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AGSS-555 Dolphin

(1/72 scale Navy Diesel Electric Submarine)


The USS Dolphin (AGSS-555) is the Navy's only operational diesel electric deep diving submarine. The keel for this amazingly versatile Navy baot was laid down in 1964, and the boat was launched in 1968. Oddly, during diesel operations, the only hatch on Dolphin must be open so that the diesels can breathe.

Dolphin is arrayed with an extensive suite of instrumentation to support missions such as acoustic deep-water and shallow-water endeavours. Dolphin was designed to be a test platform and can be modified to allow installation of up to 12 tons of additional equipment and instrumentation. This instrumentation can be attached to either the interior or exterior of the hull.

Many of the technological leaps credited to the US Navy have been achieved through Dolphin programs. Several of note are the deepest launch of a torpedo, first successful submarine-aircraft laser communications, evaluation of non-acoustic ASW techniques, and development of underwater Laser Imaging systems for photographic clarity.

FX Models was asked to create USS Dolphin in 1/72 scale ( 27.5" long by 3" diameter) by the US Navy. Dolphin complements our extremely popular and highly accurate NR-1 which has received critical acclaim.

Below is a photo-history of the model project starting with CAD drawings that we created and leading to the logical conclusion of a stunning physical model . The model's hull diameter and length make it extremely conducive to a Radio Controlled Submarine version!


Here is a section of our CAD drawing that preceded creation of the model. All details drawn here were laser engraved onto the master model.

Dolphin Sail being laser engraved

Sail and casing after engraving. Thousands of rivet details are on the model

Overall model with bottom keel casing and stern planes.

Closer view of Sail, Casing and Hull masters together

Overall Model finished but prior to having Draft Markings installed. The hull is Epoxy fiberglass, with resin appendages

Sail closeup. Note ladder rungs, safety railing around back of bridge, radar at aft end of sail, radar on forward sail and other details.

Bow details. Note oval cover plates that show scale relief as on the real boat, and gratings either side of forward bow casing [rectangular items], cleat, and bow casing detail.

Aft top casing detail showing diesel exhaust cover [Dolphin is Diesel remember], and various mounting and lift pads on the hull. These 'pads' are all over Dolphin , topside and bottom.

Forward Hull after Draft Marks were installed. Again note cleats on top casing, capstan, and mounting pads above and below the midline on the hull.

Dolphin aft end showing twin towed arrays, prop, zincs and draft marks. Note that the zincs [long gray appearing strips forward of the horizontal planes] are actually separate items but the photo does not show them well.

Starboard sail with boat number and other sail details as mentioned before. Above the middle '5' on the sail, you can make out the Starboard running light in relief against the hull.

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