I recommend this kit for any collection of USN submarine models. This kit is for intermediate-skill modelers and will result in a very nice representation of any of the George Washington class submarines that served in the U. S. Navy. Assembly was straight forward, with no major problems. No alignment pins or sockets are present in the kit design, and many parts may require addition of pins or wire for positive location. This is not a detraction from the kit, but something to think about when you start assembly. The resulting model looks proper in comparison to photographs and references.
Initial Impression in the Box
The kit arrived in a 17.75 x 5.5 x 2.3 inch box, featuring colorful artwork of the George Washington underway on the surface during sea trials. Poly bags enclosed the part sprues and the kit materials are not too tightly packed in the box. Three medium gray sprues, a decal sheet, a small brass photo-etch fret and an instruction sheet are included. No mold release traces were observed on any of the sprues. The plastic is moderately shiny, and surface detail is recessed. The instruction sheet is printed in black-and-white, with color paint guidelines and decal placement instructions. The decal sheet has names and numbers for all of the George Washington class boats, SSN-598 through SSBN-602.
Construction was quite straightforward. I glued BBs into the lower hull to provide some weight to the model for security. Flash is present on some parts, but did not present any serious obstacles. Cyanoacrylates and extra thin cements worked very well. The broad flat missile deck is well represented, with a good scupper gap where the deck joins the pressure hull. I certainly recommend that all of the parts have wire or plastic rod attachments added and placed in corresponding drill holes. The brass propeller was assembled without trouble. The brass is soft enough to be formed into whatever you may consider the correct prop design to be. I used a plastic circle template to hold the hull halves together for gluing. Mikro Mir gets kudos for including all of the individual boats in the class. I did not use the stand base and pylons since my submarine collection has a different style of display cradle.
I finished the sub per the painting instructions, using black and hull-red colors. I used acrylic paints, and had no challenges with paint adhesion. The kit was washed prior to construction, as usual, the final assembly cleaned with Polly-S Plastic prep, and a light coat of black primer applied before the final coats.
The only disappointment I really had throughout building was with the decals. I applied liquid decal film to the decal sheet. The decals came off the carrier paper after a long soak in de-ionized water; however, they did break apart on the model. I could not easily re-assemble any of them. I was very surprised to see this with new kit decals. I shifted my historical reference to show the sub on patrol with no markings.
I am very pleased with this kit. It does take a bit of extra work, however it is an excellent value. Assembly was quite quick, and outside of the decal disappointment and subsequent adaptations, the challenges and successes were well worth the time.
I highly recommend this kit for any submarine aficionado! The George Washington looks great in my display case with my other boomers, 688s, fleet boats, and Guppies.
I am very appreciative of Mikro-Mir for providing a review example of a one of the USN’s nuclear ballistic missile submarines. I also wish to extend a very deep appreciation to the IPMS/USA Reviewer Corps for allowing me to review this newly released kit. Thank you again Mikro Mir and the IPMS Reviewer Corps! As always, it is an honor to be part of the team.