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Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

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Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby modelnut » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:15 pm

Here is the kit: http://ibs.eastcoastarmory.com/History.htm. I am sure many of you have built this one in your youth just as I have. I just copped one on eBay and thought I would build her again.

I looked online for examples to follow since I hope my modeling skills have improved over the last forty years. :lol:
But so far I have found squat.

I found this site: http://www.modelshipmaster.com/products/submarines/uss_Growler_submarine.htm But it is a custom built model. "This USS Growler submarine model have all wooden and metal parts (absolutely no plastic.)"

I've found no references for her. I have the 72 scale Revell GATO and it's painting instructions. Would it be correct to go with those?

At this point I am not sure whether I will build her OOB or go crazy and open all those limber holes and maybe create some flood vents.

But it would be nice to have better references and examples to study. :?

- Leelan
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby JWLaRue » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Leelan,

I think the best single resource for US fleetboats would be the Floating Drydock's "Gato/Balao class Submarine of World War Two PLAN eBOOK" by Thomas F. Walkowiak. There are loads of good detail photos of both classes of boats, including drawings of the two main camouflage patterns. (I'm ignoring the all black scheme)

This book is not specific to the USS Growler, but you'll not want for details. They also have a large number of photos that can be separately ordered.

As I recall, the Revell kit painting instructions are good. They're probably based on the same US Navy source as those from the Floating Drydock.

-hope this helps,

Jeff
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby Tom Dougherty » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:23 pm

What you have acquired is an older release of the current Revell USS Lionfish kit, boxed as Growler. The kit, in the ever popular 1/178 (or maybe 1/181, depending on who you read) scale was originally boxed as Flasher (Gato), then Growler (Gato) and finally boxed as Lionfish (incorrectly, as Lionfish was a Balao, with a quite different fairwater). They are all identical kits except for the decals! The kit depicts (well, sort of...) a mid-war Gato class boat. Basically, depending on how crazy you want to get, there is a lot that needs attention to make an accurate fleet boat model. Also if you specifically want Growler, I have listed some references below on Navsource.

Ken Hart did an accurate update many years ago of Flasher, which was in the early SCR. I converted one to a Balao, to depict the late was USS Blenny back in the 1990's http://www.steelnavy.com/images/Dougherty/mod-324a.jpg and http://www.steelnavy.com/images/Dougherty/blenny-06.jpg. That was done before the Nautilus conversion kits were available. (Nautilus resin conversions are at http://nautilusmodels.com/lionfish.htm). Others have done similar work, such as Bob Cicconi's conversion http://www.steelnavy.com/RevellIcefishBC.htm using the Nautilus Models resin conversions. Most recently, Rick Nelson published in both the SCR and in the IPMS Journal his work to improve the Revell kit accuracy. Reading or looking at the examples depict how daunting the work is to correct this kit.

Growler was modified several times during the war (see link below). As far as how to handle the limber holes; the limber holes on Growler were originally the Electric Boat D-shaped, half moon type. Several Gatos including Growler (but not all) received additional slot like limber holes to speed diving by allowing air below the deck superstructure to escape more efficiently. The "government plan" boats, built at Portsmouth NSY and Mare Island NSY had multiple rows of slots, and no D-shaped holes. If you open up the holes, you need some sort of false pressure hole, or else the light will shine right through the model, and look toy like. The fairwater also underwent changes as the war progressed. See the fleet sub evolution document below for some insights.

In addition to the resources Jeff mentioned, there is the following online:
general submarine information: http://www.navsource.org/archives/subidx.htm
Growler itself: http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08215.htm
and this really valuable treatise on fleet sub evolution: http://navsource.org/archives/08/pdf/0829294.pdf

Frankly, even though it too has problems, the 1/144 scale Trumpeter Gato may be a better starting point. See: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/ss/ss-212/144-ph/ph-index.html. Also new on the scene are some very good 1/350 scale fleet boat kits such as AFV kits, as seen here http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/ss/ss-212/43-350-kk/kk-index.html and http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/ss/ss-229/350-kk/kk-index.html

I would say build your Growler kit out of box for old times sake, and concentrate on things such as filling seams and fit. It is a major undertaking to try to get the kit into shape as a serious depiction of a WWII fleet submarine.
Tom Dougherty
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby modelnut » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:25 pm

That's what I thought. Oh well. The thought of drilling out all those tiny limber holes was a bit daunting. :shock:

I may buy that Trumpeter kit. But at 144th it is half the size as the 72 scale GATO so why bother? I already have two of those waiting to be touched. I keep hoping I will win the Lottery and be able to build them RC, one as a straight WWII boat and the other as Cary Grant's SEA TIGER.

