MONSTER German Type XXI
I get to meet a lot of fascinating people through my website and projects from all walks of life and from all over the world. Joe was one of those people. He's done a ton of amazing things over his lifetime and one of his journeys brought him down the path of RC submarines. Being a worldly gent, he came across a very unique submarine project in Germany and decided he had to have it. The project in question was a German Type XXI. Not a common subject to begin with, this particular boat also stood apart based on its size. Nearly 9ft long, this boat was a beast! In accurate measurements, it came in at 101.25" in length, or 257cm, putting it at right around 1/30th scale (or close enough to 1/32 scale that those parts should fit just fine). The hull was made from thick fiberglass with aluminum reinforcement at critical areas. The previous owner had gotten aluminum sheeting CNC cut to address many of the floodholes for a very precise finish. The hull weighed in at around 25lbs itself and was exceptionally rigid. Not to trust shipping companies, Joe took it upon himself to fly to Germany pick up the boat from the owner, drive it across Europe to Belgium, and then fly it home on the airplane (I'm guessing it wouldn't fit in the overhead bin). Fast forward a few years and I find myself on the other end of Joe's email where he let me know he was getting out of the hobby but wanted to make sure his precious boat saw its way to completion by someone up to the task of doing it justice. Once the blushing receded, we ended up striking a deal for the big XXI and a nice OTW Type XXIII coastal sub kit he also had. Last night, I'm very happy to say it found its way to my shop and I got the chance to take a good look at it. Wow. Big is an understatement, and I don't know that the attached pic does it justice. I'm a big guy at 74" tall, and this boat still looks big next to me. The hull is between 3/16" and 1/4" thick throughout and is solid enough to cause serious damage if it hit an object while under full steam, I'd warrant. The CNC inserts are very well done and for the most part are installed nicely flush with the hull. The boat is set up as a dry hull but shouldn't pose too much of an issue to convert to accepting a large diameter cylinder. The upper deck opening ranges from 4" at the ends to 7" in the center of the boat. A 5" cylinder should be easy to install with room to spare. There were quite a few extras such as beautiful scale brass props, masts, antennas and even a scale metal torpedo included with the deal as well. All in all I'm very happy with the deal we struck and I'm looking forward to taking this one on once it hits my build queue. I'm envisioning a large low-pressure pump ballast system. There were also a pair of large Engel piston tanks included with the deal, so perhaps I'll use those at the ends to provide precision trim. For now, I need to find a home for an eight and a half foot long submarine until I get the chance to put it on the bench. Thoughts and comments are very welcome, and if anyone knows the origins of this boat, please pass it on!