Komet and Meteorit

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    invisible officer

    If you are crazy – be mighty crazy.

    Last week I decided to do a bigger target for the MTB, one worth a torpedo. One of the biggest successes of MTB was the sinking of HSK 7 Komet by 2 torpedoes from MTB 236 14.10. 1942 near Cap de la Hague.

    The British knew that “Raider B” was on the way to his second cruise. So they send strong forces against the vessel. 3rd Torpedobootsflottille (T 4, T 10, T 14 and T 19) and some M-Boote formed a strong escort.

    But the RN had much more firepower. With just one 10,5 cm each the Torpedoboote had been no match for HMS Cottesmore, Quarn, Glaisdale, Eskdale and Albrighton. The M-Boote had more boom with two 10,5 cm guns each but Admiralty had sent 8 MTB and 236 came into ideal firing position. Komet sank with all men on board.

    I started with doing a 1/300 plan. OK for a game but…. . No.

    Friday I decided to do it 3D. Hull and bridge are made from Balsa wood and some cardboard. The basic model was brushed over with a layer of thin water based wood filler. Sandpaper, than a thin coat of PVA glue. That gives a smooth surface.
    Priming with acrylic white and then the normal paintwork. It was a cheap project, less than 15 Euros.

    The 15 cm gun shields are made from wood that tasted gunpowder. Rocket sticks collected (I do no firework myself but dislike to see all that good wood wasted. So I do a new year’s walk every year)

    invisible officer

    Komet was the smallest of the Hilfskreuzer, just 115 m long.

    Four 15 cm guns had been mounted before the bridge under flaps that opened in seconds. (Two on each side) Another 15 cm was in Luke III behind the mid of ship. It could fire to both sides. The deck house on top of aft structure was a dummy that could turn 360°, holding the sixth gun.

    The small building at end of stern housed a twin 3,7 cm AA gun that was brought up into firing position by an elevator. Four 2 cm are hiiden below deck and brought into firing positions by elevators. Two at the masts and two at the bow. Inside the rounded Mayer Bow was a 6 cm gun used to stop vessels with a warning shot.

    Below bridge had been two twin sets of torpedo tubes and below waterline was another 90° fixed one on each side.

    Komet took / sank 6 ships (43.162 BRT) alone and some more together with HSK Orion. Komet attacked the island of Nauru, a former German Pacific colony. It was one of the largest phosphate producers of the world and so a very important target. Komet destroyed the loading facilities, the machines and the oil tanks.

    Komet was the first German ship that used the polar seaway North of Russia. With the help of Soviet icebreakers it reached the Pacific. That way was no option for the voyage home so it went south of America into Atlantic and then to France.

    It met with two U-Boote as first escort and then planes came, Near the coast M-Boote and Torpedoboote came as escort. In Channel MTB attacked but just one came into torpedo range, He missed.

    At that time Komet was painted grey, disguised as Sperrbrecher 52. The same was done at time of dinking. So I choose grey for my model, not one of the neutral shipping camos. Years ago I did a 1/1250 Komet under disguise as St. Thome Lisboa. It did not fight in that disguise used in Atlantic.

    invisible officer

    The holds before the bridge housed an Arado 196 plane and LS 2 Meteorit. The plane was lost in an accident early in Pacific and the LS (Leichtes Schnellboot) had engine troubles from the start. So it did not reach the 34 kts it was built for. It was designed to carry three magnetic mines, to be laid with launchers at stern.

    Komet carried 30 mines but none was laid by Meteorit. 23.12.40 it was scuttled near Bismarck Archipel. Komet’s mines got lai
    d by a taken whaler.

    12 LS boats got made, most got later stern torpedo tubes. LS 3 and 4 are lost with HSK 8 Kormoran and HSK 9 Michel.

    It was a must to do Meteorit. It was used to carry prize crews for some time so it had a bit of action.

    The name Komet was chosen by Kapitän z.S. Robert Eyssen. He had served in WW I in cruiser war on board SMS Karlsruhe. Later he served on M- and S-Boote.

    I 1939 he had an office job at Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine, being CO of Militärische Abteilung.

    He volunteered for front service as CO of an armed merchant cruiser. Januar 41 he was promoted to Konteradmiral. 22. Nov. 41 he got the Ritterkreuz. Following the return he became Verbindungsoffizier Marine / Luftwaffe for Black sea. August 42 – Juki 44 CO Marineamt Oslo. And at last Kommandeur Wehrbezirkskommandos III in Wien.

    So like most of the original crew he was lucky not to be on Komet in October 1942. Just 10 of the 251 dead had been on the first cruise.

    invisible officer

    LS 2 Meteorit was a dwarf compared to the S-Boote.

    And a fleet pic with Komet


    Awesome as normal!

    I’ve built a Komet in 1/600 (Both guns out adn disguised) but I really struggled for proper drawings and pictures. I had to guess on some of the gun installation details.

