144-001 USS HADDO (SS-255) FALL 1942
The USS HADDO set represents the first step in the evolution of the fleet boat with regards to the elimination of various parts of the sail to reduce the silhouette of the surfaced submarine. Although the reductions were largely left to the sub's skipper, the HADDO typifies the reductions effected in shipyards during the first year of the war. The enclosed periscope shears were removed, exposing the structure of the shears. An early submarine radar, the SJ set, was added, usually at the front end of the shears as shown. The side plating of the cigarette deck was removed to facilitate the installation of a larger anti-aircraft machine gun, the 20mm single mount on a Mk4 solid mount. The other feature of the conversion set is the 3" main gun.
144-002 USS GURNARD (SS-200) Summer 1943
The USS GURNARD set represents the second main step in the evolution of the fleet boat with regards to the elimination of various parts of the sail to reduce the silhouette of the surfaced submarine. The enclosed bridge was eliminated to allow the boat to mount an additional 20mm gun on the forward portion of the sail for added anti-aircraft protection. The boat also shows the early type Torpedo Bearing Transmitter (TBT) mounted in the former location of the DF Loop. The other feature of the kit is the inclusion of the 4"/51 deck gun, a larger gun to allow the submarine a better chance to engage surface targets.
144-003 USS THRESHER (SS-200) FALL 1943
The USS THRESHER set represents the major refit found on TAMBOR class submarines undertaken in 1943 as more GATO class units allowed their removal from the combat zone. The sail was changed to be extremely similar to the GURNARD set. The significant addition to the class was the installation of the 5"/51 deck gun, allowing the boats to engage more heavily armed merchants than the 4"/51 allowed. The 5"/51 was not the preferred weapon, due to its weight, but was mounted anyway while the compact 5"/25 gun was being developed. The larger gun required the installation of twin circular sponsons for the gun crew to work the gun. Another improvement was the installation of four mufflers (one for each engine) to allow for quieter surfaced operations near shore. In addition to these features, the kit also includes a "JT" sonar set to mount forward.
144-004 USS charr SS-328) FALL 1944
The USS CHARR set represents the first type of fairwater used on the BALAO class submarines.
144-005 USS BOWFIN SS-287) Spring 1945
The USS BOWFIN set represents the second type of fairwater used on the BALAO class submarines, an extended fairwater which held an elongated conning tower to alleviate the cramped space inside the fighting chamber of a fleet boat..
144-006 USS MUSKALLUNGE SS-262) Spring 1945
The USS MUSKALLUNGE set represents the final evolution of the cut-down GATO class submarines, a "covered wagon" look was created by romving the uppermost area of plating adjacent to the periscope supports, the addition of the 5"/25 deck gun and additional 40mm and 20mm cannon to sink sampans and other small craft.
144-007 USS CUSK SS-348) PORTSMOUTH STEP-SAIL FLEET SNORKEL
144-008 USS STERELET SS-392) ELECTRIC BOAT STEP-SAIL FLEET SNORKEL
FLOOD VENT TEMPLATES
The Trumpeter Gato kits lack one of the most important features for any submarine: The free flood openings and the flood vents found along the bottom of the boat. Without these features, the boat would be little more than a low riding destroyer. These templates are designed to be used along the bottom of the hull (the keel) and are located in the following positions. Please note that not all sheets will have all of the numbers indicated, due to the different patterns.
Side view of Locations
This drawing is of the bottom of the kit and shows the weld lines on the hull. The numbers indicate which panel of the template goes into a given area. All of the panels are to be placed centered on the keel.
144-701 Gato/Balao Class Flood Templates
This set is designed for the majority of the boats. This pattern was used on the later Gato class and all of the Balao class units. It is designed to be applied between the weld lines present on kit hull and includes the free flood openings, flood vents, fuel tank manhole covers and sonar openings.
As far as I have been able to tell, this sheet covers the 1942-44 authorizations of the Gato & Balao classes, which covers
|Porstmouth Naval Ship Yard (PNSY )||285-291, 308-312, 381-410, 417-424, *298-299 comp. by PNSY|
|Cramp Shipbuilding Company||292-303*, 425-426|
|Mare Island Naval Ship Yard (MINSY)||304-307|
|Electric Boat Company||313-360|
|Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company||361-380 with 361-364 being completed as GATO class units|
|Boston Naval Shipyard (BNSY)||*296-297 completed at BNSY|
I have found a reference which suggests some of the very late units of the 1940-41 contracts were completed with the improved
|Electric Boat Company||240-245|
|Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company||273-274|
144-702 Tench Class
This pattern was used on the Tench class units. It is designed to be applied between the weld lines present on kit hull and includes the free flood openings, flood vents, fuel tank manhole covers and sonar openings.
|Porstmouth Naval Ship Yard (PNSY )||417-424, 475-490|
|Boston Naval Ship Yard (BNSY)||522-525|
|Electric Boat Company||435|
144-703 Gato/Prewar Classes
This set is designed for the majority of the early boats. This pattern was used on the early Gato class units, plus the prewar Gar, Tambor and Sargo classes. It is designed to be applied between the weld lines present on kit hull and includes the free flood openings, flood vents, fuel tank manhole covers and sonar openings.
144-703 Early Gato & Prewar Classes. It appears that this pattern of flood ports appeared on the Perch class and was
used unchanged until the Balao class, with the excepted late units of the Gato class noted above.
|CLASS/BUILDER||HULL NUMBER (SS-)|
|Perch Class||176-178 @ EB, 179-180 @PNSY, 181 @MINSY|
|Salmon Class||182-184 @ EB, 185-186 @ PNSY, 187 @ MINSY|
|Sargo Class||188-190 @ EB, 191-192 @ PNSY, 193 @ MINSY|
|Seadragon Class||194-195 @ EB, 196-197 @ PNSY|
|Tambor Class||198-200 @ EB, 201-202 @ PNSY, 203 @ MINSY|
|Gar Class||206-208 @ EB, 209-210 @ PNSY, 211 @ MINSY|
|Porstmouth Naval Ship Yard (PNSY )||228-235,275-280|
|Mare Island Naval Ship Yard (MINSY)||236-239,281-284|
|Electric Boat Company||212-227,240-264|
|Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company||265-274|
Future Conversion sets for Trumpeter 1944 & 1941 USS Gato kits:
USS WAHOO SS-238, 1942
USS CARBONERO SSG-337 (WITH REGULUS MISSILE)
USS SEA CAT SS-399 (PORTSMOUTH SAIL FLEET SNORKEL)
USS CHARR SS-328 (ELECTRIC BOAT SAIL FLEET SNORKEL)
USS IREX SS-482 (EXPERIMENTAL PORTSMOUTH SAIL FLEET SNORKEL)
USS GUAVINA AOSS-362 (EXPERIMENTAL SUBMARINE OILER WITH P5M MARLIN)
USS PERCH SSP-313 (EXPERIMENTAL AMPHIBIOUS SUBMARINE WITH SHELTER)
GUPPY I, GUPPY II AND GUPPY III MODELS WILL BE AVAILABLE AS FULL KITS DUE TO THE EXTENSIVE HULL REWORKING REQUIRED.