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TomDougherty

Russian Golf II Submarine

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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.
 

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Edited by TomDougherty
clarification

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Way cool - classic, Cold War spookiness!

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