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Here's one that's "only" $500. But just for ideas.


And here's a 99$ in wood. Ohio...

 

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Would you be interested in building it yourself? If so the front could be turned on a lathe, the sail carved or 3D printed and the interior area made by wrapping cardstock around the front hull. Double hull and decks should come from memory. It’s work but sounds like a challenge.
I found a model kit of mr first ship but it doesn’t have the upgrades so I haven’t started on it yet.
 

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Yeah, no that's cool - 1/76 definitely isn't too far off from HO. Unfortunately, the Skipjack class of subs (while instrumental to what we do today) are all "razor blades" (loving Navy term for decommissioned units) by now. Since the Skipjack class, there have been many different classes, I believe the last Skipjack sub was decommissioned in the 70's - well before my time.

In my first years in the Navy, we had a new guy come to us from the last Sturgeon class submarine, the USS Mendel Rivers. Which from what I understand was an absolutely badass submarine class that I am personally unsure why we went away from - I just worked there :)

Anyway, the two main classes I dealt with were the Los Angeles Class and the Ohio Class, the Louisiana being my first boat. However, in my tenure I also served on a Seawolf class sub, and toured several of the new Virginia class, which for any history buffs, is the first submarine ever built without a periscope; it’s a fiber-optic rely that transmits on an LCD screen – crazy huh?

Anyway, the Ohio and LA class sails (That vertical structure that houses the periscope) are pretty darn similar – I really like Lehigh74s’ picture above – that would be fairly easy to do and avoid the scaling problem while meeting most of what I was thinking.

I still think it’d be really cool to do a submerged sub cross-section view. I wouldn’t think it would be unheard of either; what about something like shipwreck scene? But the depth of the water seems to limit the model to something other than resin (I was looking at $1,200 just for the resin) and a lot a space, not to mention weight.
SSBN743;

There is a youtube video about how the movie "The Hunt for Red October" was made. In it large scale models of subs and special effects magic were used. If you haven't already seen it, you might find it interesting. There may be some ideas in it which could help you with your display.

Traction Fan
 

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I've toured the Skipjack down in Portsmouth, and despite her antique status, I think she could be the answer to your scale problem. How many undersea experts are ever likely to see your layout? Unless you live in a Navy town, you're probably the only one to notice the lack of historical fidelity. OTOH, if you elect to model your railroad in the 1960s-70s-80s, problem solved! Skipjack had her tail feathers reconfigured several different ways in her lifetime, some of the later ones being visually comparable to the Sturgeons and the Los Angeles class boats. That should be a relatively easy fabrication job for a handy sailor.
There's all kinds of stuff you can do with simulating water, from Florida Keys pristine to Gulf of Maine opaque. If you haven't already discovered Tony Koester and Dave Frary, check them out. Most important - have fun!
Wes. (TD2, 1970-74)
 

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Ok guys,
I think some of us are getting our feet' confused with our inches".
As SSBN743 (HOO-YAH!) eventually "mathed out" an SSBN comes to just under 7" in HO scale, so an SSN would be a bit less, just under 6" or so.
I noticed during my time at Groton, CT that many of the WW2 era buildings (many, sadly, now gone) could be represented accurately using DPM modular buildings and some CORNERSTONE kits.
There are plenty of great ideas already presented to build the above-water portions of a sub and a nice pier could be easily constructed of balsa and some commercially available bollards. SHAPEWAYS would be a good source for pier details!

Personally, I'd love to see a diorama representing a submarine base with a docked SSN/SSBN with another "in the channel" under tow from some nicely detailed tugboats.
Groton/New London also has a nice moveable bridge which could be included either in it's current or pre-2005(?) incarnation.

There's a lot of great ideas to be explored,
Fair Winds And Following Seas!
 

