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Topic review - Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans
Author Message
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
Cold Warriors by Roy Manstan (p. 209) claims that an engineering development model of the WAA was installed on the Cheyenne, which implies it was done in the '90s:

https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=kZWmAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&pg=GBS.PA180.w.3.0.15

I still don't understand how the Cheyenne had enough margin for the heavy arrays, but obviously they were able to lighten the boat enough.

Jacob
Post Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:32 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
Yep, those are definitely WAA panels. I wonder it was the advancements in COTS sonar equipment as well as the Light Weight WAA (LWWAA) that allowed for enough margin to carry those arrays.

Jacob
Post Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:10 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
And lastly, here is a few of the pictures from April 2014 which say they are part of the Cheyenne Project. https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5E0A29C1 https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5E0F176C https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5DF2E98A
Post Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:03 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
The next picture I have found is from a dry docking of the USS Tucson SSN 770. One can see some of the little detailing down the side of this 688i boat. https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5DF7DAFA
Post Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:57 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
Hello again. I found these pictures on the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Facebook page. If anyone wants to look up there page there are several interesting sub pictures in there going back through the last 5-6 years. I am going to try to post the direct link to these pictures. The first one I want to post here is dated May 2016 of USS Olympia SSN 717 which I thought gives an interesting look on a fresh older 688 ready to hit the seas again. https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=5E0A71F9
Post Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:52 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
JordinR wrote:
Just out of curiosity, I was wondering if any body has knowledge about the USS Cheyenne SSN 773. I recently ran across a picture online of the sub in dry dock and it has the three large sonar panels on the sides like the Virginia Class subs. I have not found any of the other Los Angeles subs with them yet so I was wondering if any one knew when they were added.


Could you post that photo? As far as I am aware, the only 688 ever to receive the BQG-5 WAA (Wide Aperture Array) was the Augusta. The 688Is only had about 30 tons of weight margin (i.e. extra lead ballast), and the boats with the improved propulsion plant (SSN 768-773) had a zero weight margin. This would make it difficult to accommodate the weight of the WAA arrays. But if a photo exists, they must have figured out a way to do it.

Jacob
Post Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:30 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
JordinR wrote:
Just out of curiosity, I was wondering if any body has knowledge about the USS Cheyenne SSN 773. I recently ran across a picture online of the sub in dry dock and it has the three large sonar panels on the sides like the Virginia Class subs. I have not found any of the other Los Angeles subs with them yet so I was wondering if any one knew when they were added.

You are right, USS Cheyenne is the last build of the class and seems to have been the test platform for the Virginia sonar panels. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Cheyenne_(SSN-773) I would appreciate if you could upload that picture you found! In return here the drawing of her.
Attachment:
0877335a.jpg
0877335a.jpg [ 148.25 KiB | Viewed 505 times ]
Post Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:06 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
Just out of curiosity, I was wondering if any body has knowledge about the USS Cheyenne SSN 773. I recently ran across a picture online of the sub in dry dock and it has the three large sonar panels on the sides like the Virginia Class subs. I have not found any of the other Los Angeles subs with them yet so I was wondering if any one knew when they were added.
Post Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:19 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
Hi Jacob,

That is very complete and extremely useful information, thank you a lot! And your sketch is invaluable for us modelers. :worship_1:

And of course I was confused using the VLS abbreviation, thanks for the correction!

Maarten
Post Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:25 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
Since the last post was long, I will summarize the appearance of 688 stern stabilizers:

Flight I and II
1970s (as launched) - no towed array blister and no towed array tubes at all
1970s (as commissioned) - most had the towed array blister and towed array tube on the port stabilizer
1980-1985 - all had the towed array blister and towed array tube on the port stabilizer
1985-1990s - some may have had additional towed array tube on the starboard stabilizer
1990s-present - probably all have additional towed array tube on the starboard stabilizer
2005-present - possibly some have additional WSQ-9 fairings on both stabilizers

688I
1980s (as launched/commissioned) - all had the towed array blister and towed array tube on the port stabilizer and possibly the tube on the starboard stabilizer
1990s - probably all had additional towed array tube on the starboard stabilizer
2000s-2005 - all have additional towed array tube on the starboard stabilizer
2005-present - most, if not all, have additional WSQ-9 fairings on both stabilizers

The WSQ-9 is an active intercept sonar fitted to the Virginia-class and retrofitted to the 688Is and possibly earlier 688s. This is what it looks like on the Virginia-class,

Image
Image
Image

Jacob
Post Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:03 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
Maarten Schönfeld wrote:
I have just been browsing through the lot of 688 photos on Navsource, but photos where the stern stabilizers are in view are very rare, and in fact I have seen NO towed VLS or thin line array tubes on any photo at all! In all these cases the stabilizers are bare, just as if they were Sturgeon stabilizers - but without the end plates!
So if anyone can provide good shots of these tubes, either stbd or port, would be a great help! Otherwise we should all start cutting them from our models, Italeri, Hobby Boss, Riich or whatever. As for now I had deleted them from my 688 Los Angeles already.


