Review Italeri 1/35 S-38 E-Boot

E-boat was the Western Allies’ designation for the fast attack craft (German: Schnellboot, or S-Boot, meaning “fast boat”) of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. The most popular, the S-100 class, were very seaworthy, heavily armed, and fast – capable of sustaining 43.5 knots (80.6 km/h; 50.1 mph) and briefly accelerating to 48 knots (89 km/h; 55 mph). These craft were 35 metres (114′ 10″) long and 5.1 metres (16′ 9″‘) in beam. Their diesel engine propulsion had substantially longer range (approximately 700 nautical miles) than the gasoline-fueled American PT boat and the generally similar British Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB). As a result, the Royal Navy later developed better-matched versions of MTBs using the Fairmile ‘D’ hull design.

The box is a sturdy top opening box and has 2 cardboard supports to make sure it doesn’t get squashed. instructions, decals, PE sheet and small parts are inside a separate box. The box contains:

  • 450 plastic parts on 9 sprues (plus about 50 unused parts)
  • 130 photoetch parts on 1 sheet
  • 33 nuts & bolts
  • 2 x string
  • 1 decal sheet
  • 1 clear parts sheet with 40 parts
  • instructions booklet
  • 2 sheets of paint/decal guide

All the sprues are bagged and all the smaller parts are placed in a separate box. There’s a lot of rivet detail on the parts, well actually I guess a lot would be bolts. There’s plenty of surface detail to have fun with and the 600+ parts count tells you the level of detail overall is very high.

The instructions are in a 52-page booklet. Each step is shown clearly with large diagrams that are clearly marked. Most steps are shown on their own full page. The steps are not overly busy so it’s easy to see what you need to do at each step.  There are several places where the instructions give options for open doors, hatches etc. Overall the instructions are very good.

The paints are called out in the instructions and are referenced by name, FS number and Italeri paint number.

Decal options

  • 2 S-Flotilla S-105, English Channel 1943
  • 1 S-Flotilla S-51, Constanța, Black Sea June 1942
  • 2 S-Flotilla S-46,  English Channel 1941

This is a very impressive kit. The built kit will need about 1 metre (3 feet) of shelf space to be displayed, but will again look very impressive. There is lots of detail on the pats themselves and the 600+ parts count indicates the level of detail contained in the kit. You will have to find some aftermarket swastikas for complete accuracy but that is the only, very small, issue I can see in the box, apart from it will be an expensive kit to buy.

I found this kit available at Italeri for € 169.00

Many thanks to Italeri for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International

Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.


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