Das Boot

WWII German U-boat Crew on the Bridge
120mm Resin Scale Kit, Sculpted and Designed by Jeff Shiu

From the movie, Das Boot, Jeff Shiu has sculpted this set of figures which also includes the gun deck. After finishing my own Sub Gun Deck, I saw this as a natural progression into the submariner arena. I’m really just beginning to get my feet wet, pun intended, lol. Though this kit is older and is a limited production run, it may still be available, I’m not sure. As per Jeff’s notorious ability to sculpt figures with action and very usable poses, this set is no exception, and this is my first go at his work.

These figures have great action poses and several of the face’s bare close resemblance to the actors themselves. I like the chosen dynamic poses, all showing action and suspense, making for a great vignette. So, off we go, taking a “deep dive” into the submariner arena once again.

This set comes with instructions for constructing the deck railing along with a properly angled guide piece to obtain the correct support angle before attaching the top rail. Also included are photo cards with color references for uniforms and gear as well as a general guide for placement of the figures.

Working the Deck and Railing

When opening this kit, you’ll find everything bagged separately including all the deck parts ready for clean-up. The amount of slag within the resin grid platform was minor and clean-up went rather quickly as with all the deck parts. Before I started working the railing, I drilled several holes on the underside of the deck now, to avoid damaging the railing later. I chose to go with a chunk of scrap wood from the shop as my base which will be painted flat black and I used large pins made from rebar tie wire to secure this deck temporarily. Keep in mind, there is a set angle that needs to be accounted for, so it may need to be adjusted as the figures are cleaned up and test fitted. The scene needs to show rocking and rolling at sea, so I did not secure the deck completely.

The railing may require a third hand, but you’ll manage if you take your time. I checked and verified all the uprights and the mid sections before I drilled each part for pinning. This rail system is just like my Sub Gun Deck, it won’t survive unless you pin every joint, IMHO. But my deck was soldered, not super glued. I left off the middle floater piece until final assembly. I did, however, use a round file for the tops of each vertical support to accept the top rail more easily.

Once you have the base assembled and the rail system installed a good coat of primer makes this portion done for now.

Prepping the Figures for Paint

Time to make some resin dust and get this set going. Each figure has its own bag of pieces ready for clean-up and assembly. The first one out of the shoot is the reporter character, I’m assuming that’s who this is because he bares such close resemblance to the actor. Kudos to Jeff on this one! Clean-up went smoothly for the most part and by using a little bit of Tamiya putty I was able to align the arms and boots. The coat flaps are depicted as flopping in the wind, so if you attempt to secure them now you will have a difficult time painting the face later. I set the coat flaps aside for now and will do the same for the other figures as required.

Mike-the-Kiwi said, “Give em names.” Well, I haven’t come up with names for these characters just yet, but I’m working on it. I think once clean-up is completed and the painting starts to run smoothly these characters will begin to come alive, then they will have names.

A word of caution, and this is not a gripe session, just factual issues I found when I examined the entire set and an honest assessment of the quality of this kit; this set I received had several issues with heavy seam areas (more than I would have expected), arm assemblies were not accurate for a smooth fit, and two of the figures had serious fascial discrepancies, and a third face was only minor. Now, I know we’ve all seen this before, but the depth of some of the eye sockets and a partial nose missing leads me to believe quality control was overlooked. This is not a cheap kit, it’s expensive, so I would have expected a more careful examination of the items included before shipping. My set may have been an anomaly, and I will leave it at that.

Ok, let’s get these issues fixed and back on track. Using tiny dabs of Tamiya Putty, I was able to reshape the eyes and reconstruct the nose and fill in the deep caverns alongside that nose. One eye was just a small BB like globe in the middle of the socket which I will fill in and reshaped. After working these discrepancies everything should begin to fall in to place leaving only a primer coat to reveal anything I may have missed.

An assembly issue to be aware of is having to do with how the coats and flaps that are to be attached to the figures. I’m not a sculptor, nor do I work with resin casting, but I can understand after close examination that this was the only way to cast and produce these intricate designs. This process will take some patience and persistence, but after clean-up it should be fine. Just keep going, cause it ain’t gonna get done looking at it.

Something I found a bit odd was some of the boot tips were molded separately and one leg portion was also molded separately. That seemed to me to be an unnecessary step adding more time and work to get this set cleaned, primed, and ready for paint. So, having never run into these types of mold issues before, duly noted, move on.

There is still a bit more clean-up work for each of the figures shown and one more figure to work over before I prime them all and examine for any issues I might have missed. Regardless of the mold issues, this is an awesome action filled set and all credit to Jeff for his imagination, sculpting skills, and willingness to keep producing. Ruck On!

Thanks for watching and more to follow soon. Cheers, Ski.


I can hear the theme tune cranking up in the background as I look at this! Bit of a bummer you had such a number of issues to sort but it looks like you’ve got them all evened out.
I hope the primer doesn’t show up anything- that’s the bit I hate. You think you’ve got it all sorted till you get the primer on then it’s ‘oh, I missed that…and that…and that…!’ :smile:!



