Hobby Boss 1/350 SSN-688 Class Submarine
KIT #: 83530
PRICE: $13.99 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit



The Los Angeles-class, sometimes called the LA-class or the 688-class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSN) that forms the backbone of the United States submarine fleet. With 42 submarines on active duty and 20 retired, the Los Angeles class is the most numerous nuclear powered submarine class in the world. The class was preceded by the Sturgeon class and followed by the Seawolf and Virginia classes. Except for USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709), submarines of this class are named after U.S. cities, breaking a long-standing Navy tradition of naming attack submarines after sea creatures.

The final 23 boats in the series, referred to as "688i" boats, are quieter than their predecessors and incorporate a more advanced combat system. These 688i boats are also designed for under-ice operations: their diving planes are on the bow rather than on the sail, and they have reinforced sails.


This particular kit from Hobby Boss continues their nice selection of submarines. This is also a '3 in 1' kit that allows the builder to do any of the three different 'flights' or upgrades of the this basic submarine. You can do the USS Los Angeles itself as part of the basic design, the USS Miami (SSN-755) as an example of the 688i class) and the USS Chicago as an example of the VLS versions.

To accomplish this, there are quite a few optional bits. One consists of two different upper hulls so that the two classes with the Vertical Launch System can be done. You also get the additional 'outrigger' stabilizing fins for the 688i class and a different conning tower for the 688i class as it does not have the dive planes located there.

The kit also come with two different upper conning tower pieces. One allows all of the various antennas and scopes to be modeled extended while the other has them molded closed. A photo etch fret is also included that has props and bridge screens. This is a full hull kit so comes with a display stand.

Instructions are well done with notes on what parts are for which version and what needs to be trimmed or opened up, so you need to decide early which version you want to build. Decals are well done and include a large bull's head for the bow of the USS Chicago. All of these boats are hull red below the waterline and black above. The small decal sheet is well printed and like other Hobby Boss decals will fit very well.


Those who like subs can add this one to their list as it is reasonably priced and will build into a nice model. These sorts of kits are great if you are looking for something that is not difficult to build.


May 2012

Thanks to Squadron Products for providing the preview kit. Hobby Boss kits can be found at your local retailer.

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