NR-1 Deep Submergence Vessel
by Keith Bender

1/72 NR-1 Deep Submergence Vessel (FX Model)


Since 1969 the navy has been operating a small nuke sub for research named NR-1. It was decommissioned in 2009 after 40 years of service. God only knows everything she has seen and what we'll never know. Back in 1995 while working at Electric Boat div. They had NR-1 drydocked there. I had the opportunity to get aboard. She is very small inside with enough room in the control area for three and a fourth standing in the rear. Then there is the men in the engine room which is off limits even to most EB employees. Well there is a reactor about the size of a house hold trash can and that's all you'll get from me on that.

At the time I was doing some model work for Electric Boat but upon my layoff that came to an end. The people at FX models were commissioned to make a 1/72 scale NR-1 model for EB. Then came the idea of "why not produce them for the public". FX models had to leave off a few things that are classified but that's ok with me for national security.

The Kit

It comes as a full hull model and solid resin as well, very heavy. The kit has everything to complete it including decals. The hull did have a very large shrinkage problem. Marc at FX Models said he would replace it but I waited so long to get this one I said I'd fix it myself. Once I had the hull in good shape I put all the appendages on, dive planes, rudders and vertical stabilizers. The sail needed a little doctoring but no big deal. Anyone who has worked with resin can tackle this one. All the cameras and lights down below were finished and I decided to open the face of the lights and use MV Products lenses. The camera faces were painted black.

You'll notice on the stb. Forward of the sail and below the waterline about mid hull there is a catching device. This is for the NR-1 to catch the tow cable. Usually NR-1 is towed to her operating area. The catching device is photoetch as is the eight guards for the thrusters. The only part I made over was the clear semi bubble on top of the sail. The one in the kit was fogged and had a course look about it. I turned a spear on the lathe and attached it to a post in the vice and used clear canopy plastic from Squadron Mail to form a new one. Once it was on the sub I painted the frame on the back side black.

There really isn't allot to assemble on this on but it was allot of fun. She has a nice look about her with the orange sail and rudder top. It also is something different then BBs, CAs, CVs etc... If your looking for something colorful and about 25" long get one of these NR-1 kits. They can be found at FX Models in Connecticut.

Keith Bender