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Submarine Aesthetics

Place for general submarine conversation

Postby Carter » Sat Jun 07, 2003 5:34 pm

One of the other threads got me to thinking about what makes a sub good looking. This is my own opinion, but I think the tear-drop nukes look better than their predecessors in, say, the Skate class. Among the nukes, a Sturgeon (again to me) looks better than a Permit, or a Los Angeles. A Type IX looks better than a Type VII. Among SSBN's Andrew Jackson (forgot the name of the class) looks better than an Ohio, and so on. However, I'd probably be more interested in a model of George Washington than Andrew Jackson. I guess my criteria for a good looking sub has to do with the same critieria for any work of art or archetecture: harmony, balance, and clean lines. On the other hand, some rather ugly subs look really cool because they are so interesting, monsterous, exotic, complex, striking, radical-looking, and so on.

The way a sub cuts across the surface affects my judgment too: hence my enthuesaasm for Albacore-type hulls.

Anyway, my interest in modeling topics is related to what I take to be the subs that are the best-looking, or the most interesting to look at, and they are:

1) Sturgeon

2) Nazario Sauro

3) Skate

4) Oyashio

5) Some of the large subs built between the wars....

And of course this list changes all the time; except, perhaps, for Sturgeon, which is always at the top of my list.

What do other people see as the best looking subs? What are the ugly subs? And what ugly subs would nonetheless make attractive models?
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Postby Dolphin » Sat Jun 07, 2003 7:18 pm

Aesthetics is a subjective term. I surely know this presently, as a Homeowner's Association President of 80 town homes, we are currently repainting our homes to a beautiful set of new more current colors, tell me what subjective is! In submarine modeling, even the 'ugliest' can have character visually. 'Whoa, that's different'. Weird curves, one navy's design interpretation to a common design issue, hydrodynamics, the interrelationship and compromise in design.

To me the ugliest submarine ever built was the German Type XXIII, a water heater on it's side with a suitcase on top. But it was an effective design, built quick and dirty in a hurry because it had to be. Post-War, the Type XXIII was also a good baseline design from which to build a new German submarine fleet based on the new treaty realities of that era.

In spite of many of us American's being very annoyed with the French lately, look at the French submarines lately. If their was any country that takes aesthetics perhaps beyond others in design considerations it is the French. Modern submarines because they seek the optimum in hydrodynamic performance and quieting, theoretically, all submarines would in time look all the same. France is no different.

Tying this in, here are some of the latest images from the un-official French Navy web site, with some beautiful new photos (a common trait throughout this web page) on the return of the French SSN Saphir (S602) from Operation Hercules in the Indian Ocean. In such a case as this for the modeler, the clean lines show both the pleasure in modeling such a subject, and again also the problem, clean lines. This modeling subject without perhaps the modeler thinking much about it implies how critical it is to get the subtle lines just perfect, and no less, as there is so little detail in the traditional modeling since. The detail is definitely there, don't mistake this. It is just a different kind of detail.

Just a thought, hope it helps. 'Pretty' sub little Saphir is.

http://www.netmarine.net/eng/
http://www.netmarine.net/bat/smarins/saphir/photos.htm
http://www.netmarine.net/bat/smarins/saphir/photo19.htm
http://www.netmarine.net/bat/smarins/saphir/photo09.htm

Regards,

Steve Reichmuth
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Postby AntoineL » Sun Jun 08, 2003 5:28 am

For me , whatever the submarine, seeing one drydocking is always a strong emotion.
Discovering the pure lines of the whole hull, things that were hidden by the water...but maybe I am not talking about aesthetics but only curiosity.

Anyway.....what do you think of this one ?

Hey Steve, do you remember our little game ??.... sub quizz....a new one to find !
Everybody can play :D :D

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Postby U-5075 » Sun Jun 08, 2003 6:40 am

Bonjour, Hi Antoine,

Interesting angle of view. It looks something like one of those Viking ships with a more modern version of an animal figurehead with the lower lines of a fishing schooner. If it wasn't for the torpedo doors, I wouldn't have an idea what it was.

Neat picture! Nice lines.

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Postby Sub culture » Sun Jun 08, 2003 8:00 am

Large rivets, plating and barbs usually do it for me!

:laugh:

I like sci-fi vessels mostly. Most military boats leave me cold, especially nukes- tube with a cork on, mostly!

Exceptions being the Typhoon (ugly as sin, but different) and the Vanguard , which I have castings of.

Some of the midget boats are interesting designs.

I like a lot of submersible designs like Norbert Bruggens Delta- they make great performers too.

Favourite vessels-

Disney Nautilus
Proteus
Seehund
ABC Nautilus
Alvin

Andy
'Why are you staring at an empty pond?'

Want to dive your boat in crystal clear water? Then you had better Dive-in- http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk
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Postby Bob the Builder » Sun Jun 08, 2003 8:52 am

I just have to agree with Andy. I'm a fantasy sub guy, myself. After my 1/32 Disney Nautilus will come a 48" ABC Nautilus.

If I'm anxious to get another one in the water fast, I think I'll do up a Sturgeon or Seawolf modern sub. The simple shape and minimal surface detail should make for a quick build.

