Reviewed by Vladimir Yakubov

USS Skipjack SSN-585 was the lead ship of the 6 submarine class of the US Navy's nuclear submarines. They can be considered the first true submarines - as they were the first to combine the nuclear power that allowed them to stay submerged indefinitely with the round "albacore" hull that made them faster underwater than on the surface. The ships of the class were USS Skipjack SSN-585, USS Scamp SSN-588, USS Scorpion SSN-589, USS Sculpin SSN-590, USS Shark SSN-591 and USS Scamp SSN-592.

The submarines of the class served throughout the cold war from 1959 to 1990. One of the ships of the class - USS Scorpion became the last US submarine lost when she failed to return from patrol in 1968. There are numerous theories as to the cause of it's loss, but the leading one is that it was destroyed by its own torpedo (through conspiracy theories of course abound - the favorite being that it was sunk by the soviets in retaliation for the accidental sinking of the Soviet Golf class SSB in a collision with the US sub off Hawaii).


The kit is very simple consisting of only 4 parts and and a stand.Besides the hull the side fins for the sail and the tip of the propeller are included. The real sub was 77m long, which in 1/700 scale comes out to 110mm, the kit's hull measures out at 109.7mm with the tip and the propeller comes out to almost 110mm, which is spot on. The casting on the hull is very good with various hatches and holes accurately modeled. There are no periscopes included in the kit, but those are better scratchbuilt anyway from brass rod, so it's not a big loss.


A tiny photoetch fret with the screw is included.

Given the simplicity of the kit, the instructions are very good.

Given that before this release the only kit of this sub in 700 scale that was available was an even simpler and a lot less detailed waterline kit, this is a major upgrade. It allows you to build it as either a full hull or with some application of the saw as a waterline kit (or anything in between). Highly recommend it.

The kit is available from Pacific Front Models for $17.50