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TomDougherty

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Everything posted by TomDougherty

  1. Thanks, Mark, for your comment. The Navy tried one more DC turboelectric drive submarine, the modified Sturgeon class Glenard P. Lipscomb. It was very quiet, but again slow, like Tullibee. DC does not scale well as power is increased. However, the upcoming Columbia class SSBN class, the Ohio replacements, are currently planned to have AC turbo electric drive. The AC electric motors will be more compact than the massive DC versions, and much quieter than steam turbines and gear trains currently in use. At one point, later block versions of the Virginia class were also planned to have turbo electric drive, but I think that was dropped.
  2. This is a model of USS Tullibee SSN 597, a 1960 attempt at a small nuclear powered hunter/killer submarine. During the 1940-50's, an SSK program consisted of both converted WWII fleet submarines, which were equipped with a large BQR-4 bow sonar, as well as building small, diesel SSKs with a bow that had both the large BQR-4 and a smaller "chin" mounted BQR-2. The goal was to have a "barrier" strategy and use the long range BQR-4 low frequency sonar to detect Soviet diesel submarines and hunt them in the event that a war in Europe broke out. While the fleet boat SSK conversions worked reasonably well, the smaller SSKs (K1, K2, and K3) were found to be deficient in a number of areas, and only three built. Most alarmingly, however was the arrival of nuclear powered submarines. Nautilus (SSN 571) and Seawolf (SSN 575) quickly demonstrated the ability to move rapidly in three dimensions underwater, largely defeating the 1950 era sonar sets such as the BQR-4. The solution was to equip submarines with a BQQ-2 sonar sphere, a large metal ball with multiple hydrophones (1200+) aimed in three dimensions. To test this concept, a nuclear powered, small hunter killer was designed and that was Tullibee. The hemispherical bow was given over to the BQQ-2 sonar sphere, with the torpedo room and torpedo tubes moved further aft and the tubes angled out at 10 degrees. Also, the submarine was equipped with an early version of PUFFS fins. The PUFFS was a passive fire control system that used time of arrival of sound along the baseline of the hull to generate a target bearing. The hull was long and narrow (273 feet X 23.7 feet) to place the bow sonar sphere as far away from the machinery spaces as possible. Displacement was only 2300 tons surfaced, and test depth 700 feet. Because the early nuclear submarines proved to have noisy steam propulsion plants with turbine and reduction gear noise, Tullibee employed quiet turboelectric drive. A compact, 2500 shaft horsepower S2C nuclear reactor provided steam to drive electric turbogenerators. The electrical power from these generators was then employed in a DC direct drive electric motor system coupled to the propeller shaft. In service, Tullibee proved to be very quiet, albeit slow (16 knots top submerged speed). Her turboelectric drive plant proved to be troublesome over time. The decision was made not to have a separate hunter/killer SSKN and attack submarine SSN, but to combine the hunter/killer and attack missions in the Thresher/Permit class. These submarines had sonar spheres, relocated torpedo tubes, and were quieted by placing the steam turbines and gear machinery on sound isolation rafts, greatly reducing sound transmitted externally. Thus Tullibee ended up as a unique, one off experiment, and not the prototype for a fleet of SSKN hunters. The model of Tullibee is the old 1/350 scale Yankee ModelWorks resin kit. I pinned the various control surfaces to the hull with metal wire inserted into pre-drilled holes and fastened with cyanoacrylate glue. The kit has a photo etch propeller, which I replace with one of Mike Fuller's superb 3-D printed propellers. Early in her career, Tullibee had a five bladed propeller and a small set of PUFFS fins on her upper hull. There were three PUFFS installed, but the center fin is abaft the sail, beneath the aft turtleback. These items were later replaced by a 7 blade J-propeller and a larger set of PUFFS fins. The resin kit did not have ballast tank openings, so I added a set of photo etch vents in the appropriate places. After priming, Tullibee was finished in her "as launched" color scheme, with the rescue buoys still in orange. It is a unique looking early nuclear submarine.
