|DECALS:||none in mine; used aftermarket|
|NOTES:||Last year, a great kit for the dollar. They also give you two Seahawk helicopters.|
The Ohio class of SSBN’s comprise one of the United States most impressive groups of fleets at sea, a potentially devastating weapons platform. 24 launch tubes can carry a variety of different MIRV capable missiles, and recent remodels enable them to launch cruise missiles, Harpoons…even Swimmer delivery vehicles! The Four torpedo tubes are loaded with Mark 48’s (650 lbs of HE, ouch!)
Truly an awesome submarine…silent as the grave, and deadly. Initially, the Ohio was developed to take over the ballistic missile platform so well delivered by the older Ethan Allen, George Washington, and Lafayette classes, and the sub was built around the ability to fire the long range Trident missile, negating the need to maintain as many forward bases, and giving the submarine fleet more freedom as far as where they could patrol.
The sheer size of this beast in 350th is staggering, and it does make for a serious impression ! The sprues are virtually flash free, the molding is clean and exact…not much more to wish for in a submarine kit. Locating pins are minimal, but the whole thing almost snaps together in a very easy to build fashion, so, other than the paint scheme you choose, this could be a perfect “weekend” kit.
The sub can be built with periscopes up or down, torpedo tubes open or shut (the box art has open tubes with a torp glued into place half in and half out…yikes), and two (?) Seahawk chopters…I suppose you could make it into a what-if heli-carrier if you wanted to.
At 19” long (that’s about 49cm for those of you across the pond) it is one hell of a great shelf display ship, and at the original price of twenty dollars or so, was a bargain.
The 5 step instructions cover the entire construction of the sub in exploded views, and are very easy to understand, even for me.
I decided to leave the masts off until the end, so step 1 was shortened and it was off to the spray booth to paint all the little missile caps, hinges, and other fiddly bits. One thing, when you realize how many missiles this beast hauls around, and what each one can do, you get a definite sense of sea power! The first four tubes can be displayed with the missiles whole, and you have to choose between the early version of the Trident missile package, or the second (current). Likewise, the torpedo tube section can be built open or closed (please, don’t glue the torp half in and half out).
A lot of sanding is going to be necessary to get rid of the joints on this kit, it is designed to be more of a toy…so to make it into a dedicated representation you are going to want to break out the sandpaper and #11 blades. On top of that, don’t forget the ribbing that runs down the length of the craft (yeah, be prepared for jokes about it) that will need to be re-scribed carefully. I only had a few days to get this one finished, and fudged on the sanding between upper and lower hulls, something regretted on my part, as it is doubtful that I will be building another !( I see a strip-a-kit in my future)
The most difficult part of the kit’s assembly is the gluing together of the 24 missile doors, as the locating depressions are depressingly small, and it is very easy to get the outer door crooked on the swing arms. I would recommend using C/A glue for this bit, just to keep from going crazy, and to speed everything up (deadlinedeadlinedeadline)…just try not to glue your fingers too many times to the plastic!
When you are all done making little doors, it is time to attach the upper missile deck to the main body, and this is one of those feats of engineering that are impressive on the part of the model creator…it fits perfectly!!! Not a drop of filler was required to get a seamless fit, and it looks fantastic. It’s too bad the upper and lower hull halves did not meet with the same exactness.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
The modern subs have undergone a number of colour changes in the last few decades, with black slowly replacing more and more of the red primer…new submarines seem to be all-over satin black. I went with an early colour version to make it a bit more bright (and my penchant for vibrancy…oh heck, there goes that ribbed thing again…I mean vibrant colour !) After the whole mess was sealed with a satin clearcoat, a light spray of future paved the way for the decals, which are minimal…but wait, where are they? Finally, after a lot of toe tapping, they went on without a fuss, but they were aftermarkets, and I have no idea of the quality of the kit decals…Dragon’s usually are decent, though.
The missile tube areas were painted with white interiors, per the client’s demands…and damned if I didn’t come across a photo in an old book of early boomers with white doors ! How life imitates art, sometimes.
Small details were picked out with a silver Sharpie pen and the flagrant use of coloured pencils, a nice 2b was used to emphasize the vertical hull ribs.
The only downside to this kit was the lack of decals in my box…and it took MONTHS to get replacements, they actually came from Trident Hobbies (thanks Chris). A semi-gloss acrylic coat went on over the two tone scheme to seal everything down, and then the camouflaged periscopes were added on. Piece of cake, really.
One of the best engineered ship/boat kits I have ever run across, but it is rather simple. At twenty bucks or so, it was a deal…at forty? Nah, I’d pass.
Some pics of black sub tops, waves, etc…but with some info too: http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/ohio/
Wik has some good information, as well as a few pictures of drydock and an artist’s impression of a sub launching missiles in about 100’ of water! (?): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_class_submarine
Review kit courtesy of: a sale at Trident hobbies and my wallet
Note: this kit was built in a rush for use in a commercial…they ended up using the other sub anyway. Go figure.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Review Index Page