About a month ago I was asked to be a judge at the IPMS Nationals here in Greece. Judges have to bring a model in the same category they are judging, so I needed to complete something in a month’s time.
The Revell 1/72 Gato had been a shelf queen for over 15 years. I had accumulated White Ensign and Eduard photoetch sets for it but never got into finishing the build. One major stepback was that I had assembled the basic hull parts prior to getting the Eduard Big Ed set for it, so I could not make full use of the great looking deck pieces and other details. By full use I mean removing the plastic deck and building the supports and details under the perforated deck plates.
Time was also an issue so some things needed to be ignored like the joints of the photoetch upper hull sides and similar.
Historical accuracy is non existent, I just improvised and added whatever detail I found to my liking. I can write a ton of stuff about what needs to be changed, removed, added etc in order to get accurate depictions of the options provided with the kit decals but this is of no importance now. One thing I regret is that I did not cut down the bridge height in order to build the lowered bridge and display the great photoetch periscope/radar mast provided by White Ensign. Maybe in the next one, if I ever decide to build another one.
Anyway, it was a build I enjoyed and a result that I like. So the kit fulfilled its purpose. After taking the photos I corrected some minor paint details here and there. Photographing such a beast of a model is no easy task so I tried my best with the photos.
I plan to do some very light weathering after the Nationals, mainly a wash in order to improve on the looks of the finished model. The paint has not been sealed yet with vasnish, so if you have comments and suggestions on improvements/corrections feel free to post them. All comments are appreciated.
Thanks for looking.
Beautiful! Simply beautiful work!
Wow! You truly created, as Professor John Tilley used to say, a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Well done!
That particular boat has a place near and dear to my heart as I actually own a piece of the WWII Flasher. Obviously you know there’s a lot more that could be done, but not knowing what you know and may not know, I’ll do a quick list from memory.
But before I do I’ll say thus: That is a very nice build regardless of accuracy. You almost have to know which patrol you’re modeling to get everything exactly right.
Had to order more lockers from Revell as the Flasher had more on later patrols.
Arrangement slightly different as well. Boat captains changed things like this all the time based upon experience.
Cut down the fairwater as you mentioned
Add drainage holes at the rear of the fairwater
Add planking to OP position at top of sail
Remove prop guards as they were too noisy
For Flasher - remove rectangular(ish) panels from sides of fairwater
Gun arrangement is different
I added a scratch built conning tower inside the sail as it was visible through the two open hatches (doors) on either siade of the sail, which are different for each boat as well.
Lots of holes you can add to underside or hull if you like (and screens if you have the PE set)
If on patrol, number is painted over
If in port, number may be visible, but round boat mascot is actually painted onto a sheet metal disc and hung on a hook.
You can see in this photo that hatch behind the gun needs to be lowered as well.
You can also see the differences in the boat next to the Flasher (I forget which one it is at the moment.) That hatch appears to be gone entirely and just to the port side of it there is a large ammo locker added.
Before I moved to Hawaii I lived in Groton, CT where the Nuclear Flasher (613) was built. The sail from 249 is on display there. I did a pretty extensive walk around of it. I also used the book, War Patrols of the USS Flasher, as a reference for which gun combination was used for which period.
Now this is motivation for another build. The choice of name was a last minute choice, I was going for USS Jack but I wanted to use the roundels with the submarine’s badge.
I have noted all your remarks plus I already have a few of my own, such as the covers for the rescue “hubs” or the position of various hatches on the deck and fittings. I have found a 3D superstructure and might go for that. I had not noticed the gun change though.
The Revell kit is kind of generic, it has details of many ships but represents none, since it combines early, mid and late war elements. That is why I gave up on accuracy, the time I had availably for completing the build prohibited most of the work to correct or change the kit.
Really appreciate the feedback
There are also three different types of torpedo doors, but I have been unable to ascertain exactly which ones are the correct ones for the Flasher.
Supposedly-The Sub Parts in our “Museum of the Pacific” in Fredricksburg,Tx. are Flasher Parts. I dunno, But nice job you did anyway!
I have been to that museum twice and did not know that. I guess I’ll have to go back. Makes perfect snese though.