  3. Thanks! These modified submarines were overshadowed by the emerging nuclear powered submarines in the late 1950’s-early 1960’s. In fact, it would take more than ten years to build enough nuclear powered attack (SSN) submarines to fill the numerical gap that the Guppy boats filled in the early postwar era. I have one more Yankee ModelWorks/Tom’s kit of the heavily modified Guppy III class to build. This is a model of Clamagore, a Guppy III museum ship at Patriots Point, SC.
  4. This model is USS Becuna, SS 319, after conversion to GUPPY IA configuration. The early Cold War Guppy program (Greater Underwater Propulsive Power) modified existing WWII fleet submarines for increased speed, more advanced sonar and added a snorkel. Lessons from the advanced, streamlined German Type XXI class were studied and adapted. This was a response to the Soviet Union’s postwar submarine building program (Project 613, NATO Whiskey class). The WWII Balao & Tench class conning towers were enclosed by a streamlined sail covering, having a bridge on the lower level and enclosing the various masts in the upper level. Included among the masts was a snorkel allowing the batteries to be recharged while submerged as a shallow depth. In the Guppy II program, new batteries with more plates were also installed, and the lower areas rearranged to accommodate 512 battery cells, vs the WWII 256 cells. Becuna as a Guppy IA, instead retained the number of batteries, but received the improved Sargo batteries. The bow was modified from the World War II “bull nose” to a more rounded bow that handled better in rough waters of the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. On Becuna, this is the Electric Boat “step sail” design. A somewhat different “step sail” design by Portsmouth Naval Ship Yard was also employed. Various streamlined coverings were placed over deck sonar equipment, and a BQR-2 “chin” sonar added later in the program. Configurations varied over time as new equipment was developed. Various modifications of these Guppy submarine “smoke boats” carried the deployment load until the mid to late 1960’s, when the growing numbers of nuclear powered SSNs could gradually assume these duties. Becuna is preserved as a museum boat, and can be visited at the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, Pa.. This construction is a hybrid of the accurate Yankee Models resin Guppy hull combined with the more accurate Tom’s Modelworks resin Electric boat sail. The BQR-2 chin sonar was built up from Milliput and sanded to shape. Various domes were also employing Milliput sanded to shape. I sanded off the molded sail rails and added wire hand rails to the sail. The 5 bladed propeller employed on Guppy submarines was included in the Yankee Models kit. After painting by priming with Mr. Surfacer 1000 and airbrushing Badger acrylics, I outlined the deck safety rail with a fine tip silver pencil. Pastels were employed to make diesel exhaust smudges. I mount my models on home made oak bases with brass rods.
  5. Really a nice job on the conversion! I had a chance to photograph the real thing at Pima Air Museum, and you captured it exactly!
  6. Very nice and really interesting to see it in the folded version. Having been around 2 or 3 of these at museums, I have always marveled at their landing on slant deck converted Essex Class carriers. How big is this model in terms of inches?
  7. Very nice job on the model. Excellent work on finishing a decent kit. Nice touch to add the after market propeller. I have a set of 3D printer propellers on order from “Mulsannemike”. He has created a series of very accurate propellers. These include Ohio class, Sturgeon J- propellers, and 3 variants for the different LosAngeles class submarines. Florida was never in combat. She was an early Ohio class SSBN conducting deterrent patrols with Trident ballistic missiles for many years. She was one of a handful of SSBNs that were converted to SSGN, with her Trident missile tubes refitted with multiple launchers for Tomahawk cruise missiles. Each tube holds multiple Tomahawk cruise missile, allowing a massive launch capability. Two of the tubes were also converted to Special Forces lock out chambers. A deck hanger for Seal Delivery Vehicles was also fitted. As these SSGNs age and reach end of life, they are planned to be replaced by newer Virginia class submarines (Block V) with a midship multi mission module that will hold cruise missiles.
