The next additions for my Black Sea/Baltic Sea project are a pair of German Räumboote and four Italian MAS torpedo boats. First up, we'll look at the Räumboote.
|Fresh from the yard, before I added some weathering|
The German Räumboote, or R-boats, were motor minesweepers that were also used for convoy escort, coastal patrol, minelaying, and air-sea rescue.The Germans built over 300 of these vessels in several series during World War II. There weren't any major differences between the series,just some size and minor armament variations. Due to their general utility, they served in every theater including the Baltic, Mediterranean and the Black Sea. This makes them useful additions to a fleet for anyone wanting versatile ships that could be used in multiple areas.
I picked up a pair of Warlord Games Cruel Seas R-23 R-boats for my ships. These are early versions of the R-boat and later versions had a little more armament. The out-of-the-box model came with a forward firing 20mm gun and an aft 37mm. I considered adding another 20mm gun amidships, but there isn't really enough room on the model without some major work.
|Port side view with a little weathering|
Next up are the Italian MAS, Motoscafo Armato Silurante (torpedo-armed motorboat), boats. These boats are similar to the British Vosper motor torpedo boats and smaller than the German S-boats. During World War II, the Italians sent a flotilla of these boats to the Black Sea and to fight on Lake Ladoga near Leningrad (today's St Petersburg).
|MAS lined up for inspection|
|Arranged to show off all sides|
These little boats only had modest success against the Russians. The boats in the Black Sea were eventually transferred to the Romanians.
|A close up view of the MAS|
Like the R-boats, these are from Warlord Games. Unlike the R-boat, these boats are all metal and only have a few basic parts (hull, mast, and 20mm gun). So it is pretty easy to put together, but there was some clean up needed on all the parts. I think my paint job turned out as well as the ones on the Warlord website. Although I used a gray-blue color for the crew overalls, rather than the white used by Warlord. Thinking back on my old Navy days, I know that white is not a great color for a working uniform.
Overall, both sets of boats went together well and painted up nicely. They are good additions to the project.
|A before weathering photo on the ocean mat|