RIGHT on The NOSE: enter the Aurora-Revell SKIPJACK
Posted by Matty on August 24, 2013, 15:54:15, in reply to "Resuscitating a GEORGE WASHINGTON"
Edited by board administrator August 24, 2013, 18:25:17
--Originally Posted 8/24/13-- |
Any serious thought of how best to correct the bow of the Revell cutaway George Washington, will inevitably lead to the following kit - a contemporary, and (even more renowned) classic, in its own right:
Originating with legendary Aurora (top), this model - and again, this specific box art, above - was one of- if not the single biggest inspiration for my own interest, circa age 8, in modeling and submarines in general. And clearly I was not alone, as the mold - later retooled by Revell (bottom), to include (pretty tasteful) weld-lines, and other surface details - has been in almost continuous production, in the nearly 60 years since!
And likewise, many of us - including my new friend, Rich (hey, Buddy!) have had the idea to convert this kit into a George Washington (or similar Polaris/Poseidon) class SSBN, pretty much exactly as was done on the Real Deal: insert a missile section, and beefed-up sail, amidships. Now, along comes our consideration of the Revell cutaway Polaris mold - in 1:250 scale, only (exactly) 8% smaller than the above SkipJack's 1:230 - with the former needing a better bow and stern: as perfect a match between two project ideas as imaginable!
For this, the Auro-Revell SkipJack is also uniquely optimal as it is - by far- the most accurate of the original, classic nuclear sub molds, with only minor- or easily-corrected flaws, mainly in a slightly too-blunt tip of its nose, a foredeck lacking the slight flattening on top ahead of the sail, and an (unquestionably national-security-obfuscated, highly-) inaccurate 3-bladed propeller.
OK, so to give this idea a try, let's put Rubber to Road:
Click on Image to EnlargeAt, again, only 8% difference, we can certainly get at least well in the ballpark of where to cut the SkipJack hull, to optimally fit the George Washingtion mold, by simply aligning the ends of their bows, as shown (top). When we do, we find that the maximum beam of the SkipJack coincides pretty much exactly with the second "window-frame" on the cutaway boomer, as shown by the arrows (magenta). The idea being to leave this frame intact, as an optimal, starboard-side attachment for the SkipJack bow section.
As shown by the closeup at bottom, the corresponding point at which to chop the SkipJack hull falls right in the middle of a "divitt" - appearing on the port-side only - in Revell's (very basic) depiction of the safety-line track, as also indicated by arrows. Note the horizontal (girdling) weld-lines on either side: to precisely locate this spot - on either side - measure exactly 0.66" forward from the aft weld-line, which is the second one aft from the sail.
If you do exactly the above, you will get exactly the following:
Click on Image to EnlargeA perfect match at the beams, port (top) and starboard (bottom) - proving, first (and most surprisingly) of all, that the Polaris hull is not pinched, so much as exaggerated vertically. Which mismatch can - with the keels aligned flush, as done here - all be forced to the top, where, with the limber-line sufficiently cut open as shown, the offending upper corners of the missile section can be forced inward, to butt flush with the SkipJack hull. The resulting visual impact might well be already negligible - however, (yet more incredibly-conveniently) any undesired remaining artifact(s) will be well-hidden - substantially, if not entirely - underneath the required turtleback modification (not shown), dropping the missile deck casing further down over precisely this area of the hull.
This is most definitely going to work!
For the above I did not cut up my pristene SkipJack hull, but instead used a perfectly-suited spare that I already had available:
Click on Image to EnlargeAt left, I had already cut up a spare hull (not at the right location - do not go off of this pic, in any way) - sufficient to at least suggest, at right, just how successful this union will be. That's the Good News. The Bad News (if you want to call it that) is, the corrected bow only accentuates the inaccuracy aft - the too-finely tapered, skinny butt - of the tail.
However, if you already have a spare tail - one much more accurately-shaped - from a SkipJack you've just chopped in half, then of course you're going to want to use it to make a correction astern, as well, right? Certainly, that's exactly what I will do - and let you take a good look at - in the next post.