Cyber-hobby 1/350 USS Maryland + USS Chicago

KIT #: 1047
PRICE: $35.00 MSRP
DECALS: One option per sub
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Super Value Pack


USS Maryland (SSBN-738) is the 13th of 18 United States Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, and has been commissioned since 1992. She is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be named Maryland.

USS Maryland's mission is to provide the United States of America with an undetectable and unattackable nuclear launch platform in support of the national strategy of strategic deterrence.

On 13 June 1992, Maryland was formally commissioned into U.S. Naval service as USS Maryland, with Captain John W. Francis in command of the Blue crew and Captain Harold E. Marshall in command of the Gold crew.The principal speaker was Admiral Charles R. Larson, Commander-in-Chief U.S. Pacific Command.

At this point the Blue crew retained the ship for shakedown operations, while the Gold crew departed to King's Bay, Georgia to start their offcrew training cycle.

USS Maryland departed Groton for King's Bay on 15 June 1992 and immediately started preparation for strategic certification, with the Blue crew achieving a successful test launch on 29 Jul 1992, and starting Trident D-5 missile Demonstration and Shakedown Operations (DASO) on 7 July 1992.

USS Chicago (SSN-721) is a Los Angeles-class submarine, the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the city of Chicago, Illinois. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia on 13 August 1981 and her keel was laid down on 5 January 1983. She was launched on 13 October 1984 sponsored by Mrs. Vicki Ann Paisley, wife of Melvyn R. Paisley assistant Secretary of the Navy, and commissioned on 27 September 1986, with Commander Robert Avery in command.

Early in 1996, an RQ-1 Predator aerial reconnaissance drone was successfully controlled from Chicago. The drone reached altitudes up to 6000 meters (20,000 ft) and ranged up to 185 kilometers (100 nmi.) from the submarine, which was operating at periscope depth.

In the summer of 2005, Chicago tested theVirtual Periscope, a system that would allow submerged submarines to observe the surface above them without having to come to a shallower depth, as is required by traditional periscopes. A small camera mounted on the sail of the submarine uses the surface of the ocean as a lens, collecting light from above the surface and refracting it below. High-speed signal processing software assembles an image of what is on the surface. The system's resolution does not allow ship identification, only indicating that something is on the surface. Objects 30 meters (100 feet) tall can be seen at about a distance of 1600 meters (one mile). Sufficient light is available when a camera is shallower than 30 to 60 meters (100 to 200 feet).

On March 15, 2010 the sub's skipper, Commander Jeff Cima, was relieved of command after facing a captain's mast. The mast found that Cima had been drunk and had acted in an "unbecoming" manner during a visit with NROTC midshipmen at Cornell University on March 10, 2010. Cima was temporarily replaced by Captain James Horten.


As part of Cyber-hobby's Value Pack series, we have two complete submarines in this kit. One is a boomer; the USS Maryland, while the other, the USS Chicago, is a fast attack submarine. Both kits are of a similar breakdown with the hull divided into upper and lower halves onto which one attaches the various bits.

The USS Chicago is the simplest of the two with few additional parts aside from the separate rear fin/prop assembly, a separate upper forward hull and the conning tower assembly into which most of the parts are included. Options on this kit are the ability to have the upper doors on the vertical launch system opened. Building this kit requires the molded on aft section to be cut away prior to installing the new one.

The USS Maryland is the larger of the two kits, and being a missile sub, has a lot more parts. This is mostly due to the missile launch tubes, for which each of the launch doors are separate three piece assemblies. There are also different nose inserts for the torpedo tubes, which can be shown open or closed. Back to the missile bays, there are inserts for either the Trident C-4 or the larger Trident D-5 missile. The instructions show both of them installed, but I doubt that would have normallybeen the case. Back on the conning tower, you have the option of having all the various masts extended or fully retracted. Two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters are also included and both subs have display stands.

Instructions are typical of this series, printed on slick paper  with all of the well-drawn construction drawings on a single folded section of paper. Color information is provided by Gunze and Model Master references. Both submarines are a dark metallic grey on the upper surface with hull red areas below the water line. Decals are provided for both and this includes the first nose art I've seen on a sub with the USS Chicago having a large bull on the very front of the boat.  


If you are into submarines or just want something that can be built and painted with minimal fuss, then this is a kit for you. Being part of the Super Value series also means a very nice price.


September 2010

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