Jim Farrens German Submarine U-552 scale model build

Grandpa’s Cabinets was given the privilege of building a custom display kit to house a spectacular model, hand built by Jim Farrens of the German submarine U-552 from World War II. Jim spent a huge amount of time and money to create a true work of art in his rendition of the submarine and I am pleased to report a little information about the sub’s history and show the model.

U-552 was launched on September 14, 1940 and went into service on December 4, 1904. Her nickname was Roter Teufel which means Red Devil after her mascot of a grinning devil painted on the conning tower. She was involved in two serious actions in October of 1941 when she sank the USS Reuben James which was the first US Navy warship to be lost in World War II. This is significant as the US was still neutral at the time. Another controversial action was in April of 1942 when she sank the freighter SS David H. Atwater off the US seaboard.

With the sinking of the Atwater, the action was considered controversial because she was a coastal steamer, completely unarmed carrying 4000 tons of coal from Norfolk, Vriginia to Fall River, Massachusetts. U-552 surfaced about 600 yards from the freighter, opened fire with her 88mm deck gun and machine guns without warning. The bridge of the Atwater was decimated and all crew officers lost their lives there. The real contraversary was because once the Atwater was sinking and the crew were trying to launch the lifeboats, the sub continued to fire on the men as they worked. They ended up jumping into the sea and swimming to any remaining boats still afloat.

The model Jim has created here is remarkable in it’s detail and perspective. He has done a remarkable job with the painting of all the figures and different parts of the interior of the sub. When you look at the cut away areas it’s as if you’re actually looking into a working sub! When Jim contacted me for a display case to house this model, it was decided that because of the size of the model, and the size the case would have to be to accommodate the model properly, a display kit was in order. He decided on oak as the wood of choice and the finish is natural with topcoats of satin polyurethane for protection and a furniture finish.

With all kits Grandpa’s Cabinets makes, all the pieces, the base, four corner pieces, acrylic panels and framed acrylic and oak top comes apart easily for access to the model and goes together just as easy. The kit isn’t glued or screwed together but rather sits nicely on its own with the top and base keeping all the kit together and upright. This keeps the model clean, dust free and keeps curious hands from touching the model and possibly harming the work as it is delicate and fragile.

When you have a model, special item, memorabilia piece or just about anything that’s special to you and needs protection, remember to go to www.grandpascabinets.com. There you’ll find blogs, photos in the huge gallery of past work, comments from current and past customers and a chance to Request a Quote on the same named tab. Hope you like this build by Jim Farrens as much as I do.

About Ron Baluch

Ron has been in the graphic arts field for over 30 years has been a wood worker for even longer. It is Ron's passion that has driven him to starting "Grandpa's Cabinets" which provide custom display cases for your finest models and memorabilia.

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