by: Dave O'Meara [ ]
I decided to do this build after a long dry spell, and relocation to sunny Florida.
Opening the box, I was greeted by three sprues of parts for the submarine, and a base and and a sprue of two parts for mounting the sub to the base. All parts were cleanly molded, and parting lines very faint.
Assembly was pretty straight forward without any surprises. I would recommend gluing the two hull halves together and let drying overnight before adding the hull top. I needed filler and sanding to the hull to blend everything together. Follow the instructions as there are a few things that need to be sanded off the hull. I suggest you check your references as to which sub you are going to build. (you have three different sub names to choose- but more on this later.
Assembly went on with the remaining parts without a problem. I suggest using a magnifier and some sharp tweezers when working with them as some are really small. (I lucked out and didn't loose anything to the carpet monster- pure luck-not skill) but I did manage to break one part, and replaced it with a piece of plastic rod.
The decal sheet gives you marking and hull numbers, with the sub names of LA, Chicago, and Harford. This is where the problem arises. USS LA never received the
"Flight II" upgrades. USS Chiago (SSN-721) did, and USS Harford (SSN-786) received the upgrades plus had the dive planes moved from the sail to the bow. If you follow the kit instructions you can build the USS Chicago. The hull has the outline for the bow planes which you are instructed to remove, but if to don't, and mount the dive planes then you can build the USS Hartford. If you build the USS LA (SSN-688) you will need to fill the VSL's on the bow.
Included is a nice etched brass name plate for the base.
Not having my spraybooth set up yet, photos of the finished model are bare plastic.
I'd like to thank Dragon Models for giving me this kit at the IPMS Nationals for review, and sorry for the delay on reviewing it.