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First you start with Revell's Lionfish then . . . . .

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First you start with Revell's Lionfish then . . . . .

Postby RickNelson » Fri May 11, 2007 1:03 pm

Here are some photos of work in progress. I'm using Revell's venerable USS Lionfish (1/178) as the basis for a model of the USS Grouper, SS-214, circa July 1945. I picked the Grouper for a number of reasons:

1. Her sail has the classic openwork or "Covered Wagon" look which I feel is so identified with the WWII fleet submarine.

2. She typifies the ultimate in WWII Submarine technology.

3. Her limber holes match the Lionfish.

4. She has dual 40mm mounts and a 5"/25 gun.

I used the Revell Lionfish because when I started this project it was the only Gato kit available and I was familiar with it and its warts.

So far I have just about finished modifying the sail and I have most of the hull done. I plan on portraying her submerged on an approach. I did not attempt to scale the teak decking. Nautilus had not yet come out with their wood deck replacement when I started. All of the scratch work I did is in 1/192 scale even though the kit is 1/178. I still have to create the parabolic reflectors for the SJ and SV radar antennas. I built the platform for the masthead light and I will install the clear plastic light after painting. There are only 3-4 photos of the USS Grouper that I have been able to find. I have about 115 pages of reverse-engineering drawings I've created for the scratch work I had to do. I want to thank the folks at the USS Cod Museum and Tom Dougherty of SubCommittee for the photos they got for me of specific areas of the Cod and Flasher sails. I also used my own photos of the Pompanato in San Francisco, the Lionfish in Fall River, MA, the Drum in Mobile, Alabama, and the Flasher sail in Groton, CT. And thank God for Floating Drydock's Gat and Balao Plans book!

Here is a "before and after" shot of the 40mm mount:


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The #2 'scope hasbeen added:


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Any and all comment/criticism is welcome.


Biblography

Alden, John D., The Fleet Submarine in the U.S. Navy, 1979, United States Naval Institute, ISBN: 0-87021-187-0
Friedman, Norman, U.S. Submarines through 1945, 1995, United States Naval Institute, ISBN: 1-55750-263-3
Stern, Robert C., U.S. Submarines in Action #2, 1983, Squadron/Signal Publications, ISBN: 0-89747-085-0
Stern, Robert C., Gato-Class Submarines in Action #28, 2006, Squadron/Signal Publications, ISBN: 0-89747-509-7
The Fleet Type Submarine, NAVPERS 16160, June 1946, www.Periscope.com, ISBN: 1-4116-7753-6
Fleet Submarines of World War Two, 1988, The Floating Drydock, ISBN: 0-933126-72-7
Plan Book, Gato & Balo Class Submarines, 1990, The Floating Drydock, ISBN: 0-944055-06-0
U.S.S. Cod, Photo Museum Guide, 1999, Oxford Museum Press, Inc., ISBN: 1-930127-01-4
Rick Nelson

Qualified in Submarines 1965
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"D..n the pressure, Six-Zero feet!"
"Most men would rather die than think, Most of them do!" - Bertrand Russell
"Boomers hide with Pride"
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Two comments

Postby Mkeatingss » Fri May 11, 2007 1:07 pm

1) WOW !!!!
2) Beautiful !!!

Mike K.
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Postby RickNelson » Fri May 11, 2007 1:10 pm

Hi Mike,

Thank you very much. I do plan on adding the flood port cutouts to the hull.
Rick Nelson

Qualified in Submarines 1965
SCM #2583

"D..n the pressure, Six-Zero feet!"
"Most men would rather die than think, Most of them do!" - Bertrand Russell
"Boomers hide with Pride"
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Postby Tom Dougherty » Fri May 11, 2007 9:22 pm

Nicely done, Rick!! Shows what can be done with skill & patience.

Just curious, why did you not elect to use the Nautilus Models resin late war Gato tower? It looks as if the cockpit front of your model is resin, possibly from that kit?