  8. The model still looks great, despite the painting challenges! Interesting concept spacecraft. Some of those 1000 layers of paint will burn off during reentry
  9. Great job and the finish is superb. Maybe Atlantis Models has those Aurora molds and will reissue the kit. Or maybe they were lost in the train wreck... I had an opportunity three years ago to walk around a B-58 at Pima Air Museum in Arizona. They also have a B-36 and two B-52s. Took several hundred photos with a Nikon DSLR. Unfortunately the finish on their B-58 was faded from sitting out over the years. I think they work through and refurbish them every few years. The 36 looked very nice. Again, a really nice job on an older kit from my childhood! Tom
  10. Let me know, we can set up a Dropbox for the photos.
  11. Rick, I have a lot of Nikon DSLR 25 Mp photos of Discovery, as a complete walk around. Some photos were taken from about 7 feet away. And, yes, she is scorched, you can see the streak marks. Tom
  12. Rick, I just checked Amazon, and unfortunately the LM book is out of print. I paid $32 for it, and it is now going for 10X that price!! Ouch! If you need any particular views, let me know. I have a 25 Mp Nikon and a scanner. I can make you copies of pages. Tom
  13. Very nice (re)build of an old and mediocre kit. Did you use the Scott Sullivan “Virtual LM” book as a source? I find it great for the details and the subtle differences between the earlier H and later J series LM. Extremely well done; congratulations! Tom
  14. I recently completed a build of a 1960's era Russian Golf II ballistic missile submarine. This kit is the Polar Bear Models Golf II resin kit. Polar Bear operates out of Severodvinsk, Russia, and makes virtually all Russian submarines in resin. I This kit is a bit of a challenge, as there are prominent seams that run the length of the submarine on both the deck and the keel. Removing/filling in without destroying details is....interesting. There are some other areas of the model assembly as well that can be perplexing, to say the least, but with some planning, skill and patience you can obtain a very good result. The upside of the kit is that the kit matches exactly photographs and the very large set drawings I obtained from Russia of the Golf II some years back. One should not confuse this kit with the recently released Hobby Boss Golf I. The HB kit is of the highly modified Chinese Golf I, which carried only two Chinese designed missiles. The Golf II (Project 629A) was a diesel powered submarine that housed 3 missiles in the sail. These were large, liquid fueled missiles that required a keel extension to accomodate the missile length. They were launched from underwater, and their range was 750 nautical miles. The warhead was a 1 megaton hydrogen bomb. In 1968, one of these submarines, the K-129, was lost in the mid Pacific Ocean in 16,400 feet of water. The Russian Navy was unsuccessful in locating the missing submarine, but five sets of US hydrophones had detected the noise of the loss. Using the hydrophone triangulation data, a probably location was established. After the wreck was located by the Special Projects submarine USS Halibut, employing towed camera/sonar, it was decided to try to recover the front half of the wreck (which was in 3 pieces on the ocean floor). This part of the wreck contained one intact missile tube and would also potentially have code equipment and other items of interest. The CIA directed expedition, Project Azorian, built a large ship, the Glomar Explorer, which lowered down a sophisticated grappling device to enclose the wreck on the ocean floor and lift it to the surface. This 1974 mission was partially successful. The director of the lift operation, David Sharp, has written a book about the operation (The CIA's Greatest Covert Operation: Inside the Daring Mission to Recover a Nuclear-Armed Soviet Sub), which is currently under development by producer Ridley Scott as a feature film (tentatively entitled "Neither Confirm nor Deny"). I have emailed David over the years and was surprised to find that he did not have a model of the Golf II, although he still has a small piece of the K-129 hull itself. I bought two kits, one for him and one for myself, and the photos below are of the kit I assembled for him. I will be driving down to Annapolis from the Boston area once the virus pandemic settles to hand deliver it, 'cause I don't trust any of the delivery services to get it there in one piece.
  15. Great job on the F7U “Gutless Cutlass” model! I’ be seen a couple of these at museums, and you have captured the unique look of this aircraft.
