|KIT #:||RM 28008|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
USS Los Angeles (SSN-688), lead ship of her class of submarines, is the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for Los Angeles, California. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia on 8 January 1971 and her keel was laid down on 8 January 1972. She was launched on 6 April 1974 sponsored by Anne Armstrong, and commissioned on 13 November 1976 with Commander John E. Christensen in command. She hosted President Jimmy Carter and the First Lady on 27 May 1977 for an at-sea demonstration of her capabilities. In 2007 she was the oldest submarine in active service with the United States Navy. The Navy decommissioned the USSLos Angeles on 23 January 2010, in the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, her namesake city. The wardroom of the oldest submarine in the fleet carries Richard O'Kane's personal cribbage board, and upon the Los Angeles decommissioning the board was transferred to the next oldest boat, USS Bremerton (SSN-698).
Like most modern submarines, you basically are building a tube with bits stuck on it. Most sub kits are two fuselage halves. Riich has decided to offer the hull in three parts with the upper decking a separate piece. This works well with this class of boat and for those who like to paint before construction, it will make things a bit easier as the upper deck piece is a different color from the rest of the hull.
This kit is in with a family of LA class boats and since all are not the same, there is some cutting and drilling needed to accurately portray the Los Angeles. The kit provides movable elevators in the back, and the sail can be built with all of the various scopes, snorkels and antennas lowered if the builder wishes. Apparently the sub also has retractable cleats in the front for when the ship needs to be tied up so you can mold those extended or retracted. The kit also comes with a nicely done display stand.
This particular boxing includes a new fret with the DSRV-1 and a photo etch fret specifically for this vehicle. The DSRV consists of 17 plastic parts plus about an equal number of photo etch. The DSRV-1 is also available by itself for those who just want this. Part of the DSRV sprue are the attachment stands where it fits on the hull.
Instructions are well drawn and easily understood. A separate full color painting guide is included with color information from a number of paint lines. The decal sheet is nicely printed with the decals a bit on the thick side. There are a bevy of numbers includes so you could do just about any appropriate boat in the class. Boat names are provided for Los Angeles, Chicago, and Hartford. Apparently these fit on the aft upper hull. Those few boats I have seen in San Diego have been pretty much devoid of any ID markings, so apparently things change from time to time.
This is a nice kit for those who like submarines. I am particularly drawn to it as I had my retirement flag flown aboard the now decommissioned USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716). Seems like just about everything I was connected to in the USN has been retired as I also had the flag flown aboard the USS Valley Forge (CG 50) which has been decommissioned and sunk as target practice off Kauai, as well as in Blue Angel #3, which has been scrapped. Anyway, this is a kit worth getting and it is at a reasonable price as well.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop.
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