Wednesday, March 7, 2012


SMN report:
Mat Irvine reported from the 2011 iHobby Expo in November, and one of the upcoming kits that looked very interesting indeed was the 1:72 scale USS Skipjack nuclear submarine. Well, the sub’s now coming into view and should be available very soon indeed.

TV star submarine
Moebius has another big submarine on offer too, and that’s the Seaview, star of 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea', a long-running TV series that was aired from 1964-68. To this science-fiction fan, the Seaview is probably the more interesting of the pair, not least for its mini-sub - included in the Moebius kit - and for the windows in the bow section. Perfect for a TV series, big, square windows up front are the last thing a working submarine needs, but kudos to the special effects team - it looked really good when you saw crew figures walking about behind those four holes in the pressure hull.

High-speed sub
The Moebius 1:72 scale USS Skipjack was one of the most advanced subs of its time, powered by a nuclear reactor that gave the boat a range of nearly 160,000 km (100,000 miles) before needing to refuel. An amazing improvement over her predecessors running on conventional fuel, as was her speed, officially logged at 37 km/h (23 mph), though that’s generally thought to be a conservative figure - the real speed remains a closely guarded secret.

Conversion possibilities
The Moebius Skipjack looks to have ideal combo of features, satisfying both display modelmakers and those who wish to take their model underwater. The Moebius team claims the design is suitable for conversion to radio control (RC), and as the model will be more than 1016 mm (40 in) long when assembled, it’ll be an impressive size on the shelf, and not too tiny in the local pond.

Submarine tow craft
Nuclear subs are a popular item among RC modelmakers, and the shots we show prove this well - note the interior, packed with the complex necessaries to give full control through the water. Do take time to visit the SubCommittee site (link below) as there are some terrific pix there, including one that shows an RC sub towing its owner through the water! Thanks for the pix, SC.

The Moebius USS Skipjack looks a good bet for submarine fans, and it's made to a model aircraft scale too, which opens up possibilities. As for the Seaview, it's another kit to send sci-fi model makers into kit heaven - or in this case, an undersea paradise. Just be sure you have the shelf space for either sub.

Mat's iHobby Expo article here.

The Moebius Seaview is available here.

The Moebius Skipjack will be available shortly. Meantime, here are some other subs worth a look.

Visit the SubCommittee here.

Seaview model pic courtesy Le Neptune website here.

There's more...
And here's the real USS Skipjack, ploughing through surface waters. The boat had a teardrop-shaped hull, perfectly suited for running submerged, not so much in the waves above.