Type IXc U-boat Deck
New from Jim Corley and Nautilus Models is a wood replacement deck for Revell's 1/72 Type IXc U-boat. If you have never purchased a Nautilus set of decking, it is actual wood decking (like the U-boats had) that is laser engraved to the correct pattern and with add-ons like resin parts and laser cut vinyl to complete the detailing.
The set has two large thicker sheets of wood which replicate the wood parts of a U-boats main deck. The main deck comes in two pieces. Also on the larger sheets is backing for the seam to brace it and several smaller parts of cut wood. There is also a smaller engraved sheet which includes the conning tower decking which is attached to an adhesive sheet. These also provide the bracing for the gun mounts. There are also engraved parts to replace the wood slats added to the periscope shears and conning tower. There is a vinyl sheet which is engraved and added to the main deck to show raised details. Lastly, there are cast resin hatches and storage lockers which are added for realism. Last but not least, there is an excellent set of instructions detailing how to add and finish the set.
The first thing I check with aftermarket parts is the fit into the kit. Removing the parts is simple by scoring the sheets and bending slightly. A quick sanding is all that is needed on the edges. In this case, the deck on both the hull and conning tower fit like a glove and provide an excellent replica of the real sub. The decks are an enhancement to the kit parts, which are a little heavy in relief, probably due to molding considerations. Removing the hatches from the casting block is simple and they look great set into place.
The main deck set perfectly into the kit part. One thing to note is that the fore and aft sections of the deck are metal and you will need to use the kit parts for these. The aft section is a separate piece; the front will need a little surgery. Fit of the conning tower decks looks great even over the relief on the kit parts. I do think sanding them smooth may give better detail.
One big note here- you cannot use water based paints on the decking- acrylics will soak into the wood causing it to warp and ruin it. This is very well noted in the instructions but needs to be stated again so there is no confusion.
So, we have an aftermarket set that looks great, is real wood where there is supposed to be real wood and fits like a glove with lots of detail. Recommended? Heck yes- you need to have one of these if you are detailing the Type IXc. They can be purchased directly from Nautilus on their web site above. My thanks to Jim Corley and Nautilus Models for the chance to review this excellent set!