Das Boot is such an epic. Cool to see it come to (still) life like this.


I remember that,it was fantastic,looking forward to this project.

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Great looking project. I’ll be checking in here.

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It never fails though, there’s always something to deal with, lol. Thanks, Karl.

Thanks, Phil.

Thanks, Tony!

I appreciate that, more to follow soon :wink:


Names should be easy if you use the cast of characters. Das Boot (film) - Wikipedia

Look forward to seeing your progress. :+1:


Nice… Another epic adventure on the high seas to track… I’ll keep pinging this thread…


This looks like another incredible scene in the making Ski! Will be following along with great interest as you bring these figures to life. I know you’ll do them justice.


Wow, that’s impressive… And going to be a big old scene… Some great work already going so as the song goes, " things can only get better ":+1::+1:


Holy Smokes ! I never knew such things existed !
I’ve a couple of Jeff’s figures and they are NICE ! Sorry to see that you had some issues with your set.
But it looks like you’ve cracked that caper and are moving along nicely.
Good Luck ! And have fun with this project! And thanks for sharing with us !


Yes, I will run with the cast, it only makes sense.

Tanks, Erwin!

Thanks, Matt. Once I get past the resin dust we should be moving smoothly.

Thanks, Johnny. Onward,…

Thanks, Ivan. It better be fun, or at least most of the time, HA! Looking at Jeff’s site there are quite a few usable figures, this set is no exception, quality of the casting being the only issue.


Nice work so far BroSski , no offence but is it me or the camera , quality wise the figs look a little shoddy .
Not that you couldn’t paint up a cow flop into a prize winner but I’d expect a little more quality and less " correction " work on a more than likely expensive resin set in that scale .


You are exactly correct. I’ve noticed, as well as many sculptors I’ve spoken to, that Jeff appears to have been more in a rush to produce, and his quality has taken the hit. Go back and look at his older productions, they look great, but lately they have a very ruff appearance and look like a lot of work.

I wasn’t expecting what I found at $265, or whatever the cost was when I bought this set, but I was really pissed, so this kit was tossed to the back of the que because of the shotty quality.

Giving benefit of the doubt for whatever reason, sure, but when others are saying the same thing, “Houston, we have a problem!”

I’ll bump and grind through the process and carry on, can’t stop now.


With you on that one. For that much dosh I would expect it in tip top condition


Prepping the Deck

With the figures cleaned up and primed it’s time do more work on the deck section. I made alterations to the flag pole and added two more wood seats to finish the deck. I put aside the flag included with the kit and printed a smaller one due to the original being way out of proportion. I was just too big. I had intended to use some hemp string for the flag rope, but used strands of copper wire twisted tightly to resemble rope instead. It was much easier to keep the flag in a “windy” configuration and also have the tail end of that rope appear “flapping” in the wind.

Now that I had the main body set up, I pre-drilled all the mounting locations for each figure. This took some time to get the positions correct without looking awkward or unrealistic. Keeping the spacing between each figure without their coats interfering with each other was the issue. So far, they look good and the positions look natural. As you can see, these figures have great poses and the faces have a lot of character, that cannot be denied. The scene definitely portrays intense action on the part of the crew.

Being satisfied with the crew placement, it’s time to chip and weather the deck before painting the figures. We are now picking up steam and forging onward. More to follow soon.

Thanks for watching. Cheers, Ski.


That looks so cool…the flag looks spot on now as well along with the rope solution which works perfect… The figures do really express that situation they are in…very very nice :+1:

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Thanks, Johnny. Working the deck now, and having fun with it.


Facial Work, Lt. Werner

Now that the gun deck has been worked to a semi-final stage it’s time to start oiling some faces and get this set going. Lt. Werner, the war correspondent, is first on the bench. I think Jeff got really close to the facial expression and features of this actor. The scene depicts a wind-swept and water-soaked deck which comes across nicely with this face in particular.

Using my standard mix of Winsor & Newton oils of Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, and Burnt Umber, for the basic flesh tones, I started with the area around the eyes and worked my way around the face. I always use acrylics for the eye work themselves because of the drying time. If corrections are needed the process goes much smoother using acrylics; oils would get messy in such a tight space.

I kept the flesh oil application very light initially and will add the red cheeks and rosy tones in a few days. The beard still has a lot of work needed as does the eyes and the area around the mouth. Most of the final touches will be feathered in when the sheen has faded making it much easier to see the areas needing direct attention. It is important to remember that sub crews did not see daylight for extended periods of time so the flesh tones should reflect that fact. I don’t want them looking ghostly white, but I can’t justify a tan appearance either, lol.

It should also be noted here that this figure is squinting, so the eyes will not be so clearly visible. Yes, they are painted as per usual, but the working areas is very small on this particular face. Lt. Werner will be set aside for now as I get started on the next figure in the line-up.

More to follow soon and thanks for watchin. Cheers, Ski.


Tones are looking excellent so far- the character of the face is certainly coming out with your painting.