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Posts posted by TomDougherty

  1. 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! 

  2. 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.



  3. 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!



  4. 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.











  5. 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. 



  6. 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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