Super submarine hits the water at last in Norwich

A Norwich craft model enthusiast is raising a toast after completing a seven-year project to build a 9ft replica of a second world war submarine.

It took seven years to build and took up nearly his entire living room, but now Paul Cook, 41, from Sprowston, can finally set sail at Eaton Park Model Boat Pavilion with his 9ft 9in USS Lionfish.

A member of Norwich Model Boat Club and manager of Hobby Stores in Watton, Mr Cook's model is more than a toy – the sub is a copy of a one that was blown up in the 1988 TV series War and Remembrance starring Robert Mitchum, when models were used for special effects.

Mr Cook said: 'It has been in the house, my wife curses it, the lounge is only 14 feet.

'I have always made models. When I was a kid I would go into Langleys with my granddad. It is a challenge.

'You can swim below it while it is driven from the surface. It is big boy's toys.'

The sub weighs about 95lb and takes on 15 litres of water when submerged, meaning it works just like the real thing –the last example of which is in an American museum.

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It takes two men to lift, goes at 4mph and has provision for miniature torpedoes.

It uses two electric motors, four water pumps, two air compressors and a compressed air cylinder for ballast.

Mr Cook will show his model at the two-day International Radio Control Model Submarine Meeting at Eaton Park on July 28-29, where a 12-footer will also be shown.

'Eaton Park is known as one of the best model boat ponds in the country,' said Mr Cook.

Have you finished a big project? Contact Joe Wilkes on 01603 772439 or email

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