I have intended on building this model for some time. Partially because it is one of the nuke training ships (MTS 626) and because I know a ship mate that once sailed on it. The boat also fits into my goal of having all the US boomer classes in 1/96 (gonna took great on the wall).
I am starting with a SSY Lafayette class hull that I acquired about 3yrs ago. Time has not been kind to this hull as it has begun to bow due to its thin layup. For this reason I am making all the support cradles out of 1/4" G10. There will 6 of them total, not including the shaft support which will be strong as well.
I will also be doing this boat with the bow plane set up that was used for awhile. It was initially installed to help eliminate proposing while at shallow depths. This is an issue for even the ohios. Anyone who has served can tell you how loud a bang the sail planes make when the slap back into the water. If you get the whole missile deck out of the water we generally issue the dive officer of the watch a set of pilots wings. Now from what I have been told by people who were on the boat with the planes on, they worked great. On the other hand they killed the boats top speed due to all the extra drag. For this reason they were removed and a more standard set up installed.
Well here are some photos of the progress. The z cut has been done, some minor filling, saddles are cut and starting to be installed, and the initial z cut has been changed and hull halves re attached.
Initial hole cuts for the MCS saddles
Sail permanently fiberglassed on
Seem fill from the z cut
Fiberglassing the sail on
stern planes install
ballast flood holes cut
cutting out the saddles with diamond wheel
rough saddle before final sanding and fit
All the saddles test fit in
Fabricating the shaft support
Epoxy of the fwd MCS battery compartment saddle
test fit of the stern shaft support