What's All this About the Cold War being Over! By Mario GrimaGuppies were very important submarines. Not only did they serve
the free world with ample submarine coverage, but also were to modern submarines
what the Gemini Space program was to Apollo. They were excellent experimental
electronic platforms. The knowledge gained from them is the ancestor to the
giant nuclear boomers and fast attack submarines of today.
Here are two models. One is the USS Becuna,
wearing its Electric Boat Step Sail, and the other is the USS
Torsk, wearing Its Portsmouth Step sail. Both models are built
from two Revell Lionfish and my step sail kits.
The Becuna was built by the Electric Boat Company. She is
a Balao Class conversion to a Guppy
1A boat. The Guppy 1A program was a sort of low budget Guppy designed
to slip by Congressional naval budget cuts. The system did feature the
streamlined sail, streamlined superstructure, better batteries, updated masts,
snorkel, modernized equipment and internal rearrangements. Current status-Museum
ship at Penn's Landing Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Paint scheme-Black Measure
USS Becuna SS-319
This model is wearing my EB step sail. The sail itself is pre-detailed, so
that after installing the array masts you have the snorkel induction, snorkel
exhaust fairing, antennas, radar, and periscopes. In order to convert the hull
into a Guppy the bow was rounded off and built up with a little putty. The
safety railing is included with the sail kit. Today Becuna
is painted a dark measure. Last time I saw her she was wearing a two-tone crisp
cut black/gray measure. I liked her that way so I did this model in that style.
USS Torsk SS-423 was built by the
Portsmouth Naval Yard. It was a Tench Class
conversion to fleet snorkel boat. The fleet snorkel boats look similar to
Guppies with their sail designs but they retained their WWII bow, superstructure
and internal equipment. The one feature that was incorporated into them was the
snorkel system, with induction and Exhaust tubing, ECM masts and different types
of Sonar's from chin bow to deck. Current Status - Museum ship- Baltimore,
The Torsk- This model is wearing
my Portsmouth step sail. Build up is similar to the Becuna,
only since this submarine is a fleet snorkel, the bow did not have to be
rounded. On the rear deck there are four sections were the wood paneling was
removed. This may have been removed on the Torsk
when the Regulus Missile apparatus was installed in its past active life span.
The safety railing differs from the Becuna.
Both have chin sonar. Paint Scheme-Museum Paint scheme E above the number for an
Efficiency designation and blue shark mouth two tone camouflage measure.