USS Los Angeles Class Flight I (688) Attack Submarine

Published on
January 5, 2013
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
RN 28005
Company: Riich Models
Provided by: Dragon Models USA - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

I was a sonar technician on the USS Tecumseh, an SSBN, for 3 years while it was being overhauled at the Newport News, VA, shipyard. We were tied up at a pier during the refit, and the 688 class attack subs were docked at the next pier. As a result, I was able to walk all over LA class subs, visit them, and got pretty familiar with them. Most of the attack boats were being upgraded from Flight I to Flight II at this yard, adding the Tomahawk vertical launch tubes. So I jumped at the chance to build Riich’s 688 class, Flight I model.

I’m not a big fan of the 3-piece hull provided, but the option of making this boat as a waterline model is COOL. I stopped and took photos before I put the upper hull and lower hull together, just to show this.

I had to use a good amount of putty to get the hull sections to mate up, as they didn’t match perfectly. But with some putty and a #10 X-Acto blade, it was pretty easy to get it looking decent.

After assembly, I painted the hull with Floquil Grimy Black and Caboose Red. The upper deck was shiny, so it got a coat of Future. The propeller was done with Testors Copper.

I wanted to do a model of the USS Phoenix, as I am a member of US Submarine Veterans, Perch Base, here in Arizona, and they have a HUGE model of the Phoenix which they tow in parades. Decals come with 3 options – the Los Angeles, Chicago, and Hartford. Since operational boats don’t carry a hull number, name, or markings for the DSRVs, which look like targets on the upper hatches, it wasn’t hard to do the markings for the Phoenix. These markings are only carried for sea trials or the test run after overhauls and refits. Otherwise, the only markings are draft readings, the numbers on the rudder and the front sides, in front of the sail. So that’s all I had to use from the decal sheet.

The decals were a little thick. They need to stay in the water longer than usual, but they responded well to MicroSol and MicroSet. The two piece draft readings mated up very nicely.

The masts and antennas on top of the sail were provided with both up and down options. I’ve never heard of an operational boat with all masts and antennas up, but you have the option to put anything you want either up or down. I only picked the three that I thought looked nicest, one being the snorkel.

This kit was a pleasure to build. I want to get another to do as a waterline model.

Thanks to Riich Models and Dragon Models USA for the kit, and to IPMS/USA for the chance to go down memory lane.


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