  16. Wouldn't be the first time that a submarine kit disappeared from a manufacturer's list. Hobby Boss had a 1/350 Golf ballistic missile sub listed a few years ago that never materialized. (2020 update- it’s finally out!!) The Alanger kit was a Delta IV, not a III. The Zvezda K-3 is a November class (Project 627) SSN. If you can work with resin, there is a Russian outfit in Severodvinsk that makes highly accurate & detailed Russian submarines of many types in 1/350 scale. He sells on Ebay and the prices are decent; service is excellent. Currently he has Delta I, (Project 667B) II, (Project 667BD) III, (Project 667BDR) & IV (Project 667BDRM) SSBN kits listed; also earlier Soviet generation Hotel (Project 658) & Yankee (Project 667) SSBNs. He also makes most Soviet SSNs. The only drawback to the kits is he uses a hard, dark red resin and doesn't appear to have access to modern vacuum resin casting technology. As a result, although the hull is one piece, there is a prominent seam line on the upper and lower hull that is a real project to remove without destroying details. Working on one right now (Golf II SSB), and have spent 8+ hours on seam remediation alone. He also puts two 1/4 inch mounting holes in the hull bottom that have turned up edges, resembling lunar craters. A bit overdone for my taste, as I mount ships on 1/8 inch brass posts and a wood base. The rest of the assembly is relatively straightforward if you have done resin kits in the past. If you are new to resin, start with an easier & “cleaner” assembly, such as the Blue Ridge Albacore kit. If interested, contact me and I will give you Boris' contact information & eBay seller name.
  17. The best source for visual information on the Balao class is: http://navsource.org/archives/08/pdf/0829295.pdf Also, photos of SS-377 in all configurations are available at Navsource (http://www.navsource.org/archives/subidx.htm). It is under the Fleet Submarines heading. It is unclear from your posting: do you want to build Menhaden (SS-377) in the "as built" configuration or in the Guppy II postwar conversions? Depending on your answer, there are a few points that differ for each. If you are doing the "as built" fleet boat, from Nautilus your only choice is the Icefish conning tower (180-003). You will also need a 1/180 5/25 gun (Nautilus 180-050) for the rear deck and a Bofors. Because the Revell USS Growler (aka Flasher and (incorrectly) aka Lionfish) kit has incorrect limber holes and two propellers that turn in the same direction, and an incorrect deck layout for a Balao, the Trumpeter 1/144 is a better starting point. That of course depends on how much accuracy you wish to obtain in your build. Your decision, build what you want. For the Trumpeter kit, Nautilus also made conversions, which are now unfortunately OOP. So, maybe it is better to stick with the Revell kit. You will need to drill out the upper half round limber holes and sand away the slot outlines below those. SS-377 was built in Manitowoc, which employed the Electric Boat plan set, outwardly distinguished by the limber holes as half rounds with no slots. The below deck boat (outline on forward deck) was only on the earliest Gato class boasts. Sand it off. Several fleet submarines were modified (in slightly different ways) to “Guppy” conversions. Guppy = Greater Underwater Propulsive Power, with the y for alliterative purposes. These featured streamlined enclosures over the conning towers , snorkels, and bow streamlining. Postwar, Menhaden was converted to Guppy IIA with an Electric Boat step sail and then subsequently fitted with a high Atlantic fiberglass sail. In that case, for the Guppy IIa, the only choices are the somewhat out of size Shapeways 1/200 USS Gato Fairwater v2, made by diStefan 3Dprint or (the better choices) the much more extensive line available from Iron Bottom Sound at: http://ibs.eastcoastarmory.com/Csets.htm They carry in 1/178 (Revell kit) scale the EB Step sail, the high Atlantic sail and a bow conversion kit to replace the fleet submarine "Bull nose" with the rounded Guppy bow. All are cast in resin. They also carry correct propeller sets (in white metal) for the Revell kit, depending on how much you want to detail correctly. You will also need to fashion a deck safety rail slot, that ran along the deck. The high Atlantic sail purpose was to get the bridge crew up higher, as the storm driven waves in the North Atlantic (and North Pacific as well) would soak watch standers on the bridge of the lower step sails. It had an internal metal frame and fiberglass skin, to keep down the weight of the sail and improve roll stability. I am currently building both a resin 1/350 scale Guppy II with the Electric Boat step sail and a Guppy III with the high Atlantic sail and the three PUFFS sonar fins. These are both combinations of hulls from the old Yankee Modelworks resin Guppy kits with the more accurate Tom's Modelworks resin sails. If you have additional questions, email me; I am listed in the SIGS section in the IPMS Journal under the SubCommittee (submarine) section).
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