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MSSA LA class - Quality of this hull and bits?

Eastern States of Australia

Postby TimW » Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:11 pm

G'day,

I'm looking to get into this submarining lark. I'm close to finishing a target (1/96 WWII K class destroyer) but I'm looking to build something that is more interesting to operate.

I saw the MSSA catalogue on the Graysubs page and I'd like to hear from anyone who has seen and/or built the 1/72 LA class. The price seems very good compared with the overseas kit and hull offerings, the scale would make a good-sized model and would allow me to operate with Task Force 72, and it's a local product which are all pluses. :)

My only question is then how does the quality and detail of the hull and mouldings compare with other kits available (e.g. the Scale Shipyard hull in the same scale, or the Thor Design kits)?

Cheers,

Tim
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Postby Art Broder » Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:32 am

Tim,
I built a 1/72 L.A. as the San Juan. My kit was from Ships n' Things. MikesSubworks has a similar hull for sale. See some photos of the built model at My Webpage. Click on [/U]Pictures[U] in the left column, and then choose the L.A. album.
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Postby David H » Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:33 am

Dear tim,

I don't have an MSSA L.A. I built my own, However I have run Alan Collin's L.A at the newcastle regatta in January of this year and have to say that I'm impressed.

It is a beautiful kit with heaps of room. A quality job. I've met the two queensland bloke who are MSSA and they have developed this kit through a lot of experience. There were a couple of them running at that meet. Popular boat.

You can see my stuff on the "Deep down"site,

regards,

David H
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Postby David H » Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:34 am

Dear tim,

I don't have an MSSA L.A. I built my own, However I have run Alan Collin's L.A at the newcastle regatta in January of this year and have to say that I'm impressed.

It is a beautiful kit with heaps of room. A quality job. I've met the two queensland blokes who are MSSA and they have developed this kit through a lot of experience. There were a couple of them running at that meet. Popular boat.

You can see my stuff on the "Deep down"site,

regards,

David H
"Baldrick ,you would'nt recognise a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced on top a harpsichord singing "Subtle plans are here again!!" Blackadder.
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Postby Slats » Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:42 pm

Tim,
for the money its good value. I had one to build but sold it. Jim Russell and Cameron Glassford the two Queensland guys that own and run MSSA are top notch great guys. I can recommend them and the products they sell.
In regards to you question as how does it compare to other hull kits, I have recently built the Thor 1/72 scale Alfa. The comparison of kits is like chalk and cheese. Whilst MSSA is great value for money, the Thor quality is also great value for money. Thor kits do cost more. But the difference is the Thor kits come fully detailed to museum standard and have indexing lips incorporated into the lower hull that allows perfect fit of the upper and lower hulls all the time.

You pay more for the Thor, but its worth it. I have built a Permit class 1/72 scale boat which was of identical quality standard to MSSA's 1/72 LA. The mucking around with installing index lips myself, was a tear your hair out frustration. The time spent on this exercise alone, was more time consuming than building the Thor Alfa completely!
It all comes down to whether or not you value your time ahead of or in line with your wallet.

So the MSSA 1/72 is good value for money - you do get a great looking / working LA, but the Thor kits are good value too despite the higher price tag. :p

Do you have your heart set on an LA? I have recently mothballed my 1/72 scale USS Plunger (Permit class) boat.
I would be happy to sell this complete boat (with empty WTC with gear box and motor and all seals) to a good home. -All you need do is install your own electronics / ballast tank -re ballast the boat and your away. -Comes with display stand and storage box. Ask price is $A800. You can view photos on the Deep down website.

Regards
John Slater
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Postby TimW » Thu Sep 11, 2003 12:16 am

Thanks John, that's about what I expected. I'm not sure how I'd justify the cost of a Thor kit to my partner unfortunately.

I'm not set on the LA - it was just that it seems to be one of the few 1/72 boats available, along with a few from Scale Shipyard and the Thor Alfa. Maybe I'll wait for Russ French to come out with his Collins class kit.

Thanks for the offer on your Permit class boat, but I'd rather build it myself since that's what I enjoy about modelling.

Cheers,

Tim
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Postby Bradv » Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:45 am

Having visited Cameron & Jim for some time now, I can say that not only is their L.A. kit very well built, but that it has also come a long way from the first revision they produced which probably many of the local Aussie guys have seen.

IMHO the module & electronics are world-class, at least as good if not better than anything I have seen from overseas (from reading the SubCommittee Review & checking websites). The module itself is tested to quite a high pressure, and the electronics & systems include a very stable pump-ballast system, auto-levelling and emergency-surface if radio contact is lost.

The hull has a good amount of detail, from memory is 160cm long and all in all is pretty nice looking. I think the newer revisions even have an indexing lip :-) Having spent quite a bit of time investigating what sub to buy for myself I can honestly say that the MSSA L.A. sub is excellent value for money - you'll get a much nicer boat locally for cheaper than you could get overseas. If you can justify the pricetag to your spouse I'd highly recommend it.

P.S. Unfortunately I failed in justifying the price to my spouse :-( So I went for the Dumas Akula from SubTech, which is about 1/2 the price, but also about 1/4 of the quality. But as my first boat, I've had a lot of fun building it :-)
Brad
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