SSUS Modeling Info


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Jul 12, 2005
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Popular Mechanics has put PDF files of the five articles from 1952-1953 magazines on their website www.popularmechanics.com how to build a 3-foot model of the S. S. United States. I remember as a young boy buying all of the five issues to get the plans, but I never did build this model from scratch. I did build the Revell plastic model of the S. S. United States. Robert H. Gibbons
 

Joe Russo

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I built the Revell plastic model too. I remember unlike my other ocean liner models, the SSUS was only to the waterline. This was around 1980. Was everything below the waterline still classified in 1980?
I also remember the model directions calling for the decks to be green.

BTW - I built a Revell model of the QE2 back then too and that one called for the hull to be a very dark navy blue.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I built the Revell plastic model too.<<

As did I. I was a prodigious model builder as a young 'un.

>>Was everything below the waterline still classified in 1980?<<

If memory serves, it was. One has to wonder why since there was nothing all that remarkable about the plant itself. It was basically an aircraft carrier's plant around which an ocean liner was built. Not very economical, but fast!
 
Apr 8, 2008
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>>Was everything below the waterline still classified in 1980?<<

>>I built the Revell model too<<

1. The U. S. Government would probably have kept the underwater information classified forever if it could have (no paranoia here!). one of the reasons for the United States speed was the use of lighter weight materials in her construction. I googled the ship and found an underwater cutaway at www.oceanlinermuseum.co.uk/index but I'm not positive of how old it is.

2. You'e not a Young 'un still? I hope at least at heart. Any how you can occasionally still find the Revell kit on E-bay if you're looking for one (be prepared to pay as it is an antique) I'm trying to build one and am trying to find some color photos from overhead when the ship was new to determine the deck color. There are some overhead photos of the ship in Philadelphia now (satellite?) and you can see they are a light (lime green) very worn and rusted.
 

Joe Russo

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yep, it was a green. I'd say whatever that astroturf color was in Testor's brand was what it called for. As a kid I assumed at the time that the decks were astroturf because all of the other models I had made had tan colored decks. From the looks of the recent photos of the SSUS decks, it was probably a non-skid paint.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>1. The U. S. Government would probably have kept the underwater information classified forever if it could have (no paranoia here!).<<

I think they might have too, though maybe not for the reasons you might think. The government has a funny habit of sticking a SECRET lable on things then just forgetting about them or sticking to it even when there's little point in doing so because the information was already out there. I was able to get books with a stunning amount of information on nuclear weapons, complete with photos of the actual weapons along with weapon type, fissil material used, and the Permissive Action Links being used on each weapon. I bought this from a book store in a mall overlooking Pearl Harbour, and the source material cited was all in the public domain.

>>You'e not a Young 'un still?<<

Not really. Don't quite have one foot in the grave but the vultures are starting to give me the odd funny look...
 
Apr 8, 2008
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>>you're not a young 'un still<<

At least the're not circling yet.
And I once found information on U. S. military Operations from the Russian Embassy including some Top Secret info during the Cold War!! Prior to the freedom of information act.

Oh no the'er coming to take me away ha ha!
 
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The satellite images look almost like a badly faded Zinc Chromate with the forcastle & after crane? decks rusting out (there are some really good images of the ship as she is now).Off to my local hobby shop for paint. Check out Google map images under S. S. United States you won't be able to download but a great image you can almost get close enough to count rivets.
 
Apr 8, 2008
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>>Thanks for the Tip on the satellite image<<

There are some other good picts of ships if you know where to look. Check on the location of the ship. (Ie:U. S. S. North Carolina is in Wilmington NC, Queen Mary in Long beach CA.)
 
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>>Was every thing below the waterline Still classified in 1980<<

Actually yes but the Revell model made in 1953 has a cutaway drawing on the back of their direction sheet that shows the full ship.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Actually yes but the Revell model made in 1953 has a cutaway drawing on the back of their direction sheet that shows the full ship.<<

Or what was more or less broadly similar to the whole ship. The secrecy was pretty much pointless in my opinion. The Russians probably had copies of the plans and any useful technical data on the ship before the keel was even laid. The KGB may not have been the superspies the Cold War mythos made them out to be but they were still pretty damned good at what they did.
 
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>>The KGB may not have been the super spies<<

We're probly not on the right page for this message string any more. Right more to the point that our own gov is to (@%$^&^%$*^(^%$) in keeping it's own secrets.
 
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