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Moebius Models 1/72 USS Skipjack SSN 585 Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2012 Manufacturer Moebius Models
Subject USS Skipjack SSN 585 Scale 1/72
Kit Number 1400 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nice kit Cons I'm going to need a larger shelf
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $119.95

First Look


Combining a nuclear reactor with a submarine transformed undersea warfare with the first such vessel being the USS Nautilus SSN 571. First developed in the 1950s, these submarines could run underwater indefinitely without having to surface or snorkel to recharge its batteries like the diesel submarines still in service at the time. The Nautilus was essentially a prototype followed by USS Seawolf SSN 575 and the four boats of the Skate class. These were followed by the six boats of the Skipjack class which featured a low-drag teardrop hull and the S5W nuclear reactor. The design was so successful that the George Washington-class ballistic missile boats were based on the Skipjack design. Five of the six members of the Skipjack class would remain in service for nearly 30 years with the exception of USS Scorpion which was lost in 1968.

When I first saw a prototype of this model at iHobbyExpo in 2011, I was quite surprised to see the sheer size of the model. I thought surely that it would be released in a smaller scale as a 1/350 scale companion to the Seaview but those in the know assured me that this was indeed a 1/72 scale kit. If you notice the yard stick next to the upper hull halves, this model fully assembled is over 40 inches in length.

Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on three parts trees, four hull segments, to sail halves, and two display stands. One small tree of clear parts and two photo-etched parts round out this (huge) kit. As you can see in the images, this isn't a complex model and it is my understanding that a number of folks are working on radio control options for this beast (the radio control systems for the 1/350 Seaview are quite impressive, check out some of the YouTube videos).

As a static scale model, assembly should be very quick and relatively straightforward - assemble, fill any seams, paint, and add your ship's markings.

This kit has decals to render any of the six members of the Skipjack class including:

  • USS Skipjack SSN 585
  • USS Scamp SSN 588
  • USS Scorpion SSN 589
  • USS Sculpin SSN 590
  • USS Shark SSN 591
  • USS Snook SSN 592

This is an impressive kit straight out of the box and with a nice paint job and a bit of weathering, this model will be a show-stopper at any contest table. It is clear that this project was a labor of love and the results are very nice indeed.

My sincere thanks to Moebius Models for this review sample!