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Ok guys,
I think some of us are getting our feet' confused with our inches".
As SSBN743 (HOO-YAH!) eventually "mathed out" an SSBN comes to just under 7" in HO scale, so an SSN would be a bit less, just under 6" or so.
I noticed during my time at Groton, CT that many of the WW2 era buildings (many, sadly, now gone) could be represented accurately using DPM modular buildings and some CORNERSTONE kits.
There are plenty of great ideas already presented to build the above-water portions of a sub and a nice pier could be easily constructed of balsa and some commercially available bollards. SHAPEWAYS would be a good source for pier details!

Personally, I'd love to see a diorama representing a submarine base with a docked SSN/SSBN with another "in the channel" under tow from some nicely detailed tugboats.
Groton/New London also has a nice moveable bridge which could be included either in it's current or pre-2005(?) incarnation.

There's a lot of great ideas to be explored,
Fair Winds And Following Seas!
According to the Wicked Podiatrist the Ohio class is 560 feet long. Divide that by 87 and you get 6.43 FEET. A common sense test (we surface sailors are fond of those): could you put a submarine on a 50' flat car?
 

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1) You can certainly put PARTS for a modern submarine on a flatcar.

My original thoughts for representing Sub Base NLON (Groton, CT) was to have the subs/piers in the background visible between background building "flats,"

Finding pictures of the sub piers is problematic at best!
If you live anywhere near a base, DO NOT TRY TO TAKE PICTURES!!!!
They get angry! ;)
 

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1) You can certainly put PARTS for a modern submarine on a flatcar.

My original thoughts for representing Sub Base NLON (Groton, CT) was to have the subs/piers in the background visible between background building "flats,"

Finding pictures of the sub piers is problematic at best!
If you live anywhere near a base, DO NOT TRY TO TAKE PICTURES!!!!
They get angry! ;)
Yes, they do, but there are lots of photos out there taken by authorized individuals. By definition, a photograph taken by a government employee in the course of his official duties is in the public domain. You could even reach out to the Public affairs office at the base.
 

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Ok guys,
I think some of us are getting our feet' confused with our inches".
As SSBN743 (HOO-YAH!) eventually "mathed out" an SSBN comes to just under 7" in HO scale, so an SSN would be a bit less, just under 6" or so.
I noticed during my time at Groton, CT that many of the WW2 era buildings (many, sadly, now gone) could be represented accurately using DPM modular buildings and some CORNERSTONE kits.
There are plenty of great ideas already presented to build the above-water portions of a sub and a nice pier could be easily constructed of balsa and some commercially available bollards. SHAPEWAYS would be a good source for pier details!

Personally, I'd love to see a diorama representing a submarine base with a docked SSN/SSBN with another "in the channel" under tow from some nicely detailed tugboats.
Groton/New London also has a nice moveable bridge which could be included either in it's current or pre-2005(?) incarnation.

There's a lot of great ideas to be explored,
Fair Winds And Following Seas!
SSBN's can't get to the Groton base (at least, not an Ohio). The water isn't deep enough. The Army Corps of Engineers has to dredge the river periodically, and the only keep it deep enough for the LA / Virginia classes.

As far as your diorama goes, it exists. It's in the model room at Electric Boat. No tugs in the channel, though.
 
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I like Mark's and other's idea of putting this off in the distance and scale it down. The most memorable views of subs were just before surfacing completely with only the sail out of the water and maybe the topmost rudder. Very ominous looking. If you put that facing the viewer from across the diorama, the sail might only need to be 6" high. You could concentrate your detail work on the sail and sail planes.
 

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Back in the 70's I was getting ready to depart on an aircraft carrier out of Norfolk, when lo an behold an attack sub moored up next to us. None of the people I was with had the nerve to attempt to board the sub as we all knew what the result would be, But I decided to try any way as it would probably be my only chance to get on a sub, so I boldly march up the gangway and told the marine that I worked with Cruise Missile (I did) and wondered if I could get a tour of the boat. The very polite Marine told me "No", but unlike the others I got to stand on the sub and peer down the hatch!
 
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