Hobbyist Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

480 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fellow Modelers,
Attached are photos of Revell's 1/72 scale Gato Class U.S.S. Cobia I finished in 2008. This huge kit is 52” long(!) and is the biggest model I have ever built. I do remember when I was building it that handling became an issue. I built the kit as the Cobia (SS-245) since Revell’s research for the kit was based on this submarine in her current configuration at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Gato class boats were built by four different ship yards, which caused differences between them. Further differences came from modifications made to individual boats as the war progressed. Submarines began operating more on the surface and required a smaller silhouette for greater protection. The fairwater (bridge area on top of the hull) was continually cut down in size to reduce its visibility. Additional electronic equipment and deck firepower were also included. These upgrades were made every time a submarine came back from a patrol, and each ship yard was given latitude on how to incorporate these changes. It became common for sister ships (launched from the same yard at the same time) to appear very different late in the war. Building this kit as anything other than the Cobia would require potentially major modifications. The model was painted in Camouflage Measure 32/9SS, issued for submarines by the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships in June 1944. It called for everything below the waterline to be flat black. Above the waterline an extensive blending and counter shading of various flat grays on the vertical surfaces was used, with flat black on all of the horizontal surfaces and the aft end of the boat. This camouflage was very effective for surface operations, at night and on overcast days. The sides of the upper hull were painted with White Ensign Models 5-L light gray and 5-O ocean gray, with the lighter gray being used on the front half of the boat. Variations of these grays were applied to different sections to break up the finish and present a paneled effect. The rust stains are pastel powder. A Q-tip was used to apply the bleeding rust stains, and a small pointed brush was used to apply the streaking rust stains. To improve the kit, Eduard’s Photo-etched detail set was used, and several small wires were used to represent the electrical connections between the hull and fairwater.

History of the Cobia:
Cobia was laid down and built by Electric Boat Company in Groton, CT. She was launched on November 28, 1943 and commissioned on March 29, 1944. During WWII Cobia conducted six war patrols. Four were considered “successful” and earned battle stars. She is credited with sinking a total of 16,835 tons of shipping. One of her victims was a troop transport that carried an entire tank regiment being deployed to Iwo Jima Island. Cobia also rescued crew members from a downed U.S. Army B-24 bomber. During the war only one Cobia crew member was killed due to enemy action. Cobia was placed in reserve in May 1946, but recommissioned in July 1951 as a training vessel. She was placed in reserve again in March 1954. In December 1962, she was redesignated an Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-245), and served as a training platform. In July 1970, Cobia was struck from the Naval Register and towed to Manitowoc, Wisconsin to serve as an international memorial to submariners. In 1986, she was declared a National Historic Landmark. Cobia is permanently docked at the mouth of the Manitowoc River, where tours are still given daily.
I believe this is probably the best plastic model submarine kit ever made, at least in my opinion. I hope you enjoy the photos.


1 - 10 of 10 Posts