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1/72 Moebius USS Skipjack

The Skipjack class was a class of United States Navy nuclear submarines. This class was named after its lead ship, the USS Skipjack. This new class introduced the teardrop hull and the S5W reactor to U.S. nuclear submarines. The Skipjacks were the fastest U.S. nuclear submarines until the Los Angeles-class submarines. The Skipjack‘s design was based on the successful Barbel-class submarines that were based on the USS Albacore design.

The design of the Skipjacks was very different from the Skate-class submarines that preceded the Skipjacks. Unlike the Skates, this new design was maximized for underwater speed by shaping the hull like a blimp. This required that the single screw was aft of the rudders and dive planes.

This so called “body-of-revolution hull” reduced her surface sea-keeping, but was essential for underwater performance. Skipjack‘s hull was also a single hull design, where the pressure hull and outer hull are the same for most of the length of the ship.

The first Skipjack class was authorized in the FY 1956 new construction programmed with the first of the class commissioned in April 1959. Each hull cost around $40 million. The Skipjacks saw service in Vietnam and throughout the Cold War.

The Skipjack-class submarines were withdrawn from service in the late 1980s and early 1990s except for the Scorpion, which sank on 5 June 1968 in the south west Azores, while returning from a Mediterranean deployment.

The Kit:

  • 1/72 SCALE
  • U.S.S. SKIP JACK
  • NUCLEAR-POWERED – FAST ATTACK SUBMARINE
  • SKILL LEVEL 3
  • 40 INCHES LONG
  • SUPER-DETAILED 50 PRECISION-TOOLED PARTS
  • DRAFT MARKINGS, HULL NUMBERS AND SHIP NAMES OF ALL 6 SKIPJACK-CLASS VESSELS
  • DISPLAY STAND

Here it is! Finally, the 1/72 Skipjack model kit from Moebious Models. This kit was previewed back on February 26, 2013. As I briefly mentioned on our Facebook page some time ago,  the kit was in standby to be painted. This kit is too big for my paint booth and I had to wait for the weather to improve here in MN to take it outside.

The main 4 hull parts can give the impression of being flimsy before assembly. However, once all the 4 parts are cemented, the hulls gets sturdy enough for static display. Some reinforcement would be needed should you plan to convert this model to radio control.

Once the main hull is assembled, it requires some gap filling which I did with Squadron Green putty. The rest of the parts are big enough to make this build almost self explanatory.

It is evident that Moebious went the extra mile researching this subject. Every hull and and sail starboard line is where they should be. But I found those lines on the ‘thick” side which can be a let down to those looking for the maximum accuracy rendering. If you are in that group, I humbly believe that this with some elbow grease can be corrected using the same panel lines as guides.

I strongly believe that this is to be expected on subjects with little surface details made into large scales. The photo etched parts provided with the kit are a nice touch. I would have love to see the dish on the SS-2 Radar Antenna (part #48) provided as a photo etched part.

Make sure you place the emergency stern light (clear part) before closing and cementing the sail starboard halves. Most important, don’t forget to add a shelf to your room wall to display this sub. It will cause a display impact on your relatives and friends.

Painting & Weathering:

This model was painted with my trusty Aztek A470 airbrush with the White Hi-Flow nozzle and a 12.cc gravity feed cup. Tamiya X-1 Flat Black was used and the other half of the hull was painted with Polly S Special Oxide Red (F414354). Once the model was dry, it was cleaned in a buffing circular motion with a piece of cotton rag.

 

The decals provided with the kit are top notch. The decals were placed onto puddles of Microsol decal solution skipping the Clear Gloss Coat. The decals are now sealed under a coat of Testors Lacquer Flat Cote spray.

Weathering: If you don’t see any weathering on this model, you are not seeing things. I wanted to take pictures of this model kit before that step. The folks over at AK Interactive kindly provided their new Naval Sets 1 & 2 for this project. Expect pictures of the Skipjack submarine all weathered on a separate post soon.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

As I always say, there is no such thing as the perfect model. The Skipjack submarine is my 3rd Sub in 1/72 scale. It is sharing room with a Revell GATO Class sub and a Revell of Germany German Wolfpack. By this time, Revell of Germany has announced the Skipjack as well.

 

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Even with its hull lines larger than they should be, this is a model worth adding to your subs or ships display. I highly recommend it.

My most sincere thanks to Moebius Models for kindly providing this kit.
Also, our acknowledgement to AK Interactive for eagerly becoming part of this project.

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George Collazo
George Collazo
George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.
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