Call This Fatty Boombalatty Done: Revell 1/144 Typ 214 Submarine

The Revell 1/144 Typ 214 came my way as an impulse buy on the Facebook Scale Model Graveyard, and I started the build as a kind of palette cleanser after my five-month Meng T-72 build. It built up into a a stout, stubby, bulbous fatty boombalatty that hardly looks like the part of a fearsomely stealthy predator. (American submariners I know say 214s and especially their fuel cell-equipped 212 cousins are remarkably formidable operators) The project delivered, providing a fun break from my usual military vehicle fare.

“Submarine kits”: what some modelers call simplified, featureless kits regardless of the subject. The first time I ever heard the term was in reference to some science fiction kit or another, and more recently the term is used to describe tank kits that have no interiors and hatches molded shut.

The Revell Typ 214 is not quite featureless, and offers a few options for details and specific country configurations. I chose to build the Korean version with the main hatch stairway closed and periscopes, snorkels, radar, and antenna extended.

Construction is straightforward. Molding is crisp overall, with minimal flash and some pronounced but manageable parting lines. The panel engraving is a mix of raised and recessed lines, which I presume reflects the actual prototype’s surface detail, such as raised weld beads and conduit lines and recessed seams and joints. The tooling designer must have earned a special bonus for using as little styrene as possible in the kit—the hull halves have a remarkably thin cross section that makes joint alignment a little tricky.

Painting instructions are the typical Revell treatment, calling for mixes of very dark browns and dark brownish grays using Revell colors. I mixed these colors using AK Real colors, which I applied in a marbled pattern over black Mr. Surfacer. After a clear coat, I applied the thick, slivering-prone decals—they are blessedly few but add significant scale context to this ambiguously proportioned model. I could have quit at this point for a clean build, but I then applied a gray wash, followed by white, ochre, and oxide red oil dots blended with Turpenoid. The resulting look conveys exposure to he elements and mass.

The 214 wouldn’t fit in my usual photo booth, thus my improvised backdrop using the baking paper I usually use as painting surface. The model didn’t ‘convert’ me to more submarine builds, but it worked out to be a fun diversion and the near-black finish turned out better than expected.

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