Tom
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Postby RickNelson » Fri May 11, 2007 9:32 pm

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the nice comments. That is the front of the Nautilus Late War Gato. The rest if it was not what I was looking for dimensionally so I finished it off myself.
Rick Nelson

Qualified in Submarines 1965
SCM #2583

"D..n the pressure, Six-Zero feet!"
"Most men would rather die than think, Most of them do!" - Bertrand Russell
"Boomers hide with Pride"
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Postby goose814 » Fri May 11, 2007 10:48 pm

Now that is some great craftsmanship. I built one of these with many modifications and thought it came out rather well, but what you have so far just blows me away. Can't wait to see more progress.

By the way, some of the thumbnails don't come up as full size pictures.


Gus
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Postby RickNelson » Sat May 12, 2007 9:58 am

Hi Gus,

Thank you very much for the nice comments. :D I just tried all of the thumbnails and they all came up full-sized for me. Sorry, you are having a problem. I don't know what to do to help you. :cry:
Rick Nelson

Qualified in Submarines 1965
SCM #2583

"D..n the pressure, Six-Zero feet!"
"Most men would rather die than think, Most of them do!" - Bertrand Russell
"Boomers hide with Pride"
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Postby goose814 » Sat May 12, 2007 7:11 pm

I still couldn't get some photos to work. I usually use AOL. I tried Internet Explorer and was finally able to view all the large images. Like I said it looks incredible. Looking forward to more updates.

Gus
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Postby Mylo » Sat May 12, 2007 7:23 pm

In a word, ....fantastic !

Mylo
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Postby RickNelson » Sun May 13, 2007 6:15 pm

Thank you all for the nice comments. :D They help keep one motivated when you are having to re-do a piece for the nth time! :cry:
Rick Nelson

Qualified in Submarines 1965
SCM #2583

"D..n the pressure, Six-Zero feet!"
"Most men would rather die than think, Most of them do!" - Bertrand Russell
"Boomers hide with Pride"
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Would these details be appropriate for the 1944 Gato? (nt)

Postby rmfield » Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:09 pm

.
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Postby RickNelson » Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:46 pm

Hi rmfield,

Would you please expand on your question. Everything I have implemented can be seen in photos of the Grouper in July 1945. I guess I'm confused by your subject. Please clarify.

Thanks
Rick Nelson

Qualified in Submarines 1965
SCM #2583

"D..n the pressure, Six-Zero feet!"
"Most men would rather die than think, Most of them do!" - Bertrand Russell
"Boomers hide with Pride"
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Postby BLesht » Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:56 am

Really impressive work, Rick. I'm looking forward to seeing more. Am I right that the railings are soldered wire? Did you scratch-build the gunner's seat on the 40mm as well? As an appreciator of fine craftmanship and a particular fan of Lionfish conversions, I'm really interested in the methods you've used. Thanks!
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Postby RickNelson » Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:27 pm

Hi BLesht,

Thank you very much. I'm glad you have taken an interest.

Yes and No to your question about the railings. I began with using Nautilus's PE set for the Lionfish but didn't implement it according to the instructions. I picked portions of railings that would suit my purposes. Then, since the Grouper photos showed that additional railing was added to prohibit the 40mm guns from striking portions of the Grouper I soldered additional railings on to replicated this. If I were to do it again I would build the railings myself using wire and soldering.

No, I did not scratch-build the 40mm seats. I took them from a 1/144 PE set that Nautilus offers for the Trumpeter Gatos and then shaped them into tractor seats. Technically they are oversized but as you can see it's hard to tell the difference between 1/178 and 1/144. Actually 1/192 vs 1/144 as everything I scratch-built I scale to 1/192 even though the Revell kit is 1/178. 1/192 is a more common size and I found tending to a smaller scale things seem to come out in better proportion. I'm a believer that proportion is more important than true accuracy (within limits).
Rick Nelson

Qualified in Submarines 1965
SCM #2583

"D..n the pressure, Six-Zero feet!"
"Most men would rather die than think, Most of them do!" - Bertrand Russell
"Boomers hide with Pride"
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RickNelson
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