HMCS Grilse was Canada’s first submarine after World War Two. The Grilse was built in 1943 as a Balao Class boat for the US Navy and was originally called the USS Burrfish. She was converted in 1950 to a radar picket sub used for anti submarine training. The Grilse was commissioned in 1961 into the R.C.N. and was based out of Esquimalt until 1969, when she was paid off and returned to the US Navy and sunk by a torpedo during training exercise.

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The Grilse is based on a 1/96 scale basic hull with no deck and a few fittings from Scale Ship-Yard and the rest off the sub is scratch-built from sheet plastic, brass and various pieces from the parts bin. I used basic plans of the Burrfish and a few photos of the Grilse to build her over a period of a year, on and off. This model will be given to the museum, HMCS Naden at the Esquimalt base in honour of the men that served on her.

I would like to thank Hal Zrbin, retired P.O. on the Grilse, Len Gibbs, Clare Sugrue of the Esquimalt Naval Museum for all there help and Chainsaw Larry for taking the photos.

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Ryan Cameron

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