I ordered the book anyway just in case.

I'm currently working on Lindberg's joke kit, the IJN I-53 with Kaitens. There are so many things wrong with her that it might have been simpler to build the boat from scratch. :evil:

I was hoping that the GROWLER would be a bit of fresh air. Or, at least, a simpler challenge.

- Leelan
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby PaulC » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:01 pm

Gotta love the box art on that Growler kit. Flasher too. :D
Warm regards,

Paul Crozier
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby modelnut » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:51 pm

Sadly, no box art for me. I bought the bagged kit on eBay. The bag was black with age. :shock: Though I didn't smell any tobacco smoke.

The forward planes were missing so I made them out of a scrap of FOR SALE sign. I just spent the last hour putting the hull together. This includes the rudder and fore and aft planes, and the two pieces of deck. Tamiya Super Thin Cement took care of the bad warp in the two hull halves. Worked them together inch-by-inch after gluing the bow and stern securely.

Can't go any further tonight. I have to be up at oh-dark-thirty to go to work in the morning. Come on, Lottery Board!

- Leelan
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby modelnut » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:45 pm

OK. If I want to depict the GRQWLER do I go with the kit's paint scheme of grey above and red below the waterline?

I know that US submarine paint scheme evolved throughout the war. But I can't find any definite time line about it.

- Leelan
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby Tom Dougherty » Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:04 pm

I go with the kit's paint scheme of grey above and red below the waterline?


In a word, NO!. During the war, US Fleet submarines were NOT done in grey and red. During the war, below the waterline was antifouling black-not red. For early war paint schemes, the sub above the waterline was also basically all black (MS9). Later when MS32 came in (2 versions, known as the "light grey" job and "dark grey" job) were used. This had blending & shading and particular instructions for how to apply the paint (See Late war paint document, below)
Also See: http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08492.htm

Late war paint document: http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/SS/1944JulySSCamouflage.html
Postwar document: http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/S19-7/1948NovemberSSColors.html
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby modelnut » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:36 am

Tom!

I recognize your name from several sub models I saw posted in several galleries online. Great work!

I was able to track down info on the four paint schemes Measure 9, Measure 10 and Measure 32/3SSB and Measure 32/9SSB. After looking through a few sources I thought that the grey and red was the prewar livery. You just now confirmed that. Thank you. :D

It seems painting will be put off just a bit however. There are more pieces missing that I thought. Like the personnel hatch. I will be making a one-off mold of the one the kit did include to supply the missing one.

- Leelan
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby modelnut » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:38 pm

Just finished reading:

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On page 46 it says:

The US submarines of World War II were painted in one of four paint schemes. --- Measures 9 and 10 were replaced in late 1943 and throughout 1944 and 1945 with Measure 32/3SSB and Measure 32/9SSB.


Now I have my timeline. I will check it against GROWLER's service record and see which Measure makes more sense to me.

- Leelan
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby modelnut » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:47 pm

27 October 1943, only 11 days out of Brisbane, she was ordered to Pearl Harbor (arriving 7 November) and from there to the Navy Yard at Hunter's Point, California, for an extensive overhaul and refitting. ~~~ Returning to the Pacific, on 21 February 1944, GROWLER departed Pearl Harbor,


This was probably when she got the Measure 32 paint job.

Commander Gilmore's patrol was GROWLER's fourth patrol (January – February 1943). She would have been Measure 9 or 10.

Must make up my mind soon.

- Leelan
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby locoworks » Sat May 19, 2012 4:22 am

Will you paint the Kangaroo on it?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/oz_neville/5040404197/
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Re: Contemplating OLD old kit, USS GROWLER

Postby modelnut » Sat May 19, 2012 7:34 am

Hmmm. Never heard about that. It's an idea.

Haven't worked on her in a bit. Too much real life followed by a sinus infection. :(

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