Hobby Boss 1/350 USS Greeneville SSN-772

KIT #: 83531
PRICE: $12.99 SRP
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


USS Greeneville (SSN-772), a Los Angeles-class submarine, is the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Greeneville, Tennessee. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia, on 14 December 1988, and her keel was laid down on 28 February 1992. She was launched on 17 September 1994, sponsored by Tipper Gore, and commissioned on 16 February 1996, with Commander Duane B. Hatch in command.

The ship was named for Greeneville, home of 17th United States President Andrew Johnson, after local residents, businesses such as Greeneville Metal Manufacturing, which built submarine components, and government officials began a campaign for a submarine to be named after their town, rather than a large metropolitan area.

The Greeneville is probably best known for colliding with a Japanese fishing vessel off the coast of Oahu in February 2001.

The Ehime Maru incident

On 9 February 2001, while conducting an emergency main ballast tank blow off the coast of Oahu while hosting several civilian "distinguished visitors", mainly donors to the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the Greeneville struck the commercial Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru (えひめ丸), causing the fisher to sink in less than ten minutes with the death of nine crew members, including four high school students. The commander of the Greeneville, Commander Scott Waddle, accepted full responsibility for the incident. However, after he faced a court of inquiry, it was decided a full court-martial would be unnecessary and Commander Waddle was forced to retire and given an honorable discharge.

Saipan incident

On 27 August 2001, Greeneville ran aground while entering port in Saipan on a routine Western Pacific deployment. The boat's underside, rudder, and secondary propulsion motor suffered minor damage; repairs required drydocking and a significant delay in the remainder of her deployment. The boat's commanding officer, Commander David Bogdan, was relieved of command, and the navigator and assistant navigator were also removed from their duties. In addition, the navigator and the sub's executive officer, Lieutenant Commander Gerald Pfieffer, were found guilty of "hazarding a vessel" during an admiral's mast, conducted by Rear Admiral Joseph Enright, Commander, Submarine Group Seven.

USS Ogden collision

Then, on 27 January 2002, less than a year after colliding with Ehime Maru and five months after running aground, Greeneville collided with USS Ogden (LPD-5) during a personnel transfer off the coast of Oman, opening a 5 by 18 inch (130 by 460 mm) hole in one of Ogden's fuel tanks and spilling several thousand gallons of fuel. After the collision, both vessels left the area under their own power.


Here is another of Hobby Boss' Los Angeles class submarines, this time the USS Greeneville, which seemed for a while to be a cursed boat, as you can read in its historical background.

Modern submarines are notoriously easy to build and paint, making these true weekend builds, thanks to the low parts count. This one is no exception with a two-piece hull that is molded top and bottom with the builder trapping the forward dive planes between the hull halves. The conning tower can be built in two ways. One is underwater with all the various upper hatches closed and the other is to place the various antennas and scopes in the open hatch. This latter option requires the use of two small photo etch 'doors' that cover the bridge and is the only time any of the photo etch is actually required. The rest of the p.e. is a substitute for the plastic parts (aside from the name plate, of course).

The kit comes with a nicely done stand and a bit of a bonus in the form of a mini-sub, also known as an ASDS, used to insert SEAL teams from a relatively long range away. You can read more about that here. The mini-sub is a three piece affair with an optional etched prop. There are four mounting posts to attach to the sub that is used to carry it. In all, it makes for a nice addition.

Instructions are a single sheet of paper with parts layout and building instructions on one side with a photo and multiple warnings (do not eat plastic) on the other. The small decal sheet provides conning tower numbers and some hull markings. A full color painting and markings placement guide is provided as is the norm with Hobby Boss kits. As usual, it is black with a hull red lower hull.


Those building a submarine collection or just wanting a refreshing change from the norm will want to add this one to the shelves.



February 2013

Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.

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