Thanks for posting all those photos AquaDeep Dave! I see you say that your hull and tower have virtually no rivets.. That might explain why I am having trouble seeing them on your kit. Hmm.. others say rivets should be on them. I was able to see traces of rivets on the tower in the photo posted by Wheelerdealer.
Did your bow planes come already notched (the angle cut so that they clear the sides of the hull when moving) and were they cut to correct size? Back in the day Sam stated all four planes were identical in shape and the bow planes had to be shaped and notched by the builder, along with having to drill holes in all of the planes and rudder to accept shafts. I read that in the past the rudder on this kit used to be thicker and that somewhere along the line, Bob reduced the thickness of it to make it more to scale with the real one. After viewing Dave's pictures, I still think the dive planes are too thick when compared with the ones on the real boats.
On the other hand yes, Big Dave's 1/40th hull DOES have lots of rivets. It even has the horizontal dashed lines along the sides of the tail which were on the real XXIIIs. His hull is the only XXIII model I have yet to see which includes that detail (without the builder having to add it from scratch). Dave will have to scratch the dive planes, plane guards, rudder, masts, scope base and entire bridge interior on his. Won't you Dave? If I had the tools and materials that you have, I probably would have bought it and you wouldn't have it right now
As I recall, your hull is probably almost as thick as the OTW one. It really is quite a detailed hull, but it was just that.. only the hull and outer tower structure, as it came with nothing else. That hull has sat around now for almost 3 years so hopefully Dave, using all his tools, gizmos and know how, will finish it and we can all see how good it will look when completed. It would also be a perfect mate for the Robbe XXI as they are the same scale.
Also Big Dave, are those Tamiya 1/16th RC Sherman and Tiger II tanks I see gathering dust on the shelf beneath the XXIII?