Maarten,

If there's a fairing for the towed array along the starboard side (the long blister that runs from bow to stern), there will always be a towed array tube on the port stabilizer. This is the TB-16 ("fat-line") towed array. The array itself was thick and inflexible ("fat"), thus it had to be kept relatively straight inside that fairing on the starboard side. It was streamed out of the tube on the port stabilizer on a much longer cable that was stored in the forward ballast tanks (because the tow cable was thinner and more flexible, it could be wrapped around a winch). A few of the early 688s were launched without towed arrays, but they were added soon after the submarine was commissioned. By about 1980, all 688s had TB-16 towed arrays. To reiterate, if the long blister on the starboard side is there, there must be a tube on the port stabilizer. Having neither the blister or port-side tube is only correct for a few boats in a limited time period.

Before the TB-23 was introduced, the starboard stabilizer was bare, like you described. The TB-23 ("thin-line") was longer, thinner, and more flexible than the TB-16, thus it could be wrapped around a winch with its tow cable. The array and cable were stored in the aft ballast tank and the array was streamed out of a tube on the starboard stabilizer. The TB-23 was developed in the mid '80s, and my impression is that they were fitted to the new 688Is before they were retrofitted to the early 688s. The TB-29 was another type of thin-line array that was developed in the mid '90s, and the tube on the starboard stabilizer was almost certainly unchanged for boats that got the TB-29.

Here is a photo of the Columbia which shows both arrays,

Image

as does this youtube video of the La Jolla,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfcNIAEDsPM

Here is a drawing I made showing the top-down view of a 688 with both TB-16 and TB-23 tubes,

Image

By the way, VLS refers to the Vertical Launch System (the nest of 12 tubes on the Flight II and Improved 688), and not a towed array.

Jacob
Post Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:44 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
Quote:
As for the stern stabilizers, at that time they probably just had the towed array tube on the port stabilizer. The tubes on the kit look a little long to me. The port tube should only extend about 2 feet past the stern plane trailing edge, which is just 1/16 inch in 1/350 scale. I don't think the thin-line array on the starboard stabilizer was added until later, so the tube on the starboard stabilizer should be cut off so that the end is flush with the stern plane like the picture of SSN 703 on page 4.

I have just been browsing through the lot of 688 photos on Navsource, but photos where the stern stabilizers are in view are very rare, and in fact I have seen NO towed VLS or thin line array tubes on any photo at all! In all these cases the stabilizers are bare, just as if they were Sturgeon stabilizers - but without the end plates!
So if anyone can provide good shots of these tubes, either stbd or port, would be a great help! Otherwise we should all start cutting them from our models, Italeri, Hobby Boss, Riich or whatever. As for now I had deleted them from my 688 Los Angeles already.
Post Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:26 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
hondaman117 wrote:

I think the WLR-9 is only on the bottom for the 688i boats. I have seen lots of pictures of Flight II boats with them on top. Hopefully somebody else can confirm my observations.


After looking at some pics on Navsource, you're totally right. They should be on top for all 688s with fairwater planes.

Jacob
Post Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:25 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
Vepr157 wrote:

3. The WLR-9 dome should go on the top of the bow on the non-VLS boats. I don't know what the instructions say about this, but make sure it's not under the bow, which was the case only for VLS boats.


I think the WLR-9 is only on the bottom for the 688i boats. I have seen lots of pictures of Flight II boats with them on top. Hopefully somebody else can confirm my observations.
Post Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:19 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
For an operational boat during that time period, definitely option (3). Since the sonar dome is made of a different material (fiberglass), it typically weathers differently, so I usually paint it dark grey on my models, but this is more of an artistic choice.

As for the stern stabilizers, at that time they probably just had the towed array tube on the port stabilizer. The tubes on the kit look a little long to me. The port tube should only extend about 2 feet past the stern plane trailing edge, which is just 1/16 inch in 1/350 scale. I don't think the thin-line array on the starboard stabilizer was added until later, so the tube on the starboard stabilizer should be cut off so that the end is flush with the stern plane like the picture of SSN 703 on page 4.

