Sperrbrecher 18 "Schürbek"

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    I present my first scratch build ship. It is build with plastic card, metal rods and some Warlord gun bits. I like the result, but having learned some lessons there are some things that i will most likely do different in the future.
    At this point the ship is just primed, because i ran out of some paint. Some more details like crew and some wire may be added.

    You might have seen IO’s Sperrbrecher model before, so i will skip the longer explanation of what a Sperrbrecher is. The short version is, a Sperrbrecher is a civilian ship that is refitted to clear mines.
    For more details see IOs Sperrbrecher 32 Mur
    click here

    But now some infromation on the ship:

    Build by the Flensburger Schiffsbau Gesellschaft, Flensburg (Flensburger shipbuilding company)
    42 mines cleared (30.11.44)
    Hamburg, commissioned as S/S Schürbek
    commissioned as “Schiff 40, Troßschiffkommando”, used as decoy ship with cover name “Transportschiff (K) 1”
    first deployment as decoy ship at Skagerrak
    torpedoed by a british submarine, towed to harbour, decommissioned, refit into VES-Sperrbrecher
    Wesermünde, commissioned as Sperrbrecher 18, 3. SpbrFl
    Hamburg, heavy bomb hits
    broken up

    2448 GRT, 93.6 x 13.9 x 6.2 m
    9 kts (coal fired)
    Armament: (although this most likely varied)
    2 10.5cm guns
    3 twin 3.7cm guns
    4 2cm guns
    4 RaGs

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by elcee.
    invisible officer

    Great work. Painted it will be a gem. Center of many games.


    Very impressive work.


    work on the ship continues, base colours are finished. Now it is time for detail work, like highlights, crew, then washing and weathering.


    So i’m almost finished. The details are done and most of the weathering. Now its time to seal it and do some final highlights (most likely just a light drybruch with a light grey) and some rust.

    Doing some testing with the ship stats:

    150 Hullpoints (at least thats what im thinking of right now)

    2 – 4″ guns (while historically correct this might be reduced to 3″ rules)
    4 – 2cm guns in single mounts
    3 – twin 3.7cm guns, semi automatic
    Radar (not sure about this)
    Gun Director
    Depth Charges
    Degaussing Equipment

    Special Rules (if you have ideas here, your welcome to share them of course)
    4 RAg (AA rockets)
    – similar rules the Holman Projector has, with no option for “normal” fire, with a reduced points cost (2 or 3 pts maybe)
    Schutzstauung (protective stowage)
    – so the Schutzstauung, was used to reduce the effectiveness of mines, in case the ship was hit.
    – reduced mine damage by half

    invisible officer

    Very nice camo . Great work.

    I have no source about an active Funkmessgerät / Radar on Schürbeck.

    Gun director, hmm they had optical range finders. “Entferungsmessgerät / Langbasis” But no central gun control system.

    I doubt that it had Depth Charges. The DC was not part of the usual Spbr arms. The classic book on Sperrbrecher by Arndt has nothing about DC armed Sperrbrecher.


    Quite possible, i used sideviews and a top down view to build the model and some details are vague at best. Part of the reason i chose the Schürbeck was the size, while its still on the large side for the game. The other reason was, that there is a paper model with a top and side view in a larger scale, that helped alot.

    The Gun Director / Fire Director seems plausible (for me), at least the way the book describes the Fire Director rules. While it is most likely a fairly basic system on the ship, its still more than “just” aiming the 4″ guns.

    Regarding the Radar (the rules for ships often metion Radar/Sonar) thats a thing i have been unsure about from the beginning.

    I know there where some barrel shaped objects on the back of the ship (the plans show 5 per side), there are 2 visible on the (small) picture in the 3. “die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945”. So i guessed those were DCs, but they might be part of the mineclearing equipment as well. In game the DCs are of no use anyway, so far we don’t have Subs and with the speed of 9 kts its almost impossible to make the DC driveby mentioned in the rulebook. On the other hand its possible that DCs are left overs when the ship was used as Q-Ship (at least thats my understanding of a “Uboot – Falle”).

    invisible officer

    The Gröner 3 picture also shows the AA flamethrower on top of aft mast.

    How to use that in Cruel seas ……..

    The photos in Arndt show no flamethrower. That’s the problem with drawings.

    Yes, Schiff 40 Schürbeck was a Q ship, used only in March/April 1940
    On 10 April 1940 HMS Tarpon encountered Schiff 40 and attempted to sink the “freighter” with 2 torpedoes, but missed. The Q sighted the periscope and started dropping depth charges and finally a pattern of depth charges brought wreckage to the Surface
    Schürbeck was the only German decoy ship that sank a submarine.

    Two days later torpedo damaged by HMS Sunfish. It was saved by the Schutzstauung. Having that it was decided to convert it into a Sperrbrecher.
    The Special Q arm was two hidden Torpedo tubes. They got removed in conversion so I doubt any DC surviving the conversion.

    Well, your model is a great addition.


    In the end its mostly about the fun, so compromises will be made. When playing i rarely play competitive, its more about telling a story than winning, so in historical games i tend to be closer to what might have been correct.
    So far i haven’t bothered to build ships for other nations (well only the Royal Navy would be a choice), i just lack the material to build something interesting. I really need to get my hands on some useful reading material for them…


    Planing to finish the ship over the long weekend, so time to set up the airbrush…

    Did some testing for the Stats card, still needs some work but the basic layout seems ok.

    invisible officer

    Looks convincing.


    Updated the ship card, with the templates i build in Photoshop i should be able to create new card fairly quickly.

    The card doesn’t show the flag because of legal reasons (until i find a fake KM flag to place in a layer).


    Vessel size is wrong in this picture.

    WG please let us edit posts at any time ant not just after creating….

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