I just joined the club and thought I would share a project I am starting, scratch building USS Greenling (SSN-614). This will be my first ever scratch build attempt so it’s likely to be a long bumpy ride. It will also be a long one as I am both busy and am in the middle of converting a 350 scale USS Missouri to USS Wisconsin.
The inspiration for the model comes from my friend, Travis Coley, who served on Greenling in the early 70’s. I have looked at several options, the 1/700 JAG WL kit, the 1/700 OKB Grigorov Thresher class kit, which I bought, and the 1/350 scale Micro-Mir Thresher, that I am considering buying. I first considered a diorama with USS Fulton (AS-11), but Travis wasn’t too crazy about the Fulton so he didn’t really want a dio with her. I then considered recreating an 11” x 17” print of the Permit/ Thresher class subs, in 3D using models. I still have not ruled this out, but I am really getting into the idea of scratch building Greenling so the 3D print may have to go on the back burners.
The option to scratch build Greenling became a reality when I acquired a good set of plans for Permit. Even though Greenling is 13.75’ longer than Permit, and has a larger sail, I think the Permit plans, with some modifications can be used to build a decent Greenling. The advantage of scratch building is that I can make it whatever size I want. Travis has indicated that he would like the model to be about 2’ long. If I build it in 1/150 scale, it will be just under 2’ long, which I think is a good size, not too big, not too small. The disadvantage of scratch building is that I think it will be a lot of work and I will definitely be doing something I have never done before. Still, I think it will be a fun challenge.
So, here is what I have done so far…
I started by importing the Permit drawings into AutoCad, and scaling them. I then traced the “Hull Sections” and copied them to the corresponding stations on the plan view. The alignment was good, so I traced the hull and sail outlines as well.
Since Greenling is 13.75’ longer than Permit, I then “stretched” the Permit hull by clipping it just aft of the sail and moving the end to 292.25’. I then adjusted the hull sections as needed and reconnected the hull outline. I left the sail as it was for now.
The next thing I did was import the Thresher/Permit print into AutoCad and scale it. I then copied the tracings of Permit and Greenling over the top of the corresponding sub on the print. Note that the length of Thresher matches pretty well, even though the alignment is slightly off due to the print not being square. The sail is spot on, as is the Thresher, which is really encouraging.
Now, since whoever created the print got the ship lengths correct and got the sail on Permit right, I assumed that they also got the sail on Greenling right. I therefore traced the sail on the Greenling print, and copied it to the Greenling plan.
The next thing I did was make templates for the “spine” and “ribs” for the hull. The spine has 1/8” slots cut in it at the hull section stations, to accommodate the ribs. Similarly, the ribs have 1/8” slots in them to fit onto the spine.
I’m not yet sure what material I will use for this, but it could be either 1/8” plastic or wood. I am also still unsure what material I will use for the shell, but I am currently leaning toward styrene.
More to follow soon…