The USS Indianapolis (SSN-697) was a U.S. Navy Los Angeles class fast attack submarine. She was commissioned in 1980 and was assigned to the Pacific Fleet, homeported in Pearl Harbor. She was decommissioned halfway through her service life in 1998, one of the many victims of the so-called “peace dividend”.
I have always been fascinated by submarines, particularly the U.S. Navy nuke boats. It just so happens that the outer diameter of 5 inch PVC well casing is almost exactly the hull diameter of the LA class submarine in 1/72 scale. The center 30 inches of the model is 5 inch PVC, the bow and stern sections are vacuformed over poplar masters. The fins and sail were made from plastic sheet and copies cast in resin.
The list of interesting modeling subjects is long. Somewhere near the top of that list for me have always been modern submarines, particularly US Navy nuclear subs. My friend Michael Smith also shares this interest, but in his case he prefers his models to not only look nice but to operate as well. By good fortune I happened to have a set of Greg Sharpe’s excellent 688 class plans drawn to 1/72 scale. We decided to pool our resources and build two models, a static one for me and an RC version for Michael.