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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:33 pm 
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Location: Port Orchard, Wa
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File comment: Photo courtesy of Navsource.org
Tucson SSN 770 resized.jpg
Tucson SSN 770 resized.jpg [ 183.57 KiB | Viewed 317 times ]

Hi everyone,

Welcome to my latest project thread. Submarine fans may have read my earlier post in which I mentioned building a model of the USS Guitarro for a former shipmate. Afterwards, my friend asked me to build models of the USS Tucson, SSN-770 and the USS Arizona, SSN-803 for display at his local SubVets chapter.

Not knowing anything about 688 models, I picked up the HobbyBoss kit, which is a ‘3 in 1’ kit with parts to finish the model as either an early 688 Class or 688 VLS or 688I. From what I can tell, this build should be pretty straightforward, with one exception: while doing some initial research on the ship, I learned from the submarines forum that the Tucson has a ring around her screw (propeller.) The HobbyBoss kit doesn’t include this, so I’m pursuing trying to obtain a resin ringed screw, but more on that later.

The Tucson is an improved ship of the SSN-688 Los Angeles Class, know as a 688I, and was laid down on 15 August 1991 at Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA. She was launched on 19 March 1994, and commissioned as USS Tucson (SSN-770) on 18 August 1995. Some of Tucson’s specifications include a displacement of 6,000 tons surfaced and 6,927 tons submerged. Her dimensions are length 360 feet, beam 33 feet, and draft 29 feet. Maximum speed is 25 kts surfaced, 30+ kts submerged. Her depth limit is 950 feet. Crew complement is 129. Armament includes MK-48 torpedoes in four 21 inch torpedo tubes aft of bow (amidships,) with the capability to launch Harpoon and Tomahawk ASM/LAM missiles from 12 VLS tubes.

The Tuscon currently has SHT (Special Hull Treatment,) but I am not going to try to replicate this on the model. I plan to finish the model as USS Tucson appeared shortly after commissioning, which is red lower hull, black upper hull and black sonar dome.

I will begin work on this model shortly, but in the meantime, if you have any experience with building this kit, including tips and critiques, I hope you will post your comments. Any input will be greatly appreciated!

John :wave_1:


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 Post subject: Beginning construction
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:22 am 
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Location: Port Orchard, Wa
Hi everyone,

I’ve begun assembly of the Tucson and so far, it is pretty straightforward. I was a little disappointed by the fit of the upper hull to the lower hull; the alignment was not very good, so I will just have to correct it with filler. Here’s some photos:
Attachment:
File comment: The lower hull half was wider than the upper half and I couldn't get it to line up neatly.
20200921_01.jpg
20200921_01.jpg [ 79 KiB | Viewed 263 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: The shadows reveal the mismatch. Oh well.
20200921_02.jpg
20200921_02.jpg [ 92.25 KiB | Viewed 263 times ]
Other than having to correct the seams, this project should go quickly. The only holdup will be getting the new ringed screw, which I am working on getting from Holland. That might take a while. :huh:

I'll start on the laborious part now; filling the seams. :Mad_6:


John :wave_1:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:45 pm 
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You could also try one of these 3D printed ring propellers.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-350-LA-688-S ... SwWepelmgy


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:35 pm 
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I'm not sure how close it'd be, but my first thought would be simply gluing a strip of paper or brass connecting the tips of the kit's plastic propeller. Pi*D should get you a length that doesn't require much finnicky snipping or gap filling where the ends meet.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:49 pm 
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Hi everyone,

We had a couple of great comments posted:

JordinR wrote:
You could also try one of these 3D printed ring propellers.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-350-LA-688-S ... SwWepelmgy
Many thanks for posting that link, Jordin! I went to ebay right away and ordered the set of 2 and they should arrive around the middle of next week. :thanks: :thanks: :thanks:


Timmy C wrote:
I'm not sure how close it'd be, but my first thought would be simply gluing a strip of paper or brass connecting the tips of the kit's plastic propeller. Pi*D should get you a length that doesn't require much finnicky snipping or gap filling where the ends meet.

