German Imperial Navy torpedo steam launch

Browsing through the FriedrichFiles I found a page describing a small steam powered torpedo launch. It was designed for the German Imperial Navy, to be based on board battleships. No date for the drawing is given, but it probably dates between the late 1800s to 1918.

I was intrigued by the design, and it looked like a fairly straightforward scratchbuilt effort. In 1/350 scale, the torpedo boat is 1.8 inches (46mm) long. The hull is made from styrene bulkheads along a styrene outline of the hull. The spaces between the bulkheads is filled with Magic Sculp (a two part epoxy putty). The putty was smoothed to follow the contours of the hull and was then skinned with 0.010″ styrene. The deck was made from Evergreen car siding styrene sheet. The smoke stack and torpedo tube were made from styrene tubing. I heavily modified the gun from an old 1/700 scale Japanese carrier to match the one on the boat.

I made most of the photoetched parts myself, including the ship’s wheel, rudder, propeller and portholes. The life saver and railing came from a Gold Medal Models PE set. A Preiser 1/350 scale sailor (from Preiser set# 89350) is on deck to provide a sense of scale.

German steam launch with bow torpedo tube and gun:
dimensions: 16m x 3.12m x 1.52m
displacement: 16tons
speed: 12 knots

Updated August 5, 2020

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