J&D Productions 1/192nd Virginia Class SSN
www.jdproduct.com
Reviewed by John Sheridan


Virginia Class SSN

(From the FAS website www.fas.org)
The New Attack Submarine is designed for multi-mission operations and enhanced operational flexibility. SEAWOLF (SSN-21)-Class quieting has been incorporated in a smaller hull while military performance has been maintained or improved. Compared with the Seawolf, the NSSN is slower, carries fewer weapons, and is less capable in diving depth and arctic operations. On the other hand, the NSSN is expected to be as quiet as the Seawolf, will incorporate a vertical launch system and have improved surveillance as well as special operations characteristics to enhance littoral warfare capability. While the 688-I submarines are noisier than the improved Russian Akula class, the Seawolf is quieter than Akula and the upcoming Russian SSN-P-IX class. The primary design driver for the NSSN is acoustic quietness equal to that of the Seawolf, even at the cost of reducing maximum top speed. With a focus on the littoral battlespace, the New Attack Submarine has improved magnetic stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities, and Special Warfare enhancements.

The new attack submarine is armed with a variety of weapons. It carries the most advanced heavyweight torpedoes, mines, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) for horizontal launch. In addition, Tomahawk missiles are carried in vertical launch tubes. The New Attack Submarine also features an integral Lock-Out/Lock-In chamber for special operations and can host Special Operations Forces' underwater delivery vehicles.

The existing DOD guidance calls for a force of 50 attack submarines, although some studies have called for raising the number of subs to as many as 72. Existing plans are sufficient to meet the goal of 50 boats, although higher numbers would require modification to these plans.  

Contractors

General Dynamics Electric Boat Division [lead design authority]
Newport News Shipbuilding
Lockheed Martin Federal Systems (Combat System)
Raytheon Electronics Systems (Combat System)

Power Plant

One S9G pressurized water reactor
??,000 shp, one shaft with pumpjet propulsor
Improved Performance Machinery Program Phase III
one secondary propulsion submerged motor

Displacement

7,800 tons submerged

Length

377 feet

Draft

32 feet

Beam

34 feet

Speed

25+ knots submerged

Depth

Greater than 800 feet

Horizontal Tubes

Four 21" Torpedo Tubes

Vertical Tubes

12 Vertical Launch System Tubes

Weapons

38 weapons, including:
Vertical Launch System Tomahawk Cruise Missiles
Mk 48 ADCAP Heavyweight Torpedoes
Advanced Mobile Mines
Unmanned Undersea Vehicles

Special Warfare

Dry Deck Shelter
Advanced SEAL Delivery System

Sonars

Spherical active/passive arrays
Light Weight Wide Aperture Arrays
TB-16, TB-29, and future towed arrays
High-frequency chin and sail arrays

Countermeasures

1 internal launcher (reloadable 2-barrel)
14 external launchers

Crew

113 officers and men

Total Program

30 systems
Total program cost (TY$) $67034M
Average unit cost (TY$) $2110M

Status

Full-rate production 1QFY07

Name

Number

Builder

Ordered

Commissioned

Virginia

SSN-774

Electric Boat

Jun 1998

Jun 2004

Texas

SSN-775

Newport News

Jun 1998

Jun 2005

Hawaii

SSN-776

Electric Boat

Jun 1998

Jan 2007

 

SSN-777

Newport News

Jun 1998

Jun 2008


 The Kit

virginia_model1.jpg (251173 bytes) J&D Productions has released a Virginia Class SSN in 1/192nd scale.  This is a very large model with a length of 23.56 inches. The kit is made of Resin and White Metal parts. The kit comes in a large box and all the parts are well packed in bubblewrap and NOT Foam Peanuts. This is a nice touch by J&D Productions since the one thing I cannot stand is opening a box and having the foam peanuts explode all over the table!

All of the parts in the kit are well detailed and require a very small amount of cleanup. The main hull has casting lines running on both sides of the hull. This will require some sanding and filling to make the lines disappear. This casting line is not unusual considering the size of the model and the fact that it is cast in one piece. None of my parts in this kit were warped, miscast, or broken

virginia_model2.jpg (290699 bytes)The hull is cast in two pieces with the main hull cast as a single piece hollow tube. Alignment holes are provided for each part to be added to the hull. The detail work on the hull is very well done and includes details like Crew Hatches, Covers, Torpedo and VLS tubes, and even the Sea Chests which is rare and normally not found in most Submarine kits.

The Sonar dome is cast as the second piece of the main hull and fits exactly where the Sonar Dome is supposed to fit on the real Submarine. A alignment pin is cast on the hull and dome to ensure the dome contour is aligned with the main hull contour. The Sail, Rudders, Angle Planes, and Stabilizer Planes are cast as separate resin parts. All of these parts have an alignment pin cast with each part and a corresponding alignment hole on the hull for each part.  This is a really nice touch since it takes the guesswork out exactly where the part should fit on the model.

The Periscopes, Masts, Chin Sonar, and Dive Planes are all cast in White Metal and are well detailed. Location marks and alignment pins are provided on the hull and sail for all of the parts.

The kit includes a list of comprehensive instructions and a technical pamphlet for the class of Submarine purchased. Also included is a questioner for J&D Productions and a pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelope to mail the questioner; nice touch!

A decal sheet is provided with this kit. The sheet includes draft marks, rescue targets, and markings for USS Virginia (SSN-774) and USS Texas (SSN-775)


Assembly:

The instruction sheet is 3 pages long and is broken down to 1 page each for assembly, painting, and inventory.

The Inventory Page gives you an exploded photograph of the kit and a list of all parts broken down in sections.

The assembly instructions are broken down into 5 visual steps and 10 written steps. The visual instructions point out the name of the part and lines pointing where they go. A really nice touch in the instructions is a top and side drawing showing the location of the Periscopes, Masts, and Antennas. This completely takes the mystery out of trying to find out which mast goes in which location.

The painting instructions provide you with top-down and side view drawings. The drawings give you the option of as-launched or operational paint schemes. Written instructions are also provided to help you with painting of various parts and locations on the submarine.

Included in the painting instructions is a separate drawing showing locations for the placement of the decals.  The placement location for each decal is lettered with a small drawing of the actual decal that is to be placed in each location.

The last drawing on the painting instructions sheet is for those who wish to scratchbuild a propulsor cover. This is a nice option considering the lack of detail for the propulsor interior.


Conclusion:

For those of you who like big models (like me!) will enjoy this kit. It is easy to build yet highly detailed and makes for a beautiful model when finished. My only problem with this kit is finding shelf space to display the finished models!

Currently, J&D Productions is producing  1/192nd scale kits of Seawolf Class SSN and Ohio Class SSBN. Upcoming releases will include all three versions of LA Class SSN, Thresher Class SSN, and Sturgeon Class SSN. We will review each of these kits when they become available.
Pictures of J&D Productions Virginia Class SSN Kit
virginia_bottom_fore.jpg (154343 bytes) virginia_bottom_aft.jpg (201481 bytes) virginia_nose.jpg (19487 bytes) virginia_decal.jpg (46267 bytes)
virginia_top_fore.jpg (274342 bytes) virginia_whitemetal.jpg (59687 bytes) virginia_resin.jpg (130663 bytes)  

  Home copper.jpg (2701 bytes)