Blue Ridge Models 1/350
USS Gudgeon SS-567

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
November 2012

The second Gudgeon, was launched by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, N.H., 11 June 1952; sponsored by Mrs. Robert A. Bonin, widow of the first Gudgeon's last commanding officer; and commissioned 21 November 1952, Comdr. Robert M. Carroll in command. After builders' trials, Gudgeon sailed for Pearl Harbor, where she joined SubRon 1, SubDiv 1,18 July 1953. Local operations and training exercises continued until 11 April 1954, when Gudgeon sailed to the mainland for ASW exercises along the Washington coast. A Mare Island overhaul occupied the remainder of the year, and Gudgeon returned to Pearl Harbor 9 March 1955. She sailed 21 July 1955, for the first of five WestPac tours, visiting Yokosuka, Formosa, Hong Kong, Manila, and Guam before returning to Pearl Harbor 30 January 1956. Local operations out of the Hawaiian port, overhaul, special secret operations, and a second trip to the West Coast took Gudgeon through the next 18 months. Sailing from Pearl Harbor 8 July 1957, Gudgeon began a history-making cruise around the world, making the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force's flagship the first American submarine to circumnavigate the globe. After exercises at Yokosuka, Gudgeon sailed west 26 August 1957. As she made her way around the world for the next 6 months, the submarine docked at Asian, African and European ports before a triumphal entry into Pearl Harbor 21 February 1958, 8 months and 25,000 miles since taking departure.

After extensive overhaul, Gudgeon again settled into the peacetime local and special operations, training exercises, and ASW activities. Three WestPac cruises, in 1959, 1961, and 1963, took her to Japan for exercises with the 7th Fleet as well as to Subic Bay and Hong Kong for liberty. The alternate years, 1960 and 1962, saw Gudgeon heading back to the mainland, where she trained and exercised along the Washington and California coasts. Gudgeon returned from the Far East to Pearl Harbor 1 August 1963, and for the next 2 years operated in Hawaiian waters. She departed Pearl Harbor 29 November and arrived San Francisco 9 December for overhaul at Mare Island. The ship was cut in half and an 18 foot section was added during a conversion which gave the submarine new and larger engines as well as much other improved modern equipment. Modernization was completed in April 1967 and Gudgeon returned to duty in the Pacific Fleet.

Gudgeon was reclassified an Auxiliary Research Submarine, AGSS-567, and then a Guided Missile Auxiliary Submarine, SSAG-567, 5 November 1979. Gudgeon served in the Pacific until she was decommissioned on 30 September 1983 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 6 August 1987.  In 1983, Gudgeon was transferred by lease to Turkey and renamed TCG HIZIRRES (S 342). She was purchased in 1987 and served until 2004. She is berthed as a museum ship at the Izmit Museum Ships and is open to the public.

This Blue Ridge Models kit depicts the Tang class submarine Gudgeon SS-567 a post war submarine. Any sub of the Tang class from the 50's to the 80's could be modeled with this kit. 
The hull is one piece solid resin with separate sail and fins. There is abundant surface detail that is sharp and well defined. A pour sprue or runner is attached to the bottom of the hull where it is easiest to remove without leaving scars on your model. There are mounting sockets cast into the hull to make location the sail and fins much easier to locate properly. Limber holes are nicely done as are the torpedo tube doors.  Click images
to enlarge
The parts include the sail, and fins. The are cast with locator blocks to plug into the sockets on the hull. Some cutting and sanding will be necessary to remove these parts from the resin sprue, but it should be minimal. The sail itself has nice flush fitting panels with recess panel lines. The casting is very good and detail is very nice. There are also several periscopes, snorkels, radar's, and other details such as propeller hubs and shaft struts. Again all with finely details with minimal flash. 
A small photo etch fret is included with two types of propellers, stanchions. cleats, footrails, and radio antenna all nicely etched.
Several lengths of brass rod is provided for the radar masts. Fine fishing line is also provided to rig the lifelines. The latter is a nice touch and makes this kit even more complete.
The decals include numbers and ship names for the entire Tang class. Draft markings are not included. 
The instructions are six pages in 8-1/2" x 11" format and also supplied via PDF on the enclosed CD along with high resolution photos of the sub and other members of the class. I have scanned mine in low resolution B&W, the actual files are color and much better. These are easy to follow and seem to clearly show where everything is located. 
The nicely detailed parts are securely packed in a die-cut foam insert inside of a sturdy box. There should be no worries about shipping damage and those of you who collect more kits than you build will have your parts securely packed for your grandchildren to build.

This Blue Ridge Models submarine kit is a first rate kit with great attention to detail and virtually everything you need to build it included. This kit would make a good first resin kit for anyone who has at least worked with photo etch. 

This is kit number # BRM-35003 - SSN-567 USS Gudgeon, Tang Class Submarine available now at Freetime Hobbies/Pacific Front for $59.95. Stay tuned more subs are coming in 1/350 scale from Blue Ridge Models.