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In-Box Review
Type XXIII U-Boat
U-Boat Type XXIII WWII German Submarine
  • 01 - 1/144 Typ XXIII

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights


The Type XIII was definitely one of the most advanced submarine designs of the WWII era, and also one of the most successful, but ultimately, this little U-boot was completely overshadowed by the Type XXI Elektroboat, its larger kin ship. This inbox review will take a little closer look at ICM Holding’s 1/144 Scale model kit, U-Boot typ XXIII, WWII German Submarine.

vessel history

The first Type XXIII to roll off the assembly line was U-2321, which was first launched on April 17 1944, and commissioned on June 12 1944. Of the 280 submarines ordered, only 61 of these had entered service, of which only six had ever carried out a war patrol, which resulted in five Allied ships sunk with no loss to the attacking boats. By the end of the war, a total of 61 Type XXIIIs had entered service, with the last one being launched on April 19, 1945 (U-4712).

Seven Type XXIIIs were sunk before reaching full operational status, thirty one of the vessels were scuttled at the end of the war, twenty vessels were surrendered to the Allies and only three survived the war (U-2326, U-2353 and U-4706) completely intact.

Role - Long Range Coastal Submarine

Surfaced - 234 tons
Submerged - 275 tons

Length - 113.8ft (34.7m)
Beam - 9.8ft (3.0m)
Draught - 25.3ft (7.7m)

Top speed
Surfaced - 9.7 knots
Submerged - 12.5 knots
Snorkel - 10.75 knots
Silent - 4.5 knots

Maximum range
Surfaced at 8kt - 2600 nm
Submerged at 4kt - 194 nm
Crush depth - 591ft (180m)

Diesel- One MWM 6 cylinder, 4-stroke RS-34-S; 630hp
Electric- One AEG GU 4463-8 double-armature; 35hp
Creep motor- One BBC GCR-188 single-cummutator electric motor
Battery- One 62-cell AFA 2 x 21 MAL-740E battery; 5,400 amp/hour

Bow tubes- Two 21 inch
Torpedo capacity-2

Officers and crew - 14

the box, and what's inside...

This little submarine kit from ICM Holding comes to the modeler packaged inside a medium weight cardboard box, open end style, decorated with colorful box art. On the front, an artist rendition of the XXIII in action undersea, while on the rear, a top and side view of the vessel, in full color again, which serves as the kit’s paint scheme diagram.

Inside the box, you will find one sealed plastic envelope that contains one sprue of plastic kit parts and one small decal sheet. Also provided is a four page foldout style instruction sheet. The kit contains a total of 24 individual kit parts, molded in a light gray plastic. Detail and molding is quite clear and crisp, with only a small amount of flash present on the inside of the conning tower assembly.

The submarine and conning tower is molded in a one piece fashion, with the balance of the kit parts in deck fittings, steering, and propulsion fittings. All molding on even the tiny parts is quite clean, and very well done. The only problem area that can be seen at the present moment may be in the conning tower foot-rails, in which the detail may be a bit weak, and could possibly get lost in the final production. Replacing these tiny rails would not be too much of an ordeal, though!

Initial dry fit of the two submarine halves is very good, but the modeler will have to take precaution here, because there aren’t any guide pins molded into the halves, but this really shouldn’t make much of a problem for good alignment, considering the size of the subject.

The instruction sheet provided, printed in both Cyrillic and English, and has a short history of the U-boot on the front cover, while inside is a blow-up style drawing of the entire build, with each part numbered respectively, for ease of assembly. The modeler will have to think about the succession of his build here, as there are no step-by-step provided. There are some parts that will need to be installed when gluing the two halves together, (such as the conning tower deck, rear rudder, etc.), but once again, with a bit of thinking and planning, shouldn’t be much of a problem. The five color paint scheme is listed in Model Master Colors and numbers, but conversion to your favorite make should be no problem at all, if you wish to use a different paint manufacturer.

The decal sheet provided contains markings for three different variations, one WWII German, U-2322, one Russian, N-31 used until 1953, and one scuttled war-time boat, raised in 1956 and used by the West Germans. All markings are clear, clean, and brightly colored.

final thoughts and conclusions

Overall, this little kit from ICM Holding has a lot of potential, for sure. At 1/144 scale the finished subject will measure in at a little over 10 inches, which still is large enough to show great detail, and the opportunity for a little scratch-building spruce-ups are quite possible as well.

With good molded detail, clean lines, and unique subject matter, this kit provides the modeler with an opportunity to build a representation of a very unique submarine! At only 24 parts, the build will be a quick one, with a heavier focus placed upon painting, weathering and finish.

Highly recommended from this modelers point of view!

Note from the Editor:

You can also check this built review of the same model by ICM Holding Built Review: Type XXIII U-boat by Rui Matos.

Also stay tunned for a couple of amazing MOD Features by Pete Vill (PeteV) with his Typ XXIII and further developments of this particular submarine into modern days.

Mark Smith (Gunny) brings us his inbox review of the ICM Typ XXIII U-boot. Nice and clean. Enjoy
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:144
  Mfg. ID: S.004
  Suggested Retail: US $8.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 25, 2007

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright ©2020 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks, Rui! Nice edit job (as usual! ) This is a great little kit, with alot of potential, for sure! (Just take a look at Rui's and Pete's builds. . .beautiful!) Cheers, ~Mark
JAN 25, 2007 - 05:10 PM
Hi Shipmates, Having built 4 of these models now I must say that Marks review is a fair accessment of the kit, I might have given a slightly higher rating but thats just because me and the kit are "Old Buddies" now. Of the 4 kits I have made 3 of them required me to carry out modifications / conversions (My choice not the kits fault) and the one thing I really get on well with is the plastic that this kit is made from, it is on the soft side and lends itself well to drilling, bending and cutting, it also accepts filler well and sand nicely. My only hope is that ICM will be encouraged by the sales of this their first Sub model and bring us more, maybe in different scales, if your reading this ICM what about some 1/72 scale mini subs, Seehund or Biber would be nice. Good, Fair and well balanced review. PeteV
JAN 27, 2007 - 01:48 PM
Thanks for the kind words, Pete! You and your "old buddies" help to prove my inbox findings, for sure. . .lots of potential, this little one has, and I too hope to see more like it from ICM Holding. . .time will tell! Cheers, ~Gunny
JAN 28, 2007 - 03:25 PM

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