As far as making the kit as accurate as possible, I have a few suggestions:

1. The seam lines encircling the hull should be filled and sanded. As Tom has pointed out, submarines are really smooth and any sort of seam line is waaaaaay overscale (the weld lines would be raised above the surface instead of recessed anyway).

2. If there are four small flood holes on the top of the bow, these should be filled in if the boat doesn't have VLS tubes.

3. The WLR-9 dome should go on the top of the bow on the non-VLS boats. I don't know what the instructions say about this, but make sure it's not under the bow, which was the case only for VLS boats.

4. The non-skid area of the deck looks raised on the Hobby Boss kit, but it should be flush with the hull. Whether this is worth correcting is up to you.

5. The flood holes are in roughly the right place but the real ones are arranged differently. Similarly, there aren't any MSW or ASW suction and discharge ports. These would take a lot of effort to correct though, and it's a relatively minor inaccuracy.

Jacob
Post Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:30 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
pascalemod wrote:
Which Paint version is best for USS Dallas/Houston/Louisville ca 1980s, early 1990s?

1) 2/3 red hull, nose cone 1/2 red
2) 2/3 red hull including nose cone
3) 1/2 red hull, black nose cone
4) 1/3 red hull and nose cone
5) All Black boat

Im leaning towards version 1) on rudder, and version 3) on paint. Same as I did on my 688 generic boat.

Anyone want to chime in on this? Appreciate some thoughts on this one.


It depends on what you consider 'the best'. Version 3) seems to be the most used, at least on photos. However we know, operational boats will be 5). But you wont see many photos of those, and visually they are much less interesting! And all other versions you mention occurred once or twice, so take your pick. Unless you want to depict a specific boat on a specific day and time, you're pretty free to choose whatever you like. :eyebrows:

Further note: the colors during the Cold War were discussed earlier in this topic, on pages 3 and 4: http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=34570&start=60
Post Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:27 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
:wave_1: Revisiting the 688 now in 1/350 scale from HobbyBoss. This is a gift build and Wanna get it right. :)

Horizontal stabilizers / rudders:
1) Triangular in shape with small tubes *(as described above)
2) same as 1) but without tube extensions?


Which Paint version is best for USS Dallas/Houston/Louisville ca 1980s, early 1990s?

1) 2/3 red hull, nose cone 1/2 red
2) 2/3 red hull including nose cone
3) 1/2 red hull, black nose cone
4) 1/3 red hull and nose cone
5) All Black boat

Im leaning towards version 1) on rudder, and version 3) on paint. Same as I did on my 688 generic boat.

Anyone want to chime in on this?

For example Houston was doing emergency blow in Red October and there it seems she had all black nose cone and 1/2 red hull. Could be wrong of course here but that is my impression. Appreciate some thoughts on this one.
Post Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:05 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
Tom Dougherty wrote:
]Umm, if you mean the Vortex Attenuator, I don't see it. If you mean the ring propeller, yes.

The Vortex Attenuators look like this on the propeller hub:
(the circled areas are towed array dispensers)
Attachment:
LA Vortex attenuator -1.jpg


The other thing you might want to do is paint (or add as thin white strips) the four sacrificial zincs at the stern. They are prominent on the stern; see this link for the one of the zincs on USS Greenville in dry dock:
http://navsource.org/archives/08/770/0877226.jpg

aah, now I see! Thanks mate. I was only thinking of the Coke bottle hub cover.

And yes, you're fully right about the zincs, on most of my other boats I painted them in the appropriate color.
Post Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:18 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
In response to the six pictures that were posted above from hondaman117. From my quick online research I found that #1 and #2 from 2018 are likely the USS Key West SSN 722 as it was in dry dock then. Picture #6 from 2012 is likely the USS Jefferson City SSN 759.
Post Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:01 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all Los Angeles class (SSN-688) fans  Reply with quote
]Umm, if you mean the Vortex Attenuator, I don't see it. If you mean the ring propeller, yes.

The Vortex Attenuators look like this on the propeller hub:
(the circled areas are towed array dispensers)
Attachment:
File comment: LA Vortex Attenuator on propeller
LA Vortex attenuator -1.jpg
LA Vortex attenuator -1.jpg [ 125.2 KiB | Viewed 5915 times ]


The other thing you might want to do is paint (or add as thin white strips) the four sacrificial zincs at the stern. They are prominent on the stern; see this link for the one of the zincs on USS Greenville in dry dock:
http://navsource.org/archives/08/770/0877226.jpg
Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:32 pm

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