A few weeks ago, a friend of mine suggested I make a submarine. At the time I dismissed the idea...submarines aren't that interesting I thought. They're too small I thought, it'll never look good. Well, I started thinking about it and pretty soon I realized submarines are pretty awesome. When I was younger I read a lot of the WWII submarine war diaries...so I guess there is some backstory. The Gato class boats jumped out at me as a great candidate: big, very successful and attractive boats.
About this creation
The model itself is almost 19 inches long, the real Gatos were about 312 feet long (which made them pretty large for a WWII submarine, the German Type VIIc u-boat was only 220 feet). I opted for a mid-late war fit, with the cut-down sail, and two-tone camouflage (though the lower hull should ideally be black). There's bricks going left, right, up, down and angles in between, but I think that I managed to get the hull shape pretty close to correct :D Unfortunately, the variety of building styles involved means that I can't configure it for waterline display just yet.
I feel pretty pleased with the machinery arrangement. Here are the propellers, shafts, rudder and the propeller guard.
The bow-planes, though overscale, can be displayed up or down.
The 3 x 3 wing plate's holes are what I'm using to simulate the bow torpedo tubes...though not 100% convincingly.
And pulling the ship apart so you can see the variety of construction methods.
The bottom of the pressure hull, showing how the smooth, uninterrupted curve of the hull is achieved.
And the machinery arrangements from the bottom of the ship.