Hobby Boss 1/700 USS Los Angeles SSN-688

KIT #: 87014
PRICE: $5.90 from www.greatmodels.com
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Drew Pratt
NOTES:

HISTORY

When does a boat become a ship?  Technically, any vessel over 60 ft in length is a ship, unless they are submersible.  Thatís why subs are boats.  Submariners refer to a boatís class by the class boats number.  That is why the Los Angeles class is simply the ď688 boats.Ē  Instead of a long winded article on the history of the 688 boats, I suggest an online search.  This will bring more than you could ever need to know about these remarkable, steely-eyed monsters of the deep.

THE KIT

A brief note of introduction:  although I enjoy aviation history, I will build anything that holds my interest more than 10 minutes, (A D D, maybe?).  I built this kit for a coworker who was a torpedo man on the Salt Lake City.  When I got the kit, my first reaction was: ďWow, this is tiny.Ē  In 1/700 scale, the finished length is only a little over six inches, perfect for the space challenged.  The kit is simplicity in itself, top and bottom halves, sail, a pair of dive planes, screw, choice of bridges and a three piece stand.  Thatís what you find on the two gray sprues in the box. Hobby Boss did a better job on the parts map, so I used theirs.

CONSTRUCTION

Not much to it: glue the halves together and address the seam.  Next is the sail.  Choose a bridge.  I chose the diving bridge since the scope and aerials are so out of scale. For the seam I used super glue. Something that works for me is to leave a little sanding dust, and then run liquid cement down the seam, capillary action keeps the cement where I want it and it dries fast. The panel lines are recessed and straight, quick swipe with the hobby knife and presto, allís good.

COLORS & MARKINGS

Have I mentioned how simple a build this is?  Primed with rattle can gloss black, antifouling red lower hull, panzer grey sonardome and a gold screw. The black and red are cheap rattle cans of enamel I had knocking about. (Some store no name.). The panzer gray is Tamiya acrylic. The rest are Testors ľ oz square bottles. Since Iím doing a specific boat, I covered the name and painted over it on the stand, but left the scale.  With only six or seven decals, the hard part was waiting for the paint to dry! I used gloss paint, so no gloss coat needed.  Since I could find no photos of numbers on the sail, I skipped them.

FINAL ASSEMBLY

All thatís left is to secure the model to its stand and add the dive planes and screw.  A little touch up to the paint and after that a coat of Testors dull coat to seal the decals. 

CONCLUSIONS

Whether you are looking for a small simple kit with great fit and low parts count, an affordable diorama possibility or just something different, you canít beat this great kit. For me I am honored to have built this kit for a friend so he can share his adventures with a future generation. 

Remember, when you are all out of wine, all thatís left is port.

Editor's Note: On a personal note, when I retired in 1993, I chose to have my retirement flag flown over, on, and under the water (so to speak). Over was Blue Angel #2, on was the USS Valley Forge, and under was the USS Salt Lake City.

REFERENCES

 

Google searches and Google images for SSN 688 and SSN 716.

Drew Pratt

April 2010

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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