    Do you have any decent sources for drawings and descriptions?

    invisible officer

    Thank you.

    Some details came from the print Edition of Eyssen’s Kriegstagebuch. Like pics of the gun in Luke III and a mast mounted 2 cm.
    (Fascinating reading)

    I got other details from Arbeitskreis Gröner. The plan in Gröner Die Deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-945 vol 3 is a bit small.

    There are some ??? about conversions between the two cruises.

    Well, I did it as a wargaming model, not a collecting one.

    Good pics of LS 2 are published in Squadron Signal Schnellboot in Action 4018


    Thanks I’ll see what I can find.
    Mine was built form internet sources, and while I’ve got the guns in the right place it’s frustraiting not to be able to add details accurately.

    invisible officer

    My main problem was the Bridge/Island structure. Eyssen had made the AMC conversion with many many options for disguise. So hardly two pics show it the same.
    The lower deck could be open, closed, partly open…….

    I got a dark picture showing the Komet disguised as Sperrbrecher. The gun “ports” open for a Training (?) shooting. So I used the Island style from that. Unfortunately not dated, so may be before first or second cruise. Or even taken from one of the escorts in channel?

    Or the sun protection on top of upper bridge. I did it without for channel but that is a ??? I guess it is wrong because the ship had one in civil use. But I can add it any time later.

    Some claim a fixed rangefinder Langbasis on upper bridge, others a hand held one. (There was one used aft by the AA commander)

    The heavy beam was taken away from mast post Meteorit loss but was rigged again in some disguises. In that dark picture it had it. So…..


    Thanks again.
    Any thoughts on paint schemes when disguised? I guess black hull and white upperworks?

    invisible officer

    On the Russion polar voyage disguise was as German merchant Donau, black hull and White Islands. Black stack.

    Coming into Pacific it got a Soviet look (see pic)

    Mango Maru in Pacific similar but bridge in wood color. Only top of stack black. Below first mast and Island Japanese flags painted on hull.

    Leaving Pacific for Atlantic it got another japanese look. With a staysail at mast . (See Picture)

    In Atlantic as S. Thome Lisboa Black hull with White line from anchor to Stern.
    Below central island and abvoe line the name with Lisboa. Black stack. Bridge Wood and sund protection on upper Bridge.

    It was just luck that the real S.Thome was very near. Good camo, even a German plane thought the true one to be Komet.

    Having passed the last Peninsula harbor it was repainted. First just the Name and then Grey.

    In action any neutral flag painting got covered with cloth.


    Nice build! showing off some skill once again.

    invisible officer

    Hmm, seeing todays article on a HSK 7 Komet model made me curious. Why did I scratch one with a lot of work if one is……… –

    But I soon saw that my model does not need to hide behind that commercial one.
    The printed details and the surface are inferior. Worst, they put triple torpedo tube sets in the niches, two of the six the vessel carried had been below waterline. Bad research ? The boats and Meteorit are rudimentary at best.

    OK, it’s a gaming toy.


    But why is the article so full of mistakes?

    „She met more success later in the Panama Canal, still disguised as Japanese, sinking three vessels.” No German AMC entered an enemy or neutral controlled channel for obvious reasons.

    Komet was home in November 41. The USA was still neutral, so canal zone attacks would have been extremely stupid.

    Or : “. Although on this occasion, the Komet had been escorted by 4 MTBS”. The escort was 4 Flottentorpedoboote, “Slightly” bigger vessels, like Escort destroyers. And some M-Boote.


    The printed details and the surface are inferior. Worst, they put triple torpedo tube sets in the niches, two of the six the vessel carried had been below waterline. Bad research ? The boats and Meteorit are rudimentary at best.

    OK, it’s a gaming toy.

    I didn’t dive further into 3d printing after i got the 3d printed KFKs and those were made in a SLA-printer (photoactive resin). But i think that filament printers can do finer resolutions, which in my opinion are necessary in this scale.
    BUT of course cost is a factor and 3d prints get insanely expensive, when you order them by a 3rd party.

    Regarding details like the torpedos, well i assue you use what you have in the scale and tripple tubes will most likely be more common.
    But again source may be vague, so the armament just said 6 torpedos, when you only know the position of the launchers above water (when referencing photographies, for example), you might assume that there should be triples.

    Although on this occasion, the Komet had been escorted by 4 MTBS”. The escort was 4 Flottentorpedoboote, “Slightly” bigger vessels, like Escort destroyers. And some M-Boote.

    Most likely an error that was “lost in translation”. When translating from german to english, someone didn’t know what the ship was but understood “Torpedoboote” and translated just that.

    Except the more interesting camouflage, i still like yours much more.

    Right now i’m looking for something to build and paint and with the lack of releases that interest me i might go for a auxiliary cruiser as well, Komet beeing a good candidate because i have alot references for this ship. Well i got 1 more week to decide, so we will see…

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