Profile Photo

  • 52 articles
  • 6,949 karma
  • 25 friends

USS Andrew Jackson, SSBN-619

Model building should be fun, and putting this kit together was exactly that, FUN! This 19″ model is a repop of the old 1:200 Renwal kit from the early 1960’s offered by Revell in 2004. I had built the Renwal kit and the smaller 1:250 Revell version around the same time way back when. The 1960 Renwal model was all gray plastic while the 1960 Revell kit was molded in several different colors for that added visual appeal kids seem to pick up on. Both subs had Polaris missiles that were spring loaded so when the missile hatch was opened, out flew the missile (careful, you’ll put your eye out!) Each model had hinged hull sides that could be snapped in place to give the sub a complete appearence. For a 10 year old the Renwal kit had a ton of tiny, but detailed, parts and looked great when all glued in place. Some of the detail included “pin up” girls posters molded into the crew’s berthing walls, scandelous! Like all my builds of childhood it was slapped together quickly and was a glue bomb but hey, its’ all about the fun.

When released by Revell a few years ago I had to purchase one and build it with a little more patience than the glue bomb kit of 1960. I did a little research and learned from a sub vet that the entire model’s interior layout was incorrect, or as he put it, “a fantasy”. So from that stand point my paint scheme of the inside is also fantasy, more artistic license than anything real. I wanted a viewer to be able to pick out some of the detail and bright contrasting colors seem the way to go. I did add a few things like all the periscopes and sensors were made from brass, the plastic parts had way too much flash to clean up. I added PE ladders and filled in some gaps fore and aft with large plastic tubing (green parts). Part of the kit’s in-accuracies was that Renwal had to guess what the real sub’s design was. There was a cold war going on and the USN wasn’t keen about their adversaries knowing about the inner workings of a Lafayette Class atomic sub. But all the kit shortcomings aside, it makes up an nice model, the modern subs are not the most visually interesting subjects compared to the WWII types.

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses to USS Andrew Jackson, SSBN-619

  1. Nicely done, Mike….an eye-catching piece for sure.

  2. Now that is a “blast from the past”, I think I still have parts from the original kit in my parts box, (the kit survived about a year, I was 11)

  3. Mike, I don’t remember which kit it was way back, but one of them was being waved around in Congress, and questions were being asked about how come the kit manufacturer knew so much! Like the Hawk U-2 and “Stealth” fighter later on. SWAG, as we use to say in the OLD Army, literaly.

    • Bernard, the kit in question was the Revell sub, old Admiral Rickover was all cranked up over the USSR spies getting a gift from an American model company. After the brouhaha subsided it was learned the model was very in-accurate much like Renwal kit.

      • yeah but you know my brother had a career in nuclear subs…in the early 90’s when i showed him the dragon los angeles he was shocked at the accuracy of the spider prop…he said it was pretty damned close and he never said anything of that nature

  4. Very neat and unique model, Mike – thanks for showing it

  5. Looks great Mike, a huge amount of detail there!

  6. that’s a wonderful model…i started modelling in 59 or 60 and loved the renwall stuff…the george washington and ethan allen one with a clear side…you know i read somewhere in the 60’s that the navy brought in shrinks to decide the color schemes in nuclear subs…they were told colorful pastels would be best to ease the cabin fever which is probably the study this thing came from…beautiful model…and i want one…i love your affinity for color and nostalgia

    • Thank you Bob. I too loved the Renwal stuff, esprcially the ships. I hope Revell does a repop on the Renwal USS Compass Island, it was a nicely detailed kit.
      I’ve only toured the USS Nautilus and the color scheme was un remarkable below decks. But the Gato sub I toured was really dark and gloomy, lots of puke green, no wonder the newer subs utilize brighter colors. For example, I painted the consoles on the periscope deck a tan color. I based it on all the furniture, tables, bunks, lockers, and desks on the newest CG cutter I was stationed on in the 1990’s. For a sub model bright colors have more eye appeal than light gray and greens, the sub’s interior is supposed to be painted. Cheers!

  7. Mike, to say ‘it makes a nice model’ is something of an understatement. Detail in scale, great colour definition, and striking photography offer something for everyone, not just to those of us who are (occasionally anyway) ship modellers.

    • Rob, thanks for the nice compliments.
      The photos I feel are not that good, there’s a lot of detail in the crews mess hall like the galley and refrigerators, etc. I missed with the camera. My suggestion to a prospective builder of this model is cut the control room deck way back in an irregular fashion. That would allow more natural light to filter down to illuminate the officers wardroom, crew’s mess deck and galley.

  8. Wow! Neat model Mike, and a trip down memory lane too. You finished with both eyes intact I hope? 🙂

  9. Very nice, Mike. Looks busy inside 🙂
    Love the clean details, well done.
    Never get a sub with intereior on my shelf

  10. Bernd, thanks for the nice words. Are you going to build one or do you avoid subs all together? Remember there are two kinds of ships, submarines and targets!

  11. Most colourful submarine model I’ve ever seen 🙂 That looks great, Mike.

Leave a Reply