installation of the deck (Model Brass Deck Set).
The three deck parts fit pretty well, but the entire deck had to be underlined
with plastic strips, otherwise it would have been too low.
To begin at the bow: Here I inserted a brass tube, to represent the “bull
nose” for the tow hook.
cut-outs for the front torpedo loading hatch and the aft torpedo deck tube had
to be done
installing the three deck sections on the hull, even during
installation of the upper pressure hull they had to be accurately
measured and adjusted.
The hatches of the pressure-resistant container for the “Marcks” life rafts
have been completely
and provided with the hinge-arms from the Eduard
Photo Etched Set.
All deck covers, hinges, the anti slip strips around the 8.8 gun and the capstan
are also taken from this set.
The aft tripod supports for the antenna wires were built new, because the Revell
parts were too high, as well as the railings and the two boat hooks. All parts
were made of 0.6 mm brass wire.
After installation of the deck, the hull was painted:
RAL 7000 = Revell 57
RAL 7016 = Revell 77
Mix of "Vallejo Model Color" Black-Grey 862, 984 Matt Brown, 913 Ochre
The Wooden decks of the original boats were painted with a black wood
preservative “Teerfirnis TF99” or Carbolineum”, the iron deck parts
because of weathering the black wood preservative became a brighter gray-brown,
especially at the deck areas, which were entered more frequently by the crew.
After painting, the AMP Waterline Decals were applied. Then the hull was
filtered, washed and weathered by artist oils, pastel chalk and pigments.
Finally, everything was sealed with matt varnish.
Two brass propellers from Raboesch were used. They were brought into the right
shape and weathered. Therefore I placed them in a salt / vinegar mixture
for a few days to produce a slight corrosion.
The deck gun is a mix of Revell, CMK and Eduard parts.
The gun carriage from the Revell kit was used.This time the CMK part (Exterior
Set Part 1 - Turret) was much worse. The gun barrel was taken from CMK. All
other parts were scratch-built.
load for the gun with prior research took about 10 hours…)
The Conning Tower
First of all, an inner pressure hull and some air vents for the inner side of
the conning tower were built, because they will later be visible through the
From the Revell Kit I took only the lower and upper conning tower halves, the
rest is unfortunately inadequate and primitive detailed, so I didn’t use these
The tower halves were completely revised, all doors sanded off and replaced by
Eduard and U-Brass Photo Etched parts.
openings were created, railing and steps were made from brass wire.
entire area of the
stern light, and the stern light itself were redesigned, the insulators for
antenna wires added, and the conning tower deck replaced with the Model Brass
The eyelets round the rear conning tower deck (called "Wintergarten"),
are designed for the Revell railing, which is much too thick. So they were
sanded off and an outline from plastic sheet was placed around the deck.
You will not find these eyelets on an original boat by the way…
A wooden template was made, and a new railing from 0.6 mm brass wire was
adding some additional details to
the conning tower deck area, tower and deck were painted.
The two top part walls were sanded from the inside, the upper edges and rigging
clamps corrected and holes with arresting eyelets for the bridge crew added.
housing for the loop antenna was extended downward, wood paneling, folding
seats, running boards, grilles for Diesel air intakes, a voice tube, rudder
indicator and compass were mounted.
Outside the walls, the brackets for life rings, the wind deflector and railings
from brass wire were brought in place.
navigation lights were made from clear plastic and the holes for front antenna
insulator and typhoons were redesigned.
After painting the top parts, the ULAD
Decal "Three Times Black Cat", (an old German magic spell) was set.
housing for the observation scope was scratchbuilt; neither Revell nor CMK parts
were designed correctly.
(U-boat target visor) pillar, main hatch, attack periscope housing and 2cm flak
gun were built scratch and supplemented by various Eduard
and CMK parts, the gun barrel was taken from Schatton.
the observation scope itself, the Revell part was chosen, the attack scope was
taken from the CMK
(Exterior Set Part1 - Turret) and was supplemented with 0.1 mm copper wire
twisted around to simulate "steel cables” that reduced the water
turbulence and vibrations during periscope operation.
Thus, the conning tower was completed and the whole construction was mounted on
At last, the torpedo-loading tray from the CMK Winch For Loading Torpedoes set
was assembled and a Schatton brass torpedo installed.
A difficult task was the rigging, this time the supplied blocks / insulators
from Revell were not too large, but too small ... and not constructed like
the original. Again the only solution was to build them from scratch
blocks were handmade from wood (20 pieces), the line tensioners (11 pieces) were
included in the U-Brass
Set. Everything was rigged with 0.6 mm Dacron cord.
Finally, the boat was supplemented by the deck crew figures from CMK
in July 2011 the project U 564 is finished after a construction time of three
years and four months.
M 40 175
Blohm und Voß, Hamburg
24th Oct 1939
30th Mar 1940
7th Feb 1941
3rd Apr 1941
Oblt.z.S./Kptlt./Korv.Kpt./ Reinhard Suhren
Freg.Kpt / FdU Nordmeer)
Oblt.z.S. Hans Fiedler
1. U-Flottille, Brest
564 sunk at 14.06.1943 in the Biscay under command of Oblt.z.S. Hans Fiedler
northwest Cape Ortegal under attack by depth charges of a Whitley G from British
Operational Training Unit Squadron 10.
Paterson „U 564 auf Feindfahrt – 70 Tage an Bord“ ISBN 3-613-02528-0
Brustat-Naval / Teddy Suhren „Nasses Eichenlaub“ ISBN 3-7822-0734-3
„Uboottyp VIIc Vom Original zum Modell“ ISBN 3-7637-6002-4
will find more pictures and information about U 564 on my website www.dargies.de
images below to see larger images