USS Gato SS-212 1941 1/700 Hobbyboss

Varnished the submarine with Modelmaster Semi-gloss Lacquer (plus a couple of drops of Testor's Dullcoat), diluted with Tamiya Lacquer Thinner.

Gave the sea a coat of Pledge.

Painted the frame with Vallejo German Uniform and gave it a wash with raw sienna oil paints diluted with Mig Productions Thinner for Washes. Wiped off the excess oil paint with tissue paper.

All that is left is to paint the Hellcats .

USS Gato SS-212 1941 1/700 Hobbyboss

Ok, I've painted the sea already, all that is left is the overall weathering with oils, varnishing and painting the frame.

The following acrylic colours were used:

- Phtalo Blue;
- Sap Green;
- Crimson Red;
- Titanium White;
- Black.

USS Gato SS-212 1941 1/700 Hobbyboss

Slight change of plans: I decided to simulate the sea with spackling compound instead of paper. I tried using paper but it didn't work out properly - a mix of lack of experience and the feeling that it didn't look right in 1/700.

The spackling compound was applied with a paintbrush and worked around while still damp. We'll see how it'll look after painting..

The submarine was painted with Tamiya Black+White diluted with their thinner, X-20A. Once dried (20min), it received a brushcoat of Future (Pledge) acrylic floor wax that was left to dry for 30min or so, before applying the 4 decals. A second coat of Pledge was brushed over the decal to prepare everything for some aging techniques using oil paints.

So far it's looking right from my perspective. I was able to achieve the results I imagined, we'll see how it goes along...

USS Gato SS-212 1941 1/700 Hobbyboss

USS Gato SS-212 1941 1/700 Hobbyboss

Measure 9
Black System for Submarines
(Source: Ships-2 January 1941 and Ships-2 Rev. 1 September 1941)

Vertical Surfaces:
Paint entire submarine above the waterline black, formula 82.  The painting shall be carried over all parts which are visible for the air including the numbers, capstan and running light boards and bridge rails.  The radio insulators shall be dark.  The shall be no boot topping.  The underbody shall be painted with the current issues of bottom antifouling paints.
Horizontal Surfaces:
All horizontal surfaces except wood decks shall be painted Dark Gray 5-D.  The systems differ only in the painting of the vertical surfaces.  In case of doubt, as on sloping surfaces, use Dark Gray 5-D.

The camouflage painting need not be exact or carried into corners.  Small gear, wires, rigging, and areas permanently in shadow, as under boats, etc., need not be painted with the camouflage colors.  There is no objection to exact or careful painting which may be desired for the sake of good appearance at close range.
All bright or shiny objects, no matter how insignificant, shall be painted, covered, or removed.
Glass windows shall be covered or removed, especially during the day in sunny weather, and at night when anticipating searchlight discovery.  Insofar as conditions permit, similar precautions shall be taken on airport lenses.

Hull Number Name 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 Notes
212 GATO MS 9 MS 9 MS 9  MS 32/9SS-B MS 32/9SS-B  

USS Gato SS-212 1941 1/700 Hobbyboss

USS Gato SS-212 1941 1/700 Hobbyboss

USS Gato SS-212 1941 1/700 Hobbyboss

U.S. Naval Historical Center 
USS Gato (SS-212) is launched at Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut in August 1941. The Gato class was the last pre-war submarine design.


USS Gato SS-212 1941 1/700 Hobbyboss


Sub History
The first ship to bear the name, was designed and built by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut. She was the first ship of her class and the prototype for the major portion of the submarines constructed by the United States for service in World War II. Gato was christened on 21 August 1941 by Mrs. Royal E. Ingersoll, wife of then Rear Admiral Royal Ingersoll who was Assistant Chief of Naval Operations. GATO commissioned in Groton on 31 December 1941 and shortly thereafter left for service with the Pacific Fleet.

Wartime Service
From April 1942 until June 1943 GATO saw continuous service in the Pacific Theater. During this period she conducted five war patrols ranging from the Kuriles and Aleutian Islands in the Northern Pacific, duty in the screening force during the Battle of Midway in the Central Pacific, and finally to patrols around Truk and the Solomon Islands in the Southwest Pacific. During these later patrols, GATO supported Australian coast watchers and intelligence services, making several landings to deliver supplies and personnel to isolated posts in the rear of Japanese-held areas. On one of these operations, in addition to Commandos, GATO evacuated twenty-seven children, nine mothers, and three nuns from a mission on Bouganville.

During this same period GATO conducted reconnaissance of many Japanese-held atolls, including Tarawa and Makin, later to become famous as the site of the first amphibious assault over enemy held beaches. During these operations GATO sunk five enemy ships totalling 41,000 tons.

Following an overhaul in Mare Island Naval Shipyard GATO returned to the Southwest Pacific where she conducted three more war patrols in 1943 and 1944. On her seventh patrol GATO took a prisoner of war from a life raft off the Admiralty Islands. Two weeks later, after sinking the cargo ship TSUNESHIMA MARU, the GATO was subjected to a severe depth charging by several escort vessles. Following the depth charge attack, GATO surfaced and found an unexploded depth charge lodged in the rudder. With the help of the Japanese prisoner, the ship's Gunnery Officer dislodged the charge and lashed it to a rubber raft which was set adrift with a slow leak.

On February 5, 1944 USS Gato surfaced in Open Bay near the village of Maitanakunai, and dropped them at Finschafen. The group included: Gordon Manuel, Owen Giertsen, Carl Planck and Edward Czarnecki. A second group is also rescued consisting of William Townsend, David McClymont and Fred Hargesheimer

Gato's vigilance in patroling the north entrance to Bouganville Sound and her aggressive attacks during her Fourth through Eighth Patrols in the Solomons, Bismarck Sea, New Guinea and Truk areas earned for her a Presidential Unit Citation and the nickname "The Goalkeeper" from Admiral William F. Halsey, the area commander. During these patrols GATO was credited with destruction of 13 enemy ships totalling 69,400 tons. One of those vessels, the 3,781-ton OKINOYA MARU was destroyed during a daring daylight attack in which GATO used only her deck guns to sink the armed enemy vessel.

In May 1944 GATO was transferred to the Central Pacific Theater. Her ninth and tenth patrols were primarily reconnaisance and lifeguard missions in the vicinity first of Truk and later in the Bonin Islands. Upon completion of her tenth patrol GATO returned to Mare Island Shipyard for overhaul.

The last three war patrols of GATO were made in the Western Pacific during 1945. Departing from Pearl Harbor in January 1945, she conducted her eleventh patrol in the Yellow Sea sinking two ships including one destroyer escort. Her twelfth and thirteenth patrols were conducted off the coast of Japan as a lifeguard in support of air operations over those islands. During this duty ten U.S. Army avaitors were rescued from the waters of the Pacific. At the end of her thirteenth patrol GATO anchored in Tokyo Bay to witness the signing of the documents aboard USS MISSOURI which marked the end of World War II.

Following the war, GATO served as a Naval Reserve Training Ship at New York, New York and Baltimore, Maryland. She was stricken from the lists, sold and broken up in 1961.

GATO earned thirteen Battle Stars and five Presidential Unit Citations. She participated in the Midway Operations, the Capture and Defense of Guadalcanal, the Asiatic-Pacific Raids of 1944, the Marjanas Operation, the Western Caroline Islands Operation, the Iwo Jimo Operation, the Okinawa-Gunto Assault and Occupation, and the Third Fleet Operations Against Japan.