Kriegsfischkutters (KFK) were small armed fishing boats used as auxiliary warships by the German navy during World War 2.
|My newly completed Kriegsfischkutters|
|Wartime photo of a KFK (from http://history-classics.de)|
Over 600 of these vessels were completed before and during the war. They were typically armed with one 37mm gun, one 20mm gun, and depth charges. But they often mounted extra guns and I’ve seen photos where the forward 37mm was swapped for a quad 20mm. Because they served everywhere the Germans had ships, these little craft are really useful for European-based coastal forces games.
As part of my Black Sea/Baltic Sea project, I picked up a couple Warlord Games Cruel Seas KFKs to help escorts merchants.
The basic kit is nice and includes two KFKs. The hull and superstructure are resin and didn't need much clean-up work. Everything went together easily and fit well. The worst part of the kit was the weapons, some of which required a lot of cleaning and filing to look good. For all the Warlord kits I've gotten I've had to spend a lot of time cleaning up the weapons. For me, they have been the most troublesome part of the kit. That said, the end results generally look pretty good. So, I guess I shouldn't complain too much.
|The other side of the KFKs|
For my models, I decided to use the standard layout and weapons fit. Warlord sells a weapons pack, so you could switch up the armament some and, for the really ambitious, you cut off the minesweeping paravanes and add another gun.
|Size comparison with an S-boat|
I painted up my ships in mid-gray with a light brown for the decks (the ship colors on the Warlord Games site look sort of blue-gray to me, which seems off). I then attempted to do some weathering on the ship. The decks and superstructure turned out okay (you can see the different planks on each). But I wonder if I was a little heavy with the colors on the side of the ship and for the water run-off holes. I touched this part up several times, but I'm still not sure it looks right. While I generally don't like my vehicles to be factory-fresh looking, I also don't care for heavy weathering. They will probably look fine on the gaming table.
|Overhead view showing the deck layout|
Overall, I like the KFK kit. I would recommend them for anyone looking for a simple German ship to add to the 1/350 scale fleet.
|KFKs escorting a merchant|