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USS George Washington Mikro Mir 1:350 USS George Washington (SSBN-598), the lead ship of her class of nuclear ballistic missile submarines, was the third United States Navy ship of the name, in honour of George Washington (17321799), first President of the United States, and the first of that name to be purpose-built as a warship. The boats keel was laid down at Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics, Groton, Connecticut on 1 November 1957. The first of her class, she was launched on 9 June 1959 sponsored by Mrs. Robert B. Anderson, and commissioned on 30 December 1959 as SSBN-598 with Commander James B. Osborn in command of the Blue crew and Commander John L. From Jr. in command of the Gold crew. George Washington was originally laid down as the attack submarine USS Scorpion (SSN-589). During construction, she was lengthened by the insertion of a 130 ft (40 m)-long ballistic missile section and renamed George Washington; another submarine under construction at the time received the original name and hull number. Inside her forward escape hatch, a plaque remained bearing her original name. Because the ballistic missile compartment design of George Washington would be reused in later ship classes, the section inserted into George Washington was designed with a deeper test depth rating than the rest of the submarine. The USS George Washington left Groton on 28 June 1960 for Cape Canaveral, Florida, where she loaded two Polaris missiles. Standing out into the Atlantic Missile Test Range with Rear Admiral William Raborn, head of the Polaris submarine development program, on board as an observer, she successfully conducted the first Polaris missile launch from a submerged submarine on 20 July 1960. In 1982, she returned to Pearl Harbor from her last missile patrol. In 1983, her missiles were unloaded at Bangor, Washington to comply with the SALT I treaty. She had made 55 deterrent patrols in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in her 25-year career. George Washington continued service as an attack submarine (SSN), returning briefly to Pearl Harbor. In 1983, she departed Pearl Harbor for the last time and transited the Panama Canal back to the Atlantic and to New London. She was decommissioned on 24 January 1985, stricken from the Naval Vessel Registry on 30 April 1986, and scheduled for disposal through the Ship-Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Recycling of the ship was completed on 30 September 1998. The Model Although kits of the USS George Washington have been released in the past, this is the first in the popular 1:350 scale, which is great news for those of us who model in this scale. At last we can have a model of this iconic vessel in out collection. The kit comes in the familiar coloured top opening box, inside of which the kit parts are safely held in a poly bag. Considering the size of the completed model, there are very few parts, making it a great kit to start with if you thinking of making a selection of submarine models. The grey styrene is not as soft as some short run kits Ive come across and the moulded details, such as the silo doors, are very nicely moulded. The two hull halves are cut vertically rather than the standard horizontal seen in most other kits. This makes the modelling of a waterline diorama so much easier. If making the model as full hull the two halves are glued together and the join line filled and sanded as necessary. The single piece silo section is then glued to the upper hull, followed by the five part sail assembly, consisting of two sail halves, sail top and two dive planes, being attached to the forward end of the silo section. The sail is provided with two periscopes which are fitted to the top of the sail. The upper and lower rudders and the aft dive planes are then attached to the rear of the hull, followed by the etched propeller, with a choice of early or late styles and propeller boss. With the boss the in place, the blades must be twisted carefully to shape, which is shown in the instructions, but you might get better results by finding a photograph of them on the internet or your library. Decals The small decal sheet provides the boats ID number, fitted to the fin, its name plate, fitted to the aft section of the missile silos, depth markings and escape hatch markings. The decals look suitable opaque and in register with very little in the way of carrier film. But still best use on a glossy base. Conclusion This is another superb kit from Mikro Mir, and a great addition to any collection. Due to the nature of the real submarines shape it is naturally a very simple kit, which will be good for even the most novice modeller. Yet its still able to be built by the expert modeller who can take that extra time with the painting and more importantly the weathering. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of