These are digital photos I have worked up of my build of the USS Sailfish (SS-192 of the Sargo class) based on the Revell kit of the USS Lionfish. I chose the Sailfish because of her interesting history. She started out as the USS Squalus, which sank in May 1939 due to a failure of her main induction valve in her after engine room during a diving test. The first ship to her rescue was her sistership, USS Sculpin. Thirty-three surviving crewmen of Squalus were later rescued using the newly developed Momsen rescue bell. Squalus was decommissioned and the ship was raised, repaired and then recommissioned in 1940 as the USS Sailfish. She was stationed in the Philippines during the early days of World War II. On 3 December 1943 Sailfish made a successful torpedo attack on the light carrier Chuyo, sinking her. What was not discovered until after the war was that Chuyo was carrying 21 POW survivors from the previous sinking of the USS Sculpin. Only one of the Sculpin POWs survived the torpedo attack. Sailfish was awarded nine battle stars for service in the Pacific as well as the Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding performance on her tenth patrol.

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I made extensive modifications to the kit. The conning tower and crew on watch were scratch-built using styrene. Some hull features were modified, especially the tip of the bow by filling in the "guide hole" for fastening ropes with wood filler, then sanding down the tip of the bow with a slight slant aft and adding the pad eye at the tip of the bow. The rails around the conning tower were made of stretched sprue and the portholes on the conning tower were literally drilled open. The main gun on deck was detailed with additional features. Two additional access hatches for the aft portion of the sub are made of plaster using an access hatch as the original for a mold. The torpedo tubes were reduced from three on each side to two (typical for Sargo class subs) by filling in the bottom tube on each side with wood filler, sanded, and painted.

Richard H. Smith

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