Thanks for your comments, Timmy! The kit comes with both a plastic screw and two PE screws. Let's take a look at the kit's plastic propeller.
Attachment:
plastic screw.jpg
plastic screw.jpg [ 168.34 KiB | Viewed 182 times ]
I think you'll agree the kit's dish-shaped plastic screw won't work, even if one could fashion a ring around it. In the next photo, you'll see the kit's two brass PE screws. I don't think their profile is quite right for the ringed screw, either, but my biggest concern with these screws is that I would likely make a mess trying to construct a ring around them! :Mad_6:
Attachment:
File comment: I have nightmares of having these brass screws stuck to my hands with CA while fighting to construct a ring around them!
brass screws.jpg
brass screws.jpg [ 147.86 KiB | Viewed 182 times ]
Thank you for the suggestion, Timmy. It's definitely worth considering, but I don't feel brave enough to tackle that project! I'd sure like to hear if anyone else had done that. :thanks: :thanks: :thanks:

When I was first thinking of starting this thread, I was hesitant because it seemed a bit mundane. Now, I'm glad I did, because great suggestions and tips are coming in, like a source for the ringed screw. I don't think I've seen this particular tip anywhere else in the MW pages and I hope that with it being here, anyone else doing a similar build will be able to find this tip and use it, too.

Here's where the model is today. I decided that instead of using filler, I'd cement plastic styrene strip at the seams to even out the seam between the upper and lower hulls. Here's a couple views:
Attachment:
File comment: I glued strips of .005 inch styrene along the uneven seams.
20200922_01.jpg
20200922_01.jpg [ 81.41 KiB | Viewed 182 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: I hope that the plastic strip will make the mismatch between the hull halves less dramatic.
20200922_02.jpg
20200922_02.jpg [ 100.21 KiB | Viewed 182 times ]


I'm going to give the hull a couple days for the glue to harden so that the styrene will be easier to sand/file.

John :wave_1:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:59 pm 
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That's fair, John, though if I were in your shoes I'd love to just try the paper option anyway (since you got the "real" versions coming by mail, there's no worry if you mess up the trial version). I'd glue one tip to the paper strip, let dry, then roll the screw so the next blade touches the paper, glue & let dry, then roll on and repeat. Simple in theory, I was I had a spare screw to try it on!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:31 pm 
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Hi everyone,

A quick note of thanks to Timmy C who wrote,
Timmy C wrote:
That's fair, John, though if I were in your shoes I'd love to just try the paper option anyway (since you got the "real" versions coming by mail, there's no worry if you mess up the trial version). I'd glue one tip to the paper strip, let dry, then roll the screw so the next blade touches the paper, glue & let dry, then roll on and repeat. Simple in theory, I was I had a spare screw to try it on!

As coincidence would have it, today I received the two 3D printed resin screws. They arrived 2 days early and many days before I could've modified the kit's screws! :lol_1: Here's a look at them:
Attachment:
20200928_01.jpg
20200928_01.jpg [ 87.22 KiB | Viewed 117 times ]
Attachment:
20200928_02.jpg
20200928_02.jpg [ 127.14 KiB | Viewed 117 times ]


In the meantime, I've sanded the hull seams and painted them over with Light Ghost Gray to reveal defects. I'll repeat the process of sanding and painting until I get the appearance I'm looking for. Here's some photos:
Attachment:
File comment: The seams aren't too apparent right now, but with light at a certain angle, they show up.
20200926_01.jpg
20200926_01.jpg [ 80.27 KiB | Viewed 117 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: I'll also have to re-do some of the hull section lines, once the seams are cleaned up.
20200926_02.jpg
20200926_02.jpg [ 67.95 KiB | Viewed 117 times ]


John :wave_1:


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