As an afterthought, I guess the modern subs have a lot of details, but they're so subtle that from an distance over two feet away, they're completely lost. I like the unmistakable lines of Goff's Nautilus for that reason.
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RCSub homepage: http://www.rc-sub.com
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Postby Dolphin » Sun Jun 08, 2003 2:17 pm

'For me , whatever the submarine, seeing one dry-docking is always a strong emotion. Discovering the pure lines of the whole hull, things that were hidden by the water...but maybe I am not talking about aesthetics but only curiosity'.


Well said Antoine. Seeing the whole vessel externally is an impressive site that gratifies the curiosity and allows complete appreciation of the boat. In researching these vessels, I get the same emotion when something new has been discovered (at least by me anyways). I gave this affliction a comic clinical name too, I jokingly call it to my self - the 'Jack Ryan syndrome', or 'Sous-marin Voyeur'. :) Perhaps to be safer, we should just call ourselves 'underwater bird watchers'. :)

Back to aesthetics, many navies and their submarine designs follow curtain themes, French submarines follow a need for elegance in their own eyes. The Germans follow a beauty that comes first from a clear sence of engineering purpose. The mission of the design is often angular and direct, with all the elements integrated into a elegant form as a whole.

The Americans tend to have a good balance visually, and follow a sence of efficiency of design that comes from mass production and cost savings spread out in numbers of vessels without making any economies of effective design. I have seldom ever seen an American vessel that would be what might be regarded as 'under-gunned'. If it appears under gunned, it is only to conceal from the eye and the weather.

Russian submarines have beauty in line and form, but almost always drawn with a tough rough rustic elegance. Bold in design because they may have needed to be, sometimes not so smooth in turning that design into practice, though eventually they will. Russian surface warships follow a pattern, elegant clean hulls with unusual curves in chine's and lines, good see keeping most times if often with low free board, but complex and intimidating superstructures with everything hanging out for the eye, but perhaps unfortunately also the weather.

Hey Antoine! (Bonjour Antoine!) I enjoyed our little game of 'Sub Quiizz'. Thank you for reminding me! My guess is the image is of the French submarine of the 'Narval' class. The post-war French submarines tended to follow the same general outline, varying mainly in size and tonnage. The smaller Arethuse class had 4 bow tubes, the Daphine class 8 bow tubes plus 4 stern, so I guess this image is of the 'Narval' class - 6 bow tubes.

Here is another image of another submarine. Can you guess this one? :)

Regards,

Steve Reichmuth




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Postby AntoineL » Sun Jun 08, 2003 3:28 pm

Steve

I give you a A !! well done ! It is a Narval class sub.
My turn,....well.......thats one of my favourite sub, isnt it a Papa ? The fastest submarine in the world with 44.7 kts ?

What about this one ? getting harder..... :laugh:

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Postby Dolphin » Tue Jun 10, 2003 11:28 pm

Thanks for the 'A' Antoine, I give you an 'A' also for the 'Papa'.

The submarine image above is the French submarine 'Bouan' Q-176 (ex-German U-510), a French war prize, a former German Type IXc. The casing and limber holes looked like a type IX, just tying in the conning tower was the fun part. U-510 had a good war record. Taken out of service on 10 May, 1945 at St Nazaire, France. Surrendered to France 12 May, 1945. Operated with the French Navy. Stricken 1 May, 1959. Broken up in 1960.

This Bouan picture is a great one (challenging!), one that stumped me for a day or two. Knowing that you love of German subs and you being French, and your infatuation with the cool looking Roland Morillot, it then came together.

I am working on a new quiz picture, just give me just a day or two only to post it. It will be posted here linked from the SC Mare Island page. He He He!

Antoine, your good!

Steve Reichmuth
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Postby AntoineL » Thu Jun 12, 2003 4:54 am

Steve,

Here is a A+ for you !!!!! (the + is for the number of the hull, Q176..... :D )

I am looking forward to your new quizz...I already have the next one ready.

Hey fellows !! you can play too !!

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Postby Dolphin » Thu Jun 12, 2003 11:44 pm

Here it is Antoine, Hope it isn't too tough. He He He!

Name the Navy it belongs to = B
Name the submarine itself! = A+
Only hint - date of image 1912

Jump in anyone! :)

Steve Reichmuth

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Postby AntoineL » Sat Jun 14, 2003 7:23 am

huh........thats all I can say for the moment.......but I havent given up yet :D

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Postby KOEZE » Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:27 am

I'll give it a try.

Is is a sub of the same class as the English HMS E3. (WWI sub sunk in the waters just north of us.

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Postby AntoineL » Sat Jun 14, 2003 12:07 pm

Ok......here is my answer.
First of all, I would agree with EJK, it should be a british sub, but not a E class.

I am not convinced but maybe the C13.... ???

no ? F- ????? WHAT ??? :p

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Postby KOEZE » Sat Jun 14, 2003 1:34 pm

Do'n't know about the c-class. The Conning tower looks to small, the large bulge on de rear deck and the prop guards don't show on the photo's of the c-class sub I've seen.
Also check
http://www.britsub.net/html/c_class.htm

Couldn't find anything that looks like it.

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