Wiener Modellbau Manufactur
1/350 SMU 5/6 and 12, U-boot of the Austro-Hungarian Navy

Reviewed by Sean Hert

The U-5 class was a class of three submarines bases on the Holland C-class submarines of the Unites States Navy. Two were built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy; U-5 and U-6. The third was completely constructed by Whitehead's at Fiume and purchased by Austria-Hungary to bolster their U-boat fleet after the outbreak of World War I as U-7, and renamed U-12 upon commissioning.

U-5 was perhaps the most famous of this class, being commanded early in the war by Georg Ritter von Trapp (of The Sound of Music fame). Von Trapp had numerous successes while in command, most notably the sinking of the French cruiser Leon Gambetta.


The submarine hull is solidly cast as a single full-hull item. There is a casting/pouring sprue which runs the length of the center on the top of the hull; most manufacturer opt to run the along the keel. This attachment area will require some careful cleanup in an obvious, easily viewed area of the kit. There are free-flood holes in place along the upper hull as well.

The hull is cast with the keel, keel anchor, and hull strakes in place. The stern is also mostly assembled, with the rudder and fared shaft skegs well done.


The resin parts for this sub are limited to a few parts;

  • Conning Tower
  • Dive Plane Assemblies
  • Propeller Hubs

There are two conning towers included; one is suitable for SMU 5 or 6, the other for SMU 12.


A small brass fret of photoetch is included, with over 20 parts provided. These etched parts make up the majority of the assembly required in this kit; prop blades, platforms, railings and hatches


This kit has a small sheet of decals, with hull numbers for the conning tower (5, 6, 7 and 12) and recognition flag/markings for the bow. This decal is laid out in a different manner than the one depicted on the instructions, and the sheet says it is in 1/72 scale, as well as having a different kit number indicated. However, the decals appear to be correct in scale; true 1/72 markings would be 4x as large.


A single page, double-sided, of information, parts list and instructions are included. The instructions are in both German and English languages.

The assembly is presented as more of an exploded view guideline, than in step-by-step directions. There are also paint color recommendations, with a few color images of a completed model for reference. These images are also the only guidance for decal placement.

The images on the instruction sheet, and the specifications listed for this class both refer to deck-mounted 37mm gun. This part does not appear to have been included as an option.


A great little sub kit with an interesting history. Not only was the U-5 responsible for the fame of Korvettenkapitän Georg Ritter von Trapp, but the fictional U-8 of this class features in the novel A Sailor of Austria: In Which, Without Really Intending to, Otto Prohaska Becomes Official War Hero No. 27 of the Habsburg Empire.

This kit has a list price of €28.80, or about $38.00 USD and is available direct from Wiener Modellbau Manufactur. Thanks to WMM for this review sample.