Hobbyboss 1/700th USS Seawolf
I've always found submarines fascinating, yet I must admit my depth - no pun intended - of knowledge of their functions & systems is surpassed only by my ignorance of quantum physics. In other words, I don't know very much about them, other than the fact that they're one of the few types of seafaring vessels that are actually encouraged to sink.
This was a deceptively time consuming kit. There are very few parts so it looked like it would go together in about ten minutes and get finished off in an afternoon. In fact, the upper and lower hull parts fit quite poorly so a lot of time was spent filling, priming and sanding to get a smooth finish. Care was needed to ensure that the round hull stayed round and no flat spots developed during this process. Despite the small parts count and miniscule dimensions of the completed model (a hair over 6 inches long) it actually took me several evenings to complete.
I used White Ensign Models Hull Red and Humbrol Coal Black for the main hull. The painting instructions call for the demarcation between the two colours to go right around the bow in a straight line and I initially finished it this way, however on reflection and looking at pics of the Seawolf taken shortly after it was rolled out of the assembly shed it would appear that the nose is made of a different material. I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that radar housings in submarines are actually fibreglass or some kind of composite material. Having seen pictures of other models with the nose a solid colour I decided to go the same route and overpainted it in Coal Black, on the basis that fibreglass wouldn't need to be painted anti-fouling red like the rest of the hull. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.
Hobbyboss would also have you paint the periscopes and other sticky-out bits on the sail (or is it a conning tower??) white with black splodges, however pictures show these to be light grey with dark grey splodges so that's how I did mine. I'm guessing the splodges are some kind of 'dazzle' camouflage that helps disguise them when they stick out above the water.
Decals are nicely printed and thin but a couple of them did silver a bit even on the semi-gloss black finish. Note also that the instructions show the numbers 21 too far forward but of course I didn't discover this until it was too late. They should be pretty much in the middle of the sail/conning tower/thingy. Final finish is Poly Scale clear flat as usual, except the aforementioned nose in semi gloss black.
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