R Class Submarine Models

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The R-class submarines were a class of United States Navy submarines active from 1918 until 1945. With the first of the class laid down following the American entry into World War I, they were built rapidly. Although R-15 through R-20 were completed July–October 1918, they did not serve overseas, and the bulk of the class were not completed until after the Armistice.

Group 1
The R-1 thru R-20 boats, designed by Electric Boat and built by Fore River Shipyard and Union Iron Works, were known as the R-1-class submarines . These single-hull boats were structurally very similar to the preceding O class, but larger and therefore with more powerful machinery to maintain the required speed. For the first time in a US submarine class, 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes were fitted, a tube diameter that is still standard worldwide. A more powerful fixed 3-inch (76 mm)/50 caliber deck gun replaced the retractable 3-inch/23 caliber gun found on previous classes.

Group 2
R-21 to R-27, which were slightly smaller and faster than the R-1s, were designed and built by Lake Torpedo Boat Co. and are sometimes regarded as a separate class, the R-21 class. Compared with the Lake-designed O-class group, these featured a double hull and had their diving planes more conventionally positioned fore and aft, but retained the Lake O-class' characteristic wide stern and 18-inch (457 mm) torpedo tubes. They were equipped with the same 3-inch/50 deck gun as the Group 1 boats. Their smaller size compared with Group 1 allowed Lake to repeat the machinery of their O-class boats, which probably resulted in cost savings. Some Group 2 boats were fitted with a bow fairing to improve reserve buoyancy. This probably housed expanded ballast tanks. Unlike the Group 1 boats, most of which survived to serve in World War II, the Group 2 boats were scrapped in 1930 as part of the Navy's compliance with the London Naval Treaty. The Lake company's demise in 1924 and the obsolescent 18-inch torpedo armament probably also contributed to this.

We offer our R Class Submarine Models in several poplular size/scale offerings for easy ordering and selection.  However, if you would like your model made in a size other than those sizes listed, please contact us with your request. Custom orders are our specialty!

Our submarine models are made-to-order, meaning that we do not stock any pre-made models.  Only when a customer tells us the size and/or scale desired do we build the model. Each model is exquisitely crafted by our master model builders and comes fully assembled with a solid hull - hand carved from kiln-dried mahogany.  Other parts are made from a variety of woods, putty, resin and metals. Every model includes  pedestals, a polished mahogany base board, and a name plate.  Options include keel block mounting, waterline models, ships seals and ribbons, and weathering paint schemes.

The model build time is generally 16-20 weeks from receipt of the order and deposit. The normal procedure is a 50% deposit with the commissioning, with the balance due prior to shipping.  Note that prior to shipping, we take a series of photos of the model and send them to you for final review and approval – so you know exactly what your model will look like and allow for any necessary modifications. Once you have approved your model, we’ll collect the final balance and she will be shipped in a robust shipping crate and insured for your protection.

100% Satisfaction Guarantee: In the unlikely event you are not completely satisfied with your model and wish to return it, notify us within 7 days of the model delivery and we will issue a refund or exchange.

FREE SHIPPING in the USA - Note that our model prices include shipping and insurance within the USA.

Shipping costs outside the USA will depend on the model size ordered and shipping destination. You will be responsible for any applicable taxes or duties, based on the commercial invoice value for the model.

Add a museum-like touch to your model display - Consider our protective display case option. Keep fingers and dust away - forever!   Please visit our Display Case page to see our selection.

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